Cardinal condemns Mejugorje rumours

One of the members of the Vatican Medjugorje Commission has condemned recent media reports claiming that Rome intended to reject as not supernatural the alleged visions associated with the Herzegovinan town.

Italian media outlets had reported that the Vatican Commission had met on June 24 and decided to rule that the alleged visions, which have reportedly taken place since 1981, are not authentic, but that the town could still remain a place of prayer and pilgrimage.

Sarajevo’s archbishop, Cardinal Vinki Puljic, has, however, told Crotian reporters that such media reports are  ‘distorted’, ‘manipulated’, and ‘wrong’.

Describing them as unacceptable, he said the authors of the report obviously had a wish to undermine relations between Pope Francis and the faithful who accept Medjugorje and regularly go there on pilgrimage.

The cardinal’s outburst comes just days after the Vatican Press said that “Vatican officials are privately irritated by the latest speculation, which they say is unfounded and needs to be swiftly quashed”.

Addressed the Holy Father’s in-flight comments when returning from Sarajevo in early June, when the Pope said a decision on Medjugorje was imminent, the cardinal said, the Pope took issue with visionaries making a “media show of Our Lady saying she will appear at what time and when”, as he believes “there is more need to turn around and listen to the Church, which is still studying the phenomenon of Medjugorje, and it shall make its own judgment.”

“It is therefore unacceptable to interpret this as the final statement of the Pope, which some media have done very quickly,” he added.

Explaining that he was on the committee examining the case, he said the committee’s conclusions had been passed on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith for presentation to Pope Francis, who, he was sure, would make a “good and fair decision”.

“When people ask me what I think of all this, I tell them : To pray is not a sin, to go to confession is not a sin – and this is the most important thing, “ he said.

Initially dubious of the Medjugorje phenomenon, the cardinal has since praised Mejugorje as “the largest confessional in Europe”.