Pope Francis Authorizes Pilgrimages To Medjugorje

On May 12, 2019 , Pope Francis authorized pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which can now be officially organized by dioceses and parishes and will no longer take place only in a private capacity as before. This is not an approval of the supernaturality of the alleged apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje that are still being studied.

The “ad interim” director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, said, “Considering the considerable flow of people who go to Medjugorje and the abundant fruits of grace that have sprung from it, this authorization is part of the particular pastoral attention that the Holy Father intended to give to that reality, aimed at encouraging and promoting the fruits of good.”

In 2017, Pope Francis named Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser to study the pastoral care given to the town’s residents and visiting pilgrims. In May 2018, Hoser was sent as “Apostolic Visitor” for an undetermined time to the Saint James parish in Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, run by the Franciscan friars.

Hoser told Poland’s KAI Catholic news agency in 2017 that “from a pastoral point of view, there is a very positive result.” He said, ”Every indication” is that the apparitions will be approved, “specifically, I think it’s possible to recognize the authenticity of the first [seven] apparitions as proposed by the Ruini Commission.”

That Commission was formed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to study the alleged apparitions. It was headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who at the time was retired as the Pope’s Vicar of Rome. In 2014, the Commission submitted its report to Pope Francis.

Pope Francis’ envoy to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, said, “The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret…. The decree of the former episcopal conference of what used to be Yugoslavia, which, before the Balkan war, advised against pilgrimages in Medjugorje organized by bishops, is no longer relevant.”

Click here to learn how to practice the Medjugorje devotion and how to prepare for its Ten Secrets.

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