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Pope receives NSW bishops

Yesterday Pope John Paul met with Sydney's Cardinal George Pell together with his two newest auxiliaries in the Archdiocese, then three other NSW bishops in separate audiences.

The audiences are part of the five-yearly ad limina visit to Rome of 33 Australian bishops.

Aside from Cardinal Pell and auxiliary Bishops Julian Porteous and Anthony Fisher, the Holy Father met yesterday with Bishop Luc Matthys of the northern NSW diocese of Armidale, as well as Bishop Patrick Dougherty of Bathurst and Bishop David Louis Walker of the northern Sydney Broken Bay Diocese.

The larger group of Australian Bishops has continued its spiritual pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles, with a Mass at the great basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome.

The principal celebrant of the Mass was Archbishop John Bathersby, of Brisbane (pictured). In his homily, Archbishop Bathersby spoke of St Paul as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

He prayed that the Bishops and all people would continue to be inspired by the example of St Paul in evangelising "what we are proud to call the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit".

The Mass, together with the Mass at the tomb of St Peter, was one of the spiritual highlights of the ad limina visit.

St Paul's was built over the burial place of the Apostle and consecrated in 324. The building of the first place of worship over St Paul's tomb has been attributed to the Emperor Constantine, with a larger basilica erected by later emperors.

The Bishops' ad limina visits to Vatican congregations have continued, with meetings today on issues to do with canon law.

Also scheduled this week are visits to congregations for Laity, Culture, Justice and Peace, Migrants and Evangelisation of Peoples.

The Bishops are due to attend a dinner hosted by the Beda College and will celebrate Mass at the Church of St John Lateran.

Audiences (Vatican Information Service 23/3/04)
Bishops continue spiritual pilgrimage to the threshold of the Apostles (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 24/3/04)

Bishops host reception for Curial officials (CathNews 23/3/04)
Bishops take pilgrimage to Assisi"> Bishops take pilgrimage to Assisi (CathNews 22/3/04)
Cardinal Pell takes possession of his Roman Church (CathNews 22/3/04)
Archbishop Carroll signals 'interesting' election campaign (CathNews 19/3/04)
Vatican Radio 105 Live | Audio of Archbishop Carroll interview (requires Real Player)
Archdiocese of Sydney: Maria Domenica Mazzarello
Australian Bishops concelebrate Mass before St Peter's tomb (CathNews 17/3/04)
Australian Bishops Begin Visit to Rome (Zenit 15/3/04)
John Paul II Sees Hope for Church in Netherlands (Zenit 15/3/04)
Bishops gather for spiritual pilgrimage (Southern Cross Mar 04)
Pope raises refugee question with Hobart archbishop (CathNews 16/3/04)
Audiences (Vatican Information Service 15/3/04)
Ad limina visit underway with Italian TV appearance (CathNews 16/3/04)
Australian bishops set for ad limina visit to Rome (CathNews 8/3/04)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

St Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica (

Not your ordinary CEO: U.S. bishops to begin meetings with pope (Catholic News Service 19/3/04)

24 Mar 2004