High number of pilgrims at Medjugorje is a challenge to the Church says Pope’s special envoy
In a telephone interview with Vatican Radio on Monday, Archbishop Henryk Hoser explained his “special envoy” appointment as an example of the Holy Father’s concern for the situation in Medjugorje to be clear and orderly, and as the Pope’s envoy he is able to assess the situation on the ground and recognise any opportunties that arise. “Above all”, he added “it is about regular, pastoral reception of the millions of pilgrims coming to Medjugorje. This high number is a challenge for the Church and a call to improve the reception if possible.”
Msgr Hoser also spoke of two crucial aspects regarding Medjugorje. “On the one hand are the phemomena and are the messages of the Mother of God genuine? This was the subject of the investigation by the special commission led by Cardinal Ruini. The second aspect is that which has been entrusted to me: it is about organising pastoral care, in agreement and harmony with the ecclesiastical hierarchy on the ground.”
“Yes, I know there is opposition – or rather, we say, disagreement – but I cannot say anything in detail because I have never been to Medjugorje. This is where I can appear as someone who is neutral in this conflict.”
Asked if his proposals might include the appointment of an apostolic administrator for Medjugorje, the Pope’s envoy said “Yes, this is not impossible. Perhaps one will have to supplement the structure of the hierarchy on the ground so that initiatives can be better coordinated and thus more effective. I must confirm that these are only hypotheses.”
Msgr Hoser added that he did not know when his report to Pope Francis, or any other, would be published.
Prayer answered says parish priest
Medjugorje’s parish priest Marinko Šakota responded to the the news of the appointment of a special envoy saying: “This is an answer to prayer, a moment of grace and joy, and also a time of great responsibility for the parish of Medjugorje.”