Working Papers or "Veniam Pro Laudo Peto"
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Ad Limina visits for Minnesota, N.D. and S.D. Bishops

Sunday, December 12, 2004
Please pray for the Holy Father and all the succesors to the Apostles, the Bishops united under the Bishop of Rome, H.H. Pope John Paul II, and for the entire Church. Please pray for my bishop H.E. Archbishop Flynn as he leads the faithful in the Twin Cities. May Our Lord richly bless them and may Mary, Mother of the Church, keep them underneath her mantle of Love and Grace.
The following news item comes from the Vatican Information Service and a link to the Holy See is provided above.

VATICAN CITY, DEC 10, 2004 (VIS) -
The Holy Father today welcomed bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, noting that this is his last encounter with U.S. bishops making their "ad limina" visit. He also pointed out that "our meetings have fittingly come to an end during the week in which the Church celebrates the sesquicentenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Church in the United States."

The Pope said that the ad limina visits over the past eight months have been both "a source of consolation" and a time to "share the deep pain which you and your people have experienced in these last years, and I have witnessed your determination to deal fairly and forthrightly with the serious pastoral issues which have been raised as a result." He underscored the bishops' duty of "building up the Church in communion and mission."

"I leave two charges to you and your brother bishops.". The first is a fraternal encouragement to persevere joyfully in the ministry entrusted to you, in obedience to the authentic teaching of the Church, Can we not see in the pain and scandal of recent years both 'a sign of the times' and a providential call to conversion and deeper fidelity to the demands of the Gospel. ... In her own way, the Church in the United States has been called to begin the new millennium by "starting afresh from Christ" and by making the truth of the Gospel clearly the measure of her life and all her activity.

"In this light, I once more praise your efforts to ensure that each individual and group in the Church understands the urgent need for a consistent, honest and faithful witness to the Catholic faith, and that each of the Church's institutions and apostolates expresses in every aspect of its life a clear Catholic identity".

"The second charge is a heartfelt appeal to keep your gaze fixed on the great goal set before the whole Church at the dawn of this third Christian millennium: the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of humanity." Citing "Ecclesia in America," he said: "'The Church in America must speak increasingly of Jesus Christ, the human face of God and the divine face of man', devoting the best of her efforts to a more compelling proclamation of the Gospel, the growth of holiness, and the more effective transmission of the treasure of the faith to the younger generation."

John Paul II closed by noting "two urgent tasks" facing the Church in the U.S.: "the need for an evangelization of culture in general" and "the need for Catholics to cooperate fruitfully with men and women of good will in building a culture of respect for life."
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