Cardinal Cormac reflects on the Ad Limina visit to Rome

 Reflecting on the Ad Limina visit to Rome of the English and Welsh Bishops, which included an audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II in his Jubilee week, the Beatification of Mother Teresa and the elevation of Cardinal O'Brien, Archbishop of Edinburgh, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said today: " The eyes of the world have been on Rome over the past two weeks and from the events to mark the Holy Father's Jubilee, including the Beatification of Mother Teresa, to the consistory where Cardinal O'Brien received his red hat, there has been a real sense of joy, with the worldwide church coming together in celebration. " Alongside these celebrations, the English and Welsh Bishops have held a series of meetings in the Vatican as part of our five yearly Ad Limina visit to Rome. This successful series included private audiences with the Pope and allowed the church in England and Wales to report on our activities over the past five years and our ambitions for the next. " Each Diocese received advice and encouragement from the Holy Father and this has given us all a clear and renewed vision to guide our mission in the years ahead. " From the importance of education and evangelisation, to the renewal of our spiritual lives and the impact this can have on vocations, the Holy Father spoke with clarity and purpose. We return, filled with a new determination and with confidence in his continued prayers, thoughts and support. " The events to mark the 25th anniversary of John Paul II were a most remarkable backdrop to these meetings. The city was packed with pilgrims, many from our own country, and in every smile, in every prayer, we witnessed the warmth and affection in which the Pope is held. He has been an inspiration to us all over these past years and even in physical weakness his faith shines strong, his purpose is clear and he remains a guiding light for countless millions. " And in the wonderful service to mark the beatification of Mother Teresa, he reminded us all of the power of good in this world. He held up the work and life of this servant of the poor as an example for all of us. He showed us a universal church, united in faith and inspired by the actions of one who lived her life for God and for the people. In John Paul II and the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, we find true inspiration for our own lives."

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