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MOSTAR, Bosnia-Herzegovina (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bishop Ratko Perić, of the Mostar-Duvno diocese where Medjugorje is located, is restating what he and his predecessor have always said — Our Lady has never appeared at Medjugorje.
In 1981, it was alleged that Our Lady appeared to six children. Since then millions of people have come to the town, alleging miracles and even a spinning sun.
The successive bishops of the diocese where Medjugorje is located, however, have investigated both the alleged seers and the apparitions, finding no merit to the accounts.
In 1982, Bp. Pavao Žanić, then the bishop of Mostar-Duvno, established a commission to investigate the events. By 1985, Žanić concluded the investigation, stating that "the apparitions of the Madonna in Medjugorje are not a reality."
He further noted, "However, several times through letters, the Bishop's Office expressed its desire, and even demanded, that the propaganda stop because of the disobedience of the pastoral personnel and the 'visionaries.' This was a futile attempt."
On February 27, Žanić's successor, Bp. Ratko Perić, re-asserted the previous findings, declaring, "Considering everything that this diocesan chancery has so far researched and studied, including the first seven days of alleged apparitions, we can say: There have been no apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje."
He further clarifies, "The position of the chancery of this diocese has been clear and decisive: There are no credible apparitions of the Virgin Mary."
Speaking of the 1983 investigation, Perić notes, "Once we transcribed audio tapes containing conversations between pastoral staff in the parish of Medjugorje in the first week with the boys and girls who claimed that they had seen [the] Virgin Mary. ... [W]e can say with certainty that alleged apparitions are not credible."
He further outlines just a few of the contradictions and trivialities involved with the "apparitions":
She often does not speak first, she has a strange laugh, she disappears after certain questions and then returns; she obeys the "visionaries" and priests to come down from the hill to the church, although reluctantly. She is not sure how much time she will be visible, allows some of the visionaries to stand on her veil which is on the ground, allows others to touch her clothes and body.
For a third time Perić notes, "This really is not Our Lady from the Gospel."