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Take courage, recognize grace, apostolic nuncio to U.S. tells bishops


Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, speaks June 14 during the opening of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual spring assembly in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

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INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., called the U.S. Catholic bishops to be missionary disciples through listening and fostering solidarity and a culture of encounter.

He encouraged the U.S. bishops to view current challenges as "a time of grace."

"Take courage," he said, when the "tasks of the new evangelization and of building a culture of encounter and solidarity seem daunting."

The archbishop, who was appointed nuncio a year ago, told the bishops June 14 at the start of their spring meeting in Indianapolis that in his travels throughout the country this year, he was impressed by the faith of Catholics and their dedication to their parishes "despite the many challenges they face in living the faith in an increasingly secular culture that values efficiency and productivity over spiritual values."

He reminded the bishops of Pope Francis' call to "go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel" and noted that many of them will be discussing this more at the convocation of Catholic leaders in Orlando, Florida, in July.

In speaking about missionary discipleship, Archbishop Pierre recalled his presence as apostolic nuncio to Mexico at a meeting 10 years ago of the Latin American bishops' council that took place in Aparecida, Brazil.

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