Today (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) at 3.15 pm, the Special Envoy of the Holy See for Medjugorje, Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, arrived in Medjugorje’s St. James parish. He was greeted by the local Franciscan Provincial Fr. Miljenko Šteko, the parish priest Fr. Marinko Šakota, some priests and nuns, but also some hundred or so “pilgrims” that were there that moment. The Archbishop later entered the parish church where he prayed and briefly spoke to the “pilgrims” saying Our Lady is the Queen of Poland and called upon them to make her the queen of their hearts.
Hoser arrived in the capital Sarajevo on Monday where he was welcomed by the Apostolic Nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina mons. Luigi Pezzuto. The day after his arrival he met with the Archbishop of Vrhbosna cardinal Vinko Puljić. Today, in Mostar, before arriving in Medjugorje, he had a working lunch with the local bishop mons. Ratko Perić, who recently repeated his negative views on alleged apparitions. The details of these meetings were not made public.
The vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina mons. Tomo Vukšić is the only one who spoke publicly of Archbishop Hoser’s arrival. He said that a distinction has to be made between the doctrinal issue, “where the competent authority will in their time answer the question whether or not Our Lady appeared in Medjugorje”, and the pastoral issue which is “the concrete spiritual care for people who gather in that place”. Mons. Vukšić emphasized that Archbishop Hoser is in Medjugorje only because of the latter; “spiritual care and organization of that aspect of life in Medjugorje” and that Hoser will spend some time in this area “in order to gain certain experience, drew conclusions and answer to the Pope himself, who sent him as his envoy, to see the possibility of resolving these open issues and specific care for the people”. As I recently said in Why the Pope’s decision on Medjugorje might surprise us all, Pope’s special envoy is in Medjugorje not only to assess the pastoral situation but also to figure out how to deal with the people who will still come after [the Pope] declares his decision.
Hoser will reportedly be staying in the rectory of the parish. The press agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a brief statement yesterday saying the Special Envoy will meet with the journalists at the end of his mission (which will be by the beginning of summer).
Here’s a Facebook live video of Archbishop Hoser’s arrival in Medjugorje and a YouTube video of him praying in St. James church: