Pope Francis has approved pilgrimage to the town of Medjugorje in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, the site annually visited by millions, Pope’s special envoy Henryk Hoser told the Sunday mass in that town.
“Pope Francis decided it would be possible to organise pilgrimages to Medjugorje while taking care they are not interpreted as a recognition of well-known events and which still need to be inspected by the church i.e. that they don’t by any means cause delusion or ambiguity in terms of doctrine,” said Hoser.
“The same criteria will be applied on pastors of every rank and degree, who are willing to go to Medjugorje and make a celebration there in a solemn way,” he said.
The controversy of Medjugorje dates back to 1981, the year when the first revelation of the Virgin Mary allegedly took place.
The Vatican has never officially recognised the apparition but Pope Francis said it was a place where people go and find God, which is the fact that cannot be denied.
Although a commission set up to examine Medjugorje voted in favour of confirming the Medjugorje apparition in May 2017, the Pope never passed a final decision.
Archbishop Hoser, whom the Vatican church leader sent to the site for further examination said Medjugorje was “a spiritual lung of Europe” and the place where the millions discover God and beauty of the Church.
He was named in May last year the Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje.