On the occasion of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Holy Father has convened a meeting of papal representatives from 15 to 17 September 2016. The event will be attended by a106 of the 108 papal representatives currently in service; only two are unable to travel to Rome. Among the 108 papal representatives in service, 103 are apostolic nuncios with episcopal rank, and five are prelates who perform the mission of Permanent Observer at various international bodies.
The meeting began this morning with Mass in the Chapel of the Choir in the Vatican Basilica, presided at by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. Throughout the day two conferences for professional development will take place in the Synod Hall of the Paul VI Hall. The first, entitled “The World Today – The Church today – Pope Francis”, will be chaired by the dean of the University of Sophia, Msgr. Piero Coda. The second, “Genesis and the case of gender culture: approaches”, will be presented by Rev. Robert A. Ghal, associate professor of fundamental ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In the evening a dinner will be held, in the presence of the Holy Father, in the Casina di Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens.
The morning of Friday 16 September will be dedicated to a work meeting with the Superiors of the Secretariat of State, whereas in the afternoon there will be a third professional development conference chaired by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, entitled “Interreligious Dialogue, relationships with Islam”. In the evening, a convivial meeting with the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and with ambassadors accredited at the Holy See resident in Rome will take place on the Terrace of the Vatican Picture Gallery in the Vatican Museums.
Saturday 17 will have a markedly spiritual character, and the forty apostolic nuncios emeritus have been invited, although some are unable to attend for health reasons or on account of the distance from their current residence. At 7.30 a.m., in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the papal representatives will concelebrate a Holy Mass at which the Holy Father will president, and will then gather in the same Chapel for spiritual reflection with Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, dean of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. At 10 a.m., the papal representatives will pass through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica and will be received at 11.15 by the Holy Father in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. The meeting of the papal representatives will conclude at 1 p.m. with an informal lunch in the presence of the Holy Father in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Again within the context of the celebrations of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Holy Father has invited to the Vatican, on 18 November, all 163 collaborators employed by the papal representations – advisors, secretaries and other staff – for the celebration of a jubilee day.