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Rome Reports

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Special Envoy sent to Medjugorje by the pope will not solve the mystery of the apparitions

Pope Francis has taken his first steps in investigating the case of the reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia, that have occurred since the 80s.   He has sent Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser there on a pastoral visit. The aim will not be to judge whether or not the apparitions are real. Instead, he will look at the "needs of the faithful who come on pilgrimage.â? He will then provide a report offering future pastoral initiatives that he deems necessary.  The only time Pope Francis spoke to the press about the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje was upon returning from Sarajevo in 2015, when he said that Rome is closely following what is happening there. POPE FRANCIS June 6, 2015 "We are close to making a decision. At the moment, all that is being done is giving guidelines to the bishops, along the lines that will be taken.â?  The pope also said that he was annoyed by those curious who, instead of seeking the truth in events like these, only seek extraordinary facts.  Though he recently said this in a meeting without cameras before the superiors of religious orders, he expressed these same sentiments since the beginning of his papacy. In one of his daily homilies at Casa Santa Marta, he criticized the unhealthy curiosity of those who say they know seers who receive letters and messages from the Virgin Mary. Pope Francis responded by saying that the Virgin Mary is not a "postmaster who sends messages everyday.â?  POPE FRANCIS November 14, 2013 "The spirit of curiosity distances us from the spirit of wisdom, because it is only interested in the details, the news, the little news of each day." The Vatican does not usually comment on the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary, but Pope Benedict XVI instituted a commission of theologians and experts regarding Medjugorje in 2010. His result was then given to Pope Francis. The only ones who have spoken on the case have been the former bishops of Yugoslavia in 1991. They used the formula "Non constat de supernaturalitate"; which means today that they can neither be verified nor excluded.  JRB/JC RR SV -PR Up:JRB