Updated: November 06, 2013 07:11 PM GMT
Picture: AFP/Elvis Barukcic
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has instructed the Catholic faithful not to participate in events in which the "seers" of Medjugorje promise apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
For years, the group of people who have reported visions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje have made public appearances in churches, announcing in advance that "apparitions" will take place. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the CDF, has called for an end to church sponsorships of these events.
In an October letter to the US bishops, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio in Washington, conveyed a message from Archbishop Müller, "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.”
In his message—which was addressed to Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, the general secretary of the US bishops' conference, to be distributed promptly to American hierarchy—Archbishop Vigano reminded the bishops that the CDF is currently investigating the reported apparitions at Medjugorje. Until the Vatican renders a final judgment, the CDF has asked for acceptance of a statement issued in 1991 by the bishops of what was then Yugoslavia, who said: "On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations."
Although Archbishop Vigano's letter to the US bishops was not made public, the message had an immediate impact. Ivan Dragicevic, one of the alleged Medjugorje seers, had been scheduled to appear at two New England parishes in late October; both events were cancelled.
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