The pope casts doubts about the ongoing apparitions of Medjugorie (since June 1980). The pope – click here – says that the Virgin Mary is not a head of an office that sends messages at a certain point in time to this or that seer. On the subject of the apparitions, there is a need for some clarity. All Marian appearances or other supposedly celestial apparitions – including Jesus or saints – are to be regarded as private revelations, even if they have been recognized by the Church. When the Church recognizes them, it establishes their supernatural nature, i.e. their possible heavenly derivation and that they could be God’s messages to the world. However, the Church does not include the content of the message in its public magisterium.
On December 8, 1854, Pius IX established with the encyclical Ineffabilis Deus that the Virgin was born without original sin. So Mary was the Immaculate Conception. Lourdes’s apparitions, which followed a few decades of dogmatic definition – in February 1858 – and which were recognized by the Church are not to be considered an heavenly confirmation of dogma, even though in that case Mary appeared by saying, I am the Immaculate Conception. Even if the apparitions had taken place before the dogma, they would not have had a preponderant weight on the papal definition. They are, like all others, private revelations, that is, manifestations directed to particular individuals and not to all humanity. Therefore, the theological content of such revelations – on hell, on sin, etc. – don’t have a normative and binding value for all Christians.
Returning to Medjugorie, I share the Pope’s judgment. Indeed, the duration of the apparitions causes some perplexity. The Lourdes and Fatima’s apparitions lasted only a few months. At Medjugorie besides the well-known message of the 25th of each month, there are messages to other seers, each on a precise date of the month.
In my book I grandi misteri irrisolti della Chiesa, I said that it is very difficult to distinguish what in the apparitions is the result of the vision of the seers, from what comes from God. This would explain the fact that Mary appears with different connotations depending on the area of the world in which she appears. For example think about the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In my opinion at Medjugorie something divine is present. But there is also a lot of the humanity of the seers. They have become real pop stars, who run the world and talk in crowded stages. This causes me many suspicions, since the historical figure of Mary – according to the Gospels – was marked by extraordinary humility. Now, we have to wait for the final response of the Vatican commission that has for years been investigating the longest appearances in history.