(Rome) In connection with the announced pastoral visit by Pope Francis to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was speculation that the Pope would visit Medjugorje on this occasion. In the Herzegovinian village, the Virgin Mary has "appeared" since 1981. The speculations have now been denied by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
When asked by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) Lombardi made it clear that there was "no connection" between the trip and the place of pilgrimage not recognized by the church. The Vatican spokesman is quoted as saying: "The Pope has said that he will travel to Sarajevo, not that he will travel to Medjugorje".
"I do not know if and when there will be an explanation of Medjugorje"
Father Lombardi also commented on further speculation that Francis could occasion his visit to Sarajevo to make a final decision for the Church on the Medjugorje phenomenon. Such has been expected for a year (see Is Pope Francis in Sarajevo decision to Medjugorje? ). The Vatican spokesman said: "I have no idea if and when there will be an explanation of Medjugorje".
Translated it means that there will be no decision on Medjugorje in connection with the planned visit of Pope Francis to Sarajevo for June 6. Church law continues to defer to the decision of the competent local bishops that deny the supernatural aspects of the place. The pilgrims in the Herzegovinian mountain village seem to do no harm. Inner Ecclesiastically it appears that Rome had not made a decision, are generally being very tolerant in the handling of the phenomenon.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans; Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org