Catholic News Service
June 24, 2019
By Cindy Wooden
The president of the Australian bishops’ conference told his fellow bishops that it is “a time of humiliation” for Catholic Church leaders, but he is convinced that God is still at work.
As church leaders continue to face the reality of the clerical sexual abuse crisis and attempts to cover it up, “we as bishops have to discover anew how small we are and yet how grand is the design into which we have been drawn by the call of God and his commissioning beyond our betrayals,” said Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, conference president.
After a weeklong retreat near Rome, the bishops of Australia began their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican with Mass June 24 at the tomb of St. Peter and a long meeting with Pope Francis.
The 38-member group included diocesan bishops, auxiliary bishops, the head of the ordinariate for former Anglicans and a diocesan administrator.
Archbishop Coleridge was the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass in the grotto of St. Peter’s Basilica marking the formal beginning of the visit.
The “ad limina” visit is a combination pilgrimage — with Masses at the basilicas of St. Peter, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls — and series of meetings with Pope Francis and with the leaders of many Vatican offices to share experiences, concerns and ideas.
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