The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links

Search this Site




Mailing List

Pray for Pope Francis

Scroll down for topics

100+ Important Documents in United States History


Apostolic Fathers of the Church

Articles Worth Your Time

 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Calendar

Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.

Catholic Perspectives

Catholic Social Teaching


Church Around the World

Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts

  Church Documents

Church History

Church Law

Church Teaching


Doctors of the Church



(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)

Essays on Science


Fathers of the Church

Free Catholic Pamphlets

 Heresies and Falsehoods

How to Vote Catholic

Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith

Links to Churches and Religions

Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television

Links to Recommended Sites

Links to Specialized Agencies

Links to specialized Catholic News services


General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Marriage & the Family

Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom

Moral Theology


Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body

Movie Reviews (USCCB)

New Age


Parish Bulletin Inserts

Political Issues

Prayer and Devotions



Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel


Help & Information for Men


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults




The Golden Legend


Vocation Links & Articles


What the Cardinals believe...

World Religions

Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam

John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration

Visits to this site

New Church commission to study Medjugorje 

Sep. 06, 2006 ( - Church leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina plan to assemble a commission to study the effects of pilgrimages to Medjugorje.

Msgr. Mato Zovkic, the vicar general of the Sarajevo archdiocese, confirmed the plans for a study commission during a September 5 conversation with the I Media news service in Rome. He said that the bishops' plans had been discussed this summer with Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, the apostolic nuncio in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A 1972 Vatican document sets out the procedures to be followed in investigating the authenticity of extraordinary claims, such as the reported appearances of the Virgin Mary at Medjurorje. The document calls for examination of three questions. First, Church officials are called to assess the phenomena themselves, and the people who report them, looking for evidence of authenticity. Next they are to study any message that is associated with the extraordinary reports, to ascertain whether that message conforms to orthodox Church teaching.

Msgr. Zovkic said that Church leaders are now tackling the third question raised by the document, appraising the pastoral implications of the phenomena, by studying the "fruits" of the reported apparitions. He explained that the study commission will attempt to answer several related question: What are the experiences of pilgrims who visit Medjugorje? What motivates some people to make repeated visits there? What effect does their pilgrimage have upon the way they live after they return home? These questions contribute to the overall appraisal of the reported apparitions.

In 1991, a commission set up by the bishops of what was then Yugoslavia reached the conclusion that there was no clear evidence of extraordinary events at Medjugorje, saying that the study "could not confirm the supernatural character" of the alleged Marian apparitions. The commission recommended a follow-up study to determine whether or not the pilgrimages to Medjugorje were promoting a firm adherence to the norms of Church teaching and liturgical discipline.

However, the plans for that second study were disrupted by the outbreak of civil war in Yugoslavia. After years of bloodshed the country disintegrated and the newly independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina emerged. Now that peace has been restored, and pilgrimages to Medjugorje continue, the Holy See encouraged the formation of a pastoral commission to continue the study, Msgr. Zovkic reported. The commission is to be established under the jurisdiction of the local ordinary, Bishop Ratko Peric, in conjunction with the nation's episcopal conference.

The steady influx of pilgrims to Medjugorje is "a phenomenon that must be taken seriously," Msgr. Zovkic said. The faithful who come to Medjugorje to receive the sacraments deserve proper pastoral attention from the local priests and bishops, and the many reports from pilgrims who experienced a spiritual renewal there should be taken into account, he said.

The composition of the new investigating commission has not yet been settled, Msgr. Zovkic reported. He predicted that it might take several months to choose the members of the panel, including experts in liturgy, Mariology, and theology. In all likelihood, he said, the commission would include members from the different regions of the former Yugoslavia as well as others appointed by the Holy See. In July, Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo said that the bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina were waiting for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to recommend theologians for the panel. That Congregation has not offered any public comment on the planned inquiry, although sources there acknowledge that a new study is underway.

The Church is not likely to make any final conclusion on the authenticity of the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, Msgr. Zovkic said, until the "seers" report that those apparitions have ended. To date the seers have continued to say that the Virgin Mary appears to them daily, 25 years after the first such reports.

Millions of pilgrims have traveled to Medjugorje, a village in western Herzegovina, since the first reports of apparitions on June 24, 1981. Two commissions established by Church authorities-- one at the diocesan level in 1982, and another by the Yugoslavian bishops' conference-- have cast doubts on the authenticity of the reported apparitions. Nevertheless, Msgr. Zovkic emphasizes, the Church wishes to preserve whatever spiritual fruits the pilgrimages have brought forth.



Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved