Pope’s words on Medjugorje decision refuted
Still no papal decision: The Provincial of the Franciscan Order in Hercegovina denies that Pope Francis has told him to pray that he has made the right decision on Medjugorje, and expresses surprise that an American priest residing in Medjugorje gave this impression on June 25.
Genuine surprise was the reaction of Fr. Miljenko Steko, the Provincial of the Franciscan Order in Hercegovina, when on Friday he discovered that his recent short meeting with Pope Francis has spawned the impression that the Pope has already made his decision on Medjugorje.
On Thursday, thousands arrived at this conclusion by watching a YouTube video of Fr. Kevin Devine, an American priest who has organized the English Mass in Medjugorje for more than 10 years. During his closing remarks of the Mass on June 25, Fr. Kevin said:
“Recently, the Provincial of the Franciscans here in Medjugorje (Fr. Miljenko Steko, ed.) was in Rome for a meeting of Superiors of religious communities. In the course of that stay in Rome, he along with so many others had a few moments personally with Pope Francis.”
“Pope Francis was standing there, welcoming them, and the Provincial said ”I am the Provincial of the area in which Medjugorje is located.” And the Holy Father’s response was: ”Pray that I have made the right decision”” Fr. Kevin Devine continued.
However, an exchange of such words has never been mentioned by him, Fr. Miljenko Steko informs:
“I am genuinely surprised by Fr. Kevin’s statements. I do not know where he got that interpretation for I have personally never made such statements” he tells Medjugorje Today.
Upon Fr. Miljenko Steko’s denial, Fr. Kevin Devine apologized for having created the impression that the Pope had already made his decision. This he did in a letter to Leo Daly, the Australian pilgrim who captured his remarks on video:
“In my spontaneous announcements at the end of this Mass videoed, I created the impression that the Holy Father has reached a decision on Medjugorje. I have no evidence that that is reality. I apologize for any erroneous statement of mine that may have created that impression. I have publicly apologized for attributing to the Franciscan Provincial statements which he has never made” Fr. Kevin Devine writes.
Update on July 23:
Fr. Kevin Devine’s apology added.
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