05/13/2019, 17.25
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Pope authorizes pilgrimages to Medjugorje

The decision taken "considering the considerable flow of people who go to Medjugorje and the abundant fruits of grace that came from it".  But this does not mean authentication of the supposed apparitions.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis has decided to authorize pilgrimages to Medjugorje, but "taking care to avoid these pilgrimages being interpreted as an authentication" of the supposed apparitions "that still require an examination by the Church".

Francis' decision, announced yesterday, explained the "interim" director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, "considering the considerable flow of people who go to Medjugorje and the abundant fruits of grace that came from it"  , "is part of the particular pastoral attention that the Holy Father intended to give to that reality, aimed at favoring and promoting the fruits of good".

"I believe" that in Medjugorje there is grace.  There is no denying it.  There are people who are converted ", the Pope had said in a dialogue in 2013 with Father Alexandre Awi Mello, Mariologist and today Secretary of the Dicastery for the laity, the family and life.  In that interview, transformed into a book (She is my mother. Meetings with Mary, Città Nuova editions), Francis certainly warned against the protagonism of the visionaries and the multiplication of messages and secrets.  But without ever ignoring the positive fruits of the experience of pilgrimages.

In the preface to that book, the Argentine theologian Carlos María Galli had written: "For Francis the most important thing is the Marian faith of the" holy faithful people of God ", which teaches us to love Mary beyond theological reflection.  As son and member, like any other, of the People of God, Bergoglio - Francis - participates in the sensus fidei fidelium and identifies himself with the profound Marian piety of the Christian people ".

Concretely the decision announced jointly by Msgr.  Henryk Hoser, a special apostolic visitor to the parish of Medjugorje and the nunciature in Sarajevo, allows the organization of pilgrimages by dioceses and bishops, but, in the words of Gisotti, "care must be taken to avoid creating confusion or ambiguity from the doctrinal point of view regarding such pilgrimages. This also concerns pastors of every order and level who intend to go to Medjugorje and celebrate or concelebrate there even in a solemn way."

 "In this way the Apostolic Visitor will have greater ease in establishing - in agreement with the Ordinaries of the places - relations with the priests charged with organizing pilgrimages to Medjugorje, as safe and well-prepared persons, offering them information and indications to be able to fruitfully  lead these pilgrimages ".

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