The Catholic Bishop of Mostar-Duvno Ratko Perić issued a statement on Monday in which he claimed that Virgin Mary had never appeared in Međugorje, adding that alleged apparitions were more a form of manipulation from visionaries and priests who worked there, reports Jutarnji List on February 27, 2017.
“Considering everything that this diocesan chancery has so far researched and studied, including the first seven days of alleged apparitions, we can say: there have been no apparitions of Our Lady in Međugorje”, said Perić, whose bishopric includes Međugorje.
He pointed out that the Church had repeatedly investigated the phenomenon, starting from the early 1980s and ending with a commission which was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, as well as with the positions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2016. “The position of the chancery of this diocese has been clear and decisive: there are no credible apparitions of the Virgin Mary”, said Bishop Perić.
He denied the credibility of apparitions during the first days of the Međugorje phenomenon, saying that there were numerous contradictions in the statements of the alleged visionaries of Our Lady in Međugorje. “Once we transcribed audio tapes containing conversations between pastoral staff in the parish of Međugorje in the first week with the boys and girls who claimed that they had seen Virgin Mary, we can say with certainty that alleged apparitions are not credible. And, if Our Lady, Mother of Jesus, has not appeared – and it has not – then they are alleged visionaries, these are alleged messages and alleged secrets”, said the Bishop of Mostar.
Bishop Perić also spoke about “ambiguous phenomena” connected with alleged apparitions, claiming that the “woman who appears” in Međugorje behaves quite differently from the true Mary, Mother of God, according to apparitions which the Church has so far recognized as authentic. “She often does not speak first, she has a strange laugh, she disappears after certain questions and then returns; she obeys the ‘visionaries’ and priests to come down from the hill to the church, although reluctantly. She is not sure how much time she will be visible, allows some of the visionaries to stand on her veil which is on the ground, allows others to touch her clothes and body. This really is not Our Lady from the Gospel”, said Bishop Ratko Perić.
Pope Francis recently appointed his special envoy to Međugorje, Bishop Henryk Hoser from Poland, who will study the pastoral issues. Hoser will visit Međugorje, but he will not launch a new investigation of the alleged apparitions of Our Lady, which supposedly began in 1981 and continue to this day. He is expected to collect information about the pastoral situation and the needs of the faithful who come to Međugorje from around the world.