Canadian Bishops make quinquennial visit to Rome in 2006Friday, April 28 2006
In 2006, the Bishops of Canada will travel to Rome for their ad limina visit which is normally scheduled every five years.
The term comes from the Latin words ad limina apostolorum, which mean “to the threshold of (the basilicas) of the Apostles”. It derives from an ancient tradition whereby the bishops visit the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul to seek the guidance of these two “pillars” on which the Church of Christ is built.
Not only will the Bishops of Canada meet with Pope Benedict XVI, giving them an opportunity to discuss the situations in their own dioceses and their pastoral mission, they will also meet with the heads of the various Roman dicasteries that assist the Holy Father in governing the Universal Church.
In Canada, the visits are divided into four groups, according to the regional Episcopal Assembly to which the bishop belongs.
The members of the Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops (AQCB) will be the first to visit Rome, 1-5 May 2006, followed some days later by the Bishops of the Atlantic Episcopal Assembly (AEA), 18-31 May. The Holy See will welcome the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops (OCCB), 1-11 September, with the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops (AWCB), 2-14 October. The Holy Father will receive each Canadian delegation separately; it has been the tradition for the Pope to deliver a separate pastoral message to each group.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as such does not participate in the ad limina visits. However, three Conference representatives – the President, Vice President and General Secretary – meet annually in the Fall with Vatican authorities in Rome to discuss projects, preoccupations and challenges within the Catholic Church in Canada.
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