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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pope begins dialogue with Bishops

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Poope Francis has begun his dialogue with the bishops of the universal Church. On Thursday, he received as the first group, the bishops of Tuscany, who have traveled to their ad limina visit to Rome. All Episcopal Conferences should report to the Pope and the Roman Curia usually every five years in person  in Rome report on the situation in their local churches. These visits are for the Pope an important source of information for assessing the situation in the local churches. The Austrian bishops traveled recently in November 2005 for the ad limina visit to Rome (Cathcon- and started to quarrel beside the grave of St Peter- so much so they were summoned back in 2009). Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI completed in November 2012 after seven and a half years in office, the cycle having received all the Bishops in Rome. The Catholic bishops in China loyal to the Pope were, however, prevented by the authorities from traveling to Rome. The Italian Bishops now begin the new cycle.

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Cathcon- the question is whether this will suffice for the new Pope or whether, in his reform of the Curia, he will formalise new structures at the interface of the Papacy and the global episcopate.  These could take the form of maintaining the Synod of Bishops in quasi-permanent session in the form of a secular parliament or appointing a smaller group of senior figures to share the unique burden of his office.
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