At St. Peter’s tomb, Cardinal Wuerl recalls Pope’s importance
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (center) celebrates Mass with Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to his left at tomb of St. Peter on Jan. 16, 2012
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (center) celebrates Mass with Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to his left at tomb of St. Peter on Jan. 16, 2012
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C. called to mind the Pope’s “living continuity” with St. Peter at the start of his “ad limina” visit in Rome.

“All of us in this chapel have a special bond to Rome because Peter continues to live and exercise his ministry here,” the cardinal said in his Jan. 16 homily for a Mass he presided over in the Crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Jan. 16 marked the beginning of the visit for the bishops of Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services. The group traveled to Rome as part of an ongoing series of visits for U.S. bishops that will last into 2013.

The trips take place every five years and involve a meeting in which the bishops brief the Pope on the Church in their individual dioceses, visit with various Vatican departments, and make a pilgrimage to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul.

As he delivered his homily, surrounded by the tombs of numerous Popes and St. Peter himself, Cardinal Wuerl reflected on the important role of the successor of Peter, “the rock on which Christ founded his Church” and the “touchstone” of the bishops’ ministry and proclamation of faith.

Bishops across the world can turn to that rock for assurance and encouragement as they continue to announce the Gospel and “tend the flock of Christ” that has been entrusted to them, he said.

Cardinal Wuerl expressed gratitude for “the visible head of the Church,” Pope Benedict XVI, and for the ability to travel to Rome to meet with him.

He also thanked God for “the gift of faith” and the grace to respond to God’s call.

The cardinal recalled the Pope Benedict’s trip to the United States in 2008 and said that the bishops now have an opportunity to return that visit.

“We come to profess our faith, our loyalty and our love for the successor to Peter,” he said.

“Today, our celebration is a visible sign of the communion of faith spread throughout the entire world and how it is anchored here in Rome, where Peter lives, now bearing the name Benedict XVI.”

The phrase “ad limina apostolorum” is a Latin term meaning, “to the threshold of the apostles.” It refers to the pilgrimage to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul that every bishop is required to make.

The papal audiences for the U.S. bishops are being conducted according to the new format introduced by Pope Benedict XVI at the end of 2011. Instead of having brief one-on-one meetings with each individual bishop, the Pope is now holding longer discussions with groups of bishops.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20