Vatican City, Jan 16, 2012 / 15:46 pm America/Denver (CNA).
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.