Pope Francis’s envoy in Medjugorje has said that official pilgrimages to the shrine are permitted – but only as long as they are focused on Our Lady rather than particular apparitions.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, appointed to study the needs of pilgrims at the shrine, had told Aleteia.org that there was “no problem” with official pilgrimages, before backtracking in a separate interview.

Speaking to Aleteia last week, Archbishop Hoser had said: “Today dioceses and other institutions can organise official pilgrimages. It is no longer a problem.”

He also said: “The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed. It’s not prohibited, and need not be done in secret.”

However, in an interview with Il Giornale newspaper, Archbishop Hoser said his earlier comments were a “little exaggerated”.

“It is true what I said, although perhaps it was a little exaggerated in tone,” the archbishop said.

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