I found the Aleteia article to which BC links most interesting. I love Pope Francis and believe he will be viewed as one the really great Popes but his history regarding Medjugorje show, for me, his more fallible side.
The truth is, his discernment of Medjugorje was initially mistaken. I think he will have been affected by the many false apparitions, locutions etc emerging in South America in particular. Coupled with this is what seems a lack of knowledge of what had been happening in Medjugorje made worse possibly by a lot of negative information he may have been given by those around him.
Pope Francis expressed a personal opinion about the regularity of the ongoing claims of apparitions when a question was put to him during a press conference. He also went into some detail about the Commission report and how he had prevented it from being undermined by the CDF.
More recently, he had authorised “official” pilgrimages, putting Medjugorje on par with the likes of Lourdes and Fatima when it comes to organising pilgrimages at Diocesan level.
He has also put his own man into Medjugore, reporting directly back to the Pope, to provide pastoral care at a level the local bishop was never interested in providing for pilgrims.
He has on his desk a full report on the findings by the internal commission set up by Pope Benedict XVI to investigate the Medjugorje phenomenon – at all levels.
Pope Francis takes his time in discerning matters and as we are remined often enough, the Church does not hurry. Amost 38 years have passed since the start of the phenomenon. I am of the opinion that much has been achieved on the Medjugorje front under Pope Francis.
Let’s not forget he invited representatives from the Medjugorje parish to join the Marian Day of Prayer in Rome in 2013.
Let’s not forget his appointment of Henry Hoser to Medjugorje, first as a his special envoy in February 2017, and then followed up in May 2018 as his permanent visitor.
More recently, we were presented with the news about the new status regarding official pilgrimages.
No doubt, there will be more to come. This ‘pastoral’ progress may not mean Pope Francis has had a change of heart about his personal doubts on the claims of ongoing apparitions. He might still hold that view and the further study the Church is giving to this matter may or may not support his personal view.
That Pope Francis has raised a ‘red flag’ in this way should not be ignored. He has full knowledge of the Commission’s report, which we don’t. There may be something in there that has raised doubts, not just for the Pope but also for some of the Commission members.
The Pope may be quite content for the visionaries to receive their apparitions in a private capacity and even to circulate the messages. If there is anything untoward about some claims made by some of the visionaries, then time will tell. As I have said before, the proof will be in Mirjana delivering the so-called ‘secrets’ which she claims she was chosen to do in the very early stage of the phenomenon.