National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Pope Benedict completes 'ad limina' visits with world's bishops

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It took more than seven years, but Pope Benedict XVI has hosted the formal visits of bishops from every country in the world and will begin the cycle all over again by meeting the heads of Italy's 227 dioceses in 2013.

The Code of Canon Law calls for the heads of every diocese in the world to make their formal visit ad limina apostolorum ("to the threshold of the apostles") every five years, but there are now almost 2,900 dioceses in the world and the 85-year-old pope also has other obligations as well.

Vatican official thanks mothers of priests, asks for their prayers

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The mothers of priests and seminarians deserve the thanks of the whole church for raising their sons in the faith and supporting them in their vocations, said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

Writing on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, on Tuesday, the cardinal said having a priest-son requires a new form of motherhood, one that involves a "discreet, but very effective and invaluably precious accompaniment in prayer."

Piacenza's letter was posted, in Italian, on the website of the clergy congregation.

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July 18-31, 2014

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