News & Events
Mar 27, 2017
Dispatches from Rome: Day One
On Friday, March 24, 2017, I travelled to Rome with my fellow bishops of the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops (AWCB) for our Ad Limina visit with Pope Francis. As required by Canon Law, each bishop in a region makes his visit ad limina Apostolorum, travelling to Rome to visit the tombs of the apostles, to pray before the Tomb of St. Peter, and to meet with the Holy Father. Prior to our visit, we submit a ‘Quinquennial Report’ (‘every five years’) that provides an update on our respective diocese. These reports are very detailed—similar to most, ours was 125 pages long.
The present discipline concerning visits ad limina is found in the Decree of the Consistorial Congregation, issued by order of Pius X (Dec 31, 1909). This decree states that every bishop must render to the Pope an account of the state of his diocese once every five years. Year one of that term includes Italy and surrounding areas; in the second year, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland; year three includes Austro-Hungarian, German and the rest of the European bishops; year four, the Americas; and year five, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
It is a very great blessing to be here with my brother bishops for our quinquennial ad limina visit.
Beautiful sunset from the roof terrace of our accommodation