(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, during the course of the bishops’ ad limina visits.
In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered on Monday morning, Pope Francis focused on three specific points: meeting the challenge of emigration, with the attendant difficulties of family separations and desires for reunion – at home or abroad – often frustrated by persistent social ills and the still-raw wounds of conflict; the challenges of living in and ministering to a multiethnic and religiously plural population, in which the bishops are called at once to be fathers to all, and custodians of the traditions unique to the Catholic community; the pastoral, ecumenical and interreligious dimensions of leadership that constitute at once a delicate set of circumstances in which to be witnesses to the truth, and a powerful asset in the cause of the Gospel.
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The Holy Father also spoke of the need to cultivate relationships of mutual respect, support and collaboration among the diocesan and religious clergy, saying, “In this Year dedicated to Consecrated Life, we must evidence how all charisms and ministries are ordered to the glory of God and the salvation of all men, making sure that they are all effectively oriented to the up-building of the Kingdom of God.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks with a look forward to his upcoming visit to the country. “Dear brothers,” he said, “as I wait expectantly to meet your people in Sarajevo, I desire to convey to you the charity, the attention and the closeness of the Church of Rome to you, who are the heirs to so many martyrs and confessors, who, all throughout the much-tried centuries of your country’s history, have kept the faith.”
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