FEBRUARY 14, 2017
Meeting with Jesus and Mary at Medjugorje
The upcoming mission to Medjugorje of the Holy Father’s special envoy, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, is expected to extend into the summer months as he goes about his task of “acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there”.
Before his appointment as Archbishop of Warsaw Praga in 2008, the 74-year-old prelate served as Secretary Adjunct of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and was President of the Pontifical Missions Societies. His experience in these roles provides an insight to plans the Holy See may be considering in regard to Medjugorje’s status as a shrine or at least legitmising the parish as a place of prayer and reconciliation.
• The task of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (previously known as the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith) has always been the transmission and dissemination of the faith throughout the whole world. It was given the specific responsibility of coordinating and guiding all the Church’s diverse missionary efforts and initiatives. These include: the promotion and the formation of the clergy and of local hierarchies, encouraging new missionary institutes, and providing material assistance for the missionary activity of the Church. Thus, the newly established Congregation (in 1982) became the ordinary and exclusive instrument of the Holy Father and of the Holy See in its exercise of jurisdiction over all of the Church’s missions and over missionary cooperation. (source: vatican.va)
Pope Francis will also be familiar with the contribution made by Archbishop Hoser at the World Youth Day in Poland in 2016 and the prelate’s association with the “Jesus at the Stadium” event for the youth of Poland which attracted 60,000 young people when it was first staged in Warsaw’s main sports stadium four years ago.
So will the ‘special envoy’ be in attendance at the annual Medjugorje Youth festival in August, bringing with him a message from Pope Francis for the youth and families at the event? In previous years Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has sent his personal greetings.
FEBRUARY 12, 2017
THE PACE PICKS UP
So just why has Pope Francis entrusted Archbishop Henryk Hoser to go to Medjugore as a Special Envoy of the Holy See?
The Vatican press statement released on Saturday explains: “The mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, the needs of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future. The mission will therefore have an exclusively pastoral character.”
However, the appointment is primarily a result of Pope Francis responding to a recommendation made in the dossier submitted to him in January 2014 by Cardinal Ruini, president of the Vatican Commission investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon.
The provision of pastoral care was pointed out by Vatican Insider’s Andrea Tornielli reporting on the handover at the time.
“Some of the Commission’s members have highlighted the need for a change of pace in the provision of pastoral care to millions of faithful who come to Medjugorje from all over the world. The Commission and Cardinal Ruini himself, thanks to visits by people close to him, have noticed that people really are converting to the faith or returning to the sacraments – what the Church refers to as spiritual fruits – in a significant way.”
With this appointment by Pope Francis we see his first and very positive response to the significant study on Medjugorje undertaken by the Commission appointed by Benedict XVI in March 2010 – an unspoken but visible sign that the Holy See is not intent on cutting down the tree that produces good fruit in abundance.
Journalist Andrea Tornielli with Pope Francis
FEBRUARY 11, 2017
Pope appoints special envoy to Medjugorje
Pope Francis has appointed his “special envoy” to Medjugorje, but not to make any further investigations into the Marian apparitions as a section of the Italian media has reported.
A statement from the Vatican press office advises that the Holy Father has mandated Henryk Hoser (pictured), Archbishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland) “to go to Medjugorje as a special envoy of the Holy See”.
Vatican Radio reports that, the scope of his mission, according to the press release announcing the appointment, is “to acquire a profound understanding of the pastoral situation” in Medjugorje, with special concern for the “needs of the faithful who come on pilgrimage;” and on the basis of that understanding “to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future.” His mission, therefore, “will have an exclusively pastoral character.”
Responding to questions from journalists, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke said, “The Special Envoy of the Holy See will not enter into the question of the Marian apparitions, which are the competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” Archbishop Hoser’s mission, he said, “is a sign of Holy Father’s concern for the pilgrims. It’s purpose is not inquisitive, but strictly pastoral.”
Writing for Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli commented: “With the appointment today confirms the attitude of Pope Francis towards these phenomena. Although he has repeatedly warned against morbid attention to the ‘messages’ and the ‘secrets’ attributed to Our Lady, which in some cases ends up diverting some of the faithful from the heart of the Gospel message, Bergoglio shows great respect for what goes on in these places.”
Before his appointment as Archbishop by Benedict XVI in 2008, the 74-year-old prelate served as Secretary Adjunct of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and was President of the Pontifical Missions Societies. He also served as a missionary priest in Rwanda where he carried out various ministries in pastoral care.
“The nomination is a surprise for me because I had never been to Medjugorje and I do not know the issues up close." Msgr Henryk Hoser
MESSAGE FROM THE MOTHER OF PASTORAL CARE...
I am making myself known to you by these comings, by these words; I desire to witness to you my love and motherly care.
Medjugorje message, January 2, 2017
FRANCISCANS WELCOME APPOINTMENT
At noon today, on February 11th 2017, the feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, the press office of the Holy See released a statement that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has nominated a Special Envoy of the Holy See to Medjugorje, his Excellency Msgr. Henryk Hoser, S.A.C, a Polish archbishop and the current Bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland).
On behalf of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, which has charge of the pastoral care of the parish of Medjugorje, I express my filial gratitude to the Roman Pontiff, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his sincere pastoral care and consideration which is evident in this nomination.
I would also like to express my sincere welcome to his Excellency, Archbishop Hoser. This province and the Franciscans who have the pastoral care of Medjugorje, accept the Special Envoy of the Holy See with reverence and faithfulness. They confirm their sincere and complete cooperation and offer their prayers for the fruitful and blessed fulfilment of the mission entrusted to him.
Mostar, February 11th, 2007
Fr Miljenko Šteko, Provincial
AND SO DOES LOCAL BISHOP
Avut la notizia sulla Nomina Pontificia dell'Eccellenza Vostra ad "Inviato Speciale della Santa Sede", con l'incarico di approfondire la conoscenza della realtà pastorale della parrocchia di Medjugorje, appartenente a quest Diocesi di Mostar-Duvno, l'incarico di un carattere esclusivamente pastoral, vorrei esprimere le mie Fraternite congratulazioni ed anche Preghiere al Signore per un ottimo esito della Sua missione.
Son d'ora Le assicuro, Eccellenza, una fraterna accoglienza e un sincero Benvenuti in questa diocese, and particolare nella parrocchia di Medjugorje.
Questa Diocesan Curia are only a disposizione per quanto riguardo la Sua visione della situazione pastoral di detta parrocchia.
In attesa di buone notizie e dell'arrivo della Sua FIT Persona, Le invio and miei migliori saluti ed augurs
Ratko Perić, vescovo