EWTN Catholic Q&A
RE: Messages of Medjugorje
Question from John Smith on 01-22-2008:

Dr. Geraghty, You responded to a question about validity of Medjugorje on 1-22-08 with the following. “All I know is that the local Bishop of Medjugorje has not approved of the apparitions and, indeed, is quite suspicious of them. But so far Rome has neither approved nor forbidden pilgrimages there. At any rate, the question is still up in the air.

Dr. Geraghty “

You are correct that the local Bishop, and the previous Bishop have NOT APPROVED the alleged apparitions. You are wrong in saying pilgrimages are not forbidden. No priest can lead a pilgrimage to Medjugorje with the intent of seeing/or participating in anything related to Our Lady of Medjugorje. Also, the decision of an apparition being supernatural or not is under the jurisdiction of the local Bishop. Rome does not have the authority to overrule a local bishop on these matters.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 01-27-2008:

Dear John,

Thanks for your note. However, I would hesitate to say that Rome cannot over ride the ruling of a local Bishop on this matter. As a matter of fact, the Popes have stayed out of this matter so far because it is customary for Rome to respect the competence of the local Bishop to judge this matter. I would not go so far as to say the Pope could not over rule the local Bishop if he chose to. Anyway, from what you say, it seems that priests would be forbidden to go there altogether. The reason why I bring this whole matter up is because many people have gone to Medjugorje in the past and of spoken very well of it. I would not to give the impression that it was all one big mistake. At any rate, the issue seems quite muddled.

Dr. Geraghty

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