The Choices of the 4th Medjugorje Commission
By Michael K. Jones

About the author of this article. Michael K. Jones is the founder of Medjugorje USA and founder of the Purgatory Oblation Warrior Prayer Group. Michael has worked with directors, producers, authors, editors, publishing companies, magazines, television networks, news stations, newsletters and many internet sources to bring Medjugorje to the world. As of 2014 he has been spreading the message of Medjugorje for 25 years.  His writings have appeared in three different authors books and in credits of religious documentaries. His writings and interviews have also appeared in magazines, newsletters and internet radio.  "Wikipedia" also uses Medjugorje USA as a source of back linked information on a number of religious topics in their well known online encyclopedia. Michael has researched the Medjugorje apparitions for 14 years, based on a number of different sources including classified U.S. State Department documents, declassified for the writing of his book, "Medjugorje Investigated." This article is partially based on the study of that research and more recent current events. The above is not written for Michael's boast but to conclude the article below on the 4th Medjugorje Commission is based on many years of sound research, facts and not speculation. The intensive study, on which this writing is based, is not debatable. What is presented below is fact. Those seeking to make argument would best seek argument elsewhere. Medjugorje USA does not respond to confrontational or hate email. This notice is posted because; in the past we received violent responses from those who make opposition just for the sake of argument. In the past we have found often enough that those making argument are not well informed on facts but long on gossip, speculation and hearsay. 

(Updated From Feb. 2012 To Jan. 2014)

Lately news source are reporting the 4th Medjugorje Commission investigating the Medjugorje apparitions are completed and a decision will be handed down soon. In anticipation, many believers of Medjugorje can't wait as they are certain the apparitions will be approved. Yet on the other hand, those who do not believe in the apparitions conclude the apparition will be denied. The truth of the matter is, when the Medjugorje Commission does hand down their decision, there is most likely only one decision they can make.

In March of 2010, the announcement came that a 4th Medjugorje Commission would investigate the claims of apparitions in the once small remote village called, Medjugorje. Since the apparitions started in June of 1981, three other such inquires have failed to yield results.

The Vatican does not involve itself in the duties of a local bishop. Guidelines of church policy in matters of alleged apparitions are strictly enforced and conducted by the local bishop of the region. Yet after three failed attempt to investigate Medjugorje, the Vatican finally decided to involve itself. Such precedence of this magnitude has never happened before in the history of the church. There is however a rule in place for this regard established by the Church in 1978. 

The 4th Commission is different from the previous 3 as it is called the “Independent” Commission." The first three were conducted by the local Bishop (Pavao Zanic,) “The Yugoslavia Conference of Bishops,” and “The Bosnian Conference of Bishops.” The “Independent” Commission is not entirely made up of local investigators from the Medjugorje region, as were the previous investigations. The “Independent” Commission is compiled of 17 members. 7 member are from the local region formally known as Yugoslavia. 4 members are from Italy. Two members are from Poland. One is from Spain, France and Germany. Lastly is Cardinal Camill Ruini.

Because this process has never been done before, the procedures are ground breaking. The Independent Commission is under the direction of Cardinal Camill Ruini, who served as the "Consultor of the Congregation of Bishops," from 1988-2011. Upon completion, the Medjugorje Commission's pronouncement is submitted to “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The evidence from there is presented to Pope Benedict XVI. This process determines if the Medjugorje apparitions are believed supernatural or not.

There are only 3 announcements that can be made, Medjugorje is not supernatural, Medjugorje is supernatural, or we can not determine at this time if Medjugorje is or is not supernatural.

If the church claims they can not make a complete assessment at this time, the church protects itself and things go on as they are now with a wait and see attitude. If the Commissions pronouncement states the apparitions are not supernatural, will millions of believers accept they have been living a lie for over 30 years or will they continue to believe Mary is appearing? Should the Vatican announce the apparitions are supernatural in nature, the church not only angers non-believers but puts it reputation on the line. If the church says they believe and later apparitions are proven false, the faithful of the church would loose hope and trust, in the church that shepherds us. If Catholic’s loose their trust in the church, the church fails to do its primary duty, which is to nurture and protect the faithful.

Should the church make a decision pro or con, the possible magnification of such repercussion could cause great division. The faithful of the church, the clergy, religious orders and even the world at large who believe and do not believe, could (at the very least) stand opposed.

We the faithful of the church are suppose to be obedient to the rule of the church. However, I’ve asked a number of people who believe in Medjugorje if they would be obedient to the church if Medjugorje was claimed “not supernatural.” Summarizing the replies I received, most said they will follow Our Lady of Medjugorje, “Queen of Peace." On many levels this is shocking that the faithful would choose such a course, even though it would not be the first time. The apparitions in Garabandal, Spain (1961-1965) were claimed "not supernatural," by the local bishop. Today many still believe in the Garabandal apparitions, even though it was declared false.  

I have not taken a poll of non-believer, should the church offer a favorable position on the Medjugorje apparition; I can see where some non-believer could speak out or even leave the church. I also believe the same could happen for those who believe in Medjugorje, if the verdict was against the apparitions. The long and short is, any judgment pro or con will leave one group ecstatic, while the other is shocked with feelings of abandonment. All things considered, it may well be best to (as they say) "let sleeping dogs lie."

It is most probable the only answer that can be offered by the 4th Medjugorje Commission (if released to the public) is; "a decision at this time just is not possible and the only answer must come with the passage of time." At best, the Commission could state that the apparitions are of interest but I do not believe the Commission will offer anything definitive. 

Cardinal Camill Ruini, on the other hand could be the hope or saving grace for the Medjugorje apparitions. As head of the "Independent Commission," one might wonder about his personal take on the apparitions. What we do know is, Cardinal Ruini is a conservative and was close in positions to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We know from several release documents that John Paul himself had some belief in the Medjugorje apparitions. Media sources claim that John Paul stated, if he was not pope he'd be in Medjugorje. We also know Pope Benedict's prior appointment was as the head of the "Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith." Most consider this position the closest right hand man of every pope. We also know that like John Paul and Cardinal Camill Ruini, Pope Benedict is also a strong conservative. It is likely that the positive views of John Paul about Medjugorje were also likely the views of his closest confident Joseph Zatzinger (head of the "Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith"/now Pope Emeritus) We also know Cardinal Ruini was the driving force for a documentary of John Paul. His tireless effort toward the making of this documentary received Cardinal Ruinni many accolades. We realize here that both Ratziner and Ruini had strong ties to Pope John Paul, prior to his death on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005 . As John Paul had positive feelings toward the Medjugorje apparitions, is it possible Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) and Cardinal Ruini (head of the 4th Medjugorje Commission,) also believe? We can not however determine Pope Francis take on Medjugorje. We do know that after the release of the document to U.S. Bishops (Oct. 27, 2013) in regard to public appearances in parishes by Medjugorje seer Ivan that this may indicate possible negative opinion and or at the very least, concerns about the Medjugorje apparitions. The actual document to the U.S. Bishops is located here http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/ivanspeakingstopped2.htm About this letter Pope Francis said, the Virgin Mary is not a postman delivering messages.

Considering the conservative nature of all three men and the belief of John Paul in the Medjugorje apparitions, it is a reasonable assumption that John Paul, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Ruini are of like mind, not only in their conservatism but also in the phenomena claimed to be happening in Medjugorje. All things considered however, we also know all three men are conservatives. Being such by nature, they would certainly exercise their involvement with the investigation of the Medjugorje apparitions with all due caution. It is most likely conservatism will overrule any other possible considerations pro or con, when it comes to a final decision about Medjugorje. Ending, it would seem likely the decision of the 4th Medjugorje Commission would best be served by remaining conservative, in favor of allowing the passage of time to determine the final outcome of the Medjugorje apparitions. Any other announcement would certainly create more controversy in the Church, something they seem to have enough of already.

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

Original article published February, 2012. Article updated January, 2014.

If you would like to write Medjugorje USA