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MEDJUGORJE, June 7, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Holy Father has said a ruling on Medjugorje is near.
On the papal plane Saturday, Pope Francis said the case was now in front of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and that "[w]e are about to make decisions ... ."
Medjugorje has been steeped in controversy, as alleged visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have reportedly been taking place like clockwork in the Bosnian town for more than three decades, with thousands of messages from Our Lady, some of which are doctrinally questionable.
Both bishops of the diocese with jurisdiction over the reported apparitions have condemned the visions as false. Bishop Ratko Peric, current bishop of Mostar, said
During my official visit to the Holy Father Benedict XVI, I not only expressed my doubts but also my disbelief in the "apparitions" of Medjugorje. The Holy Father, who prior to his election was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, replied with this thought: "We at the Congregation always asked ourselves how a believer could possibly accept as authentic, apparitions that occur every day for so many years?"
The most recent official message from the Vatican on the topic occurred in October 2013, in a letter from Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria Vigano. He issued a message to every U.S. diocese on behalf of the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith forbidding the faithful to participate in any events where "the credibility of such 'apparitions' would be taken for granted."
The Vatican also reaffirmed that
with regard to the credibility of the "apparitions" in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: "On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations."
The letter was sent in response to a speaking tour of one of the seers, Ivan Dragicevic, who was scheduled to speak in various American parishes. The letter clarified that the faithful were not permitted to attend such events. To this day, dioceses and parishes are not allowed to organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, and several of the Franciscan priests at the heart of the Medjugorje phenomenon have been suspended for disobedience.
For our FAQ on Medjugorje, visit our resource page.
Watch Michael Voris' presentation on Medjugorje here.