What will the decision be on Medjugorje? And can a faithful Catholic disagree?
I expect that Pope Francis will issue a negative judgment on Medjugorje, despite the Medjugorje Commission’s (reportedly) moderate report. Pope Francis wishes to reform the Church, and he is concerned about the excessive emphasis on private revelation and the tendency of some groups to turn inwardly on themselves.
70. It is also true that at times greater emphasis is placed on the outward expressions and traditions of some groups, or on alleged private revelations which would replace all else, than on the impulse of Christian piety. There is a kind of Christianity made up of devotions reflecting an individual and sentimental faith life which does not in fact correspond to authentic “popular piety”. Some people promote these expressions while not being in the least concerned with the advancement of society or the formation of the laity, and in certain cases they do so in order to obtain economic benefits or some power over others. (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 70)
I believe that Medjugorje is a true private revelation, but I see it being misused by many persons: treating the messages as a replacement for Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium; identifying themselves as followers of that particular private revelation, rather than as followers of Christ; emphasizing the message to the exclusion of many other treasures of truth in the Church; and some groups use Medjugorje to exalt themselves.
The private revelations at Medjugorje are truly from the Blessed Virgin Mary, but we are all sinners, so there is always the possibility that a true private revelation might be misused.
My response to a negative judgment by the Pope will be to continue believing in Medjugorje as a true private revelation. A decision of this type is of the temporal authority of the Church; it is not a dogma or non-infallible doctrine issued by the Magisterium. Other than dogmatic facts, the decisions of the temporal authority are fallible and reformable, and are not required beliefs. So I will continue to write about Medjugorje and to argue that the private revelations there are truly from Heaven, even if the decision and order of the Pope prohibits this type of public expression.
When the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle — the first three secrets of Medjugorje — occur, then this private revelation will be proven to be true before the whole world.