So our Holy Father is to set up formal processes to investigate alleged appearances and other supernatural 'events'. That brings him into line with one of my (other) heroes, the great bishop Grandisson of Exeter. Immense though his devotion was to our Lady, he scrupulously investigated a 'shrine' at Frithelstock in Devon; deemed it to be spurious (it seems to have involved a fortune-telling racket); ordered its demolition; and turned very nasty when he was ignored. (That is why my friend Fr Hummerstone does not have a major Marian Sanctuary in his Devon parish within the Ebbsfleet Apostolic District.) Grandisson also administered a rocket to his Dean for allowing disorders to follow a spurious miracle in the Cathedral. That's how you behave if you believe that apparitions and miracles are possible; you investigate them with all the rational aids at your disposal. Credulously accepting any old claim; and credulously resisting something that lies outside one's own previous experience and assumptions; are both superstitious. And both unscientific.
Of course, everybody immediately thought of Medjugorie when this news broke. Assuming that M is investigated, condemned, and the 'seers' and their clerical cronies excommunicated, there is an alternative ecclesial group they could join which is much more inclusive and accepting of the Movements of the Spirit than is the boring old RC Church. It is called Affirming Catholicism and it is within an exciting ecclesial association calling itself 'the Church of England'. Here the Medjugorie crowd would find unqualified acceptance; they would be encouraged to 'tell their story'; they would be given endless scope for any childish excess that took their fancy. The seeresses could be consecrated bishopesses and everybody would live happily ever after. It would be nice for the 'Affcaths' too; their membership is minuscule and to get a major accession of adherents, even if in the distant Balkans, would be lovely for them. There is a lady called Christina Reese who could go to Bosnia and have visions.
Rumour has it that the Vatican might even employ atheists to investigate claimed visions. I hope the Sovereign Pontiff sends 'Professor' Dawkins to investigate Medjugorie. It would prove that Germans do have sense of humour after all.