The first seven apparitions of the Virgin Mary to children in Medjugorje are apparently authentic. The news was reported by renowned Italian journalist and Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli on his Vatican Insider blog, reports Večernji List on May 17, 2017.
Tornielli, known for having good sources in the Vatican, reportedly gained insight into the results of the Commission for Medjugorje led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. The Commission was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
According to Tornielli, the Commission gave a positive opinion of the authenticity of the first apparitions between 24 June and 3 July 1981. Reportedly, 13 members of the Commission supported the recognition of supernatural apparitions during that period, one member was opposed, and one abstained from voting.
The Commission also stated that the young visionaries were mentally healthy and that they were surprised by what had happened to them and were not influenced by the local Franciscans or anyone else. Also, regardless of the fact that the police questioned them, they did not change their testimony, even under threat of death. The Commission also reportedly rejected the thesis about demonic origins of the apparition, writes Tornielli.
However, the Commission has divided its findings on the apparitions in two parts, and Tornielli also writes about “the second phase of apparitions,” after 3 July 1981, which are in doubt. That is, the Commission places them in the context of a conflict between the local bishop and the Franciscans, and the fact that apparitions were supposedly announced in advance and programmed individually for each visionary. The visions continued despite the fact that the children announced they would end, but that never happened.
Tornielli writes that the Commission concluded and proposed to the Pope to lift the ban on organised pilgrimages to Medjugorje since priests cannot organise pilgrimages to Medjugorje, but can only be part of spiritual accompaniment. Also, the Commission has proposed that the Medjugorje parish should be under the direct supervision of the Holy See and become a so-called pontifical sanctuary. “This decision is based on pastoral reasons and concern for millions of pilgrims, but also on the transparency related to economic issues. That would not mean the recognition of the supernatural nature of the apparitions,” says Tornielli.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, led by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who is opposed to the Medjugorje phenomenon, expressed doubts about Ruini's report. Pope Francis decided then to appoint a special envoy to Medjugorje, the Archbishop of Warsaw-Krakow Henryk Hoser, to propose pastoral initiatives for the future. People in Medjugorje believe that Hoser, after his first visit, now has an excellent insight into the situation and that he knows what Medjugorje needs to improve pastoral activities.