Congregation for Bishops…

…judges Francis’ idea on Christian marriage realized in a partial and analogous way by adultery

  • Many Catholics united only in a civil ceremony or the divorced can regularize their situation, but until that is done they still are in irregular marital situations

Sadly, the number of baptized persons today who find themselves in irregular marital situations has increased: so-called ‘trial marriages’, de facto unions, Catholics united only in a civil ceremony, the divorced. Each of these situations causes grave harm to the persons themselves, to their children, and to society in general. In such cases, Bishops do all in their power to bring about the regularization of these relationships. (Congregation for Bishops. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, Apostolorum Successores, no. 202, February 22, 2004)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church called to dialogue

  • The Bishop should model his style of governance on divine wisdom

As he tends the flock entrusted to him, the Bishop is greatly assisted by the virtue of prudence, which can be described as practical wisdom and the art of good government. Prudence enables him to act in fitting and appropriate ways to advance the divine plan of salvation, the good of souls and the good of the Church, setting aside all purely human considerations. So the Bishop should model his style of governance both on divine wisdom, which teaches him to consider the eternal dimension of things, and also on evangelical prudence, which enables him to keep ever in mind, with the skill of a master builder (1Cor 3:10), the changing needs of the Body of Christ. […] Prudence will prompt him to preserve the legitimate traditions of his particular Church, but it will also make him keen to encourage due progress, zealous in his search for new initiatives, while always safeguarding the unity that is needed. (Congregation for Bishops. Directory for the pastoral ministry of Bishops, Apostolorum successors, ch. III, no. 42, February 22, 2004)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • The Bishop has an obligation to deepen his intellectual and theological preparation for the enlightenment of the People of God

Conscious of his responsibility for the entire ministry of the Word in his particular Church (cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 756 § 2), where he has been commissioned to proclaim the faith, to teach with authority and to bear witness to divine and catholic truth, the Bishop has an obligation to deepen his intellectual preparation through personal study, with a serious commitment to keeping abreast of cultural developments. […] Keeping up to date in theology is necessary if the Bishop is to explore the inexhaustible riches of revelation, faithfully to guard and expound the deposit of faith, and to establish a respectful and fruitful working relationship with theologians. […] Through his theological reading, the Bishop can give an ever firmer foundation to his magisterial task for the enlightenment of the People of God. His knowledge of current theology also enables him to monitor the conformity of new theological ideas with the content of Tradition, countering objections to sound doctrine and correcting any distortions. (Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops – Apostolorum Successores, no. 52)

  • The Bishop should receive the sacraments in an exemplary way

The Bishop, as leader and model for priests and lay faithful, should receive the sacraments in an exemplary way. They bring necessary nourishment for his spiritual life, as they do for every member of the Church. Above all, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Bishop celebrates daily, preferably cum populo, should be the centre and source of his ministry and of his personal sanctification. He should have frequent recourse to the sacrament of penance as a means of reconciliation with God, and he himself should be a minister of reconciliation among the People of God (cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 276 § 2; John Paul II, Pastores Gregis, 13). If he is ill and in danger of death, he should be prompt to receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and sacred Viaticum, with due solemnity and with the participation of clergy and faithful, for the edification of all. (Congregation For Bishops, directory for the pastoral ministry of Bishops Apostolorum Successores, February 22, 2004)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Church closed and ailing

  • The Bishop should model his style of governance on divine wisdom

So the Bishop should model his style of governance both on divine wisdom, which teaches him to consider the eternal dimension of things, and also on evangelical prudence, which enables him to keep ever in mind, with the skill of a master builder (1 Cor 3:10), the changing needs of the Body of Christ. […] Prudence will prompt him to preserve the legitimate traditions of his particular Church, but it will also make him keen to encourage due progress, zealous in his search for new initiatives, while always safeguarding the unity that is needed. (Congregation for Bishops. Apostolorum successores: Directory for the pastoral ministry of Bishops, ch. II, no. 41, February 22, 2004)

…judges Francis’ idea on Communism

  • Bishops ought to make every effort to expand and improve charitable activities

If a diocese is already engaged in charitable activities, the Bishop ought to make every effort to expand and improve them. If necessary, he will establish new means which correspond to the ever changing needs of his flock, particularly in the areas of services for children, young people, the elderly, the sick and the disabled, immigrants and refugees, for whom the Church’s charitable assistance must be ever accessible and ever available (Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 8). (Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, no. 195, February 22, 2004)

 

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