Pope Benedict, Bishop Kmiec to Meet at the Vatican This Week

November 22, 2011 Updated Nov 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Pope Benedict, Bishop Kmiec to Meet at the Vatican This Week

November 22, 2011 Updated Nov 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of Buffalo, leaves for Rome later this week for a scheduled meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.

The meeting is part of the “ad limina” visit that bishops have at the Vatican with the Holy Father.  In the past, the so-called quinquennial meetings were held every five years.  During Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy, the meetings are held every seven years.  This will be Bishop Kmiec’s first formal meeting with this Holy Father.  While in Trenton and Nashville, Bishop Kmiec was part of “ad limina” visits with Pope John Paul II. 

The bishop said he is looking forward to the meeting, describing a conversation with the pope as a wonderful experience. 

“I want to tell him about the great faith of our people,” Bishop Kmiec said. 

The actual date of the meeting will not be known until later in the week after the bishop arrives in Rome.  Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo, will also make the trip.  Led by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, all of the bishops from New York state will be in Rome this week for the ad limina visit of the New York Province.

Seeing the pope at close range never gets old, Bishop Kmiec said:  “It is always something special to be in the presence of the Holy Father.  I think the adrenaline gets flowing.  Here is this man who is the head of the Universal Church, and for 15 minutes, you and what you are bringing to him about the diocese has his total attention.  That’s awesome.”

Bishop Kmiec is scheduled to return to Buffalo the week of Nov. 28.