A Polish archbishop appointed by Pope Francis to study the pastoral situation surrounding Medjugorje says the apparitions in the Bosnian town could be recognized by the Vatican later this year.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser was appointed by the pope in February to study the pastoral care given to the town’s residents and visiting pilgrims.

The current local bishop, Ratko Peri, reiterated his belief the apparitions were not genuine in February, after Hoser’s appointment was announced.

Koser said there were still “canonical-administrative” problems at the site – especially with relations with the local bishop – “but in my opinion, they are solvable.”

The archbishop said the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has provided all the documentation surrounding the alleged apparitions to the Secretariat of State, who are now working on it.

He said “every indication” is that the apparitions will be approved, even as early as this year.

“Specifically, I think it’s possible to recognize the authenticity of the first [seven] apparitions as proposed by the Ruini commission,” Hoser said. “Besides, it is difficult to get another verdict, because it’s difficult to believe that six seers will lie for 36 years. What they say has been consistent. They are not mentally incompetent. A strong argument for the authenticity of the apparitions is their faithfulness to the doctrine of the Church.”

He said if the apparitions are recognized, it will be a “huge stimulus” for Medjugorje.

“In any event, this movement will not stop and should not be stopped, because of the good fruit that grows out of it,” Hoser said. “It is one of the most alive places of prayer and conversion in Europe – and has a healthy spirituality.”

Full story at Crux.