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Italian bishops meet with Pontiff; new head of episcopal conference to be named

May 22, 2017

The Catholic bishops of Italy are meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, to nominate three candidates to replace Cadrinal Angelo Bagnaso as president of their episcopal conference. Pope Francis will then select the president from among the bishops’ nominees.

In brief remarks to the bishops at their opening session on May 22, the Pope called for free and open discussion, remarking that “when dialogue is stifled, gossip is sown.” He underlined the importance of airing differences of opinion.

The Pope thanked Cardinal Bagnasco for his service as president of the episcopal conference, acknowledging that “it is not easy to work with this Pope.” In his own address, Cardinal Bagnasco spoke about the importance of evangelizing young people: the theme for this week’s meeting.

Among the candidates cited as likely to be nominated for the presidency of the episcopal conference are Cardinals Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia and Vincenzo Bertolone of Catanzaro, Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara, and Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto. The bishops will make their selections on Tuesday, May 23, and the Pope will name the new president this week.

 
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