The Pope is scheduled to travel to Sarajevo airport at 7:30 pm for a farewell ceremony, before departing at 8 pm. But as Fr. Lombardi briefed reporters on the Holy Father’s intense schedule, and noted the times when the Pope is expected to be at each location, he jokingly commented: “It’ll be a miracle if it all happens!”
Asked by a reporter if the Pope is expected to speak about Medjugorje, Fr. Lombardi replied: “I don’t expect any references to Medjugorje. The Pope is free to talk about what he wants, when he thinks best. It’s not for me to tell him what to do. But if the question is, ‘Do you expect it, may we expect him to talk about it?’ I don’t expect it.”
Currently, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is examining the findings submitted to it by the international Vatican commission set up to investigate the alleged Marian apparitions. After being examined by the CDF, a proposal will be made to the Holy Father, who will then have the final say.
Lombardi also said the Pope is likely to take questions from journalists on the return flight to Rome. Yet he added: “It’s a short flight. Therefore, if there is a conversation with the Pope, it will be brief.”
The Pope is due to arrive back in Rome at 9:20 pm on Saturday evening.
Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.