Medjugorje ban will not affect devotees – Irish centre

The Irish Medjugorje Centre has said the Vatican’s instruction to Catholics not to participate in events where the Medjugorje visionaries promise Marian apparitions will not affect the huge numbers of devotees that regularly travel to the Bosnia-Herzegovina shrine.

Spokeswoman for the Irish Medjugorje Centre, Noelle Campbell, told The Irish Catholic “more and more people are travelling to Medjugorje every year and I think that number will continue to rise despite the statement”.

“I know the Vatican’s inquiry into Medjugorje is still ongoing, but I don’t think this is a signal that they will reject the apparitions. Too many people are affected very positively by the events at Medjugorje for that to happen,” she said.

In a letter to the bishops of the United States, dated October, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, insisted on behalf of the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog,  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”.

The wording of the message is a reminder to Catholics that alleged events at Medjugorje are still under investigation by Rome, and Archbishop Vigano’s letter notes that, in the absence of a definitive judgement from the Vatican’s doctrinal office on Medjugorje, Catholics should be guided by the 1991 message of the bishops of the then-Yugoslavia that “on the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations”.

It is further reported that, on foot of the nuncio’s letter, two planned appearances by Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic in the US were cancelled.

Mr Dragicevic, one of the alleged Medjugorje seers, had been scheduled to appear at two New England parishes in late October. However, both events were subsequently cancelled.