On this day, it was officially announced by the Vatican, that a new Commission administered by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was being set up to investigate the phenomenon of Medjugorje and would be headed by the former president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Camillo Ruini. This took the responsibility for Medjugorje off the shoulders of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Bishops’ Conference, which on March 21, 2008, Cardinal Vinko Puljc, Archbishop of Sarajevo stated: â€œâ€¦the phenomenon of Medjugorje does not come within our competence.â€
The Vatican’s decision, that came through the request of Pope Benedict XVI, was unprecedented in that no other apparition in the history of the Church had ever been taken over by the Church for investigation. But no other apparition in Church history had ever had the impact as Medjugorje worldwide while it was still taking place, and at the same time been surrounded with so much controversy. Pope Benedict XVI, like Pope John Paul II, had followed the progression of Medjugorje from the beginning, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Because Medjugorje was so far-reaching, and did not just effect the geographical region of which it belonged, and because many requests were being made for the Church to move the investigation along, Pope Benedict XVI decided to take this unprecedented move to form an international Commission to study the apparitions.