Last week, Richard Chonak of Catholic Light published some major excerpts attributed to Cardinal Ruini’s Commission on Medjugorje. These excerpts are from Italian media and Richard translated them into English.
These excerpts largely repeat what we have known for nearly three years now: The Commission was poised to accept the first seven “apparitions” as authentic and disregard all the rest. The excerpts, however, provide some interesting characterizations. One of them stated that the Commission had ruled out a demonic origin for the first seven alleged apparitions, based upon the “fruits.”
I once said to Michael O’Neill on his radio program that if the Holy See proclaims the first seven “apparitions” to be authentic, then this is not a cause célèbre for Medjugorje supporters. It is, as I said to O’Neill at the time, a “pyrrhic victory.” Why?
Medjugorje is a phenomenon going on close to 40 years now. There have been “messages” upon endless messages—all of which have the supporters’ rapt attention, especially at the designated times each month or year. All of these things have gone into the very psyche of the place and are immediately called to mind when one thinks of “Medjugorje.”
Now, if only the first seven “apparitions” are accepted, then nearly 40 years of history gets thrown right out the window. Let me repeat that: thrown right out the window. Medjugorje’s supporters will be forced to re-evaluate the meaning and message of Medjugorje. It will be a tremendous blow to the Medjugorje phenomenon, as it is presently understood.
What, then, do we make of the “message” of Medjugorje from these first seven “apparitions?” When we look at them, we are actually left with quite little and even contradiction. The world-renowned Mariologist, Fr. Manfred Hauke, talked about the contradiction a couple of years ago (German/English).
I would very much like to hear the Commission’s reasoning for its (apparent) position on the first seven “apparitions.” Moreover, I look forward to seeing whether or not it addressed concerns against their authenticity. The information that has thus far appeared in the public forum has provided an imperfect picture onto the Commission’s thinking. I’d like to see the process and how the members arrived at their conclusion(s).
In the meantime, I encourage people to read about the first seven alleged apparitions. Donal Foley’s book Medjugorje Revisited remains the best in the English language (in my opinion).