Cardinal Ratzinger was being informed by Fr. Gabriele Amorth who was not yet an exorcist then, but would later become chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.
In a new interview Fr. Amorth tells that he visited Medjugorje very soon after the first reports of apparitions in June 1981, that his visit in October 1981 was already his second – and that he kept Cardinal Ratzinger informed from the start.
“He listened to what I had to say, very carefully, but he did not comment on anything. Nothing, not one word. He just listened. He was accustomed to speak only when the time is right, and when he had made a decision which he considered definitive, or had formed his attitude” says Fr. Gabriele Amorth.
The next formal statement of the Catholic Church on Medjugorje will be issued by Pope Benedict XVI, when he has received the final report from the Vatican Commission that he announced on March 17th 2010.
“While the apparitions still occur, the Church is not about to be determined. In addition, not all the visionaries know all 10 secrets yet. No one except the visionaries know when the secrets will be revealed to the world” says Fr. Gabriele Amorth.
“I think the Vatican cannot be too far ahead in its investigation of the apparitions in Medjugorje, and cannot make any final conclusion as long as there are still apparitions.”
Fr. Amorth okays sales in Medjugorje
The famous exorcist further states that Medjugorje should not be criticized for the commercial aspects that have followed the Virgin Mary’s apparitions. They will always come when a place is being sought out by great numbers of pilgrims in need of accommodation, he says.
“Know about Medjugorje that even the existing number of hotels is too small because you have to book accommodation in advance. (Earlier) we often slept in Capljina near Medjugorje because there was nothing. Now it is different” he says.
“There is no such place as Medjugorje”
Unlike the current Pope, the now 87 years old exorcist never kept hidden what he thinks about Medjugorje. In Globus, he states his position once more:
“There is another reason why I believe in the apparitions. People from within the Church, we should be much more cautious about these things. But after a pilgrimage, after visiting the site, they so believe in Medjugorje, they are so enthusiastic and loud about what you find in Medjugorje that my optimism and faith truly surpass expectations.”
“Medjugorje is therefore a very positive, strong phenomenon. In today’s world there is no such place like Medjugorje when it comes to religious enlightenment of the people and practice of their religion” he says.