The Papal envoy in Medjugorje has warned that Catholics may not venerate the apparitions at Medjugorje at this time because the Church has not issued a final ruling. The Church is still investigating the apparitions.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Netowkr) – Papal envoy to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hosner has issued an upsetting statement on Medjugorje, warning Catholics not to venerate the apparitions.
In a statement, Archbishop Hosner explained that churches may still organize pilgrimages to the site, but Catholics should not venerate the apparitions.
The statement is an apparent reversal of a previous one from the Archbishop issued last week, when he said: “The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret.”
In his clarification, Archbishop Hosner explained that his initial statement was true, but “perhaps a little exaggerated in tone.” He repeated, “But it is absolutely authentic that pilgrimages of prayer can be organized in Medjugorje without any problem, provided they are spiritual and do not concern the apparitions of Our Lady to the seers.” He added, “The problem of the visionaries is not yet solved.”
Archbishop Hosner concluded by saying: “They are working at the Vatican. The document is in the Secretariat of State and must be expected. And of course we need a pronouncement from the Pope who was able to study the report of the commission presided over by Cardinal Ruini.”
So what does this mean for Catholics?
In plain English, it means you can still visit Medjugorje and pray, but you should refrain from devotion involving the apparitions because a final verdict has not been issued in the case.
Previous reports and rumors have held that the visions are true, and that the Church will approve the apparitions as authentic, but these remain reports and rumors, and are not official statements of the Church.
To keep the concern in perspective, there is no need to add, or subtract Medjugorje from the list of officially recognized apparitions. Regardless of Medjugorje, Our Lady still reigns in heaven, she still hears our prayers, and seeks the conversion of our hearts. The rosary remains an appropriate devotion to Our Lady and those seeking to venerate her are welcome to continue praying the rosary. We are still free and encouraged to make pilgrimages, be they to Medjugorgie, Guadalupe, Fatima, Lourdes, or even to our local parish church, or in the privacy of our homes. Yes, you can make a virtual pilgrimage even from your sick bed, simply by the act of sincere and devoted prayer.
The news may upset some, but it should not be construed to assume the apparitions will not soon enjoy the Church’s recognition. The Chruch has a process which is intended to protect the faithful, and that process can take a long time. In the meantime, we are encouraged to venerate Our Lady and to pray the rosary and to practice devotion to Our Lady. Such devotions do not require anything to do with Medjugorje or any other apparition, real or alleged.
Let us remember the promises of Our Lady to those who are devoted to her in the rosary, and take heart that she intercedes for we who love her.