Big Catholic Media, not unexpectedly, dutifully published the Bishop of Mostar’s recent negative comments about Medjugorje and the visionaries.
Here are some of the reports:
Not surprising and with malice intended, the Catholic news reports all failed to mention that the Vatican was been very clear that when the Bishop of Mostar speaks about Medjugorje he is expressing his personal views and not those of the Church.
In 1998, Archbishop Bertone, responding to Mons. Gilbert Aubry was clarifying the Church’s position on pilgrimages to Medjugorje. In one paragraph, he refers to that statement above by Bishop Peric and writes:
Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of “Famille Chretienne”, declaring: “My conviction and my position is not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate,’ but likewise, ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”, should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.
Full text of Letter
. May 1998 letter of Archbishop Bertone to Bishop Aubry.
Commenting on a statement by the Bishop of Mostar that the alleged apparitions were not simply lacking evidence of supernaturality but were in fact NOT supernatural (i.e. definitively so), the Archbishop writes,
The main thing I would like to point out is that the Holy See does not ordinarily take a position of its own regarding supposed supernatural phenomena as a court of first instance. As for the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: “On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.” Since the division of Yugoslavia into different independent nations it would now pertain to the members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina to eventually reopen the examination of this case, and to make any new pronouncements that might be called for.
What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of Famille Chretienne, declaring: “My conviction and my position is not only non constat de supernaturalitate, but likewise, constat de non supernaturalitate of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”, should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.
Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentication of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church. Letter to Bishop Aubrey
Thus, since 1991 the Church has not sought to prevent the participation of Catholics in Medjugorje related events (pilgrimages, conferences etc.) based on their private opinion, while restraining the opinion of clergy acting in any ecclesiastical capacity.