Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 18, 2006
Bishops laud 'new mood' at the Vatican
Ontario prelates welcome the building of rapport
From Catholic News Service
"We were not getting preached at."
- Archbishop Marcel Gervais
Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay, age 57, said even though he was nervous before meeting the pope the pontiff's warm and friendly manner immediately put him at ease.
In a Sept. 6 interview with Catholic News Service, Colli said Pope Benedict encouraged him to be close to his people, saying it was important parishioners knew their bishop.
Colli said he found such encouragement important, since the Thunder Bay Diocese is so large and getting to the different parishes requires a lot of travel.
Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto said the important thing about the meetings with Vatican officials was not so much taking care of administrative tasks but establishing or strengthening a personal rapport with members of the different congregations.
He said his faith is confirmed each time he visits the Vatican.
The cardinal said the pope was "very much abreast of what's going on in Canada" but wanted to know more about the same-sex marriage law and the teachings in Ontario's seminaries.
Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Alexandria-Cornwall said the pope asked him about immigration, vocations, Catholic education and the Church's social work.
"Basically I think he wants to know what's having a positive impact on the diocese and what challenges we have," he said.
Durocher agreed the opportunity to network with Vatican officials was key for the bishops.
He said when the bishops return to their dioceses they will know better to which Vatican official they should address their concerns.
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