“The Church is entitled to the last judgment but one thing is for sure: People are experiencing there the help, closeness, and protection of the Mother of God in a special way. And certainly they would not make pilgrimages there for 28 years if there wasn’t anything there. This doesn’t already mean that I am anticipating the decision of the Church but I’m saying distinctly there are fruits there – good fruits – or you could also say there can be no smoke without a fire and in Medjugorje there obviously is a fire.”
Regarding the public criticism by bishop Ratko Peric:
“Of course we can be of different opinion regarding things that have not been ultimately decided yet, and I respect him (the bishop) as a fellow brother. I am united with him in prayer and I also believe that we can both confidently await the decision of the Church and can entrust ourselves to this decision with confidence, without polemics.”
Regarding the bishop’s criticism that the cardinal had not announced himself:
“Of course I could have tried to pay him a visit in Mostar. It is not absolutely necessary and before me there have been many bishops in Medjugorje. We know that he has a somewhat different opinion here. I want to avoid polemics. For me it is not about being proved correct against him, but I certainly have not violated the right that is also the right of a bishop and cardinal.”
• The programme Orientierung in which cardinal Schönborn gave his interview was transmitted on ORF2, Sunday, January 10, 2010.