HIS-Press-Service, 1977 (2. évfolyam, 5-8. szám)

1977-04-01 / 5. szám

Press-Service--------Special Topic: Religion and Church in Hungary ___________________Ql°- Cl Vienna, April 1977 THE FACTS The Report of the Hungarian Bishops in Rome on the Situation in Their Dioceses In the week after Easter, all Hungarian bishops who are heads of dioceses will travel to Rome to fulfill their official ad limina visit which is due in 1977. The purpose of this visit is to give a report to the Pope and the proper Vatican committees on the situation in the Hungarian dioceses. The initial part of the report consists of detailed written answers to individual items appearing in a special report form. Hungary's bishops already sent this written part of the report to Rome in the middle of March. On the basis of the filled-out forms, the Vatican office responsible for them then prepares a short summary for the Pope. After this, the Hungarian bishops will then come together with the Holy Father in a personal audience on 14 April. THE BACKGROUND An Old Custom of the Church Became a Law As early as 743 there already existed a regulation which required bishops living in the vicinity of Rome to make an annual visit to the Pope and to the graves of the Apostles Peter and Paul (threshold = limen; thus the expression: "visitatio ad limina apostolorum"). From this often revised (the last time in 1975) directive there arose the regulation requiring all bishops responsible for dioceses to visit the Pope in Rome at set periods - every five years for bishops in Europe. This requirement can be found in Canon 341 of the Codex Juris Canonici this canon also states the years in which the bishops of individual countries are to make their ad limina visits. On the basis of the regulation of these visits as set down in 1909, Hungary's bishops are required to make their official visits in the third and eighth year of every decade. However, the general increase in the number of dioceses, and thus also in the number of bishops required to make an official visit to Rome, led to a modification of this regulation in 1975.