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Pope orders visitation of clergy congregation before prefect retires

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As he did before naming a new prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Pope Francis has asked a bishop to conduct an official visit of the Congregation for Clergy.

In a letter June 7, Bishop Egidio Miragoli of Mondovì, Italy, told the priests of his diocese that Pope Francis had asked him “to undertake a visit, in his name, of the Congregation for Clergy.”

The current prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, will reach the mandatory retirement age of 80 Aug. 18. He was appointed prefect by Pope Francis in September 2013.

In his letter to the Mondovì priests, Bishop Miragoli said that when Pope Francis visited the assembly of the Italian bishops’ conference May 24, he told the bishop he wanted him to make the visit as “a favor.” Then, June 3, he met the pope at his Vatican residence and was given further details, which the bishop did not share.

Bishop Miragoli told his priests that the task would require him to meet personally with the congregation staff in Rome beginning June 9 and likely would occupy a significant amount of his time, at least for the month of June.

However, the bishop said, he would maintain his diocesan commitments, including his schedule of confirmations.

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