Tagged: Medjugorje real

Are the Medjugorje Apparitions Real? What Does the Church, the Vatican, Say about Medjugorje?

For many years, the official stance on Medjugorje by the Church came from statements made by the 1993 committee of Bishops in Zadar, Yugoslavia, organized by St. Pope John Paul II: “We bishops, after a three-year-long commission study, accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a shrine. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church. . . Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry.”[1] In 1991, the same conference had assigned one of these three official categories to the alleged apparitions: 1) constat de supernaturalitate (the apparition is established as supernatural), 2) constat de non supernaturalitate (the apparition is clearly not miraculous or lacks sufficient signs of the miraculous); or 3) non constat de supernaturalitate (It may not be evident whether or not the alleged apparition is authentic). The commission chose this third, in-between category, neither condemning Medjugorje, nor giving final approval, since the Church almost never pronounces an apparition as authentic while it is continuing to occur.

Ignoring the official stance of the Church, the Bishop of Mostar (the diocese to which the parish belonged), Bishop Zanic, made his personal and hostile opinions of Medjugorje known, as did his successor, Bishop Ratko Peric, causing much confusion. The negative stance adopted by both Ordinaries was rendered moot when the Holy See, during the pontificate of John Paul II, consequently removed evaluation of the phenomenon from their jurisdiction: an unprecedented action the Church.

During the pontificate of Benedict XVI, there was another unprecedented move when the Vatican adopted direct jurisdiction over Medjugorje. A commission was appointed to assess the apparitions under Cardinal Ruini. Remarkably, the Ruini Commission, which met from March 2010 to January 2014, concluded in 2017 that the first seven apparitions were authentic. This was an exceptional breakthrough in terms of official recognition of an apparition. It was also unprecedented because the phenomenon is still in progress. Although Pope Francis has yet to officially release the Ruini report, the Pontiff, himself, confirmed in an interview that the Commission had reached this conclusion. In point of fact, the Pope had actually stopped attempts by the then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, to block this judgment. The pope also asked that the Ruini report be sent to him for a review and determination, as opposed to Müller, who was originally set to receive it.

On February 11, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Poland as his papal envoy to coordinate all matters relating to Medjugorje. In December of 2017, Archbishop Hoser shared the breaking news that the Vatican now permits official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. “Today, dioceses and other institutions can organize official pilgrimages. It’s no longer a problem,” he said.[2] At a recorded Medjugorje press conference on April 5, 2017, the archbishop reconfirmed this fact.[3] Müller’s 2013 CDF statement that Catholics should not participate in any meetings in which the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions were taken for granted is now null and void. In Archbishop Hoser’s own words: “My mission was not to close Medjugorje, but to evaluate whether the pastoral ministry was proper, consistent with the doctrine and teaching of the Church, effective and well organized. I conclude that this is the case. On the pastoral side my assessment is very positive. Thus, the ongoing pastoral activities, liturgical order and conferences should continue.”[4]

At the conclusion of the press conference, in which he urged everyone to bring the light of Medjugorje “to the world that is sinking into darkness. . . ,” he stated, “You, my dear friends, should be the carriers of the joyful news. Say to the whole world that in Medjugorje we can find the light again!”[5]

The Church took another positive step toward Medjugorje when on May 31, 2018, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Hoser as Special Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje. The Vatican declared that Monsignor Hoser would take up residence in Medjugorje in his new role “for an indefinite period and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis,” which means “at the disposal of the Holy See.” In Medjugorje, where belief in the authenticity of the apparitions is long-held due to the daily conversions, long lines of confessions, and miracles constantly witnessed by the locals, the news of Archbishop Hoser’s new position was received with great joy.[6]

It can safely be said that Medjugorje now has received as much official recognition as it can receive, given that the phenomenon is still going on. It is well known that two of the most illustrious saints of recent times, St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta and St. Pope John Paul II, were ardent devotees of the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje. Thanks to them and millions of the faithful, Medjugorje’s message of repentance, reconciliation, peace, and penance has spread across the globe.

St. Pope John Paul II, when addressing American bishops at the Philadelphia Eucharistic Congress five years before Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje began, stated:

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. . . We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is therefore in God’s plan and a trial which the Church must take up!” 

Given that St. John Paul II understood that these days were those of the final confrontation, when he learned of Our Lady’s coming to Medjugorje and her words, “I have descended among you,” he knew her presence with us had now changed everything, victory was assured. To Monsignor Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger, Archbishop of Florianopolis in Brazil, he stated, “Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!” He told friends, including Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek, who made the words public, that if he weren’t Pope, he’d be living in Medjugorje as a priest, helping to hear confessions. In the Pope’s own hand, he wrote to friends in Poland:

I thank Sophia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I too go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers. I unite in my prayers with all those who pray there or receive a call for prayer from there. Today we have understood this call better. I rejoice that our time is not lacking people of prayer and apostles.

St. Pope John Paul II fully believed and told us in his will that “Victory when it comes, will be a victory through Maria!”

“Dear children, my real living presence among you should make you happy because this is the great love of my Son. He is sending me among you so that, with a motherly love, I may grant you safety!”

            —Medjugorje message from Our Lady on July 2, 2016 

Denis Nolan
Author of Medjugorje and the Church

Of Men and Mary bookThis article is excerpted from the Appendix of the soon-to-be-released book, OF MEN AND MARY: How Six Men Won the Greatest Battle of Their Lives, by Christine Watkins. To receive notice of the book’s imminent publication, sign up for the “Inspiration in Your Inbox” newsletter at www.QueenofPeaceMedia.com

[1]  (Glas Koncila, August 15, 1993).

[2]  Jesús Colina, “Official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are being authorized, confirms Pope Francis’ envoy,” Aletia, December 7, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, https://aleteia.org/2017/12/07/official-pilgrimages-to-medjugorje-are-being-authorized-confirms-pope-francis-envoy/.

[3] Papal envoy, Archbishop Henryk Hoser Press Conference, April 5th, 2017, streamed live through MaryTV.tv and available for viewing at http://marytv.tv/daily-rosary-3-3/. MaryTV.tv. is a Medjugorje Internet TV channel that broadcasts 24/7 to help people stay connected to important ongoing events.  Free apps are available for smart phones and Apple TV.

Transcription of the press conference in Polish: “Konferencija za medije posebnog izaslanika mons. Henryka Hosera,” Medjugorje: Mjesto Molitve I Pomirenja, April 4, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, http://medjugorje.hr/hr/novosti/obavijesti/konferencija-za-medije-posebnog-izaslanika-mons.-henryka-hosera,8795.html.

[4] “Breaking News—Historic Moment in Catholic Church History…Vatican Special Envoy to Medjugorje: ‘Everything indicates that the apparitions will be recognized, perhaps even this year.’” Published at Deon.pl (Catholic News Site in Poland—8.18.2017), August 18, 2017, accessed April 29, 2018, https://mysticpost.com/2017/08/breaking-news-historic-moment-catholic-church-history-making-vatican-special-envoy-medjugorje-everything-indicates-apparitions-will-recognized-perhaps-even-year/.

[5] Ibid., Papal envoy, Archbishop Henryk Hoser Press Conference

[6] “Breaking News: The Vatican places Special Apostolic Visitor in Medjugorje—Archbishop Henryk Hoser,” www.medjugorjemiracles, accessed May 31, 2018, https://www.medjugorjemiracles.com/2018/05/breaking-news-the-vatican-places-official-representative-in-medjugorje-archbishop-henryk-hoser/.

Are the Medjugorje Apparitions authentic? Words from the Pope Francis’ emissary, Archbishop Hoser

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Pope Francis’ emissary to Medjugorje

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser as his emissary to Medjugorje on February 11, 2017, and on April 1, “the archbishop came just about as close as he could in terms of encouraging the people regarding the authenticity of the events of Medjugorje,” according to Dr. Mark Miravalle, President of the International Marian Movement, Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, and professor of Theology and Mariology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. This new papal appointment and Archbishop Hoser’s recent homily in St. James Church of Medjugorje are encouraging news for those who have been unsure of veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions and wanted more clarity. In the following impassioned, informed, and encouraging video, posted on April 7, 2017, Dr. Mark Miravalle shares the significance Archbishop Hoser’s new role and homily. Dr. Miravalle’s words, well worth reading, are transcribed below.

“My friends, I have more good news regarding the Medjugorje apparitions, as a result of some recent events regarding the papal emissary, Archbishop Hoser, who has been appointed by Pope Francis to assess the pastoral needs of the pilgrims coming to Medjugorje. You may recall that on the day before Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday of this year, the local bishop sent out a negative statement regarding Medjugorje, which was confusing to many people. Unfortunately, the local bishop was doing something that was inappropriate in light of the fact that the jurisdiction for the Medjugorje apparitions had, many years earlier, been taken out of his hands and put into, first of all, the ex-Yugoslav bishops back in 1991, but then more recently into the Vatican commission. And so, in virtue of the fact that it is in the Vatican commission, makes it clear that is not in the jurisdiction of the local bishop.

Soon after, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser from Poland to be his emissary to Medjugorje to assess the pastoral needs of the many pilgrims going. Well, that is good news for Medjugorje because, quite frankly, the Church does not do that for place it is about to condemn—quite the contrary. The fact that the Holy Father assigned an archbishop to assess the pastoral needs gives good indication that Medjugorje will at least be deemed as a shrine, a place of prayer that has the approval of the Church. And that, indeed, would be something very positive.

Well, even more recently on April 3, the archbishop, Archbishop Hoser of Poland, gave his first homily at Medjugorje, and it was really extraordinary. And while maintaining his limits of not saying something specific about authenticity, he came just about as close as he could in terms of encouraging the people regarding the events of Medjugorje. It is also fascinating that Archbishop Hoser had spent twenty-one years in Rwanda—as a priest in Rwanda. And he, in his first homily, makes reference to the warnings of Our Lady that came from Rwanda—how ten years previous, they didn’t understand what they meant, and then the genocide hit, where one million people were killed—and therefore underscoring the importance of listening to the messages of Our Lady as true interventions from God. Then the archbishop said the following. He said, and I quote:  . . . Therefore, that honoring, which is so intensive here, is of the greatest importance and is necessary to the whole world. He is referring to the honoring of Our Lady . . .

We pray for peace because the destructive forces are tremendous today: weapon trade grows constantly, people are in conflict, families are in conflict, societies are in conflict. We need a heavenly intervention. The presence of Our Blessed Virgin Mary, that is this intervention. It is God’s initiative. Therefore, I would like to encourage and fortify all of you on behalf of the Pope, as his emissary. Let us spread peace throughout the world through the conversion of hearts.

So this is an extraordinary, strong statement by Archbishop Hoser, in the name of the Holy Father, not only encouraging the pilgrims who are present; but he will also go on in the homily to thank the fifty priests that are there to hear confessions. He will mention [that] the greatest miracle of Medjugorje is the availability of confessions, and ultimately that the message of mercy—the message the world so desperately needs to hear—could come forth from Medjugorje to all parts of the world since eighty countries are represented. So once again, more good news for Medjugorje, and God willing, for the call of the Queen of Peace, which is a call of faith, prayer, penance, conversion, seeking the peace of Christ in hearts and ultimately peace throughout the world. Thank you. God bless you.”