Has CDF decided?

Vatican-watcher Gianluca Barile says that CDF has held a meeting and reached conclusions about the Medjugorje case, to be presented to Pope Francis. How reliable this is: we don’t know yet. (The translation is mine.)

Medjugorje: the Vatican rejects the apparitions and isolates the seers
by Gianluca Barile

The only concession, for Medjugorje, recognized as a place of prayer, is because God knows how to reap where he does not sow, explained the Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, during the Plenary of the Congregation which met yesterday to express itself on the alleged apparitions of our Lady to the six “seers” of this little locality in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who say they have received messages periodically from the “Gospa” for 34 years in a row. As for the remainder, the judgment of the former Holy Office, which expressed itself on the basis of the final report of the “Ruini Commission”, established by Benedict XVI to shed light precisely on this phenomenon, was absolutely negative. For the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, indeed the “apparitions” do not consist of anything supernatural, so the faithful have been forbidden to take part in the “ecstasies” of the six “seers” and the latter have been prohibited to disclose the texts of the messages which they might receive from our Lady. Another NO regards the parish of Medjugorje, under the title of St. James, which will not become a Marian shrine, as the six “seers” themselves apparently had wished. But that’s not all: Bishops may not welcome the “seers” into their dioceses for public meetings and testimonies, as has happened up to today, but are limited to providing accompaniment, by a priest, for pilgrims who travel to Medjugorje. Pilgrims themselves who go to Medjugorje, will not be permitted to recognize, by their presence, the authenticity of the apparitions and are to avoid any contact with the “seers”, concentrating only on prayer and approaching the Sacraments. But why so much severity on the Vatican’s part? First of all, due to the theological inconsistency of the messages, then because of the economic interest of the “seers” who have invested in inns and travel agencies, and hence due to the rivalry which has divided some of them, and for the disobedience shown both toward the bishop of Mostar, their Diocese, and toward the Pope who, by means of the “Ruini Commission”, ordered them in vain to present the ten secrets which they allegedly received from the “Gospa”. One of the key aspects which impelled the Vatican to use the iron fist, is precisely that of money: true seers have never been seen making money from their own apparitions. On this point, it’s only right to ask: do the six “seers” of Medjugorje maintain that they see and speak with our Lady because the alleged apparitions are real, or only to attract a greater number of pilgrims to travel with their agencies and make reservations in their inns? The last word is waiting for Pope Francis, who will shortly issue an appropriate decree, but it is hard to think that the Pontiff could change the conclusions of CDF, especially because he himself, several times, has shown, more or less evidently, his own scepticism about the goodness of what is happening at Medjugorje. So things are headed toward a noisy signal of black smoke.


  1. If what the reprt says is true, than it is news gotten by breaking vows of secrecy, if not also by greed – given that some agencies buy stories from anonymous informants.

    If what he report says is false or half-true, than it is gossip . a journalistic scandal that favors rumor and clickbait over fact and research.

    Either way, do not share in sin but in the Trinity. Have hope in Providence, for Christ sympatjizes with our weaknesses and will render judgment in good time, if not definitively on Judgment Day.

    Offer up your longsuffeing and hopes and all else to God for the sanctification of His Name, coming of His Kingdom, accomplishment of His Will, daily bread, forgiveness of offeneses against oneself, forgiveness of one’s sins, and deliverance from temptation and evil.

  2. On Medjugorje.com, they give a hint about the phenomenon being a hoax: “Now, the physical signs are not so numerous, as the Medjugorje machine is cranked and running, and many people have come to believe,…”

    Medjugorje machine.

  3. As a retired Catholic lawyer and law school professor, I have just begun my own research concerning Medjugorje’s alleged apparitions. In doing so, I began by trying to assessing the validity of the historical and sociological information that Donal Foley presents about Medjugorje: in particular, Mr. Foley’s suggestion that Bax’s depiction of the Croat Catholic population as a violent, and perhaps neo-pagan people.Much to my surprise, my research led me to a withering attack on Bax by a panel of other scholars who have no apparent contact with either side in Medjugorje’s religious controversy). The panel’s conclusion is that most of Bax’s supposed anthropological research — on which Mr. Foley extensively relied — is false!!! [SEE: Circumventing Reality: Report on the Anthropological Work of Professor Emeritus M.M.G. Bax by Michiel Baud, Susan Legêne, and Peter Pels, Amsterdam, 9 September 2013, commissioned by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, official English language version of the final report–This entire report is accessible online. ]. While it appears from this convincing analysis that Foley’s reliance on Bax’s findings was grossly mistaken, this tells us very little or nothing about whether the visionaries really see Our Lady. But it seems certain that we do need to disregard Foley’s many references to Bax’s findings as we examine the many other issues.

    1. Thanks for sharing your interest in the case. The controversy about Bax’s writings about a “little war” between clans in the area around Medjugorje has become known in recent years. Here at Catholic Light, we had some discussion about it in 2010.


      Historians will have to judge the accuracy of Bax’s research, but in any case (I agree) it’s not important for making a judgment about the alleged apparitions, since Bax wasn’t studying the apparitions, the seers, the friars involved, etc.

      Some points which Foley attributes to Bax may be supported from other sources. For instance, Bax’s reference to clan-related cemetery rites (Foley 2011, p. 191) may be referring to the ceremonies described in Ivo Sivric’s book on “The Peasant Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Chicago, 1982), p. 68.

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