Pope Francis has named Mgr Henryk Hoser, archbishop of Warsaw, as a Special Envoy to Medjugorje.
So far, the Church has not made any
statement about the veracity of the apparitions to visionaries.
statement published by the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican
Secretariat of State said that Mgr Hoser’s task has "exclusively
The statement reads:
“On February 11, 2017, the Holy Father entrusted Archbishop Henryk
Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as
Special Envoy of the Holy See.
“The mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the
pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who
go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible
pastoral initiatives for the future. The mission will therefore have an
exclusively pastoral character.
“Archbishop Hoser, who will continue to exercise his role as bishop
of Warsaw-Prague, is expected to finish his mandate as Special Envoy by
summer of this year.”
Over the years, contrasts have developed between the bishop of Mostar
and the community that has emerged around the visionaries who claim to
have daily visions of the Virgin at least since 1984.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI set up a commission headed by Card Camillo
Ruini to investigate the phenomenon of the apparitions and vet the
Marian devotion that developed around the world with millions of
pilgrims who come to Medjugorje every year.
The results of the commission's work went to the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, but so far there has been no papal
More and more testimonies have been coming to the fore about the
truthfulness of the faith of the people who come to the shrine in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, including people converting, returning to the faith,
or making vocational decisions.
For this reason, while not yet expressing views about the
apparitions, the Vatican gave instructions that pilgrims receive all
religious services: Mass, Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration,
confessions, etc. Groups that visit the sanctuary are also advised to be
accompanied by a priest.
Pope Francis seems to have some doubts with respect to the
truthfulness of appearances, although in the past, he seems to have been
a devotee of Medjugorje.
He has sometimes expressed views about Our Lady acting as a postwoman
continuously delivering messages, and about the “booking” of
appearances, with lots of time and room, that some visionaries seem to
exploit during ecclesial gatherings.
Speaking with religious superiors in November, the pontiff said he
refuses “the Virgin of a post office that every day sends a different
letter, saying: ‘My children, you do this and then, tomorrow, you do
Instead, "The real Virgin is the one who generates Jesus in our
hearts; she is a Mother,” he explained. “This fashion of the Virgin
Mary superstar, as a protagonist that puts herself at the centre, isn’t
Catholic,” he added.
In any event, Francis has never closely tied these utterances to the phenomenon of Medjugorje.