Rome

Bishops: meeting with Pope was ‘remarkable and intimate’

The bishops of England and Wales have described their two-hour meeting with Pope Francis last week as a “most remarkable and intimate experience”. In a statement after a week-long ad limina visit to Rome, they said the Pope gave them a simple message: “to live the gift of our faith with joy”. They continued: “As we spoke with Pope Francis we realised, more and more, that he simply radiates this joy and peace. Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father.” Francis has changed the format of ad limina meetings, preferring open conversation to giving a speech.

Vatican City

Viganò calls on Vatican cardinal to break his silence

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has issued a new message, calling on Cardinal Marc Ouellet (inset), prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, to break his silence on McCarrick. Viganò, who alleges Pope Francis ignored sanctions against the American ex-cardinal, criticised Francis’s reaction to his initial “testimony”, saying the Pope had slandered him by implicitly comparing him to the Devil. To Ouellet, he wrote: “You were the one who told me of Pope Benedict’s sanctions on McCarrick … I urge you to bear witness to the truth.”

Beijing

Vatican’s next step

Vatican negotiators are seeking to convince Beijing to recognise officially a dozen “underground” bishops by December, the AFP news agency has reported. A Vatican source said the goal of the latest step of negotiations is to “give more space” to the faithful in China.

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