-Archbishop Henryk Hoser-
During the recent Youth Festival, August 2 through August 6, senior Vatican representatives joined the celebrations. Cardinal Angelo De Donates, papal vicar of the Rome Diocese, formerly opened the event on Aug. 2. Fourteen archbishops and bishops and about 700 Catholic priests joined the festivities.
“We are called to share the difficulties of our contemporaries and we have a responsibility to care for them, “Archbishop Rino Fisichella president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization stated as he addressed 60,000 young people from 97 countries on August 5th.
“For something to happen we have to offer something: our poverty, our misery, our borders, our contradictions. But God will change all that because God works miracles,” he added.
Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutions of Consecrated Life, said in an Aug. 2 address that the young pilgrims were “in deep unity” with the Pope and grateful to him for “opening up the possibility of coming to pray here.”
Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Pope’s Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje, presided over the Festival and stated that the hilltop shrine had become a “place of meeting and knowing,” and that the “secret of Medjugorje was “an invisible reality, but intense and very present.”
He said Medjugorje should be seen as “a living, dynamic reality,” with over 700 vocations so far recorded there, adding that the center’s importance was summed up “by the people coming here, praying here, being transformed here and returning to their countries with the Gospel spirit they breathed here.”
Speaking to KAI, Poland’s Catholic information agency, he added, “The Holy See’s position has crystallized clearly and has two aspects: the pastoral aspect, which is fully accepted, and the doctrinal aspect, meaning study of the apparitions. “The fact apparitions are continuing is the main obstacle to a final ruling, since it’s hard to decide on something which hasn’t finished. For now the question of recognizing the authenticity of the apparitions remains in the hands of the Secretariat of State.”
Radio Medjugorje reported on Aug. 5 that parts of the festival had been watched via the internet by more than 2.8 million people worldwide.