In significant coincidence with the publication of our last post, yesterday, and in a noticeable reversal of position, journalist/vaticanist Andrea Tornielli agrees with an Italian contradictor that “non constat de supernaturalitate” is a “negative judgment”.

First, Mr. Tornielli wrote (2012-02-25) in the Vatican Insider:

“At the beginning of the apparitions in Medjugorje a diocesan commission had been established which had then passed its hand to the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia which, however failed to pronounce itself on whether the phenomena was supernatural or not, concluding in 1991 with the declaration «non constat de supernaturalitate»”… “this is the classic cautious expression, since the bishops were not able to either approve or deny…” “The suspension verdict, open to further developments, is neither «yes» nor «no».” […] But the outcome considered most likely at the moment in the sacred buildings is a repeat of the 1991 suspension of judgment, the «supernaturality is not certain» without openly taking a stand for or against.

Then, a Franciscan contradictor issued a gentle but well argued response (2012-02-27)

on his Cantuale Antonianum yesterday with the title: “Tornielli is wrong about Medjugorje: ‘Non constat de supernaturalitate’ is a negative judgment.” 

“I did not want to intervene on these issues”, wrote the Franciscan priest and theologian with a master’s degree in communication sciences.

“In principle, I keep away from controversy. But when reporters do not accurately verify their theological statements, we must gently intervene, out of respect for the truth.”

According to the contradictor, the “famous journalist” Tornielli, whom Fr. A.R. “respects and admires”, endorses “wrong beliefs, widespread even in Church circles”:

Mgr Angelo Amato on "constat"-"non constat" - 2008

Mgr Angelo Amato on "constat"-"non constat" - 2008

–          in claiming that the non constat de supernaturalitate is a “suspension verdict” and is neither “yes” nor “no”;

–          in ignoring Mgr Angelo Amato’s 2008 declaration;

–          in misunderstanding the importance and severity of the 1978 Norms which, when applied to the Medjugorje case,

René Laurentin and Andrea Tornielli Milano 2008

Andrea Tornielli (right) with René Laurentin (Milano, 2008)

can only lead to a negative verdict as already expressed by the local Ordinaries and 19 out of 20 members of the former Yugoslavian Bishops’ Conference (Zadar Declaration);

–          in underestimating grave objections (raising of money in connection with alleged supernatural events, seers’ behavior and their wealth as a result of pilgrimages, “serious immoral acts” and heresies from supporters, followers, and  guides, manipulated narration of historical events organized in a kind of vulgate by renowned mariologists…)

Finally, in the form of a polite rejoinder,

Andrea Tornielli acknowledged today the validity of Fr. A.R.’s arguments concerning the appropriate interpretation of the non constat de supernaturalitate, Mgr Amato’s declaration and the 1978 Norms. In doing so, he delivered generously and publicly the Latin text of the Norms that has always been sub secreto since 1978…

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Medjugorje - 2009-12-31

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Medjugorje - 2009-12-31

If Mr. Tornielli wonders how he could “reward” those who contributed to the present

Cardinal Schönborn Medjugorje 2009-2010 - Interview

Cardinal Schönborn Medjugorje 2009-2010 - Interview

discussion — see the references below — I hereby submit the suggestion to communicate his amended reflections to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn for the Prelate’s own inspiration.

Concerning the contributions to the present discussion, I have placed anchors for browsing facility on the following points that Fr. A.R. referred to at the end of his article:

the meaning of “non constat de supernaturalitate (article)

on the subtleties of the Vaticanese language and Fr. Kingham’s thesis on the 1978 Norms (comment to Sharon)

clarifications on a clear positive, a clear negative and a wait-and-see negative (comment to Maria)

do the Norms mention the constat de non supernaturalitate? (comment to Sharon)

a prospective response to Andrea Tornielli’s perception of the “non constat”  (comment to Maria)

Thanks to Fr. A.R. for today’s alert on Andrea Tornielli’s article.

Your remarks/comments/critiques are welcome. They will be moderated and should be identified properly with a valid name linked to a valid IP.

With my cordial greetings,

Louis Bélanger