Part 2: A Breakthrough in the Investigation, or Just Subjective Impressions?
by Marco Corvaglia
Go to Part 1: An Inadequate Commission
Go to the full index of the study: Who Will Judge the Judges? The Unresolvable Contradictions of the Commission of Inquiry on Medjugorje
Pediatrician Darinka Šumanović-Glamuzina, who was heard by a commission delegation in April 2012
As we saw previously, from 22 to 26 April 2012 a delegation of the commission went to Medjugorje for a study trip.
On their return, in the proceedings of the 22 May 2012 session, we can read statements full of satisfaction. A leading member of the commission commented:
The trip to Medjugorje proved to be of capital importance since, by virtue of the results achieved, it considerably changed the overall picture.
[22 May 2012 Proceedings, in David Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, Rubbettino, 2021, p. 133]
This change in the overall picture appears to have resulted from two elements.
The first consisted of the discovery in the parish archive of tapes of the conversations that took place in the first days of the phenomenon, between the Franciscans (in particular Father Jozo) and the youngsters.
In the proceedings we can read that this discovery constituted a real "breakthrough in the investigations", as in the tapes one can reportedly perceive "intense and authentic emotions" [22 May 2012 Proceedings, in Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 133].
On this topic, the Summary of Father Jozo Zovko’s talk with the visionaries, written by a member, was presented to the commission: it should be noted that the commission, as a whole, evidently did not listen to the tapes, because they are in Croatian and it would have been of little use for most members.
Well, the enthusiastic evaluations mentioned above are obviously very subjective. We are on the level of strictly personal impressions.
It is enough to note that the first author to unwind and publish the tapes in full was Father Ivo Sivrić, a Franciscan who was convinced of the falsity of the phenomenon, in 1988 (in English in the book The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, Psilog, 1989).
The commission gave greater importance to the testimony, given in Medjugorje, of a pediatrician who witnessed the apparition on Podbrdo on June 29, 1981: Darinka Šumanović-Glamuzina.
The commission was amazed:
Of particular interest is the comment by (Redacted): ‘Why has Dr. Šumanović-Glamuzina never been questioned by the previous commissions?"
To this question, none of the members of the Commission is able to give an answer.
[Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 133]
One member enthusiastically comments:
The breakthrough is due to a "new fact", namely the discovery of unpublished material: in particular, the doctor's statements, received for the first time in thirty years of investigations.
[22 May 2012 Proceedings, in Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, pp. 133-134]
The commission gave so much importance to this testimony that it was cited in the Final Report, in paragraph 1.1 (of Part I), titled "The initial profile of the phenomenon", and inserted among what are then defined as "reasons for affirming the supernatural origin of its beginnings" [Final Report: Gaeta, p. 54; Murgia, p. 42]:
There is signed testimony of Dr. Darinka Šumanović-Glamuzina, collected during the site visit to Medjugorje by the International Commission, which recounts the happening in an extrinsic and neutral perspective.
[Final Report: Gaeta, p. 43; Murgia, p. 34]
In the introduction to the testimony, the commission wrote that the woman reports today that she had "an experience of the Madonna that changed her. After the event, in fact, she felt full of energy." [Appendix II - 22 May 2012 Proceedings, in Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 129]
In reality, the testimony, in highly emotional terms, relates an event that has always been well-known, which occurred on 29 June 1981 (the sixth day of the "apparitions"). Vicka also spoke of it in her famous interview book with Father Bubalo [cf. J. Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Friends of Medjugorje, 1987, p. 36].
In the testimony, Dr. Šumanović-Glamuzina defined herself as "very rational" [Appendix II - 22 May 2012 Proceedings, in Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 132].
Really, to understand the level of suggestibility of Šumanović-Glamuzina, it suffices to read the passage in which she says that, impressed by the atmosphere of prayer, she thought that the phenomenon could be linked to an alien manifestation:
At a certain moment, I even thought it was an object of the universe, something that belongs to another reality. At that moment, they all began to pray the rosary together. They prayed, prayed, prayed. The atmosphere of their prayers in that moment changed in an incredible way. It was something I had never experienced before.
[Appendix II - 22 May 2012 Proceedings, in Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 130]
The apparition began and Šumanović-Glamuzina said in her testimony:
I asked Vicka who was next to me: “Can I ask some questions to Our Lady?” At that time, I doubted. I was impressed, but I didn't think it was the Madonna. Vicka asked Our Lady: “Madonna, can this woman ask You questions?” This was a new shock to me because she had contacted something and asked permission so that I could have contact. This immediately put me in a position to think that someone is actually there. Someone is there.
That makes perfect sense...
I go ahead and ask Vicka to ask the Madonna if I can touch the vision. […] The Madonna says to Vicka: “Yes, come closer”. Vicka tells me where I had to put myself and where to touch Her. Vicka says, “Here, here.” At that moment, I am still doubting. I want to unmask everything and reveal their hoax.
[Ibid., p. 131]
But she had written that at that point she had already convinced herself that "someone is there" ...
In any case, the testimony continues as follows:
But the moment I knelt down and put my hand in the place where Vicka told me that Our Lady was, I become aware that I am entering into something very dangerous, the end of which I can't see.
But of course Šumanović-Glamuzina did not perceive anything concrete. In her eyes, this quite obvious fact became proof that the apparition was true:
In the following seconds, I try, like a robot, to touch something and an incredible thing happens: something that words cannot describe, something inexplicable. I feel that this “something” or “someone” is gone. I don't see anything, but I feel it's gone. I feel that it is no longer here.
Obviously, if Vicka (together with the others) was simulating the apparition and knew that therefore Šumanović-Glamuzina wat not perceiving anything, what would she do?
She would say that the Madonna had gone. And indeed:
Behind me I hear Vicka's words: "The Madonna has gone away.”
So, at first, she allegedly gave her permission to be touched, and then instead she left.
I back off with so much shame. I was so ashamed inside. [...] I approach Vicka and ask her: “Vicka, what is this?” Vicka is so scared. She says: “The Madonna said: There are always unbelieving Judases."
And, according to the Pontifical International Commission, this narrative is supposedly "extrinsic and neutral."
It is all about strictly personal states of mind, thoughts and impressions. So they shouldn't be of any interest to the commission, as evidenced by one judicious member (probably always the same one):
(Redacted) [...] declares himself "very perplexed that such great importance is attributed to the testimony of the doctor". He cannot understand the reason.
[Murgia, Processo a Medjugorje, p. 134]
The voice of one crying in the wilderness...
Go to Part 3: The Strange Choice of the "First Seven Apparitions"
English linguistic revision by Richard Chonak
Copyright © Marco Corvaglia. All rights reserved