It’s Monday morning here in Rome.
Three of us concelebrated Mass at the Mater Ecclesiae altar in Saint Peter’s Basilica this morning. Yesterday several of us joined the concelebration of the 10.30am Mass in Latin at the Altar of the Chair in Saint Peter’s.
We resume our visits to the dicasteries of the Curia this morning. Today we will visit the Congregations for Divine Worship, Causes of Saints, and also the Secretariat of State.
The Pontifical Gregorian University has recently hosted an important symposium for Bishops and Religious Superiors, dealing with the sexual abuse of minors. The symposium took place in Rome from February 6th to 9th, 2012.
Currently, all the papers given at the symposium are available online here.
UPDATE [19 February 2012]: The papers are no longer at the above link.
Some photos, and also the text of the Holy Father’s address at the ceremony to bless and open Domus Australia in Rome, can be found at A Priest Downunder.
See also the story on CathNews.
Opening now Online (A Priest Downunder)
Pope opens Rome’s “Little Corner of Australia” (Catholic Communications, Archdiocese of Sydney)
The altar of the newly renovated chapel in the Australian pilgrim house in Rome, Domus Australia, has been dedicated during a Mass while the Australian Bishops were in Rome for their ad limina visits.
The St Peter Chanel chapel at Domus Australia, recently restored and the heart of the pilgrim centre, looked magnificent as the bishops, clergy and religious from both Australia and Rome, and guests gathered for the special mass celebrated by Cardinal Pell and concelebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth and Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore.
The Rector of Domus Australia, Fr Anthony Denton, also assisted Cardinal Pell.
It is to this chapel Pope Benedict XV1 will come on Wednesday to officially open Domus Australia.
There are photos of the event here, and also a short video showing scenes from the Mass. The video also features the singing of the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
I haven’t seen a lot of reports yet about the ad limina visits of the bishops of Australia. But one that I’ve just seen reports on a meeting that dealt specifically with the removal of Bishop William Morris from Toowoomba.
Archbishop Wilson said the Australian bishops fully recognize and accept Pope Benedict’s ministry of authority over the whole church and they are not second-guessing his action, but they have an obligation to help Toowoomba Catholics move forward and to demonstrate their care for Bishop Morris.
“What we have to do is look at what the consequences have been, what we need to do now to bring healing and guidance to the Catholic people of Australia, do all we can to maintain a proper collegial relationship with Bishop Morris and find ways in which he can continue his ministry as a bishop in our midst, although he’s no longer bishop of Toowoomba,” the archbishop said.
Read the whole story here.
Pope Meets With Australia’s Bishops During Ad Limina (Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese)
Over at Australia Incognita we’re reminded to pray for the Holy Father and the Australian bishops as they make their ad limina apostolorum visit in the coming days. There is also a link there to a radio interview with Archbishop Phillip Wilson, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Canon 400 #1 of the Latin Code of Canon Law states that “in the year in which he is bound to submit the report to the Supreme Pontiff, the diocesan Bishop is to go to Rome to venerate the tombs of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and to present himself to the Roman Pontiff.” [see also c. 399: a report is to be submitted every five years to the Supreme Pontiff on the state of the diocese entrusted to the diocesan bishop].
The importance of the ad limina visits is also stressed in articles 28-32 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus. Article 29 states: “These kinds of visits have a special importance in the life of the Church, marking as they do the apogee of the relationship between the pastors of each particular Church with the Roman Pontiff. For he meets his brother bishops, and deals with them about matters concerning the good of the Churches and the bishops’ role as shepherds, and he confirms and supports them in faith and charity. This strengthens the bonds of hierarchical communion and openly manifests the catholicity of the Church and the unity of the episcopal college.”
Given recent events in Australia, this is an important time for the bishops to spend some time with the Holy Father. There could well be some interesting conversations. Let’s indeed pray that the bishops’ pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and their meetings with the successor of Peter, will be a time of grace.
* Tony Dixon has more to add about the ad limina visits at vexilla regis.
* There is an article on the Australian Bishops’ ad limina on ZENIT.