Pope applauds Colorado Bishop Berg as first this year to bring women on ad limina visit

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The bishop of Pueblo, Colorado, Stephen Berg attended his very first ad limina meeting in Rome, celebrating Mass in various basilicas and meeting with dicasteries.

He was a later vocational calling, becoming a priest at nearly 50 years old and a bishop 14 years later.

While in Rome, he met with the pope for two and a half hours with the other bishops. Msgr. Berg said the Holy Father noted he was the very first bishop this year to bring women with him on his visit. 

Bishop El Pueblo, Colorado
“He called them brave. I'm not sure exactly what he meant, but they are brave. And yeah, it was interesting to hear him speak about the importance of women in the Church at that point. His point was that women should have a bigger role and that they see things that men don't. I've got seven sisters by the way, and so I know that personally.”

He said Pope Francis also told the bishops to stand for human dignity and life, from conception to natural death, which is an issue particularly affecting the state of Colorado. 

Bishop El Pueblo, Colorado
“We've all come out in this position against the death penalty. It's a it's a difficult issue in Colorado. However, the death penalty has not been applied for some time. Yet getting it off the books and saying that we're going to take this life position, this strong position is going to be an issue this year that I believe is going to be heavily contested.”

Similarly, late-term abortion is going before the legislature this year in the state, under what is called Initiative #120.

Bishop El Pueblo, Colorado
“It will limit abortions to 22 weeks, and it's a small step forward. But the issue of life is something I think that should concern everyone, whether of faith or not.”

While in Rome, the bishop made sure the pope would remember his Colorado mission diocese, by giving him a gift. As Pueblo is also known as the diocese of the Little Way, he gifted the pope a framed picture of the saint, signed by the students of Pueblo's Catholic schools. It was their way of leaving a little bit of themselves in the Eternal City. 

Melissa Butz

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