Bishop Brian reflects on providing an account of Argyll and the Isles to the Vatican
A central element of the Ad Limina is that every bishop must give an account of his diocese. The Vatican sends out a detailed questionnaire containing twenty-three sections involving areas such as the clergy, worship, education, family life, finance, youth, healthcare, the general situation of the diocese and much more. Since I am relatively new as a bishop and to our diocese I found the discipline of the exercise very beneficial. Just before Easter, I submitted my report which ran to over seventy pages!
While in Rome we are expected to visit Vatican departments which are known as dicasteries. It is through these dicasteries that the Pope governs the Church. Each dicastery will have read my report and can comment on any issues that may have interested or even alarmed them!. Before coming I was quite nervous about these meetings but I have actually enjoyed them. The Curial Staff have all been friendly and the dialogue helpful and open. So far I have visited four dicasteries: Integral Human Development (Justice issues, disarmament, migrants, refugees, human trafficking etc), Safeguarding, Consecrated Life (Religious Orders, hermits etc) and Education.