Vatican investigator: ‘All indications’ Medjugorje could be approved this year

Archbishop Henryk Hoser believes the first apparitions will likely be approved

A Polish archbishop appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the pastoral situation at Medjugorje has said “all indications” are that the apparitions will be recognised by the Vatican, “perhaps even this year”.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who was appointed to assess whether pastoral practices at the Bosnian town were in keeping with Catholic teaching, said “everything is going in the right direction” at the site, and compared Medjugorje to places of pilgrimage such as Lourdes, Fatima, Lisieux and Czestochowa.

Although he was not appointed to investigate the veracity of apparitions, the archbishop said it was more likely than not that, at the very least, the first apparitions will be recognised.

“All indications are that the revelations will be recognized, perhaps even this year,” he told Polish Catholic news agency KAI.

“Specifically, I think it is possible to recognise the authenticity of the first apparitions as proposed by the Ruini commission. Besides, it is difficult to get another verdict, because it is difficult to believe that six seers will lie for 36 years. What they say has been consistent. They are not mentally incompetent. A strong argument for the authenticity of the apparitions is their faithfulness to the doctrine of the Church.”

“Anyway,” Archbishop Hoser added, “this movement will not stop and should not be stopped, because of the good fruit that grows out of it. It is one of the most lively places of prayer and conversion in Europe – and has a healthy spirituality.”

The biggest phenomenon at Medjugorje, he said, was confession. “On the sides of St Jacob’s church are two long, specially built pavilions, in which there are fifty confessionals.”

The archbishop said he had spoken with priests hearing confessions at the site, who told him “it was enough to listen to confessions for an hour to witness real conversions”.

Archbishop Hoser’s report will be supplementary to the official commission into Medjugorje, heading by Cardinal Camillo Ruini.