Međugorje to Become Official Marian Shrine?

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Papal envoy Hoser to visit Međugorje this week.

Special papal envoy to Međugorje Henryk Hoser will arrive in Međugorje this week. His visit was originally expected exactly a month ago, but Hoser did not come to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo or to Međugorje on 27 February, which was explained from the Papal Nunciature in Sarajevo with errors in communication. But nothing important has changed with the delay, reports Večernji List on March 27, 2017.

The fact that the Pope has appointed Hoser as the special papal envoy for Međugorje, whose work will be focused on the pastoral issue, which means that he will not go into the question of apparitions themselves, demonstrates that the Vatican does not intend to dismiss the Međugorje phenomenon and reject it, contrary to some allegations in the last two years by Međugorje opponents, who especially like to quote the alleged statement by Pope Francis that “Virgin Mary does not work in a post office”, attributing it just to Međugorje, although the Pope himself never said it in the context of Međugorje.

Moreover, Međugorje is obviously close to the heart of Pope Francis, just like it was to his predecessors, especially John Paul II., who said that he would have been a confessor in Međugorje, if only he were not the pope. However, the current Pope has the task of resolving the status of Međugorje, at least partially. On the one hand, he has received the findings of the commission which was formed by Pope Benedict XVI. On the other hand, the Catholic Church cannot ignore what has been happening in Međugorje for the last 36 years – thousands of conversion and thousands of changed human fates, after the faith had been re-discovered and renewed.

That has been confirmed by Hoser as well. “In Međugorje, people regularly take part in confessions, there is a sacramental practice which has been ignored or has disappeared in most parishes in Western Europe. In that sense, this place can be a strong incentive for the restoration of the faith”, said Hoser to Polish media.

That is an optimistic indication for the future of Međugorje, and probably the first step towards resolving its status as a Marian shrine. And then the issue of apparitions will come next.


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