A LETTER FROM ROME ON MEDJUGORJE
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
sent the following letter to Bishop Gilbert Aubry of Saint Denis, France, clarifying its position on Medjugorje. He received it on June 24th. On the 25th, he spread it to the priests and communities of his diocese (circular # C003) so that they can have the latest statement from Rome and, if necessary, inform the faithful with full knowledge of the facts.
PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI
Pr. No 154/81-06419
Citta del Vaticano, Palazzo del S. Uffizio
May 26, 1998
To His Excellency Mons. Gilbert Aubry,
Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Reunion
In your letter of January 1, 1998, you submitted to this Dicastery several
questions about the position of the Holy See and of the Bishop of Mostar in
regard to the so called apparitions of Medjugorje, private pilgrimages and
the pastoral care of the faithful who go there.
In regard to this matter, I think it is impossible to reply to each of the
questions posed by Your Excellency. The main thing I would like to point out
is that the Holy See does not ordinarily take a position of its own
regarding supposed supernatural phenomena as a court of first instance. As
for the credibility of the "apparitions" in question, this Dicastery
respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the
Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: "On the basis of the investigations so
far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural
apparitions and revelations." Since the division of Yugoslavia into
different independent nations it would now pertain to the members of the
Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Hercegovina to eventually reopen the
examination of this case, and to make any new pronouncements that might be
What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of "Famille
Chretienne", declaring: "My conviction and my position is not only 'non
constat de supernaturalitate,'1 but likewise, 'constat de non
supernaturalitate'2 of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje", should
be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of
Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which
is and remains his personal opinion.
Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted
privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition
that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking
place and which still call for an examination by the Church.
I hope that I have replied satisfactorily at least to the principal
questions that you have presented to this Dicastery and I beg Your
Excellency to accept the expression of my devoted sentiments.
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone
1 non constat de supernaturalitate: a technical, Latin, theological term meaning its supernaturality has not been established.
2 constat de non supernaturalitate: a technical, Latin, theological term meaning its non-supernaturality has been established.
Footnotes added by editor of the Marian Archive