In the coming days, after almost 10 years, the bishops of Kazakhstan will make a traditional visit “Ad Limina Apostolorum” – a visit to the thresholds of the apostles. This visit is traditionally made by all the bishops of the world with different frequencies, depending on the remoteness of the place of service in relation to the Roman department and the established dates. In different centuries, this frequency was different. The current visit for most of the spiritual heads of Kazakhstan will be the first in the history of their episcopal ministry. For the President of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Kazakhstan, José Luis Mumbiela Sierra, as well as for Bishop Adelio del’Oro and Administrator Dariusz Buras, this is the first such pilgrimage.
Rome is one of the places most revered Catholic places, because here are the graves of the apostles Peter and Paul who were martyred. By this pilgrimage, the bishops express their unity with the visible head of the Church by the Pope, the successor of the Apostle Peter, and with the whole Church. According to Bishop José Luis Mumbiel Sierra, Chairman of the KKEK: “This visit is an expression of unity with the Pope, a sign that we are one church and we are go the same way in unity with all the bishops of the world and the apostle Peter”.
As part of the pilgrimage, the bishops visit the graves of the apostles Peter and Paul, meet with the Pope, and also visit various departments of the Roman Curia, depending on their interests, the interests of the diocese they represent, and the interests of the entire Church of Kazakhstan. These agencies are called decasteris or congregations. So there are special congregations dealing with various issues: a congregation for bishops, a congregation for monastics, a congregation for restoring Christian unity, and many others.
The current meeting will take place from February 25 to March 5. As the chairman of KKEK said: “I hope that the Holy Spirit will tell for the sake of what leads us to this pilgrimage, because first of all it is a pilgrimage, not an administrative visit. All formal questions can now be clarified by contacting remotely via e-mail and other technical means. Moreover, this visit is a spiritual visit, which aims to express unity with the Pope, with the Church, with its history; this is a return to our roots. It is possible that by the will of the Holy Spirit, the result of this pilgrimage can be some kind of structural development of the Church of Kazakhstan, receiving a new impulse, new proposals. But first we are going to Rome to delight the heart of our common shepherd Pope Francis and receive his blessing for all the people of our country. We ask the laity to pray fervently that this visit will be useful for all of us, from the bishops for whom this will be the time of conversion to serve as Peter and Paul, ending with the laity who reap the benefits of our ministry”.