VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Papal nuncios from around the world gathered in Rome to celebrate their jubilee and attend talks on gender ideology, dialogue with Muslims, and Pope Francis, the church and the world.

As part of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis designated a jubilee Sept. 15-17 for all 108 apostolic nuncios who — stationed across the globe — work as permanent diplomatic representatives of the Holy See.

The Vatican press office said just two papal representatives were unable to attend.


The three-day gathering began with Mass celebrated by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, in St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by two “refresher” lectures, one being “The genesis and circumstances of the culture of gender — how to address it,” by U.S. Father Robert Gahl, an Opus Dei priest who teaches ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

The papal representatives were also scheduled to have a working meeting with the heads of the Vatican Secretariat of State followed by a refresher lecture on relations with Islam by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

After an early morning Mass with Pope Francis in the chapel of his residence Sept. 17, the diplomats were to take part in a spiritual reflection, then process through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica. The pope was set to then meet with the papal representatives for two hours in the apostolic palace before a “fraternal gathering” at his residence in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

A jubilee for all 163 staff members of papal representatives — advisers, secretaries and attaches — will be marked Nov. 18 at the Vatican.