We have discussed this topic prior. Particularly Cardinal Ratzinger's run-in with the Maedjugorje proponents....How they manipulated, lied, cheated and threatened.
You are right. All this should not be ignored.
See for instance, a few of our pages on this:

Ratzinger on Christian Mysticism, my posting #586 for 14 JULY 2005 at 10:59
discussion concerning a questionable photograph

for I.E. (concerning a particular photo supposedly showing Our Holy Father with Fr. Slavko Barbaric ):
On April 19, 1998, the publisher of the Schwarzer Brief sent documentation on Medjugorje to Cardinal Ratzinger, including 14 quotes from various Medjugorje books by people like Ren Laurentin and Bishop Paulo Hnilica, in which the impression was given that the pope and Cardinal Ratzinger had repeatedly recognized the authenticity of the apparitions. In response Cardinal Ratzinger wrote on July 22, 1998:
Thank you for sending the Claus Peter Clausen's memo. He is well known to me as the publisher of the Schwatzer Brief. I can only say in response that the quotes endorsing Medjugorje which have been attributed to me and the Holy Father have been made up out of thin air.
[frei erfunden sind] Ratzinger's testimony makes it clear that he discussed the issue with the pope. On August 10, Clausen sent this documentation to the bishop of Mostar. Even before this time many authorities on the matter had warned Rome against recognizing Medjugorje. Most of them had been previous supporters of Medjugorje, who had come to recognize the behind the scenes manipulations of the Franciscans over the years. One critic had been to Medjugorje 21 times.
A German photographer claimed to have observed and photographed the Franciscans in the act of fabrication the messages. When he was observed peeking into the sacristy, he was threatened by both a seer and a priest. Later a taxi-driver told him that anyone who opposed Medjugorje would be murdered. In March of 1998 this photographer wrote to SB: "After the bishop intervened with the Franciscans as a result of my testimony, the hard core of the manipulators Tomislav Vlasic, Slavko Barbaric, and Tomislav Pervan announced that I was no longer welcome there." Ivan, the seer, came up to the German photographer afterward "and made a gesture which indicated that his throat would be slit" if he continued. The same photographer, who was on familiar terms with all of the principals in Medjugorje, also wrote about the Manda-Vlasic affair, which he found interesting as a case of hypnosis. Father Vlasic had a son by Manda Kozul who now lives in Germany.
"It looks as if Medjugorje will collapse soon. I'd like to confront Marija [Pavlovic Lunetti] with the evidence I have accumulated in front of witnesses. But as you know, that's a bit risky now."

Here are some "statements" attributed to Our Papa, which are still being printed!:

Medjugorje Site:
Does it mean that the new Pope was hypocritical? Certainly not! The case is clear for those who want to be at the source of truth about Medjugorje. The office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has confirmed several times that the faithful have to hold on to the Declaration on Medjugorje published by the Bishops in Zadar, on April 10, 1991, based on the work of the commissions which have examined the events of Medjugorje.
Mons. Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (whose Prefect was the Cardinal Ratzinger), in the Declaration prot. Br. 154/81-01985, published on March 23, 1996, writes: "On the basis of investigation up till now it cannot be established that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations. However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who are coming to Medjugorje prompted both by motives of belief and certain other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the bishop of the diocese and of the other bishops with him so that in Medjugorje and everything related to it a healthy devotion toward the Blessed Virgin Mary would be promoted in conformity with the teaching of the Church."
Besides, we could mention several other official statements, in which there is no prohibition of private pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Concerning Medjugorje, the Cardinal "now the Pope" Joseph Ratzinger spoke very positively about it in his book of interviews "Zur Lage des Glaubens", published in 1986. There is an interview about the situation of faith in the Church and in the world, where he speaks positively about Medjugorje as a place of prayer, a place where people are converted, spurred by Mary, our Mother".

From the statement above, I am beginning to wonder if the late Fr. Barbaric even met with Papa.?????
A photographer saw the picture of Ratzinger and Ingrid...was able to say it was Barbaric [because a front view is not shown/ and remember Papa was not "world"-reknowned as of yet, but head of the CFDF]...and it went on to substantiate the claim of Papa endorsing Medjugrje...which he plainly never did!
I searched everywhere to see if I could confirm any such meeting of Papa with Barbaric. I could find nothing but "Budwud" 's page with the picture...which had all concocted dates. There is nothing to confirm or collaborate their meeting but that picture...which might be Fr.Barbaric [but could also be part of the Medjugrje plot as well]!

On the other hand, there are pictures of Ingrid in a purple cowl, with greying hair [before she now so lovely has covered into a precious light brown]. The hands in the discussed picture are long and thin, and is holding what looks like Papa's glasses.The hair is well below the ears and over the colar....
Did she run over to bring Papa his glasses? Maybe.
(If it was Barbaric, the person has glasses on already...so why would he/she be holding another pair?)
We also have other pictures of Papa and Ingrid eating-out. What is so strange about that?
If it indeed is the late Fr. Barbaric, who knew Barbaric in 1991?
Would Papa have gone to Austria to meet him; and nothing to be found otherwise in Press releases?
And why was the article [in which the photo was found in], for December 1998? Why does it say Fr. Barbaric got involved with Medjugje in 1994?*
In 1982, when Barbaric was a professor in Freiburg, Papa was already a resident, by Jean-Paul II request, of Rome.
And as pointed out, in 1991, was the year of Papa's unfortunate accident in his shower...while he had worked hard and tediously to present Jean-Paul II his gift of the requested "Cathechism of the Catholic Church".

For the true and total facts about this picture, the only definitive answer I believe can come from Papa himself...or the owner of the place which is clearly shown, where Papa was eating.
*: first came to Medjurgorie in 1994.
"So entstand dann wenige Wochen spter der Fonds Medjugorje Deutschland e.V. am 5.12.1994 in Essen. Als 'Botschafterin Medjugorjes' war zu diesem Termin die damals engste Mitarbeiterin von Slavko zu uns nach Essen gekommen: Milona von Habsburg."
But it also definitely says he met Papa in 1998; not 1991.
He didn't even get to Freiburg, Germany until 1982.
So maybe I am wrong, or, possible the author of the story got something mixed-up...like in the war pic!
It also says, though born in March 1946, that he died:
"Nachfolgend die offizielle Nachricht der Pfarrei Medjugorje zum Tode von Dr. Slavko Barbaric OFM".
ZUR ERINNERUNG AN PATER DR. SLAVKO BARBARIC. Pater Slavko Barbaric ist am 24.November 2000 um 15.30 Uhr gestorben.
"I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."
[Ratzinger:"Salt of the Earth"]

May Our Papa's radiant-light continuously shine forth to illuminate Christ for the world!