Encounter with Pope Francis caps formation course for new bishops

Encounter with Pope Francis caps formation course for new bishops

Pope Francis with bishops in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, Sept. 8, 2022 / Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Sep 8, 2022 / 07:50 am (CNA).

After a Covid-caused hiatus, the Vatican’s new bishop school was back in session this week.

Around 150 Catholic bishops attended the first week-long session of the formation course in Rome, which ended Thursday. A second session, with around 170 bishops, will be held Sept. 12-19.

The seminar, usually held annually, culminated in an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall Sept. 8. The Vatican did not release any information about what was said in the meeting.

Bishop Louis Tylka of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, was among the participants in the course. He said on Twitter that the new bishops also celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and venerated the relics of Saint Peter.

The theme of the 2022 edition was “to announce the Gospel in the changing epoch and after the pandemic: the service of bishop.”

The week began with Mass, said by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

The course, sometimes known by the light-hearted nickname “baby bishop school,” included talks on the topics of crisis management, especially in the context of abuse, social media, and canon law in diocesan administration.

Other themes covered were the meaning of a synodal Church, education for synodal leadership, and the Church after the pandemic.

The formation also addressed the holiness of bishops, family, and universal fraternity.

The course is held at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic educational institute directed by the Legionaries of Christ, located about 4.5 miles from the Vatican.

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