Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a place of prayer, conversion and pilgrimage for millions of people, but the church must be prudent and not rush to any judgment on the alleged Marian apparitions there, said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
Speaking to Catholic News Service at Knock Shrine in County Mayo on 15 August, the feast of the Assumption, Archbishop Fisichella spoke of attending the first officially approved church festival at Medjugorje in early August.
Visionaries claim to have seen than 40,000 Marian apparitions since June 1981, when six teenagers first claimed they first saw an apparition of Our Lady while herding sheep.
As always, when confronted with an apparition, the church “is always prudent,” Archbishop Fisichella said.
Differentiating between the Vatican’s pastoral care of Medjugorje and the doctrinal study of the apparitions, Archbishop Fisichella said that, following the papal commission’s conclusions, “we are now in another step (phase) in order to understand what happened in Medjugorje.”
“I think that for the moment it is necessary to evaluate the richness of the work in Medjugorje. We need to understand all of this together: why there is such a huge number of pilgrims, of prayers and to understand also how the possible apparitions in Medjugorje (relate) to the life of the church. For that we should wait the judgment the Holy Father will give. To rush this delicate matter is a mistake.”
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With thanks to The Tablet, Sarah Mac Donald and Catholic News Service, where this article originally appeared.