About the New Medjugorje Commission
By Michael K. Jones

June 25, 2007 was the 26 anniversary of the Medjugorje apparitions. Medjugorje is the longest running apparitions in the known history of the world but also the most controversial ever. Catholic’s are deeply divided over the authenticity of these apparitions. Through the years Medjugorje has remained a strongly debated issue with both sides passionate in their beliefs. The Church pretty much wanted the whole Medjugorje issue to go away and after two failed attempts to investigate the apparitions, the Church said they would not investigate Medjugorje again until the apparitions ended. Personally I was puzzled why so many people hated Medjugorje and this prompted me to petition the U.S. State Department under the Freedom of Information Act for all documents related to Medjugorje. My hope was I would find some information that would aid the ongoing conflict about Medjugorje, one way or another. I stated my research in January of 1999 and my book, “Medjugorje Investigated” was released June of 06 just before the 25 anniversary. A month after “Medjugorje Investigated” was on the shelves in Medjugorje, the Church who said they would not investigate again till the apparitions were over, publicly stated they were forming a new Commission.

The Church was hopeful the new commission would be selected by September of 06. I know the investigation was underway as visionary Mirjana underwent some 2 days of testing of all types. These tests included wearing electronic devices during apparitions and answering some 1000 questions. The recent results of Mirjana’s testing is quite similar to the previous testing by other research groups such as those conducted and published by Father Rene Laurentine, well know investigator of claimed apparitions. The recent test results conclude something takes place when Mirjana has an apparition. Testing equipment however can not say the apparitions Mirjana experiences are supernatural in nature. At best in conclusion therefore, test results are inconclusive, leaving the Medjugorje commission with a daunting task of deciding heads from tails.

It is uncertain if the new commission is under the authority of the local Bishop of Mostar (Mgr. Peric) as would be the usual course or being conducted by the Conference of Bishops as was the second commission which was not completed due in part to civil unrest and the independence of Bosnia from Yugoslavia. The finding of the new third Medjugorje commission could have a totally different conclusion depending on if the Vatican or the local Bishop is conducting the investigation. There remains yet a third possibility that the current commission is under the authority of the regions Conference of Bishops.

The current local Bishop of Mostar (Mgr. Pervic) is like the former (Bishop Zanic, now deceased).  Zanic hated the apparitions and verbally spoke out to multiple media sources even as he was in process of conducting the first Medjugorje Commission. In my book “Medjugorje Investigated” I present U.S. State Department documents that prove Bishop Zanic hated Medjugorje with such deep passion he appointed a tainted commission of unbelievers to conclude Medjugorje was not supernatural. Aware the Commission was tainted with unbelievers, the Vatican formed a second Commission. By forming the second commission, for the first time in history the Vatican overstepped the authority of a local Bishop in normal Church procedure of investigating alleged apparitions. Many priests and lay people were up in arms when the Vatican threw out the decision of the first Commission. However, very few priests and lay people are aware that the first Medjugorje commission conducted by Bishop Zanic was purposely tainted with unbelievers. The Vatican and some local priests were aware of the tainted commission but mostly this knowledge was silenced. I conclude from State Department documents, the Vatican was looking for a way out of the second commission because priests were claiming the Vatican had overstepped it bounds and there was no way the Vatican wanted to publicly announce the first tainted commission. The Vatican as I see it was caught between a rock and a hard place. The Vatican received a way out of this mess when civil war in Yugoslavia brought independence to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. The Vatican was able to stop the second commission at that time because the Church had no official agreement with this new State of Bosnia or Herzegovina as they did with Yugoslavia.

The most important question we need ask right now is who’s conducting the current investigation? The past commissions failed with the local Bishop and the Vatican so I would speculate the new commission is being conducted by the regions Conference of Bishops. If the Vatican conducted this new investigation, priests and lay people would again be up in arms. If the current Bishop (who is just as opposed and outspoken against Medjugorje as was the former Bishop) is conduction the new investigation, his known negative bias opinions clearly show what the outcome will be. Considering these factors seems to leave the regions Conference of Bishops as the only remaining source that is acceptable to conduct the new Medjugorje commission.

We know from previous comments from John Paul II that he seemed quite open and believed in the Medjugorje apparitions. I also know from U.S. State Department documents that when Pope Benedict was the head of Doctrine of Faith, he himself sent a letter to the Yugoslavia Conference of Bishops asking them to tell Bishop Zanic to stop his verbal abusive attacks against Medjugorje while the Medjugorje commission was ongoing. Regardless of Ratzinger’s demand, Bishop Zanic did not accept the suggestion of his superiors and remain a vocal critic against Medjugorje throughout his entire life. The fact remain however that Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict) letter to the Yugoslavia Conference of Bishops, indicates he was at least open to the apparitions seeking a proper investigation as did our beloved Pope John Paul.

If the new commission has been placed in the hands of the Mgr. Peric, of Conference of Bishops, Medjugorje will never be found supernatural. There is a long media trail of negativity written by Peric and his verbal attacks against Medjugorje are many. Also, many member of the Bishops have previous announced they do not believe in the apparitions. Just a few days ago as an example, an important Vatican priest was denied permission to attend a special event in Medjugorje. Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who has been Pope Benedict’s preacher since 1980, was to be the keynote speaker at the 12th International Seminar for Priests July 3-5 in Medjugorje. He was expected to have given three lectures at the event, titled "With Mary, in Anticipation of the Holy Spirit," but he pulled out after Bishop Ratko Peric whose diocese covers Medjugorje, informed Fr. Cantalemessa that he did not have permission to attend the event and local Bishop Peric refused to given permission. In the eyes of Bishop Peric based on his demand that Fr. Cantalamessa not attend, shows Peric views all priest present at the Medjugorje International Seminar for Priest in violation of his jurisdiction. We know from past Seminars that this is a big event and many priests from around the world attend. The long and short of this shows the deeply divided opinions among the clergy and lay people over the Medjugorje apparitions.

The division itself as well as what current electronic testing equipment is able to determine, in my mind shows the likely result of the new Medjugorje commission. If Medjugorje is approved as supernatural in nature, many priest and lay people will be up in arms. If Medjugorje is declared not supernatural, again many Medjugorje supporters will be up in arms. Either way there will be unrest and division that could only escalate. Knowing the electronic testing at best can only determine something unknown is happening to the visionaries, the equipment can not definitively state the Virgin Mary is appearing.  It seems to me considering this one fact alone the most likely conclusion is the new commission results will be inconclusive.

Please note the information in this article is written by author Michael K. Jones and belongs exclusively to Medjugorje USA. Usage of this article in any form is strictly forbidden without written consent of the author.

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