Pope meets prelates attending weeklong course for new bishops

By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Close to 200 bishops at the beginning of their ministries in dioceses and eparchies around the world met Pope Francis Sept. 19 at the end of a week of conferences.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic had forced the suspension of the annual formation course for new bishops, the 2022 courses were held in multiple sessions with the first groups of bishops — more than 150 of them — meeting Pope Francis in early September, and bishops from mission territories meeting him Sept. 17.

A bishop captures an image as Pope Francis leads an audience with almost 200 new bishops participating in a formation course, at the Vatican Sept. 19, 2022. The course for new bishops was sponsored by the dicasteries for Bishops, for Evangelization and for Eastern Churches. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

The Dicastery for Bishops, the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Dicastery for Eastern Churches organized the courses.

The themes for the 2022 sessions included: the meaning of “a synodal church”; crisis management with special attention to handling situations and allegations of abuse; the church after the pandemic; a review of what canon law says about administering a diocese; communication and use of the media, ministry to families with special attention to the pope’s exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”; and promoting care for all people and for the environment with special attention to “Laudato Si'” and “Fratelli Tutti.”

While the course offers practical information to the bishops and a chance to pray and meet with their peers from around the world and with top Vatican officials, it is especially a chance to respond to Pope Francis’ desire that bishops have an opportunity for “an intense spiritual reading of the call to the episcopate, first and foremost as a path of grace and sanctification, for the pastor and, through him, for his people,” said a statement from the Dicastery for Bishops.

“No one can carry out a pastoral ministry in the church without a profound experience of being saved and of knowing how, beginning with him, such mercy is truly offered, constantly and without discrimination, to every man and woman,” it said.

Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

Leave a Reply