In the New

Vatican Commission Will Report on Medjugorje This Year
(two reports below)

News source; VaticanInsider  Feb. 2012

Here are the latest standards (1978) on Marian apparitions. They contain only two formulas: one which acknowledges the supernatural and one which rejects it

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City


In addition to the positive formula (“constat de supernaturalitate”, established as supernatural) and the decidedly negative one ("constat de non supernaturalitate, “It is established that there is nothing supernatural here”), there is also an intermediate formula (“non constat de supernaturalitate”, there is nothing supernatural here). In fact, the latest available standards published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1978, the result of a decision by the former Holy Office discussed four years previously, only covers the first and third formulations set out above. The first case gives an affirmative answer to the question of supernatural events. In the second case ("no constat de ...") the answer is negative.


It was recalled that on the eve of his appointment as prefect of the Congregation of Saints in 2008, the then secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Angelo Amato, gave an interview on the subject to the Catholic newspaper Avvenire. And when asked if the "no constat de ..." could be considered to be awaiting judgment, while the "de constat non ..." represents a decidedly negative opinion, Amato said: “In the rules we are referring to, mention is only made to "constat de" and not "constat de". No mention is made to "constat de non”.”


From the standards issued in 1978, according to Amato’s explanation, it follows that the only negative formula provided is the “non constat de” one. It therefore seems inappropriate to present it as a sort of judgment on appeal. It is, instead, the negative answer to the question on whether the alleged apparition is supernatural or not.


It must be clear, however, that one cannot believe the “constat de non supernaturalitate” formula (the one that strongly backed the evidence against the existence supernatural element), to have disappeared just because it makes no reference to the rules of 1978 – which were never published. Although it is true that it is not taken into consideration (even though it was up until the last draft), it is still forms part of Church practice.  It was used for example in the case of Heroldsbach in Germany: the statement “constare de non supernaturalitate” of July 18, 1951 was then approved by Pius XII and published by L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s daily broadsheet newspaper. Another problematic case in which the formula was used is that concerning the apparitions and revelations of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam. On April 5, 1974 Paul VI approved the Congregation's decision to publish the negative judgment “constat de non supernaturalitate”. The notification of 1974 was proposed again in the collection “Documenta Congregationis pro Doctrina Fidei” published in 2006 (Document 22, p. 90). It is interesting to note that the apparitions in Amsterdam will be approved later by the local bishop.


But now the only negative formula cited in the standards of 1978 is “non constat de…”which is the answer to the question of whether the appearance has a supernatural element. The “non constat de…” may thus indicate a lack of moral certainty in the judges called upon to rule, or the lack of convincing evidence for a negative judgment. If however there is evidence that excludes the supernatural nature, this could again affirm the formula “constat de non supranaturalitate”, as explained to Vatican Insider by the authoritative experts that work in the Holy See.


As for the pronouncement on Medjugorje, the work of the commission headed by Ruini will conclude before the end of 2012. The committee will produce a document, a confidential opinion, which will be examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will be a reasoned and documented opinion - not a decision - that after the screening of the former Holy Office will be submitted to Pope Benedict XVI who will decide what to do; namely, whether to publish it, having the doctrinal ministry pronounce itself on Medjugorje or whether to wait a bit longer given the fact that the apparition phenomenon is not over yet.


However, it seems difficult to imagine the conclusions of a committee that was appointed to examine the case and express itself on the issue being locked away in a drawer. Many devotees of Medjugorje, as well as many individuals who do not believe in the authenticity of these apparitions, are waiting for the Church to make a statement in regard to this.

News source; CatholicCulture.Org  Feb. 2012

A Vatican-appointed commission studying the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje will finish its work and present a report to Pope Benedict XVI before the end of this year, according to an Italian news report.

The ASCA news agency quoted Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, a member of the commission, as saying that “we need to finish [our work] this year.” Cardinal Puljic indicated that Pope Benedict would make a final judgment based on the commission’s report.

The Vatican announced in March 2010 a commission had been formed to investigate the authenticity of the reported apparitions. Chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former vicar of the Rome diocese and a close ally of Pope Benedict, the commission has kept its proceedings strictly confidential.

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


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