Note. The Catholic Church, when a judgement is required regarding a supernatural event, has three possibilities available:
Constat de supernaturalitate (it is certain that the supernatural is present – positive formula)
Constat de non supernaturalitate (it is certain that the supernatural does not exist)
Non constat de supernaturalitate (it is not certain that there is the supernatural – dubious formula)
In 1991, the bishops of the Yugoslav Episcopal Conference used the last formula, leaving the option of ulterior investigations into the events of Medjugorje.
In 1998, again regarding Medjugorje, cardinal Tarcisio Bertone responded to bishop mons. Gilbert Aubry in this way:
CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI
Città del Vaticano, Palazzo del S. Uffizio
Protocollo N. 154/81.06419
26 May 1998
To your Excellence Mons. Gilbert Aubry
Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Rèunion
With the letter dated the 1st January 1998, You submitted various issues to this Office concerning the position of the Holy See and of the Bishop of Mostar, in reference to the so-called “apparitions” of Medjugorje, to private pilgrimages and to the pastoral care of the Believers who visit the place. Regarding this, since it is deemed impossible to respond to each of the questions formulated by your Excellence, I wish to specify first of all that that it is not the norm for the Holy See to assume initially, a very direct position on supposedly supernatural phenomena.
This Ministry, for that which regards the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, simply conforms to that which was established by the bishops of the former-Yugoslavia in the declaration at Zara on the 10-04-1991: “On the basis of the investigations conducted to date , it is not possible to confirm that one is dealing with apparitions or supernatural revelations.” Following the division of Yugoslavia into different independent nations, it would now be the responsibility of the members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia- Erzegovina to eventually re-examine the issue and to emit, if the case so requires, new declarations.
That which Mons. Perìc affirmed in a letter to the General Secretary of the “Famille Chrètienne”, is that “My conviction and position is not only does not consist of the supernatural but equally that of Consists of the non-supernaturality of the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje” must be considered an expression of a personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar, who, in being a regular of the place, has every right to express that which is and remains his own personal opinion.
Finally, regarding the pilgrimages to Medjugorje that take place in a private form, this Congregation retains that they are allowed as long as they are not considered to be an authentication of the events in progress, which still require examination on behalf of the Church.
Mons. Tarcisio Bertone
(Secretary of the Congreagation presided by Card. Ratzinger)