Following his appointment as the Holy Father’s “special envoy” to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser has given a short interview to the Italian website La Fede Quotidiana.
He was asked if he had expected his commission and replied that he didn’t know the reason why Pope Francis assigned him the post. “Of course, I am grateful,” he continued “I will give it all my comittment. The mission does not alarm me.”
Questioned about being defined a ‘conservative’ bishop Msgr Hoser said, “I do not define myself in that way. Rather, I am a man of the Church who seeks to be faithful to the Word, to doctrine and tradition, to all the documents. If this means ‘conservative’, then I’m conservative.”
The Polish prelate then agreed that the people of Poland generally nourish a positive feeling towards Medjugorje and added: “The Catholics of this nation, which is deeply Marian, have a positive view about Medjugorje and a lot of them go there, as from other nations, so this means something. But I will not deal with theological aspects or apparitions, only with the Pontifical commission. My task is pastoral.”
And the seers? “For me they are neither a problem or the problem. I repeat, they are not part of my commission.”
It was put to the archbishop that John Paul II harboured good feelings towards Medjugorje. Msgr Hoser responded: “He was devoted to the Virgin Mary in general, including that of Medjugorje. It’s not a bad thing.”
Archbishop Hoser is noted for his defence and promotion of family values and confirmed the Virgin’s role in this. “It’s true. It’s very important to invoke Mary for the protection of the family, formed by a man and a woman united by the sacrament of marriage. At Medjugorje we find the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration, fasting and penance are present, and these encourage the development of faith.
Asked about the ‘fruits’ of Medjugorje the “special envoy” reiterated that his role is confined to pastoral issues and not doctrine, “not to the issue of truthfulness”. He added, “With regard to the fruit in souls, I find positive. By fruits I mean the practice of the sacraments, conversions, change of life, participation in the Mass. This is what happens at Medjugorje – we cannot deny it or do without it pastorally.”
Asked about his recent recovery from maleria and the rumour that he had prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje, archbishop Hoser responded: “I contracted maleria in Africa. I have prayed to the Virgin. I believe in Mary, in all her manifestations.”