The bishops of New York’s eight dioceses began their “ad limina” visit in Rome today.
These trans-Atlantic pilgrimages allow “our Bishops to be confirmed in the Apostolic Ministry in communion with the Successor of Peter and the local Churches,” Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, the Rome-based coordinator of the visit, explained to CNA.
This is the second visit by a group of American bishops this month. The first delegation of bishops to set foot in Rome came from the Boston province. During the coming months, 15 groups will fulfill the meaning of the Latin phrase “ad limina apostolorum,” which describes their visits to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Msgr. Figueiredo – who is responsible for the visits by the approximately 200 bishops – explained that these visits also allow the bishop to inform the Pope and the Vatican “of the situation of the dioceses in such important areas as vocations, evangelization, the response to the sexual abuse crisis,” while also receiving “the wisdom of Pope Benedict XVI” and the Roman Curia in return.
One issue that is almost certain to be raised in those meetings is how family life and the Church are impacted by New York legalizing same-sex “marriage” in June of this year.
In total, there are 20 bishops from in the Empire State who have made the journey to Rome, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and his immediate predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan. The other dioceses represented are Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rockville Centre and Syracuse.
For the bishops of New York, this next week’s schedule is filled by meetings with key Vatican departments and their pilgrimage.
But the timing of their visit also means that they will have to celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy. They will celebrate the American holiday with a Thanksgiving Mass at the Pontifical North American College, before joining in the 300-plus seminarians and staff in festivities.