Pope Francis with the Episcopal Conference of Albania in Vatican City May 30 2017. Photo credit: LOsservatore Romano 1 CNA
Vatican City, Jun 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In order to foster collegiality, Pope Francis has added to the usual schedule of bishops' ad limina visit to Rome: one additional meeting with the heads of the Vatican dicasteries.
The ad limina apostolorum – “to the tomb of the apostles” – visits are the meetings that groups of bishops from each ecclesiastical region in the world have with the Pope every five years. In such occasions they also visit and celebrate Mass at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Before meeting the Pope, the bishops from a particular country or region visit all the dicasteries Vatican dicasteries and can schedule personal meetings with the head of each dicastery to discuss particular matters.
During such visits, bishops’ conferences prepare exhaustive reports for each dicastery, describing the status of the Church in the country or region.
Before Pope Francis, the meeting of the bishops with the Pope included an exchange of speeches: the president of the bishops' conference delivered a speech to describe the state of the region, and the Pope delivered a speech in his turn which provided pastoral recommendations and priorities.
After the exchange of speeches, the Pope held a short conversation with each bishop individually.