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Papal nuncio urges U.S. bishops to closely listen to the church

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BALTIMORE — Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, spoke to the U.S. bishops Nov. 16 about the importance of listening to people in the church and being open to the work of the Holy Spirit. He addressed the bishops on the first day of two days of public sessions at their fall general assembly Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore.

The archbishop noted that he has been in the role of apostolic nuncio for five years and has been on a journey with the U.S. bishops through challenges of religious disaffiliation, the sexual abuse crisis, increasing secularization, polarization within the nation and the church, and most recently the global pandemic.

He quickly jumped into discussing a topic fresh on the bishops' minds from hearing about it the previous night at their opening Mass and one they will continue discussing in preparation for an upcoming world Synod of Bishops: synodality.

"I believe that synodality is an answer to the challenges of our time and to the confrontation, which is threatening to divide this country, and which also has its echoes in the church," Archbishop Pierre said. "It seems that many are unaware they are engaged in this confrontation, staking out positions, rooted in certain truths but which are isolated in the world of ideas and not applied to the reality of the lived faith experience of the people of God in their concrete situations," he said.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021