Medjugorje apparitions – pope sends archbishop

The controversial Medjugorje apparitions are again in the spotlight.

The local bishop has made it plain he does not believe the apparitions are of Our Lady, while an apostolic visitor has been appointed to oversee the pastoral needs at the site.

Medjugorje has become a place of pilgrimage since six children claimed to have seen Our Lady there in 1981.

According to the children, the apparitions contained a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer and fasting, and secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future.

Three of the children say the apparitions have continued almost daily since their first occurrence.

Now adults, they say they continue to receive apparitions every afternoon. This is apparently because not all the “secrets” intended for them have been revealed.

The apostolic visitor overseeing the town’s pastoral needs is Archbishop Henryk Hoser. He began his work in Medjugorje on Sunday.

In his first homily on the apparitions, Hoser said “the fundamental question” about Medjugorje is why so many people go there every year.

He said the answer is that they go “to meet someone: to meet God, to meet Christ, to meet His Mother.”

Hoser noted the church approves of and encourages Marian devotion because it develops “in harmonic subordination” to the worship of Christ.

In his view, the devotion at Medjugorje achieves this.

However, the local bishop, Ratko Peri, has told Hoser that after carrying out several investigations, he does not consider as credible any ‘apparition,’ any message, [or] any secret.”

The Vatican has not taken a position on the six sightings of the alleged apparitions to six children, but the archbishop told media earlier that those which emerged in the first seven days of 1981 could be proclaimed as credible.

A special commission has been probing the credibility of such claims since 2011 but Pope Francis has yet to issue a final decision on its report.


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