Has the Catholic Church approved the apparitions of Medjugorje?

The apparitions in Medjugorje continue to be studied by the Catholic Church and have neither been approved nor condemned.  However, there have been some interesting, positive developments in recent months.


Ordinarily, the Local Bishop in a diocese rules on the validity of an alleged apparition and that ruling is binding on all Catholics.  For example, the alleged apparitions in Naju, Korea were determined to be false by the local bishop, followed by the excommunication of the alleged visionary and threat of excommunication for followers.

Initially, the local bishop of the Mostar diocese; Bishop Pavao Zanic, viewed the apparitions in Medjugorje very favorably.  However, he soon changed his mind.  He may have been moved by the Holy Spirit.  But some believe threats by Communist authorities played a role, while others claim that he was upset about an alleged message from Mary that he believed challenged his authority regarding defrocking a priest.  Speculation is pointless.  Ultimately, Bishop Zanic formed a commission to rule on these alleged apparitions and they concluded with a neutral decision known as the "Zadar Declaration":  "non-constat de supernaturalitate", which means "not determined to be supernatural".  Some people have misinterpreted the commissions neutral decision to be a condemnation, when in fact, it was not.

In the past, the Church has ruled on various alleged apparitions with one of three decisions:
"Constat de non-supernaturalitate" (determined to be non-supernatural) (condemned)
"Non-constat de supernaturalitate (not determined....) (Needs further investigation)
"Constat de supernaturalitate" (determined to be supernatural) (Approved as worthy of belief such as in Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe etc.)

It should be noted here that Catholics are not obligated by the Church to believe in any private revelation, including those approved as worthy of belief (constat de supernaturalitate).

But the controversy has continued since the Zadar Declaration with neither an approval nor a condemnation.  With that in mind, in an unprecedented move, Pope Benedict XVI formed a commission in March 2010 headed by Cardinal Ruini to investigate Medjugorje. 

The Vatican's Ruini Commission was composed of 15 members; theologians, clergy, scientists and doctors, who tested and evaluated the alleged visionaries. 

Kenny - I'd like to insert various links to back-up my research although they can be hidden and don't need to be part of this web page.

Over the course of nearly four years, they conducted a variety of scientific and medical tests on the visionaries during their periods of ecstasy (during an apparition) and also, at other times.  The results of these tests indicated something unusual was happening and that they weren't lying.

(need a link here)

Kenny - I'd like to insert a picture here of the visionaries covered with wires.

The Ruini Commission handed their report to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in January 2014 and Pope Francis said that a final decision would be issued soon.  But the final decision has been delayed for over four years so far.

In May 2017, the Ruini Commission's votes on the authenticity of the early apparitions were revealed.  The Commission elected to evaluate the first seven apparitions separately from the subsequent apparitions.  Thirteen members voted in favor, one against, and one "suspensive" ballot which will give the final answer later.

The visionaries of Medjugorje have been studied by various commissions and scientific methods many times over the years.  Here's a link to some early results:

In February 2017, Pope Francis sent Archbishop Henryk Hoser to Medjugorje as a special envoy to study the pastoral needs of the parish.  Based on his closing comments, Archbishop Hoser's opinion about Medjugorje appears very favorable.

(need to find that YouTube video...)

He reported back to the pope (date).

In May 2018, Pope Francis again sent Archbishop Hoser to Medjugorje, appointed as Apostolic Visitor for "an undetermined time".

To develop:
Zadar Declaration
Ruini Commission
Archbishop Hoser - parish organized pilgrimage ban is lifted...