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Rome Reports

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Antilles Bishops in Rome warn “our region's vulnerability is serious due to climate change”


Bishops from the Antilles Episcopal Conference in the Caribbean and Central America all joined in Rome for two weeks to present their pastoral plan to Pope Francis during their ad limina visit.  

The Vice President and President of the Bishops Conference spoke about mission, new evangelization, vocations, and their particular vulnerability.    

ARCHBISHOP CHARLES JASON GORDON
Archdiocese of Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)
“Our challenge is, we are very small island states that are vulnerable, so last year we had hurricanes that hit our islands and we had category five hurricanes coming one after the other, hitting several of our islands and causing incredible damage. The vulnerability of our region is serious.” 

BISHOP GABRIEL MALZAIRE
Bishop of Roseau (Dominica)
“The question of building a people to have them be conscious of the bigger picture, which is our relationship with the climate, is something that we have to take seriously. And Dominica is always acclaimed as the “nature island” of the Caribbean. It's a very green island, normally. But with the hurricane that has swooped up the entire forest, and the forest is actually struggling to grow back.” 

Despite these setbacks, both are excited for the youth are preparing for the Antilles Episcopal Conference Youth Assembly in July, which happens every three years.   

BISHOP GABRIEL MALZAIRE
Bishop of Roseau (Dominica)
“Usually it is a tremendous experience and the young people, they really look forward to it. I'm sure it will be a tremendous incentive for us to join with the Panama conference and we will be looking forward to that too.”  

ARCHBISHOP CHARLES JASON GORDON
Archdiocese of Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)
“We're going to be doing Amoris Laeitia for the young people and they'll get excited. Then we also have the same group working on Panama, with another group of youth. Fundraisers have started, formation has started, the meetings together. The plans are well-underway. They are working together to find this, their way to Panama.” 

After meeting with the Holy Father, encouragement for rebuilding after the hurricane and excitement about the upcoming youth conference, these bishops and the entire conference can return home inspired from their time in Rome.