Pope Francis Allows Pilgrimages to Medjugorje

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Pope Francis has allowed pilgrimages to Medjugorje, Msgr. Henryk Hoser announced on Sunday at a mass held in Medjugorje together with the Apostolic Nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina Msgr. Luigi Pezutto, reports 24sata.hr on May 13, 2019.

“Pope Francis has determined that it is possible to organise pilgrimages in Medjugorje, always making sure that they are not interpreted as recognition of well-known events that still require further examination by the church, i.e. they should not create in any way ambiguousness in the doctrinal sense. The same criterion will be applied to the shepherds of every rank and degree who wish to go to Medjugorje and celebrate in a solemn way,” announced the church.

Translated into a more comprehensible language – the faithful are now officially allowed to make pilgrimages, but this does not mean that the church officially recognises the alleged apparitions and testimonies of the so-called “visionaries,” which the church is still investigating.

According to theologian Anna Maria Gruenfelder, this means that believers must come with the proper purpose. “This means that people should come to worship God, without coming to Medjugorje as an acknowledged sanctuary because it is not. This is actually a concession by Pope to the great number of believers coming there,” said the theologian.

This decision by Pope Francis does not actually change anything, says sociologist of religion Ivica Maštruko. Everything will stay as before. “The only thing that has changed is that now parishes, dioceses and Catholic associations may organise pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which has not been allowed so far because it was not an officially recognised sanctuary. The pilgrimages have hitherto been made exclusively as a private affair. Nothing changes. A large number of believers used to come and will continue to come to Medjugorje,” said Maštruko, while Gruenfelder added that the Vatican would continue to monitor that pilgrimages are not exploited for economic benefit.

Translated from 24sata.hr (reported by Ivan Pavić).

More Medjugorje news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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