Bishop Francis Duffy meets Pope Francis in Rome.
Pope Francis was good humoured, very relaxed and told a few jokes, revealed Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Francis Duffy, following the recent Ad Limina Apostolorum visit to Rome by members of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
“It was a good experience for the Bishops,” admitted Bishop Duffy. “It was a good opportunity for Bishops to meet and share ideas and to get to know each other more.”
He said they met with Pope Francis for two hours. “He was very warm and welcoming, a model of listening. He put us at our ease. He told us ‘the agenda is yours. You can talk to me about whatever you wish’. He talked to us for up to two hours, listening to our experience in Ireland.”
The Ad Limina normally occurs every five years and its purpose is to strengthen the bishops’ communion with the universal Church and with the successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis.
In total, 29 representatives of the island's 26 dioceses visited Rome for ten days of meetings with Vatican officials.
The Irish bishops' last Ad Limina visit was in 2006.