“The bishops have followed the events at Medjugorje, from the beginning, through the Bishop of the Diocesis (Mostar), the Commission nominated by the Bishop (Mostar) and the Commission of the Yugoslavian Episcopal Conference on Medjugorje.

On the basis of the present results it is not possible to affirm that it regards apparitions and revelations of supernatural origin (non constat de supernaturalitate).

However the crowds of believers who arrive at Medjugorje from all over the world, moved by faith and driven by other reasons, have a real need for attention and pastoral care on behalf of the diocesian Bishop and with him also of other bishops, so that at Medjugorje as in all that Medjugorje aspires to, healthy devotion to the Holy Virgin may be encouraged within the teachings of the Church.

For this reason, the bishops will emanate adequate directives of liturgical-pastoral nature. At the same time through the appropriate commissions, updates and research on the events at Medjugorje will proceed.”


Yugoslav Bishops, Zara, 10th April 1991

Note.    The Catholic Church, when a judgement is required regarding a supernatural event, has three possibilities available:


  1. Constat de supernaturalitate (it is certain that the supernatural is present – positive formula)

  2. Constat de non supernaturalitate (it is certain that the supernatural does not exist)

  3. 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:



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)