Medjugorje Decision Will Take ‘Months,’ Says Vatican Spokesman

Warning against feeding the current rumors, Father Federico Lombardi told the Register that a ruling is not likely before the Vatican’s summer break.

By Edward Pentin

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican downplayed intense speculation that Pope Francis will decide very soon on "certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects" of alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, saying it will most probably take months, rather than days or weeks.

In comments to the Register June 11, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said it is “hard to say” when a ruling might be made, but that it’s certainly not likely before the Vatican’s summer break.

He noted that there has not yet been a feria quarta (a monthly meeting of cardinal and bishop members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) on the subject and that he doubted there would be one before the summer break.

“So if you ask me: days, weeks or months? I think it would be safest to say a few months,” Father Lombardi said, and he warned against feeding expectations that an announcement is “very imminent.”

His comments follow the Holy Father’s remarks June 6, in answer to a question from a Bosnian-Croat journalist on the papal plane back from Sarajevo, that a decision could be coming soon.

“We’re at this point of making decisions [and] then they will be announced,” Pope Francis said, but gave no indication of any timeline.

He recalled how, in 2010, Benedict XVI asked the CDF to create a commission, presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, emeritus vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, to study the reports surrounding the alleged apparitions. The commission aimed to further investigate “certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje.”

Pope Francis told reporters on the papal plane that the commission “made a study, and Cardinal Ruini came to me and consigned the study to me after many years. I don’t know, three or four years, more or less.”

The commission, which the Pope said “did good work,” handed its findings to the CDF in January 2014. The congregation subsequently has been undertaking its own examination before giving its conclusions to the Pope, who will have the final say.

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