Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Hierarchy of Canada

Bishops laud 'new mood' at the Vatican
Ontario prelates welcome the building of rapport


Ontario's bishops are saying there is "a new mood in the Vatican" under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

During their ad limina visits to the Vatican, which heads of dioceses are required to make every five years, each bishop, talked about his diocese with Pope Benedict in a brief, individual, private audience at Castel Gandolfo, as well as in longer talks with Vatican officials in Rome.

Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa, who has made innumerable visits to Rome during his 26 years as a bishop, told CNS he found the pope to be "the epitome of courtesy and fraternal affection."

Uplifting conversation
Though each bishop's private audience was brief - 10 to 20 minutes long - the archbishop said the conversation was "very good" and "uplifting."

Gervais said all the bishops noted a "new mood in the Vatican."

During their week of meetings with Vatican officials discussing issues important to their dioceses, "we were not getting preached at," the archbishop said. There was a real sense of "we're here to serve you."

Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay, age 57, said even though he was nervous before meeting the pope the pontiff's warm and friendly manner immediately put him at ease.