Diocese of Gizo in the Solomon Islands
Bishop Bernard visits the Pope
The Bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands travelled to Rome in July 2005 to meet Pope Benedict XVI for our Ad Limina visit. We were able to concelebrate Mass with him in his private Chapel. He impressed me as a warm and caring Shepherd perhaps belying his reputation. We each had a 10 minute private interview during which I presented him with a locally carved crucifix and a small album of recent photos taken on a trip round Choiseul, including one of parishioners looking at a photo of his Inauguration taken from the Internet. He did not have to ask where the Solomons are! the native spirituality of such people, for example the Solomons.
During the visit to Rome we Bishops also had to visit several Vatican Dicastaries (similar to any Government Ministry). There were some that impressed more than others in their interest in the Church on the other side of the world. For myself it was finding a special section for dialogue with non-religious groups such as animists, a recognition that the Church values the native spirituality of such people, for example the Solomons.
Here children look at the Pope's photo.
Last change: Apr. 20, 2006 at 23:17