4 Medjugorje Commissions Later, the Short Version
By Michael K. Jones

Article January 17, 2014

During the investigation of an apparition, the process of the Church is that, the local bishop of the area investigates by forming a commission. This commission determines if the apparitions are supernatural or otherwise.

It would be most unusual for the Vatican to involve itself in the investigation or final decisions of apparitions, as this is the task of the local bishop. However it's became clear the local Medjugorje bishop (now deceased) created a commission that was tainted with unbelievers. These unbelievers publicly stated they did not believe in the Medjugorje apparition, prior to their appointment to the Medjugorje Commission. To publicly commit personal opinion and later be appointed to an investigative committee means, the Commission is bias. 

The tainted commission was brought to the attention of the Vatican by American Ambassador to Yugoslavia; David Anderson (now deceased). Asked by the U.S. State Department to investigate the Medjugorje apparitions, Anderson discovered information of the tainted commission appointed by the local bishop. After Anderson’s discovery, the Vatican reluctantly asked a second commission be established.

The second commission was put in the hands of the Yugoslavian Conference of Bishops of which the local bishop of the Medjugorje area (Bishop Zanic of the dioceses of Mostar who created the first tainted commission) was a part of. Once again many on the commission were the same from the first commission who publicly stated the apparitions were not supernatural in nature.

The second investigation was in process in 1990 when civil unrest was ongoing in Yugoslavia. The civil wars lead to the independence of many parts of Yugoslavia and in time this lead to the complete downfall of Yugoslavia itself. Because Medjugorje was no longer a part of Yugoslavia and now part of an independent country (Herzegovina,) this changed certain political aspects between the Catholic Church and the new State of Herzegovina.

The church having no formal Catholic rights agreement with this new country, in part allowed the breakup of the second Medjugorje commission without a finding. At that time the church announced they would not investigate Medjugorje again till the apparitions were over.

Despite the promise not to investigate Medjugorje again till the apparitions were over, a third commission was created. The 3rd commission was no better than were the other two as the same unbelievers were put in charge of the commission. Before a decision was handed down, the Vatican announced the third commission would be dismissed without finding in favor of yet another new commission.

The process of leaving such matters in the hands of the local bishop and or the local Conference of Bishops was taken away for the first known time in the history of the church. The 4th was named the "Independent" commission, formed in March of 2010. The commission is called “independent” because it has Marian experts from different parts of the world. Only a few from the original commission remain part of the investigation. The 4th Medjugorje commission is under the leadership of the "Catholic Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and the commission is headed by the well respected Cardinal Camill Ruini."

The current bishop that governs the Medjugorje area, remains an outspoken vocal opponent against the apparitions, as did the previous Bishop (Zanic) who conducted the first tainted Medjugorje Commission.

Added Note; It is unheard of that the head of the "Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith" in Rome (who is always considered one of the closest people to a Pope) would be in charge of the investigation of claimed apparitions in a local province. This change breaks all the rules, procedures, and guidelines of usual due process, although there is a guideline established in 1978, sometime after the local Bishop of Garbandal, Spain announced the Garabandal apparitions were not supernatural. That guideline was invoked for the first time in church history, after the negative findings of the first Medjugorje investigation. Ultimately 3 Medjugorje commissions have failed. The announcement of the 4th commission was released on March 2010. It was the duty of the 4th commission would investigate Medjugorje on many different levels and to study everything from witness testimony to scientific testing and so much more. All evidence collected, and evaluated, the forth commission completed their investigation and handed their finding to Pope Francis on January 17, 2014.

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

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