Australian Bishops Begin Visit to Rome

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2004 ( Papal audiences are under way for Australia’s bishops, in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

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John Paul II today received in audience Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra, president of the episcopal conference, together with Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart, the Vatican press office announced.

Archbishop Carroll, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Mark Coleridge of Melbourne, appeared on an Italian television program transmitted Sunday, during which he touched upon questions regarding the Church in Australia, such as interreligious relations, the dignity of man and of the family, and the evangelization of the country.

Thirty-six out of a total of 44 Australian bishops are fulfilling their “ad limina” visit to Rome. On Tuesday they will concelebrate a Mass in the Vatican Grottoes.

Other Masses will be celebrated at St. Mary Major, on Thursday; St. Paul Outside the Walls, on March 23; and St. John Lateran, on March 24.

During their visit, the bishops will meet the Pope and attend meetings with heads of dicasteries and offices of the Roman Curia. They will complete their pilgrimage with a visit to Assisi and a day of reflection at Castel Gandolfo. Their visit ends March 28.

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