Pope raises refugee question with Hobart archbishop
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart said that Pope John Paul II raised the question of refugees during an audience at the Vatican yesterday.
Archbishop Doyle and Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Francis Carroll (pictured) met the Holy Father in a private audience.
The two were the first of Australia's bishops to have their private audience with Pope John Paul II as part of the ad limina visit.
They said that he appeared to be in good spirits.
Aside from refugees, the conversation included other topical issues such as vocations and the family.
The private audience is seen as an important part of the Holy Father's pastoral ministry, as he receives the bishops with whom he exercises pastoral ministry and listens and talks with them about their mission in their diocese.
"He seemed to be quite bright," said Archbishop Carroll, who presented the Pope with a copy of a new book on the history of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese.
The Archbishops said they both congratulated the Pope on his 25 years as Pontiff.
The 34 other bishops in Rome for the ad limina will have their private audiences with the Pope progressively over the next two weeks.
The bishops have also begun their program of visits to various Vatican organisations, with delegations attending the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Ecclesia Dei and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Archbishops in private audience with Pope John Paul II (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 15/3/04)
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
16 Mar 2004