Te Deum laudamus has a blog post about a book published in several languages (not including English) containing comments by Pope Francis on many subjects. A small portion of the book reportedly offers some rather negative comments by the Pontiff on Medjugorje. Click through to the blog for the details.
My belief is that the Church will reject the claimed private revelation at Medjugorje, prior to the Warning. This will cause a falling away of belief in Medjugorje leading up to the Warning (on Good Friday, 25 March 2016). Some adherents of Medjugorje are hopeful that the decision will be relatively mild. But this latest revelation of the Pope’s thoughts on the subject indicate a strongly negative decision is much more likely. Some have pointed out that the Commission’s inquiry has been fair and relatively positive. But the Pope will have the final say. So I expect that the Pope will decide to forbid the faithful to continue spreading belief in Medjugorje.
What about all the other claimed private revelation in the world today? Rather than one specific decision on Medjugorje, I think it is much more likely that the Pope will issue new rules for all claimed private revelation. Pope Francis prefers that the faithful focus on what I term the three pillars of truth in the Church: Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. He wants the faithful to place less emphasis on even the true private revelations. And certainly he sees that much harm can be done if a claimed private revelation is false.
Therefore, I suggest to my readers that the holy Pontiff will make some type of rule that will forbid involvement in any claimed private revelation that has not been approved by the Church. And this new rule will likely have a chain reaction, such that the Bishops begin to publicly condemn various claimed private revelations in their respective dioceses. Garabandal will be swept up in this process, and a negative decision will be issued (as the visionaries predicted).
Now my study of claimed private revelation has found that the vast majority are false, and that the source of these false private revelations, to various visionaries, locutionists, or whatever they call themselves, is communication from fallen angels (devils). Very much harm can be done to souls when the words of devils are mistakenly thought to be words from Heaven. Much harm has already occurred among the weak in faith. So I think that this condemnation of unapproved claimed private revelation is overall a very good thing for the Church.
But the decisions of the Pope on matters of prudential judgment, such as which claimed private revelation to approve and which to disapprove, are not teachings. This type of decision falls under the temporal authority of the Church, not the teaching authority (Magisterium). The temporal authority of the Church oversees matters of discipline and issues rules and rulings, not teachings. These rules and rulings are fallible, and subject to change or reversal. The teachings of the Church require our assent. But the prudential judgments of the Church allow for respectful disagreement and, occasionally to some limited extent, faithful disobedience.
I think that the Pope and the Bishops will make the mistake of condemning the claimed private revelation at Medjugorje and Garabandal. And once the Warning occurs, a reversal of this decision will be set in motion. But I think it is far better for the Church to have this new restriction on claimed private revelations, with a few errors as to which private revelations to reject, than to have the present situation, where false private revelations from devils abound, and do much harm. So I support this impending decision by Pope Francis, even though I disagree on a couple of points.
The Warning and Miracle were predicted at Garabandal. I believe that the Warning of Garabandal is also the first secret of Medjugorje. The Consolation is the second secret. And the Miracle of Garabandal is the same as the third secret of Medjugorje. Much more in my book: The Secrets of Medjugorje and Garabandal.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.
Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.