Voice of the Catholic Lay Faithful
Discernment For Medjugorje Apparitions Now in Direct Hands of Vatican

St. James Church in Medjugorje
April 10, 2008 - In Europe, the press has recently reported that the matter of Medjugorje -- the famed apparition site in Bosnia-Hercegovina -- has shifted directly into the hands of the Vatican.

The apparitions will not be accepted or rejected by local or regional Church officials until they are directed how and when to do so by Rome, officials now report -- in one of the larger development in this case since onset of the apparitions.

"I can confirm it," states Monsignor Mato Zovkic, vicar general of the Sarajevo archdiocese.

Monsignor Zovkic, who is spokesman for the Cardinal of Sarajevo and previously indicated negatively feelings about the site, now tells Spirit Daily that "the situation is that people keep coming to Medjugorje, they feel something nice, and they are reconciled sacramentally. The Vatican seems to be very interested and so this should be respected."

Headed by Cardinal Vinko Puljić, the national commission based in Sarajevo was formed after the Vatican took away the authority of discernment from the local bishop, who usually rules on such matters. Now the national commission has also been subjected to higher Church authorities.

The vicar emphasized that the national commission no longer plans to take action until it hears direct instructions from the Vatican. "This is our viewpoint," said Zovkic, who is also a professor at the seminary in Sarajevo.

Such is a major change in its previous position, which was that the commission would make a determination after the apparitions stopped. "As things are now, yes," the commission will wait for the Vatican, he repeated.

The new statements in one fell swoop erase objections by those who have long asserted that Medjugorje was rejected or condemned because local bishops in Mostar have been unfavorable.

Many have compared Medjugorje to historic apparitions such as those at Fatima and Lourdes. It has drawn millions of pilgrims, tens of thousands of priests, and hundreds of bishops and cardinals from around the world.

This is a portion of a longer article that appeared on SpiritDaily. It is reprinted with permission.
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