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Rome Reports

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Uruguay bishops conclude visit to Vatican in very cordial encounter with Pope Francis

Bishops from Uruguay visited the Vatican over the course of eight days and met with the departments of the Holy See. The main meeting was this one with Pope Francis, in a very casual manner. 

“Itì's too small to be Uruguayan.”

The pope joked with Msgr. Fuentes, who spoke about the Virgin Mary in the last synod. 

“We are finishing the Marian Year on December 8...”

“You are talking about the Virgin...”

“Yes, right?”

Before sitting down with the bishops, Pope Francis greeted the lay group who had joined them on the visit. 

“I'll let you all...”

“Thank you for greeting us, welcoming us...”

“You can go have a beer. Or a cappuccino.”

“There's no mate...”

“Tonight, yes, right now, no.”

Later, they began a closed-door dialogue with the pope, in which many issues involving Uruguay were discussed. 

We spoke about that encounter with Cardinal Daniel Sturla, after one of his last meetings in Rome. 

Archbishop of Montevideo
"Pope Francis knows us well, but he was interested in the issues we were raising, the big ones that worry us: the social fragmentation that our country is experiencing and gender ideology, which is a theme that greatly worries the pope.”

The Episcopal Conference of Uruguay says the conversation with the pope lasted more than two hours. Pope Francis listened to them and advised them to continue supporting young people and families. He also told them not to be afraid to propose the Christian vision to society. 

Archbishop of Montevideo
“The Church continues to fight the great fights in defense of each human being's dignity – the family, life – in a society in which abortion is legal or there is so-called “marriage equality,”but defending those views doesn't stop us from wanting to be a Church that meets the other person halfway, specifically promoting what Pope Francis calls the culture of encounter.”

During the meeting, the pope joked with Msgr. Scarrone and told him that he'd travel to Uruguay one day. 

“Are you good?”

“Good, thank God, 86 years old.”

“You look good.”

“Here is my successor, who I ordained a priest. This is a sign that the Virgin is awaiting you next year.”

“I don't know when, but I'm going to go...”

Archbishop of Montevideo
"Pope Francis can visit all of the countries that border Argentina, but he can't go to Uruguay and not go to Argentina. Therefore, we are united, and when the time comes, the pope will decide. Our hope is certainly that it is next year.”

Cardinal Daniel Sturla and the other bishops from Uruguay are returning to their country satisfied, with the pope's blessing. 

Pope Francis received this gift from the bishops, a raw wool blanket, artisanally woven in the name of the episcopate, with the colors of the national flag. 

“This is good wool...!”