[Although not devoid of controversy, Professor Henri Joyeux of the Cancer Institute of Montpellier, France has reported on the phenomenon of Medjugorje. The text of a full interview with him appears at www.medjurorje.com. The following is a report which has appended to it a question (with the professor’s answer) from the French publication Paris Match. Editing by me has been limited]:
The phenomena of the apparitions at Medjugorje cannot be explained scientifically. According to experiments carefully conducted, we can affirm that there has been no pathological modification in the parameters which have been investigated. In one word, these young people are healthy and there is no sign of epilepsy nor is it a sleep or dream state. It is neither a case of pathological hallucination nor hallucination in the hearing or sight faculties connected with an abnormality in the functioning of the peripherical sensorial receivers, the hearing faculty or sight. Neither are there any paroxystical hallucinations as testified by the electro-encephalogram nor delirious hallucinations nor acute mental confusion. It is neither hysterical nor a nervous disorder nor a pathological ecstasy because the visionaries show no signs of these conditions in any of the clinical examinations. It cannot be a cataleptic state, for during the ecstasy the facial muscles are operating in a normal way. We can also ascertain that the intentness of the movements of the orbs of the eyes of all the visionaries is in perfect timing with each other at the beginning and the end of the ecstasy. During the ecstasy there is a perfect convergence of their eyes and there is a strong feeling of a face to face encounter between the visionaries and a person we cannot see.
Their behaviours presents no pathological signs. During the ecstasy they are in a state of prayer and inter-personal communication. They are not drop-outs, dreamers or people who are tired or distressed. They appear to be free and happy, well-rooted in their country and the modern world. At Medjugorje, the ecstasies are not pathological or a trick. They do not belong to any scientific denominations. It is more like a state of deep, active prayer, in which they are partially disconnected from the physical world, in a state of contemplation and sane encounter with a person whom they alone see, hear and can touch. We cannot reach the transmitter but we can ascertain that the receivers are in a state of sane and good working order.
So you really believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to them?
As scientists we can reach no conclusion in such a matter. This can be answered only by competent people such as the local bishop and the theological commission which is advising him. In Lourdes the Catholic Church did recognise the eighteen apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette. At Medjugorje, if the Virgin Mary is appearing, she will have appeared more than 1500 times…(in June 1986 it will be over 1800); it would not surprise me if one day the Church does recognise these apparitions.