January 11, 2013
(Romereports.com) Among the investigations, commissioned by the Vatican, lies the credibility of the alleged apparitions of Our Lady, in the town of Medjugorje. 31 years ago, a group of seven people, said it physically saw the Virgin Mary. Since then, other claims have followed, drawing thousands of people to this town in Bosnia.
Since 2010, Benedict XVI established a Vatican commission, made up 17 experts, to look into the alleged apparitions and give an official explanation.
The commission's president is Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who says he expects a conclusion soon.
CARD. CAMILLO RUINI
President, Commission of Investigation on Medjugorje
“It will take just a bit longer, Not much, I hope. But, it's not an immediate thing. We are a consulting commission, we offer our opinion and pass it along to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They are the ones who will decide or not to release a statement.”
Journalist Saverio Gaeta is the author of the book 'The Last Prophecy: The real story of Medjugorje. 'As an expert in the apparitions, he claims this is a unique situation.
“This is the first time in history that a commission established by the Holy See investigates an apparition, it's the first time absolutely, in the history of apparitions... It's unprecedented, so we can't compare it to other apparitions.”
Gaeta highlights that the investigation commission is still in the analyzing phase, and, in his opinion, it's not likely that its conclusions will ever be released.
“There is still some time left before they finish. But there won't be a public declaration, because it's not the commission's duty to say anything to the public. The role of the commission is to give a reasonable explanation to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will not be published officially, however it will likely be leaked. But, the motivation for the commission is to form an opinion and pass it along to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They will then evaluate it and decide whether to get the Pope involved.”
Up until now, the only official statement from the Church came from the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. They declared that “it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.” But it's a complicated matter. Even though they can't be affirmed, on the other hand, they have not been denied.
However, the investigation commission faces a bigger challenge, because it must decided whether these alleged apparitions are credible or not.
“They're required to have greater accuracy. They feel the weight of such a petition, which came from the Pope directly. So they must deepen their understanding of these alleged apparitions as much as possible, to find a way to analyze, from a pastoral point of view, all that's happening there.”
Each year thousands of pilgrims make the trek to the small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina to visit the apparitions of the Gospa, as they call the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. But, it seems they'll have to wait much longer to get on official answer as to whether or not the apparitions are deemed credible by the Church.