by Marco Corvaglia
On 21 March 1988 Msgr. Pavao Žanić, bishop of Mostar, wrote, in a private letter to an American Salesian (father Jacques), that in the Church there was pressure to "preserve Medjugorje without pronouncing a final judgement" [in Fr Michel de la Sainte Trinité, Medjugorje en toute vérité, CRC, Saint-Parres-lès-Vaudes, 1991, p. 446].
The official position of the Church on Medjugorje is the Zadar Declaration, signed by the Yugoslavian Bishops' Conference and unveiled in 1991.
On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.
The declaration made it impossible (on the state of the facts) to approve the phenomena not because these are in progress (as often claimed) but, as we have seen,"on the basis of the investigations so far."
In March 2010 the Vatican has formed a new commission of inquiry on Medjugorje (presided over by Card. Camillo Ruini) with purely consultative functions: the final judgment pertains to the pope, having regard to the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
In January 2014, the commission completed its work and delivered its conclusions to the Congregation. These conclusions were not officially disclosed.
However, on May 13 2017, when prompted to comment on the credibility of Međugorje at a press conference (on his return flight from Fatima), Pope Francis observed that the CDF and (with particular reference to the way the story unfolded after the first "apparitions") the Commission have their doubts, and added: “Personally I am harsher" (select: Settings [toothed or CC icon] > Subtitles > English):
Three days after these statements by Pope Francis, the Vatican correspondent (and Medjugorje supporter) Andrea Tornielli published a detailed leak (not denied by the Vatican) that 13 of the 15 members of the committee voted in favor of the supernaturality of the first days “apparitions” (24 June-3 July 1981). However, for what concerns the continuation of the phenomenon, there were "a majority of suspensive votes and many doubts."
In summary, the first days apparitions would be credible (on the basis of a majority) but not those of subsequent decades. With an apparent mental gymnastics, it is admitted that the seers behaved inappropriately over the years, while maintaing that the original nucleus of Medjugorje and the religious fervor that has arisen there are somehow “saved”.
21 April 2012: Father Salvatore Perrella, member of the commission for investigation on Medjugorje, along with Marija Pavlović (and her husband, Paolo Lunetti) on the stage of the religious mega-meeting in the Palermo stadium.
The commission we have spoken about was completely formed by theologians. One of them is Father Salvatore Perrella, director of the Pontifical Theological Faculty "Marianum".
On 21 April 2012, while the commission was up and running, Perrella took part as an orator at a mega meeting set up in Palermo by a Medjugorje organization of the Sicilian regional capital: the Gruppi di preghiera della Regina della Pace (Queen of Peace Prayer Groups). More than 30,000 faithful gathered at Barbera Stadium, attracted by the presence of the "seer" Marija Pavlović (who next month would inaugurate her mega-hotel in Medjugorje: see Seers in Conflict of Interests). Perrella, standing on stage together with Marija, hold a long speech lasting over half an hour, not talking about Medjugorje ("the apparitions do not interest me"), but of general Mariological subjects.
Some questions: is it normal that some supporters of a phenomenon under investigation invite to a major event a member of the commission of inquiry?
Is it appropriate for him to accept the invitation?
Is it appropriate for him to divide the stage with a protagonist of the phenomenon?
In the next short video some passages from Father Perrella's (on the stage with Marija) speech:
Medjugorje: in 35000 a Palermo per la veggente Marja Pavlovic Lunetti (Il Fatto Nisseno, April 19, 2012)
Incontro con Marija Pavlovic Lunetti, attese 35 mila persone al Barbera (PalermoToday, April 20, 2012)
In 30 mila per pregare con Marija la donna che parla alla Madonna (Repubblica, April 22, 2012)
Veggente come il Milan, Barbera esaurito (Corriere del Mezzogiorno, April 23, 2012).
Updated on 22 November 2017