BY MARK GREAVES
THE VATICAN commission studying the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje is considering whether to interview the six visionaries, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
The commission, led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, former Vicar General of Rome, was set up by Pope Benedict XVI in March after a request from the bishops of BosniaHerzegovina. The alleged seers began reporting their visions in 1981 when they were only children. Since then, they have reportedly had about 30,000 visions. One of the six, Marija, says the Virgin Mary still appears to her every month.
In August 1982 the visionaries spoke in front of a commission founded by the local bishop but said they did not want to reveal the secrets that the Virgin Mary had allegedly revealed to them.
About one million pil grims go to Medjugorje each year even though “official” pilgrimages are forbidden by the Vatican. A 1991 declaration ruled that the apparitions were “not established as supernatural” and therefore had not been authenticated.
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn caused controversy by visiting Medjugorje earlier this year. The local bishop, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, who is strongly opposed to the phenomenon, said he “re gretted” the visit and that the cardinal had harmed the “peace and unity” of the Church.
The high-powered Vatican commission on Medjugorje has 16 members, including Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.