Archbishop Aldo Cavalli appointed by the Pope as apostolic visitor to Medjugorje
The 75-year-old archbishop of Lecco, hitherto nuncio to the Netherlands, succeeds the Polish Henryk Hoser, who died last August. It is an exclusively pastoral task that does not enter into the question of the veracity or otherwise of the Marian apparitions
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, hitherto apostolic nuncio to the Netherlands and permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Arms, as the new apostolic visitor of a special character for the Parish of Medjugorje, for an indefinite period and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis . chemical. He succeeds the Polish archbishop Henryk Hoser, who died last August 13 in Warsaw at the age of 78, who has held this post since 2018.
Announcement to three continents
Monsignor Cavalli turned 75 on 18 October. Born in Muggianico di Lecco, Lombardy, in 1946, to a family of bakers, he was ordained a priest in Bergamo in 1971. He completed his studies at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, entering the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1979. Appointed apostolic nuncio, in 1996 he was consecrated bishop, as titular archbishop of Vibo Valentia. He led the nunciatures of São Tomé and Príncipe (1996), Angola (1997), Chile (2001), Colombia (2007), Libya and Malta (2013) the Netherlands (2015) and was also permanent representative to the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (2015). On May 15 he was received in audience by Pope Francis.
The post of apostolic visitor – the Press Office had specified at the time of Hoser’s appointment – has an “exclusively pastoral” character, of “stable and continuous” accompaniment of the parish community of this small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the many faithful who they go there on pilgrimage, “whose needs – it was explained – require special attention”. A pastoral role, therefore, which does not enter into the question of the Marian apparitions that some young people claim to have since 24 June 1981.
In May 2019, Pope Francis authorized pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which therefore can since then be officially organized by dioceses and parishes and no longer only privately.
The Pope to the young people of Medjugorje: have the courage to follow Jesus
Last August, the Pope addressed a message to the young people gathered for the traditional Mladifest, the annual prayer meeting in Medjugorje, urging them to have the courage to follow Jesus: “Have the courage – he said – to live your youth by entrusting yourselves to the Lord and setting out on a journey with him. Let yourselves be conquered by his gaze of love that frees us from the seduction of idols, from false riches that promise life but procure death. Do not be afraid to welcome the Word of Christ and to accept his call. Don’t be discouraged like the rich young man of the Gospel; instead, fix your gaze on Mary, the great model of the imitation of Christ, and entrust yourselves to her who, with her “here I am “, responded unreservedly to the call of the Lord”.
To Medjugorje to meet Christ through Mary
For his part, Monsignor Hoser told Vatican News that pilgrims from all over the world come to Medjugorje “to meet Christ and his Mother”. “The Marian way – he said – is the most certain and secure” because it leads to Jesus. In Medjugorje, in fact, the faithful have “at the center the Holy Mass, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a massive frequency of the Sacrament of Penance”. It is a true “Christocentric” cult – he observed – lived with closeness to the Virgin Mary, venerated with the nickname of “Queen of Peace”.