After the war began in Croatia, Bishop Pavel Hnilicia visited John Paul II in Rome and discussed the events of the Consecration of Russia in March 1984, and the war taking place now in the Balkan states. Bishop Hnilicia describes their meeting and conversation:
â€œWhen in 1991, which was 10 years after the first message of â€˜Peace, peace and only peace,’ the war broke out in Croatia, I met the Pope once again. He asked me, â€˜How can the apparitions of Medjugorje be explained in the midst of the war in Bosnia?’ Truly, the war was terrible, so I answered: â€˜It seems that we are in a similar situation to that which prevailed in Fatima. If Russia had been consecrated immediately to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Second World War and the spreading of Communism and atheism may well have been avoided. Holy Father, as soon as you consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984, countless changes took place in Russia and the fall of Communism began. In Medjugorje, the Gospa began by warning that there would be a war if we were not converted. Nobody took these messages seriously. Maybe, if the bishops of the former Yugoslavia had accepted these messages more seriously, matters may not have deteriorated so much, but even that would not have been a guarantee of the definitive recognition of the Official Church, because the apparitions are ongoing to this very day.’ Whereupon the Pope enquired of me: â€˜Bishop Hnilica is convinced, then, that my Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was valid?’ I answered: â€˜Certainly it was valid! The only remaining question is to ask how many bishops really did perform the same Consecration in union with the Holy Father.’â€
A Friend of Medjugorje’s response to this question is that if there are bishops who did not participate in the consecration, they showed themselves as not true bishops as they are not in union with the Holy Father; therefore, even if the bishops who did participate were fewer in numbers, the fact that they were in union with the Holy Father’s consecration of Russia is how God was able to accept the Consecration.