Thursday, January 16, 2014

Is the Vatican commission on Medjugorje completing its work this week?

Final Update: Fr. Lombardi confirms the news; and, my latest commentary focuses on why I believe the Church has taken so long

[This post has been updated several times.  Until there is something on the Holy See website, updates will be made to this post, so check back.]

On January 15, 2014, the Croatian language portal,, reported, in what it calls, "an exclusive," that the Vatican commission on Medjugorje will end it's work this Friday and send it's findings on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The report says it will then quickly go to the desk of Pope Francis where a decision will be set.

The rest of the report goes through some background and history.

While I hope this is all true, we have been fooled by rumor many times before.  But, this is not a little precise when it says it is happening this Friday. In any event, I'll believe it when I see official communication from the Holy See.

On January 14, Cardinal Vinko Puljić, the metropolitan of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the commission is still working, but likely soon to share it's findings with the CDF.  The site, "24 Sata" (24 Hours) also reports, in it's headline, that the archbishop of Vrhbosna has grown tired of working on this commission.  A touched up, crude google translation is as follows:

Cardinal Puljić
"I'm a little tired of the work on this committee. You do not even known how many things I had to study, from television records, and more. I hope that it will happen this year, that the Commission will complete its work, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will make it's conclusions, and the Holy Father will announce his decision." - Puljic said.

We need to consider that this commission began on March 17, 2010.  For the the metropolitan of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this has gone on much longer than the nearly four years the international commission has been working, and for Bishop Ratko Perić it has been going on for decades.

I hope the first report is correct and that the CDF will get the commissions findings this week.  I think we are all getting a little tired of waiting for the Holy See to answer the question of Medjugorje.

UPDATE 1: Cardinal Puljić met with Pope Francis today.

Mark De Vries, a Catholic blogger out of the Netherlands I enjoy reading when I can, replied to my tweet this morning with this:

Checking the Vatican Information Service for January 16, I see the note.

UPDATE 2: Bosnia-Herzegovina Bishops' Conference Note:

I just received an email with this notification, now on the website for the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This is a direct, unedited google translation, which is sufficient to understand what they desire the public to know about the meeting.  No mention of Medjugorje was made in the public statement.  I myself have a hard time believing the subject was not discussed, but it is within the right to disclose or not disclose, what was discussed in private meetings.  That said, there are many serious issues the bishops of that nation are dealing with, aside from Medjugorje.

On the 16th siječnja 2014th, Francis Pope received in private audience Archbishop Cardinal Vinko Puljic Vrhbosnia accompanied by his former personal secretary Fr. Josip Knezevic, who is currently in graduate school in Rome. 
File photo
In a cordial meeting, which lasted more than half an hour, the Holy Father recalled the previous meeting with Cardinal Puljic, and recalled his appointment and before the 20-odd years as then the youngest cardinal in the College of Cardinals. The Holy Father is spontaneously spoke with Cardinal Puljic on the situation in the troubled war Bosnia and Herzegovina, with special emphasis on the situation of the Catholic Church. 
After displaying the current political, social and religious-spiritual state, and in particular the situation of the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cardinal Puljic met with the Holy Father's initiative to maintain the Synod of the same archbishopric. Pope Francis specifically supported the initiative of holding the Synod of the same archbishopric, which, in a pastoral perspective, encouragement in the faith and hope of priests, monks and nuns, as well as the whole of the people of God who lives and works in the area of ​​the diocese. 
During the meeting they discussed the historical fact that the current of 2014.year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I who somehow started in Sarajevo, which has greatly affected the peace and stability of the whole region, including the current state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They emphasized the need to take this opportunity to send a strong message of peace and a call to prayer for peace since the last century was indeed a bloody century in Europe and the world, and especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina.The Holy Father said that something must be done to both Europe and the whole world is taken seriously for peace must be based on equal rights for all people. 
At the end of the conversation, Pope Francis is interested in a particular way for the family to come Puljic showing that he is a known fact that he comes from a very large family. After talking Puljic knelt and asked apostolic blessing to him by the Holy Father has bestowed upon the Archbishop of Sarajevo as a whole and for the family they come from. (KTA)

UPDATE 3: Tweet from follower in Croatia on January 17

Marilena also tweeted a link to the press release which says, (Google Translate version)

Zagreb archbishop in Rome 01/17/2014. 
Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanic traveled to Rome where he will today, 17 siječnja of 2014. The part at the meeting of the International Commission of Inquiry into the events in Medjugorje at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
Press Office of the Archdiocese of Zagreb

This somewhat correlates to something I saw in one report that suggested there would be some kind of vote today.  If so, I think we can expect notice from the Holy See very soon, that the CDF has received the findings of the international commission.  Remember, they do not make the final judgment. The CDF will review it and pass it along to Pope Francis who will ultimately answer, "the question of Medjugorje."  I put that in quotes as it comes from the words of the then Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop D'Errico said to the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina when the commission was announced in March of 2010.  This translation was based on the report found on the BiH Bishops Conference at that time, which conflicted with versions found in other reports which omitted the word, "question."

From personal experience, every time I met the Holy Father he had great interest in the question of Medjugorje, a question to which he was directed from the very beginning that he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It deals with a question for which he feels responsible as the supreme head of the Church to pronounce a clear message.
The Holy Father personally knows it very well and he has told me that several times - he is well acquainted with the whole phenomenon. He knows about the great good that is being done in this region by the priests, the Franciscan friars, and the laity. And on the other hand he asks himself how come there is information in such opposition to this phenomenon.

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