What’s an ‘ad limina’ visit? Here are 8 things you need to know

Denver Catholic Staff

On Feb. 10-15, bishops from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico will travel to Rome for their “ad limina” visits. Here’s a few things to know:

What is an ad limina visit?
An ad limina visit is an obligatory visit made by all bishops to Rome during which they pray at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. In addition, they meet with Pope Francis and Vatican officials and present a quinquennial report of their respective diocese.

What does ad limina mean?
It is from the Latin ad limina apostolorum (“to the threshold of the apostles”).

What happens during an ad limina visit?
While the audience with Pope Francis receives the most coverage, the spiritual heart of an ad limina visit are Masses at the major churches of Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. In addition, the bishops will meet with officials from many of the departments and offices in the Roman Curia.

Who participates in the ad limina visit?
Every active, able American bishop will make an ad limina pilgrimage by Feb. 22, 2020. This particular trip will include bishops from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. Among them, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and the Archdiocese of Denver’s auxiliary bishop, Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez will travel to Rome.

Is this Archbishop Aquila’s first ad limina visit?
This marks his first ad limina visit as the archbishop of Denver, but it will be his third ad limina visit overall. As bishop of Fargo, Archbishop Aquila participated in the 2004 and 2012 ad limina visits.

What about the auxiliary bishop?
This will be the first ad limina visit for Bishop Rodriguez, as he was ordained a bishop in November 2016.

What’s a quinquennial report?
A quinquennial report is a detailed report on the state of a diocese. Over several chapters, it presents to the Holy Father and the Vatican an update on the activities of the bishop and diocese in several areas, including the liturgical and sacramental life of the local Church, Catholic education, evangelization, communications, social teaching of the Church, the financial state of the diocese and more. The chapters roughly correspond to the departments and offices of the Vatican.

The Code of Canon Law dictates that the visits are supposed to occur every five years. Why was there an almost eight-year gap between the previous ad limina visit and this one?
Quite simply, the number of dioceses and bishops throughout the world has grown too large for that five-year schedule to be practical. There are currently 3,017 dioceses, prelatures and vicariates around the world. To maintain a five-year schedule, the Holy Father would need to meet with more than one bishop every single day. Even with Pope Francis’ practice of meeting with groups of bishops, the every-five-years timetable is not feasible given the other demands on the Holy Father’s time.

This report of the ‘ad limina’ visits was originally compiled and published by Detroit Catholic. It is updated and reprinted here with permission.

COMING UP: Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

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Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

Volunteers gathered nearly 50,000 signatures for Initiative 120 within two-week cure period

Aaron Lambert

In a final push, supporters of the initiative seeking to prohibit abortions after 22 weeks in the state of Colorado have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

During a two-week cure period granted after falling short of required signatures to get Initiative 120 on the ballot, over 400 volunteers worked diligently and collected over 48,000 signatures by May 28, nearly three times the amount sought during the cure period. The Due Date Too Late campaign spearheaded the charge to gather signatures with support from Catholic Charities’ Respect Life Office and other pro-life communities across the state.

“I am overjoyed to hear that so many Coloradans have signed the petition to successfully place Initiative 120 on the November ballot,” said Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, who expressed his support for the initiative early on. “Protecting children in the womb is an essential part of building a society that treats all life, no matter its age or ability, as sacred. God has given each person a dignity that comes from being made in his image and likeness, and the degree to which our laws reflect that will be the degree to which we experience true freedom and happiness.”

Initiative 120 would prohibit abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks, with an exception for the life of the mother. According to a recent Gallup poll, 74% of Americans believe that there should be limitations on late term abortion. Due Date Too Late submitted the bulk of the needed petition signatures in March but fell short 10,000 signatures after review by the Secretary of State. The cure period began on May 15, with Due Date Too Late needing to collect those 10,000 additional verified signatures of registered Colorado voters during the 15-day cure period to meet the 124,632 threshold and qualify for the November ballot.

“We are thrilled to take this next step towards protecting lives in Colorado by exceeding our goal of signatures we are turning into the Secretary of State,” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign. “We are thankful to have this opportunity to work together with communities across the entire state of Colorado. The hundreds of volunteers we have who are so passionate about ending late-term abortion are helping to make this a reality.”

Due Date Too Late will be turning in the notarized packets containing almost 50,000 signatures on May 29 at 2 p.m. to the office of the Secretary of State to assure that the ballot initiative will meet the statutory threshold.

The field collection effort by Due Date Too Late went forward amid a recent executive order by Gov. Jared Polis regarding how petition signatures may be collected. Under Gov. Polis’ order, he declared that ballot initiatives could gather signatures electronically in response to the coronavirus pandemic; however, Initiative 120 was the only ballot initiative that wasn’t allowed to collect signatures electronically because it was in a cure period.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated over 30,000 signatures were being turned in, based on the information that was available at the time of publication. The actual number is closer to 50,000. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.