To the thresholds of the apostles

The Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Seville, Granada and Merida-Badajoz have made the "Ad Limina Apostolorum" Visitation (to the threshold of the Apostles) and to the Successor of Peter, which Canon Law foresees to be made every five years.

February 4, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

The Bishops of Andalusia and Extremadura have lived in Rome an intense week of meetings in the various Congregations and organisms of the Roman Curia, which help the Holy Father in his mission as universal Pastor of the Church.

For me, the visit to the Congregation for the Clergy, where I spent twenty-seven years of my priestly life, was especially moving.

But what was truly moving for each and every one of the bishops was the visit to the Holy Father that took place on Friday, January 21. The Holy Father showed himself very close and with a sincere desire to know how our day to day pastoral work in the dioceses entrusted to us is going on. We introduced ourselves one by one and then each one of us asked or explained to the Pope our problems, questions, expectations... The meeting lasted three hours and almost all the topics that are on the table of the Church today came up, from the way of transmitting the faith in a very pluralistic society and in many environments far from the faith, from religious practice or the enormous challenge that today represents the emigration and its full integration in the host countries. This problem of immigration is obviously very close to the Pope's heart.

The Holy Father insisted on four "closenesses" in our episcopal ministry: closeness, first of all, with God; closeness with our brothers in the episcopate; closeness with the priests; closeness with the Holy People of God, whom we have to serve with total dedication. As I said, it was a cordial meeting, without haste, each one was able to speak and we left comforted by the successor of Peter and Head of the Episcopal College.

There was an atmosphere of fraternity and friendship among us and with the vicars and priests who accompanied us, overlooking the small or not so small inconveniences of an agenda full of meetings, transfers and precautions due to the pandemic that we are suffering everywhere.

For my part, I have also had meetings with dear people after the long time I have spent in Rome.

I thank God for these days of my "ad limina" visit. I have remembered all the time, especially at the tomb of the Apostles, to pray for all the faithful of the Archdiocese, especially for priests, for children and young people, for the sick and the elderly and for all the families in serious difficulty.

The authorCelso Morga

Archbishop of the Diocese of Mérida Badajoz

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