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The sun sets behind a statue of Mary on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this 2011 file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See MEDJUGORJE-REPORT May 17, 2017

Vatican report into Medjugorje confirmed early visions; cast doubt on others

By Amanda Connelly

A commission Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI established into Marian apparitions at Medjugorje voted to recognise the first seven appearances of Mary but cast doubts on those from July 4 1981 onwards.

The findings were reported by the website Vatican Insider, and come after Pope Francis expressed his doubts about the later appearances. The Vatican press office declined to comment on the Vatican Insider article.

The report reveals there were 13 votes in favour of recognising the first seven appearances at the shrine, one vote against and a ‘suspensive’ ballot giving a final answer at a later time, while a large number of suspensive votes and doubts surrounded the apparations from the end of 1981 to the present day.

The findings came after work carried out by the Medjugorje commission established by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2010, with Cardinal Camillo Ruini as chairperson.

In addition to the former chairperson, Cardinals Jozef Tomko, Vinko Puljic, Josip Bozanic, Julian Herranz, and Angelo Amato took part.
The commission met on 17 occasions and screened Vatican documents, the Medjugorje parish, former Yugoslavia secret service archives, and inspected the Medjugorje village in order to created a report.

They were then asked to vote on whether the apparitions at Medjugorje were indeed ‘supernatural’ and the best ‘pastoral solutions.’
It found a big difference between the first sightings and subsequent developments, so as a result held two separate votes – firstly on the apparitions from June 24-July 3 1981 and those afterwards.

Pope Francis discussed this on his return flight from Fatima last weekend, saying: “A commission of good theologians, bishops, cardinals. Good, good, good. The Ruini report is very, very good. It is well known that the signal that emerged from the Pontiff’s words is positive about the spiritual fruits and the conversions (people who go there and convert, people who meet God, who change life)”.

However on the current events, he said: “I prefer Our Lady as Mother, and not the head of the telegraph office, who sends a message every day.”

Following his study of the report and the views on the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Pope Francis has given Archbishop Henryk Hoser a ‘special mission of the Holy See’ to find out more about the ‘pastorla situation’ in Medjugorje, and what those who visit there as part of pilgrimages need.

The archbishop will present his findings this summer.

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