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Pope receives French bishops on ad limina

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI received a group of French bishops on Saturday, who are here in Rome for their ad limina visits. In his remarks to the prelates, the Holy Father focused on the opportunities presented by the Year of Faith to help the Church in France on the path of real spiritual renewal, and contribute to a recovery of the perennial foundations of ordered liberty in society.

“Your nation has a long and rich Christian history that cannot be ignored or diminished,” said Pope Benedict.

“In the important debates in society,” said the Holy Father, “the voice of the Church must make itself heard tirelessly and with determination,” even as She continues to be respectful of the country’s tradition of distinguishing the spheres of competence of the Church and those of the State.

The Holy Father also spoke of the pressing need to encourage careful and reverent liturgical practice, as a key to faith formation and effective evangelization. Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3