In the early 1980s, six children in the Yugoslavian town of Medjugorje reported seeing visions of the Virgin Mary. Since that time, millions of people have made the pilgrimage to Medjugorje and countless others still follow messages attributed to the Virgin Mary that are revealed by the original seers.
This summer, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) completed its investigation of the apparitions at Medjugorje and submitted its findings to Pope Francis. While rumors have long swirled that the report on Medjugorje will be negative, no one — to my knowledge — has gone on record confirming a negative judgment.
And so a full accounting will have to wait until the CDF report is made public.
The story of Medjugorje is complex and complicated. It involves not only claims of supernatural occurrences, but also Catholic infighting and allegations of scandal. Celebrations of miracles exist alongside suspicions of fraud, and the continuing popularity of Medjugorje has raised difficult spiritual and administrative questions for three different popes.
But why does Medjugorje matter?
If you ask different Catholics, you will get wildly different answers.
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