Fourth Medjugorje Commission Begins - Why Others Have Failed
By Michael Kenneth Jones

(NOTE: List of names of appointed to 2010 Medjugorje Commission at bottom or article.)

Recently reliable news agencies such as “Reuters” are reporting yet a fourth commission will now investigate the Medjugorje apparitions. The question we all have to ask is, why three previous commissions have failed and what if anything will make the fourth investigation different from the others?


In 06, declassified U.S. State Department documents through the “Freedom of Information Act” and a seven year investigation produced my book “Medjugorje Investigated.” Findings of my research set me on a mission seeking a full, proper and honest investigation of Medjugorje.  I knew such an investigation could not include the usual process by the local bishop of Mostar nor the Bosnian Conference of Bishop. 


These past years I have written a number of articles published online and sent to Vatican, Rome. I detailed why any commission under the guidance of the Bishop of Mostar or the Bosnian Conference of Bishops, would result in a tainted, bias, negative declaration concluding the Medjugorje apparitions “are not supernatural in nature."


Truth be known, many clergy are tired of apparitions sent to the laity. They want apparitions to stop because they don't believe in them. This is noted in a U.S. State Department document written by Bishop Pavao Zanic. Zanic headed the first tainted Medjugorje commission made up of unbelievers.


Overall negative thinking of apparitions can be applied to an ongoing battle between traditionalism and modernism within the church. There are grave divisions among clergy in these troubled times. Some say the discords on such spiritual issues are the likes not seen since the spilt of the church during the time of King Henry VIII.


The long and short is, making apparitions go away are just a small part of many agendas which some say attempts to lead the church away from its roots to worship the creator, in favor of honoring the creature.


So, the first Medjugorje commission conducted by bishop Pavo Zanic (now deceased) was purposely tainted with unbelievers. Zanic and other clergy members wanted the Medjugorje apparition’s declared false. The U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia (David Anderson) discovered this fact. Anderson acted by sending a letter (called an AirGram) to Vatican, Rome. In this AirGram Anderson stated the first Medjugorje commission was tainted with bias. This is why the findings of the first commission were not acceptable.


The second commission was disbanded. This in part is the result of civil war in what was once Yugoslavia. When Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, they became independent States. The Catholic Church having no formal written agreements for Catholic rights with these newly formed governments, discontinued the second Medjugorje investigation without finding.


The July 06 announcement by Cardinal Vinko Puljic (head of the Bosnian Conference of Bishops) of a third commission came one month after my book was on Medjugorje shelves." I continued my campaign strongly suggesting a commission under the direction of the Bosnia Conference of Bishops would result in the same conclusion as the first commission conducted by Bishop Zanic. I say this boldly because a U.S. State Department document proves members of the Bosnian Conference of Bishops openly and publicly admitted they do not believe in the Medjugorje apparitions. These Bishops released their negative bias opinions freely, even prior to the first investigation of the Medjugorje apparitions.    


Last year current Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, (Bishop Ratko Peric) whose jurisdiction covers the Medjugorje St. James parish, slammed a hammer down on many aspects of the Medjugorje community, visionaries, parish priests and pilgrims. Examples, Medjugorje visionary Mirjana is no longer allowed to have her apparitions at Community Cenacolo. St. James Parish is no longer allowed to issue the monthly "Press Bulletin.” In the past, Peric spoke openly against the apparitions in St. James parish in Medjugorje. Peric even wrote a book where he dedicates pages against the Medjugorje apparitions, clergy and pilgrims who go there.


Bishop Peric’s heavy handedness against the apparitions do not follow church rule. During the investigation of an apparition, complete SILENCE is the order of the day. Bishop Peric has been anything but silent.


On Wednesday Oct. 7, 2009, Adam Tanner bureau chief for Reuters in the Balkans, reported Cardinal Vinko Pujjic (head of the Bosnia Conference of Bishops) said the Vatican may soon issue firmer guidance for Catholics on the claim that the Virgin Mary has been visiting Medjugorje. Pujjic said, “We are now awaiting a new directive on this issue,” “I don’t think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear… I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this.” 


Cardinal Pujjic stated the Vatican will issue firmer guidelines for Catholic’s in regard to Medjugorje but instead the Vatican announced a new forth independent commission. This tells us Pujjic spoke out of turn to Adam Tanner from Reuters News. This should also tell us the third Medjugorje commission was also tainted with negative bias as was the first commission.


Announcement of the forth independent commission may also suggest cardinal Pujjic, (though he is now listed as one of the members of the new Medjugorje Commission formed in March 2010,) bishop Peric’s and other members of the Bosnian Conference of Bishops simply appear to refuse the possibility that the Virgin Mary could be appearing in Medjugorje. Like other priests, they may no longer believe in apparitions and want them to stop. Public outspokenness by clergy against or for the Medjugorje apparitions while the apparitions are under investigation is again a violation of Church procedure. Again, SILENCE is the order of the day until a proper formal decision is publicly issued by a Church appointed commission. Failure to remain silent and follow Church procedure is the reason the third commission now ultimately fails and a fourth independent commission is created.  


With formation of this fourth commission, for the first time in the history of the church the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” will take away due process and control from a local bishop and entire members of the local Conference of Bishops. In their place, the Church’s top doctrinal body will host an international commission of inquiry headed by Italian cardinal Camillo Ruini. The commission is said to be made up of theological and scientific experts.


Medjugorje in a nutshell is simple to see and easy to understand. Nearly 29 years of apparitions, countless positive testimonies of pilgrims and visionaries that remain faithful, truly shows the fruits of Our Lady in Medjugorje.


Scripture says, “Satan can not cast out Satan,” which tells us if Medjugorje is the work of Satan bringing people back to God, Satan is divided against himself. So the good works of Medjugorje are exactly that, the results of God’s good works. Today millions still flock to this holy ground in Herzegovina.  In the end of ends, regardless of believers, or non believers or the final outcome of the apparitions, the simple truth is, the proof of Medjugorje is in the pudding. 


Note: U.S. State Department documents about Medjugorje exist because the Reagan Administration instructed U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia (David Anderson) to investigate claims of the apparitions.


Note: State Department documents from the book, “Medjugorje Investigated” published by Devotions and available online at the “Medjugorje USA” website.  


If you would like to read an extended Biography of the 4th Medjugorje Commission listed below

click here  http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/4thcommissionbio.htm


List of names of appointed to the 2010 Medjugorje Commission

Jozef cardinal TomkoSlovakia. President Emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Julian cardinal Herranz CasadoSpain. President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Josip cardinal Bozanic – Croatia. Archbishop of Zagreb
Vinko cardinal Puljic Bosnia & Herzegovina. Archbishop of Vrhbosna (Sarajevo)
Archbishop Angelo AmatoItaly. Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Fr David-Maria JaegerIsrael. A Franciscan priest, expert in canon law and a convert to Christianity.
Fr Salvatore PerrellaItaly. A Marianist priest and lecturer at the Pontifical faculty of Marian Theology.
Fr Pierangelo SequeriItaly. One of Italy’s most prominent theologians and appointed last year by Benedict XVI to serve on the International Theological Commission.
Fr Zdzislaw Josef KijasPoland. Another Franciscan and Secretary of the Pontifical Academy of Mary Immaculate in Rome.
Msgr Tony AnatrellaFrance. Psychologist and Mariologist, and a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family, and of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.
Msgr Franjo TopicCroatia. President of the Croatian Cultural Society ‘Progress’ in Sarajevo.
Fr Mijo NikicCroatia. Superior of the Jesuit Order in Zagreb and a professor of religious psychology.
Fr Mihaly SzentmartoniSerbia. Another Jesuit and a director of the Spirituality Institute at Rome’s Gregorian University. As a professor of clinical psychiatry he served on the medical committee of the previous Commission undertaken by the former Yugoslavia Bishops Conference. The medical committee of six concluded in 1988 that according to the criteria laid down by the CDF in 1978, the six ‘visionaries’ were considered mentally balanced and showed no inclination to psychotic disorder or hysteria, or other phenomenon of this kind.
Sr Nela Veronica GasparBosnia & Herzegovina. Theologian
Achim SchützGermany. Expert on religious phenomenon.
Msgr Krzysztof NykielPoland. Served on the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.

View all our organized articles on the Medjugorje Commissions on this page> http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/commissionsorganized.htm

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