Medjugorje apparitions – yes, no says Pope

Only some of the Medjugorje apparitions are likely to be authentic, Pope Francis said during an in-flight interview after canonising  Saints Jacinta and Francisco last weekend.

He was referring to alleged apparitions of Our Lady who  is said to have appeared 35 years ago to six children in Medjugorje.

Since then, three of the “children” claim she has been visiting them each day.

Whether the apparitions are authentic or not is the subject of a study Pope Benedict XVI set up in 2010.

Despite the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith casting doubt on the subsequent report, Francis referenced it when he gave his opinion about the visions’ authenticity.

Francis said he knew he was being “naughty” but while he believes the original apparitions experienced at Medjugorje 35 years ago are worthy “of further study,” he is suspicious three of the seers’ ongoing visions.

They have reported continuous visions ever since 1981, with Our Lady delivering precise messages at pre-designated times.

Francis says such a regimented approach doesn’t seem like Our Lady to him.

“I prefer the Lady Mother to the Madonna head of a telegraphic office that sends a message every day. These presumed apparitions do not have much value. That is my personal opinion.”

He said the study report stresses the importance of distinguishing between the original apparitions, which were to children, and the ongoing visions.

He said it is also important to consider Medjugorje’s pastoral and spiritual dimensions because “people go there and convert. People encounter God, change their lives.”

Local bishops in Bosnia and Herzegovina where Medjugorje is located, say they have always had their doubts about the seers’ reliability and integrity.

Skeptics say the visions are aimed at bringing religious tourists to the otherwise unremarkable rural spot.

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News category: World.

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