WYD: Meeting Bishops

A number of Bishops have been placed together in one of the hotels in Rio de Janeiro. I guess this makes it easier for the organisers to take us to the different events and bring us back.

But we would like to be closer to the youth, so we try to find every possible moment to share with them. Catechesis is one of them, walking around Rio is another one. Each time they identified a bishop they wanted to know who we were and where we come from. In my case it was "funny" because when they asked me where I was coming from I would reply in Spanish: "South Africa" and they would look somehow confused knowing Spanish is not spoken in South Africa.

Being Bishops together in one place gives us also the possibility to know each other better. The spirit is very joyful and friendly. 

One morning I sat down next to a familiar face but was not sure "where" I had met him before. He was Card. Humes, emeritus of São Paulo (Brazil). When he knew I was born in Argentina he said: "you Argentinians are now famous" but I quickly replied: "You are nearly as famous because Pope Francis said it was because of you he chose the name Francis when you asked him not to forget the poor".

Another one was Card. Peter Turkson. He is the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He was born in Ghana and now resides in Rome. I wanted to talk with him about producing material to help people become more familiar with the Social Doctrine of the Church. It is said that at the last synod for Africa he was named: "Cardinal Social Doctrine" as he always made a reference to it.

It was also a great opportunity to meet a couple of the "Consolata Missionary Bishops" like Bp Inacio Saure IMC, bishop of Tete (Mozambique)

and Bp Giovanni Crippa IMC auxiliary bishop of São Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

Then... the group of bishops from Argentina. Some had seen my photo in the last page of the Catholic Directory of the country among the Argentinian Bishops abroad but had never seen me. I had hardly met any of them. It was thanked to them that I joined the group of Bishops who met Pope Francis on Thursday. It was a great gift to share these days with them and hope to welcome some of them one day in Southern Africa.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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