'Ad limina' visits are occasion to grow in unity, Texas archbishop says
Published: March 15, 2012
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Ad limina" visits are an occasion for bishops to confirm and strengthen their unity with one another and with Pope Benedict XVI in order to give a more effective witness to the Gospel, said the archbishop of San Antonio. In the mission to evangelize, "our unity is an imperative," Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller told other bishops from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas during his homily March 15 as the bishops began their "ad limina" visits by celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. The visits to Rome, required on a regular basis of the heads of dioceses around the world, are formally called "ad limina apostolorum," which means "to the threshold of the apostles" Peter and Paul, who were martyred in Rome. The visits include meetings with the pope and with Vatican officials to share information and concerns, but they are structured around Mass and other moments of prayer. During his homily at the Mass in St. Peter's, Archbishop Garcia-Siller drew lessons from the Gospel reading in which Jesus tells the crowd, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste." The archbishop told his fellow bishops, "In the super-charged environment in which we minister today, my brothers, let us not allow others to divide us, to set us against one another. Here in the Eternal City, let us renew our bond of charity with one another and with the entire college of bishops with and under the headship of the successor of Peter, Pope Benedict," he said.
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