Juan García Inza From Religion Libertad

I asked Cardinal Schonborn to give us his opinion on Medjugorje. He thought for a few seconds and said: I have been part of the Committee of experts who has studied this religious phenomena. Our conclusions are already given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of which I am a member. But something significant is that Pope Francis, before the Congregation was defined on the subject, asked to be handed the study prepared by the Commission. That is, the Pope is very interested in everything related to Medjugorje.

He also stated that some members of the Commission were suspicious that the Virgin Mary appeared every day for so long. He answered them: For St. Faustina appeared to the Lord sometimes several times a day and is approved by the Church and she canonized.

He is aware of the good that is being done in Medjugorje and in any part of the world that invokes Mary Queen of Peace. He organizes periodic prayer meetings with young people in his cathedral, and often invites one of the “seers” to talk to the children about their spiritual experiences and what they receive from the Virgin. When I asked him about the future of Medjugorje he told me that there is one thing clear: the Church is not going to “break” anything that has been built for years. That is, Medjugorje will continue to captivate the world.

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Archbishop Hoser’s Appointment

For this reason, he welcomed Pope Francis’ decision last month to appoint Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Prague, Poland, to be the Holy See’s special envoy to Medjugorje. The Vatican said the archbishop’s task will be of an “exclusively pastoral character,” to acquire a “deeper knowledge” of the pastoral situation there, especially the needs of pilgrims, and to ascertain “possible pastoral initiatives for the future.”

Archbishop Hoser is expected to finish his assignment by the summer.

Originally Published in Aleteia

“If Marian devotion has flourished in Medjugorje, if such multitudes arrive there, it is therefore a place where veneration will continue, since Our Lady can be venerated everywhere, especially in those locations where this veneration is so fruitful, as we hear it has been from so many testimonies.”

This is the affirmation offered to Aleteia from Archbishop Henryk Hoser, a special envoy sent by Pope Francis to investigate the situation surrounding the reported Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, a small town in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the border with Croatia.

I wish to ask Aleteia readers to pray for the success of my mission in Medjugorje, for coming as close as possible to objective truth and for obtaining very good, concrete results, the archbishop tells our readers.

Pope Francis appointed the archbishop in February to be the Holy See’s special envoy to the site, where millions of pilgrims have visited since the apparitions were said to begin, in 1981.

The archbishop told Aleteia some of the details of his mission.

Konrad Sawicki: When will Your Excellency leave for Medjugorje?

Archbishop Hoser: I have recently heard that I am allegedly there and that I have been miraculously healed by the Holy Virgin Mary… Joking aside, my first visit to Medjugorje, an orientation one, will start at the end of March.

I will meet first with the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Archbishop of Sarajevo. Then, naturally, I will meet with the local Bishop of Mostar and the Franciscan friars who work in the shrine. First of all, however, I will listen intently to different opinions and examine the local pastoral situation.

This will be Your Excellency’s first visit to the shrine. Yet this is not going to be Your Excellency’s first special mission, is it?

It is true I have never visited Medjugorje myself, but a lot of the faithful from my Diocese of Warsaw-Praga go there and I am well-familiar with their accounts.

It is also true that this is not going to be my first mission as a special envoy of the pope. I have so far held three such missions. Two apostolic visitations were short; I have spent two weeks in Togo and Benin, respectively. I looked into the questions of seminaries there. The third mission was long; I spent one and a half years in Rwanda immediately after the genocide. This experience gives me courage to embark on another visitation, to Medjugorje.

As to the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje and their authenticity, let us clarify the current situation for our readers.

In 2010 the Holy See appointed a special doctrinal commission led by His Eminence Cardinal Camillo Ruini. In 2014 the commission concluded its operation and submitted its conclusions to the Holy Father. He subsequently forwarded the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. To date, the Congregation has not adopted its final position.

Your Excellency’s mission concerns not only the apparitions themselves; it is pastoral in character. However, not everyone understands why a Polish archbishop received a special mission from Francis. One website announced that Your Excellency is to “examine the conflict concerning Marian apparitions.”

The mission entrusted to me is auxiliary to what the doctrinal commission has accomplished. Every year the shrine is visited by 2 to 2.5 million pilgrims from across the world. It has become a charismatic place. The fact that Medjugorje is visited by so many faithful, who are no doubt spiritually enriched there, is something to be borne in mind.

A demand for pastoral care in this place is huge. Imagine – there are 50 confessionals on the premises. The problem is that often there are not enough confessors speaking different languages.

My mission, as has been stipulated in the communiqué released by the Holy See, is to closely examine the local pastoral situation, in particular the needs of the pilgrims. I am also supposed to indicate possible new pastoral initiatives. The underlying objective is to enhance pastoral outreach and to better coordinate local pastoral actions.

After the nomination of the special envoy and the publication of a letter by the local bishop, which contests the authenticity of the apparitions, many faithful around the world are concerned. Was their pilgrimage to no avail? Were their prayers untrue? – they ask. Could Your Excellency as a papal pastoral envoy explain the current situation to them and dispel their worries?

We should by no means worry! The Church has not yet spoken on the authenticity of the apparitions. We should calmly wait for the final position. This is by no means the first situation when the Church is slow to take a decision, especially given that the form of the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje significantly differs from that of earlier well-known apparitions.

Besides, this issue will not change anything in the teaching of the Church concerning Marian veneration. If Marian devotion has flourished in Medjugorje, if such multitudes arrive there, it is therefore a place where veneration will continue, since Our Lady can be venerated everywhere, especially in those locations where this veneration is so fruitful, as we hear it has been from so many testimonies.

The Holy Father is aware of it and therefore would like to examine not only the pastoral situation in Medjugorje, but also, if necessary, find methods of improving the pastoral care provided to the pilgrims in this place, so strongly dedicated to Our Lady.

Let me take this opportunity to greet Your Excellency on behalf of the editors and readers of Aleteia and wish you a complete and fast recovery. Would Your Excellency like to address our staff and readers?

I would like to ask the Aleteia readers to pray for the success of my mission in Medjugorje. I embark on this mission on behalf of the Church, entrusted to me by the Holy Father. I want this mission to come closest to objective truth and to produce very good and concrete results.

I am an emissary of the Church but the Church should pray for me, as She prayed at one time for St. Peter and St. Paul. After all, prayer is the driving force of our actions in the Church, both the tangible and the invisible ones.

Henry Hoser, Bishop of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga, was born in 1942 in Warsaw. A graduate of a university school of medicine, in 1968 he entered the Society of Catholic Apostolate (the Pallottines). Having obtained degrees in philosophy and theology and having been ordained to the priesthood, he left for Paris and then for a mission to Rwanda (1975–1996). In 1978 he established a Medical and Social Centre in Kigali and led it for 17 years. He also set up the Family Formation Center (Action Familiale). After the civil war in Rwanda, the Holy See appointed him apostolic visitor in Rwanda. In 2005 John Paul II appointed him archbishop and auxiliary secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Chairman of the Pontifical Missionary Works. In 2008 Benedict XVI named him Bishop of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga. On 11 February 2017 Pope Francis nominated him a special envoy of the Holy See to Medjugorje.

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Cardinal Archbishop Vinko Puljic from Bosnia: “Medjugorje is one of the largest prayer sites in Europe…

March 19, 2017

MARCH 11, 2017 Medjugorje is one of the largest prayer sites in Europe, said Archbishop Cardinal Vinko Puljic in an interview for the Polish Catholic Agency (KAI). In an interview, he emphasized that private revelations are not an essential element of faith, but that Jesus Christ is and that his mother always leads to Him. […]

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Cardinal Vinko Puljic Comments on Medjugorje Rumors.

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CARDINAL VINKO PULJIC, ONE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE VATICAN MEDJUGORJE COMMISSION has told Croatian reporters the recent media rumors of the commission condemning the Medjugorje apparitions are ‘distorted’, ‘manipulated’, ‘unacceptable’ ‘wrong’ and ‘obviously having desire to undermine the good relations existing between the faithful who accept Medjugorje and go there for years on pilgrimage, […]

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What does the Nuncio’s Letter to US Bishop’s Mean?

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Explanation by Dr. Mark Miravelle, professor of Theology and Mariology at Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH. Obedience to the Church is the quintessential ingredient of authentic Catholic Marian devotion. On October 21, 2013, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, Papal Nuncio to the United States, sent a letter to the Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, Secretary of the United States Conference of […]

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Statue Glowing in Medjugorje

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Syria: Pope calls for day of prayer and fasting.

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 Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of  each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares […]

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Ivan’s Apparition Tonight

August 23, 2013

Ivan’s apparition tonight: Today Our Lady came very happy and Joyful and she greeted us with her usual motherly greeting of Praised be Jesus my dear children. After this she extended her hands over all of us present here this evening and for a long time prayed over all of us in her Aramaic language. […]

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Ivan’s Apparition tonight August 23, 2013

August 23, 2013

Ivan’s apparition tonight Today Our Lady came very happy and Joyful and she greeted us with her usual motherly greeting of Praised be Jesus my dear children. After this she extended her hands over all of us present here this evening and for a long time prayed over all of us in her Aramaic language. […]

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Top Exorcist Laments Apathy to Medjugorje

November 2, 2011

Fr. Gabriele Amorth (born 1925) was ordained a priest in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986. For about 20 years he served as chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. In 1990 he founded the International Association of Exorcists whose president he was until his retirement in 2000, now being honorary president for […]

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