Vatican City, Mar 17, 2010 / 09:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A statement was released by the Holy See on Wednesday confirming the formation of a commission to investigate the “phenomenon” of Medjugorje.
The Vatican communique reads: “Under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje has been constituted. Said Commission, composed of cardinals, bishops and experts will work in a reserved manner, subjecting the results of their studies to the authority of the Dicastery.”
Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said that no other information was available at this point besides the role of Cardinal Ruini as president. However, he did say that the commission will be formed by “more or less” 20 members.
Responding to a question from a journalist about the possible inclusion of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, whose diocese includes Medjugorje, Fr. Lombardi said that he is not in possession of a list of members.
The Vatican spokesman reviewed the history of investigations into the possible Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, noting that they began on a diocesan level. When it was seen that the “phenomenon was broader than the diocese,” it was passed on to the episcopal conference of the former Yugoslavia, which, he noted, no longer exists.
The commissions at those levels never came to a conclusion on the question of whether or not the alleged apparitions are supernatural, so the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina have asked the CDF to take over investigations, the Vatican spokesman explained.
As the commission carries out their activities, Fr. Lombardi continued, they will decide whether or not to communicate information regarding their findings. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it will be a “very discreet” project “given the sensitivity of the subject,” he remarked.
Speaking in Italian, he said to expect that investigations will take “a good while” to reach their completion and emphasized that the results of the commission’s activities will be submitted to the CDF, under whose mandate they are operating. The commission will only offer their technical findings to the Congregation, which in turn will “make decisions on the case.”
For now, the composition of the commission is “reserved,” as is the method they will pursue in their investigations, Fr. Lombardi said in closing.
Press office of Holy See reported on Wednesday, March 17th that Holy See, as a part of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, established International Commission that will be investigating phenomenon of Medjugorje. Camillo Ruini is the Chairman of Commission that was made of cardinals, bishops and experts. During the press conference in Vatican, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of Holy See Press Office, explained that mentioned Commission will be operating with full discretion, and that all results that will follow after long term operation, will be delivered to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave this information to bishops of Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as instructed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.
Nuncio D’Errico also shared this information with all faithful at the end of Eucharistic celebration in Mostar Cathedral of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Dr.Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, said the following in his statement for Vecernji list, Croatian newspaper: “This is not surprise for us. We are excited about the whole matter and completely open for any kind of cooperation. Everything that happens in Medjugorje is not a secret, everything is available to public. Everybody who has good intentions and who is interested for phenomenon of Medjugorje, can personally come and see what is happening. When it comes to Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, and to this parish entrusted to Province, we are absolutely open to any kind of cooperation, and we are prepared to help them in their work by providing them every information they might need.”
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