Pope Benedict meets Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue

 At the close of the Papal General Audience last Wednesday, 15 April Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue presented Pope Benedict XVI with his two documents – Fit for Mission? Schools and Fit for Mission? Church.

The Holy Father departed from the usual protocol and spent quite some time going through both. The Holy Father and Bishop Patrick were joined by Mgr Georg Ganswein - Private Secretary to the Pope – and Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household.

Bishop Patrick explained to Pope Benedict that these were diocesan documents that concentrated on fostering an authentic Catholic identity in our schools and a correct interpretation of the Second Vatican Council in our parishes. The Bishop stressed that the initiative was an attempt to encourage all to think clearly about what it is to be Catholic today.

He went on to say that the overall objective of Fit for Mission? was to propose practical ways of balancing continuity, in the life of faith, with change in the midst of an increasingly secular world.

Towards the end of their meeting the Holy Father thanked the Bishop for all his work of renewal in the Lancaster Diocese – a fitting acknowledgment of Bishop O’Donoghue’s fruitful 8 years of ministry as Shepherd of the Diocese.

Bishop Patrick also presented the Holy Father with a letter briefly introducing the third and final document in the Fit for Mission? series – Fit for Mission? Marriage : A Preparation Course, which was published by the Catholic Truth Society on the very same day as their meeting in St Peter’s Square.

Fit for Mission? Marriage was created by Bishop O’Donoghue with the collaboration of the Diocese of Lancaster’s Marriage and Family Life Commission, a diocesan body made up of married couples and clergy involved in marriage preparation.

The Preparation Course consists of three books available from: www.cts-online.org.uk or 020 7640 0042 (overseas: +44 20 7640 0042)

Go to lancasterdiocese.org.uk/Events.asp#link130 for a sample of Fit for Mission: Marriage

Bishop O’Donoghue said: "I am so grateful for having the opportunity to personally explain to the Holy Father what we have being attempting to achieve through our Fit for Mission? initiative in the Diocese of Lancaster. His obvious interest and enthusiasm confirms me in my conviction that over the past two years – despite the difficulties and controversies – we have been on the right track, through the aid of the Holy Spirit."

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