Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has reiterated that the Vatican has yet to rule the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as authentic.
The archbishop’s concerns were made in a letter, instructing American bishops not to allow Ivan Dragicevic, a visionary from Medjugorje, to make a U.S. tour at the end of October during which he was expected to receive “apparitions”.
Mr. Dragicevic subsequently cancelled his engagements which were scheduled to take place on Oct. 26 in Danvers, MA, and on Oct. 27 in Greenville, RI.
Archbishop Mueller made his concerns known to the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who conveyed them in an Oct. 21 letter to Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, General Secretary of the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops.
“[Archbishop Mueller] wishes to inform the bishops that one of the so-called visionaries of Medjugorje, Mr. Ivan Dragicevic, is scheduled to appear at certain parishes around the country, during which time he will make presentations regarding the phenomenon of Medjugorje,” Archbishop Vigano wrote in the letter. “It is anticipated, moreover, that Mr. Dragicevic will be receiving “apparitions” during these scheduled appearances.”
The letter continued: “As you are aware, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is in the process of investigating certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje. For this reason, the Congregation has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991.”
That document, from the bishops of the former Yugoslavia, asserted that on the basis of research, it was “not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations”.
Archbishop Vigano added: “It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such “apparitions” would be taken for granted.”
“In order, therefore, to avoid scandal and confusion,” the letter concludes, “Archbishop Mueller asks that the bishops be informed of this matter as soon as possible.”
The majority of the Medjugorje “seers” contend that the apparitions have continued every day for decades. A Vatican commission of cardinals, bishops, theologians and other experts has been studying the authenticity of the apparitions, under the leadership of the CDF, since 2010.
After the Vatican examines the commission’s findings, it will be given to the Pope who will have the final say.