May 1998: CDF letter to Bp. Aubry
26 May 1998
By letter of 1 January 1998, you
submitted to this Dicastery various questions concerning the position
of the Holy See and of the Bishop of Mostar on the subject of the
"apparitions" of Medjugorje, private pilgrimages, and the pastoral
care of the faithful who go to that place.
On that account - whereas I consider it impossible
to respond to all of the questions put by your Excellency - I
am anxious above all to make clear
that it is not the practice of the Holy See to
assume, in the first instance, a position of its own regarding
supposed supernatural phenomena. This Dicastery, therefore,
in what concerns the credibility of the "apparitions" in
question, limits itself simply to what has already been established by
the Bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Zadar Declaration of 10
April 1991: "... On the basis of the investigations conducted
to this point, it is not possible to affirm that it is a case of
apparitions or of supernatural revelations". After the division
of Yugoslavia into various independent nations, it would now pertain
members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina to possibly
take the case again under examination and, in that case, to issue
What His Excellency Msgr. Peric stated in a letter to the
General Secretary of "Famille Chrétienne", in which he
declared: "My conviction and position is not only 'non constat
de supernaturalitate', but even this: 'constat de non supernaturalitate'
of the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje", must be considered
the expression of a personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar, who,
as Ordinary of the place, always has the right to express
what is, and remains, an opinion which is his personally.
pilgrimages to Medjugorje which take place in a private manner,
this Congregation holds that they are permitted,
on the condition that they not be considered a validation of
events in progress and which still call for examination by the Church.
Hoping to have given a satisfactory response at least to the principal
questions posed by yourself to this Dicastery, I ask you, Excellency,
to accept the expression of my most devoted sentiments.
+ Tarcisio Bertone