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Vatican commission submits report on Medjugorje, is it all really an elaborate hoax?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 21st, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A commission tasked with investigating reported Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia, has finished its work and will have its findings reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Following that, the CDF will make a recommendation to Pope Francis and the Church will rule on the apparitions.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A commission sent to study the apparitions at Medjugorje, Bosnia, has completed its work and submitted its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 1981, six children say they began to experience apparitions of the Virgin Mary. These children, dubbed "seers" by the community, say they received messages calling for world peace, the conversion of souls, and instructions to pray, fast, as well as secrets revealing the future to the children.

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All of the children are now grown, but three still say they experience daily apparitions, and that more secrets are promised to them.

Millions of people have come from around the world to Medjugorje to watch the seers experience an apparition, and some claim to have experienced miracles there.

However, local bishops have long been uneasy about the apparitions and in 1991 bishops in the former Yugoslavia expressed serious skepticism about the apparitions and have discouraged clergy from participating in activities associated with the apparitions.

In 2010, a commission was appointed by Pope Benedict to evaluate the apparitions. That commission was directed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini and held its final meeting on Jan. 18. It has now sent its report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which will now make a recommendation to Pope Francis. Pope Francis will announce his final verdict on the matter at some time after that.

One of the problems that the bishops appear to have with the seers is that the apparitions have become a daily, public spectacle. Although it is difficult to believe that six children could perpetuate a hoax for 33 years, local bishops continue to feel uneasy about the attention.

Historically, bishops have shown healthy skepticism when confronted with apparitions. Several apparitions have also been revealed as hoaxes. Only a few have been given any recognition by the Church as likely being authentic. Those include Guadalupe, Fatima, and Lourdes.

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The Church moves slowly and takes its time with most investigations. Questions about the faith, and changes in policy usually take a long time to answer. Than canonization of a saint can take hundreds of years. These practices ensure the Church makes the best, most accurate ruling for the benefit of the faithful. It gives Church fathers time to listen to the discernment of the Holy Spirit and to carefully consider all things.

This is why we can trust the Church in all matters, because it is never rash and always wise, protected and guided by the Holy Spirit. Whatever the outcome for Medjugorje, we can proceed with faith that the Church has spoken correctly.

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