The Remnant Press
8. THE IRISH BISHOPS' CONFERENCE STATEMENT, 1990,
AND THE BISHOPS 'LEAKED RULING' ON THE YUGOSLAV SHRINE
The Irish Bishops' Conference, 13th June 1990
The Irish Bishops' Conference issued a 5 point statement on the subject of Medjugorje. Point 4 stated "Until the Church gives its decision no one is entitled, on behalf of the Church, to presume a favorable judgment regarding the apparitions in Medjugorje. That is why the Church does not approve pilgrimages and other manifestations organized on the presumption that a supernatural character can be attributed to the facts of Medjugorje."
"Bishops 'Leaked' Ruling on Yugoslav Shrine"
Under this headline the Universe of January 13th 1991 carried the following report from Rome by their correspondent Ronald Singleton.
The Yugoslavian Bishops' Conference, according to a leaked report, has concluded that there is nothing supernatural about the phenomena at the Marian Shrine of Medjugorje.
The bishops have allegedly decided that the sanctuary, visited by more than 10 million pilgrims since 1981, "has no revelation to offer." They are said to have urged help to be given to Bishop Pavao Zanic of Mostar, the diocese which embraces Medjugorje, in dealing with the phenomena.
The Yugoslav Episcopal Conference prepared a report for the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which its Prefect, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, the Church's chief Moral Watchdog, had already studied.
The bishops held a special session at the end of November in Zagreb to discuss the developments in Medjugorje.
At the start of the meeting the bishops said they were going to hear evidence and, if necessary, publish pastoral directives. But after the meeting they decided against issuing any statement.
Rome's impeccable news agency ASCA made the claims from what it says is a leaked report, which have been published by leading newspapers. Milan's daily Avenire linked to the Italian Episcopal Conference, has given the report a prominent position.
There has so far been no official Vatican response to the ASCA report and no official comment from the Doctrine Congregation. However a spokesman said: "The report can be considered to be a 'leak' in information, an 'indiscretion', a portion of the bishops' report lifted from the whole.
It is unlikely that there will be Vatican comment, and, eventually, its public ruling on the Medjugorje shrine may simply be to announce that it has taken note of what the Yugoslavian Bishops have concluded.
The Zagreb November conference was attended by representatives of the 23 dioceses. Reportedly, 19 bishops approved the findings, with one abstention, and three absentees' votes uncast.
The allegedly leaked report published in Italian newspapers reads:
"The bishops have followed events at Medjugorje in contact with the local bishop, the local diocesan commission, and the special commission of the conference. On the basis of research, it cannot be affirmed that the events are supernatural apparitions or revelations.
In the meantime the constant gathering at Medjugorje of faithful from all parts of the world, and urged by motives of faith, requires the attention and care of the bishops.
Therefore our conference, in the spirit of ecclesiastical communion, is disposed to help the resident bishop to organize pastoral work in Medjugorje in favor of a correct liturgical pastoral activity, thereby to forestall and impede phenomena not conforming to the spirit of the Church."
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