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Archive for April 6th, 2008

The Pope and the USCCB

During his visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will meet with all the bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C. This meeting is just one manifestation of the relationship between the Pope and the bishops.

The Pope appoints the bishops who lead the diocesan churches around the world. When a bishop dies or resigns, the Pope chooses his successor. On a day-to-day basis, the apostolic nuncio represents the Pope in the United States.

Each bishop is responsible to the Pope for his care of the diocesan church entrusted to him. Every five years (on a rotating schedule), bishops from each country in the world visit the pope to report on their dioceses. These are called ad limina visits.

Some bishops from the United States serve on various Vatican commissions and congregations, sharing their gifts and insights with the Church Universal.

Twice a year, the President and Vice President of the USCCB visit the Pope and the offices of the Roman curia that help him administer the Church. In addition, the apostolic nuncio attends every meeting of the USCCB.

The gathering on April 16 will be an extraordinary opportunity for the Holy Father and the bishops to gather in prayer for ever-greater unity and for God’s blessing on the Church in the United States.

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