Apostolic Nunciature in Bosnia and Herzegovina has confirmed that Pole Henryk Hoser, the Pope’s special envoy, will spend a few months with the local clergy in Medjugorje.
Hoser, which Pope Francis appointed in February, was supposed to arrive last month, but his visit was postponed.
“My role is to carefully investigate the local pastoral situation, especially the needs of pilgrims. They may also propose pastoral initiatives,” said Hoser.
This visit will mark the latest evolution of complicated relations between the Vatican and the shrine in Medjugorje, which dates from 1981, when the Virgin Mary appeared to the local children.
Apparitions, which continued to this day, attract nearly one million pilgrims annually regardless of the fact that Vatican has not confirmed the authenticity of this shrine. Apparitions are actually caused a deep gap between local Franciscans, those who support these claims and those who deny them.
In 2010, Vatican established a Commission to study the authenticity of the apparitions, but the results are not yet known. According to the latest information, Hoser will not address the question of the apparitions, but only the needs of pilgrims and will summarize his findings in a special report to the Holy See.
Pope Francis has entrusted the duty of the Special Representative of the Holy See for Medjugorje to S.A.C. Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), as reported by Vecernji List BiH.
The aim of the mission is to gain a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation that should recognize the aim of the faithful who are going on a pilgrimage.
Based on this will be submitted the pastoral initiative for the future.
The mission has a pastoral character.
Archbishop Hoser will still continue with his role as Bishop of Warsaw-Prague area, and it is expected that he will complete mandate of the special envoy by summer 2017.