Commission for information of the
"The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World"
The Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops is only a working instrument for journalistic use and the translations from the original are not official.
19 - 11.10.2001
At 09:05 a. m. today, Thursday October 11th 2001, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the prayer Hora Tertia on the thirtieth day of the terrorist attack on September 11th 2001, the Sixteenth General Congregation began, for the Audition of the Fraternal Delegates, the interventions of the Fraternal Delegates and for the continuation of the interventions of the Synod Fathers in the Hall on the Synodal theme: The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World. The President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. Giovanni Battista RE, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
This General Congregation ended at 12.35 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 237 Fathers were present.
At the beginning of the Hora Tertia on the thirtieth day of the terrorist attack on September 11th 2001, the Holy Father John Paul II pronounced the following Monition:
Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Synodal Fathers,
in a month of inhumane terrorist attacks
which occurred in different parts of the United States of America,
we again recommend
to the eternal mercy of the God of our Fathers
the numerous innocent victims.
We ask for consolation and comfort
for their family and relatives,
prostrated by pain;
we invoke strength and courage
for how many continue their work
in the places hit by this terrible disaster;
we implore tenacity and perseverance
for all the men of goodwill
continuing on the pats of justice and peace.
From the heart of man may the Lord tear away
every trace of resentment, of hostility and of hate,
and to open him to reconciliation,
to solidarity and to peace.
Let us pray so that the "civilization of love"
may be established all over the world.
[00282-02.03] [mmmmm] [Original text: Italian]
After the Hymn, the Psalmody and the brief reading of the Hora Tertia of the day, a Synod father, H.E. Most Rev. John Olurunfemi ONAIYEKAN, Archbishop of Abuja, President of the Episcopal
Conference (Nigeria) and a Fraternal Delegate, H. E. Most Rev. Peter FORSTER, Bishop of Chester (Great Britain), Fraternal Delegate of the Angelican Communion, held a brief Homily.
Then the Holy Father introduced the Intercessions (the Prayer of the faithful) with the following words:
In communion with the Virgin Mary
we offer to God the Father
our unanimous prayer
so that through Christ his Son
may be infused into the hearts of men
and on the entire earth
the Spirit of consolation
the Lord who gives life.
[00283-02.03] [mmmmm] [Original text: Italian]
The Intercessions were read by:
[00297-02.01] [nnnnn] [Original text: Latin]
After reciting the Our Father and before the Apostolic Benediction, the Holy Father pronounced the following prayer:
O God Almighty and Merciful,
he who sows discord cannot understand you,
he who loves violence cannot welcome you:
watch over our painful human condition
tried by brutal acts of terrorism and death,
comfort your children and open our hearts to hope,
that our time
may again know days of serenity and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.
[00292-02.03] [mmmmm] [Original text: Italian]
Then the following Fraternal Delegates intervened:
Summaries of the interventions of the Fraternal Delegates are published here below:
It is a privilege to be here as a fraternal delegate, representing His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos of Constantinople. This synod is of vital importance for the mission and witness of the Church in the 21st century. All your common efforts are also our task, our challenge.
The official dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Church has a history of over twenty years. One of its most important achievements so far has been the joint agreed statement on The Sacrament of Order in the Sacramental Structure of the Church, This document profoundly reflects our common view concerning the various aspects of Episcopal ministry, which have already been widely described in a number of interventions here. From the time of the undivided Church we equally in the East and the West, Orthodox and Catholics alike, have fully understood that episcopacy belongs to the inherent nature of the Church.
These days a eucharistic ecclesiology has gained prominence in the Orthodox Church. In this context there is a deepening emphasis on the role of the bishop particularly in his sacramental and pastoral functions. As bishops our fundamental vocation today is to help individual people and nations to find hope, to be united in the knowledge and love of Christ, and to promote such martyria and spirit of reconciliation which will help to overcome terror, hatred, violence.
Finally, as an Orthodox bishop neither do I dare or wish to touch the question of the relationship between primacy and collegiality, which has been raised here by several of you. But what I may be allowed to do, is to express my fraternal solidarity to you.
In spite of the regular work of local and regional Episcopal synods we in our Orthodox context today face many difficult and unsolved problems concerning inter-Orthodox cooperation. Already in the 1960s, the Orthodox Churches started the preparations for the convening of a Great and Holy Synod, but until now rather little has been achieved.
The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has shown that the purification of memory is a fundamental part of ecumenical agenda. In this spirit I express my gratitude for having the opportunity to intervene in your holy synod and trust that as bishops we, in mutual trust, continue to witness to the same faith in koinonia that the world may believe.
[00285-02.04] [DF001] [Original text: English]
It is a great privilege for me to greet you all on behalf of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and to convey His brotherly love and greetings.
In this jubilee year the Armenian Church solemnly celebrates the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as state religion and in this context the visit of Holy Father to Armenia filled our hearts with pride for our Christian heritage and constant faithfulness. I was deeply moved seeing the light of St. Gregory in the Chapel nearby and reading the beautiful words of His Holiness about the two lungs of the Church of Christ. We have rejoiced with our Catholic brethren for the beatification of the Armenian Catholic Bishop of Merdin, Ignazio Maloyan, who had shared the fate and martyrdom of hundreds of Armenian Orthodox bishops and priests during the Genocide perpetuated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians in 1915.
Bishops of my generation become the bishops of the new century and the new millennium, the bishops of new challenges and new tribulations.
In our world of growing secularization and consumerism a bishop should remain faithful to the spirit of the Gospel, being united with the Lord by prayer, by dedication and by Christ-like daily behavior. We must confess that sometimes we turn away from God, when we are concerned with the material comforts of the world and think above all about our own well-being.
In our world of new divisions and separations all the bishops of Sister Churches should commit to closer collaboration and cooperation. The ecumenical spirit must overcome all existing prejudices and misunderstandings.
In our world of individualism and self-confidence the bishops must find the way towards people's needs, and be closer to and more concerned with the daily problems of each member of their flock. People should not see a bishop as a bureaucrat who distances himself from the problems of simple men and women, behind the walls of his palazzo vescovile.
I was very touched by the speech of Fr. Maloney who perceives a bishop as a father and a brother. May God give me the strength and courage to be a father and a brother for all.
[00286-02.04] [DF002] [Original text: English]
Considerable recent work has been done in the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion on the place and work of the Bishop in the life of the Church. Since 1990 the major publications have included: Episcopal Ministry (1990), Apostolicity and Succession (1994), and Bishops in Communion (2000). The thinking of these documents bears a close relationship to that in the Instrumentum laboris for this Synod.
Apart from such issues as compulsory celibacy and the potential eligibility of women to the episcopal office, remaining differences are in two areas.
The first concerns the relationship between the personal, collegial and communal dimensions of the ministry of the Bishop. Anglicans maintain a model of Bishop-in-Synod, in which the personal ministry of the Bishop is inseparable from his leadership in the College of Priests in his Diocese, and over the representative assembly of clergy and lay people in the Diocesan Synod. Although certain responsibilities are reserved strictly to the Bishop of a Diocese, and to the Bishops of the Province acting together, the principle of lay representation and formal participation in decision-making is now very well established. This conciliar principle augments the collegiality of the Bishops, in a spirit of communion which embraces all the baptised.
The second concerns the exercise of authority by the universal Primate. Anglicans have come to accept the wisdom and need of a universal primacy, exercised by the Bishop of Rome. It is recognized that such a need, for the mission of the Church, will discernibly grow as the process of globalization progresses. Agreement remains to be reached over the precise rights and responsibilities to be attached to a renewed and fully ecumenical Primacy.
Although much remains to be done, Anglicans have a deep gratitude for the pastoral priority attached by Pope John Paul II to the ecumenical task, as set out in the Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995). We are also greatly encouraged by other ecumenical advances, notably the agreements between the Anglicans and Lutherans in Northern Europe, the United States of America, and Canada, to achieve full communion.
[00287-02.04] [df003] [Original text: English]
Holy Father, Brothers and Sisters in Christ! My intervention deals with the ecumenical perspective (§ 131 of the Instrumentum laboris) and the main point is to emphasize the importance of the episcopate as an Ecumenical Instrument.
The Catholic-Lutheran dialogue on the doctrine of Justification has been of great value. When these churches recently reached a consensus on that issue a long time of misunderstanding and conflict came to an end. This will be of great importance for the future of Europe, which still in a way is living in the aftermath of religious wars long ago. Even on the issue of the episcopal ministry dialogues have been held between Catholics and Lutherans on different levels.
Another important dialogue has been carried out between Anglican and Lutheran Churches in Northem Europe. They felt called by God to a common witness and service in a Europe which is rapidly being united.
Ten churches from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic area have recently come to an agreement -called the Porvoo agreement- which means that a full inter-communion has been established between them. One striking effect of the agreement is that bishops, priests and deacons of all the participating churches now can exercise their ministry in all.
All the participating churches are episcopal churches but have not been looking at and practising their episcopacy in an identical way. In spite of that, they decided to come together for a common future. By participating in one another's consecrations of bishops a common episcopacy will be created.
The basis of the agreement is that the Anglican and the Lutheran churches have recognised one another as worldwide expressions of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. It is also decisive that the participating churches have come to a common conception of apostolicity as attached to the whole Church and of the historic episcopate as a sign and not a automatic guarantee of the apostolicity of the Church.
Supported by a quotation from a Roman Catholic Ecumenical officer (Rev. Dom. Hemik Roclvink, OFM) I raise the question whether this development might give the Roman Catholic Church a reason to reassess the Anglican and Lutheran episcopal ordinations.
[00288-02.04] [df004] [Original text: English]
Before the break, H. Em. Card. Angelo SODANO, Secretary of State, intervened on the theme: "A common Apostolic commitment: the Synod of Unity".
The full text of His intervention is published here below:
In the Cenacle, the Apostles were only twelve, yet, although they had different characters, came from different environments and had their own different styles of practising
the one apostolate, they were joined in prayer and in the common solicitude to spread the Kingdom of God.
In this Synod Hall, we, today, are over 200 and, in the whole Church, the Episcopal College is formed by over 4,500 Prelates, of which the residential and Titular Bishops and the Bishops Emeritus.
We also all come from different experiences and it is therefore logical that we have different sensitivities.
In this situation, it is essential for the College of Bishops to keep a vital and operational unity through affective and effective bonds of strong collaboration with the Bishop of Rome and all the Brothers.
However, it will not be out of place to turn and reflect on the fact that, with the episcopal Ordination, we have all been counted in the one Coetus Episcopalis, which succeeds the College of the Apostles. The fact that each one is then destined to one office or another is certainly of secondary importance.
A short while back, it was rightly observed that before the local Church the universal Church existed, and this both ontologically and temporally.
By analogy, we can therefore say that each of us, through the episcopal Ordination was first of all inserted in the College of Bishops and has, therefore, the duty to feel he is a member of this body wherever he may be called to work. Likewise, one is a Bishop until death whatever ecclesial service may be required of us.
This Synod is truly a beautiful image of the great "episcopal mosaic", whose unity is wonderfully made up of so many different pieces.
Here, in fact, there are Representatives of 11 Eastern Catholic Churches (6 Patriarchs, 2 Archbishops Major and 3 Metropolitan Bishops). Delegates from the 112 Episcopal Conferences existing in the world today are present here, in addition to the Bishops elected directly by the Holy Father. There are also 25 Prelates who, in the respective Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, collaborate with the Supreme Pontiff in his solicitude for the universal Church.
Personally, I am part of this latter group of Bishops and I am pleased to notice the great collegial spirit which reigns in this hall.
To all the Brothers in the Episcopate, I wish to say that the 25 Bishops, who are responsible for the respective Dicasteries of the Roman Curia are constantly committed to fostering this spirit of fraternal collaboration with all the Bishops in the whole world, in the wake of the directives which the Holy Father has given us in the famous Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia of 28 June 1988 with the very significant title: Pastor Bonus.
The different origin of the Dicastery Heads facilitates the understanding of the pastoral realities in the different countries on earth. In fact, of us, 6 come from Italy and 6 from the Spanish language area; 3 are from English speaking countries and 3 from German speaking areas. Then there is Dicastery head for each of the following areas: French, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic, African, Japanese and Vietnamese.
The Pope then called a Patriarch to guide the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. All together we make the effort to give our contribution to better serve the Supreme Pontiff and, therefore the universal Church.
To the Brothers who work in the Dioceses allow me to ask not to demand impossible things from us who work in the Curia. We all have our limits. The Apostle told us counter-positions are not useful: ""Alter alterius onera portate!".
May this be the spirit of our common work, animated by the same flame of charity which Christ instilled into our hearts.
Lastly, I wish to assure you that this is also the spirit with which the Bishops sent by the Pope as His Nuncios and Apostolic Delegates work in the various Nations. Today, they are over one hundred, and some of them serve in very difficult situations.
And here I would like to pay tribute to the late Apostolic Nuncio in Papua - New Guinea, Archbishop Hans Schwemmer, of the Diocese of Regensburg, in Germany, who died on duty a few days ago, as well as to all those who, with great sacrifice, are working in the most needy and distant areas.
I am sure that, also on the part of the local Prelates the hard work of the Pontifical Representatives will be facilitated - inspired by the one purpose which unites us all: the ideal of spreading the Kingdom of God.
At the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium, the Episcopal College will appear before the world as said, as the College of the Apostles in the Cenacle appeared, and will bear strong witness of being truly "cor unum et anima una".
To conclude, may this be the Synod of unity.
[00284-02.06] [ln222] [Original text: Italian]
Subsequently, the following Fathers intervened:
Below are the summaries of the interventions:
The Communist Revolution which marked, in a different way, the Nations of Laos and Cambodia, constrained the Church to live in silence and persecution. The Mystery of the Cross passed through these two nations. But Hope enlivened these communities that had become invisible.
In Cambodia, especially, this seemed irreversible. Just as Christ on the Cross offered His life to His Father for the salvation of the world, witnesses offered their life in conformity to their faith, at the service of their brothers and sisters. And today’s reborn Church wishes to be the servant of the "excluded ones" of society and a sign of Hope. The ordination of the first four Cambodian priests, on December 9th 2001, after the death of all the bishops and priests of the Nation during the Pol Pot regime, is another sign of this Hope.
[00251-02.05] [in207] [Original text: French]
During the three years of preparation for the Great Jubilee, the Pastoral Plan for each year provided for reviving the faith and life of the People of God in our local Churches, in full communion with the See of Peter. For the great gift of the Jubilee a hymn of action of grace arises to the Holy Trinity, and to all the organizers of that grandiose event. After the Jubilee Year, we can count on the Pope’s Letter Novo millennio ineunte, which gives new impulse to the People of God to "put out into the deep" for the encounter with the living Jesus Christ".
In the face of the new century and millennium and today’s challenges, the Pope invites us to walk with hope in the light of Christ, who is the only Savior. He can transform us into instruments of life within the local Churches, nourished by His word and by the Eucharist for a path of holiness.
Animated by a spirituality of communion, sharing the joys and hopes of those who suffer and the poor, because in them lies a special presence of the Lord: "I was hungry... thirsty... and you fed me" etc. (cf. Mt:25). Our pastoral attention is focused in particular on the young: if Christ appears to them with His true face and with all His demands, they are capable of generous and convincing responses. Similarly, our ministry of communion leads us to be near the priests as fathers and friends.
As bishops, we feel corresponsible for the evangelization of the whole world and desirous to share the gift of the faith we have received, also giving on the basis of our poverty (cf. Puebla No. 368), in a fraternal exchange of gifts. The ad gentes and ad vitam missionary vocations of our young Churches are gifts of the Lord which far from impoverishing us, enrich the whole Church and nourish us in the Christian life, because "Faith is strengthened when it is given to others" (Redemptoris missio n. 2).
[00252-02.03] [in208] [Original text: Spanish]
Missionary activity and cooperation: IL Nos. 133-34.
The missionary Church has characteristics which are very different to the Churches in full development. It is a young growing Church and is a Church undergoing inculturation. It requires an extraordinary episcopal ministry, which responds to the already quoted characteristics. The Instrumentum laboris states that "With this in mind, the Church calls to mind the many missionary Bishops, who, today as in the past, shine out in the Church through their holiness of life and the generosity of their apostolic zeal" (IL 133).
The missionary Church is usually characterized by extensive territorial areas and minimum resources, by unstable economic and social conditions and by uninterrupted history of crises and conflict. It is embodied in one person: The Pastor of souls, the chancellor and promoter of diocesan development. In addition to the duty of praying and celebrating faith, the bishop carries out missionary visits within the diocese and sometimes covers three or four responsibilities in the Episcopal Conference - the reason for being frequently absent.
Undoubtedly it is an easy ecclesial task, especially when taking into account the delicate mission to transform and inculturate the missionary Church in the local Church. We already know that the first pastoral duty of the missionary bishop is to create an indigenous Church with an indigenous clergy.
It is opportune to make the assumption that, in the choice of bishops, who will have to serve the missionary Church, the ones who are chosen are relatively young, healthy and physically in a position to bear the burden of the apostolate. That in addition, when in the local Church mostly indigenous clergy mature, the Holy See offers the missionary bishop the option to leave this or that diocese in favor of a native bishop who can better understand the cultural values and needs of the people. An autochthonous Pastor deserves an autochthonous church.
A consequence of an ecclesiology of communion is the solicitude of each bishop with respect to the Church and all the other particular Churches. "As Pastor of a particular Church, the Bishop has the responsibility to guide all missionary endeavors by directing and coordinating them...so that the whole diocese becomes missionary" (IL 134). There is also mention of "communion of goods and fulfilling the obligation of charity towards the missions and the poorest of the poor" (IL 125).
We recognize the great generosity of the faithful and the Pastors of the large Churches of Europe and the United States, Caritas International and the missionary cooperation plans of innumerable dioceses of the world. They make it possible to offer, according to the needs of the Churches in lands of mission, support and economic help to provide a needy people with plans and projects for evangelization, catechesis and human promotion.
And as a model of both real and affectionate communion, and fruit of the Synod for America, I would like to share with the other bishops a highly positive experience of missionary. This is the Texas-Honduras Initiative, with reference to two twin dioceses. They have established relationships of mutual help between large and small dioceses with help proving useful such as the exchange of pastoral agents, economic means and help, and projects between parishes, all of which has enriched the work of evangelization in both Churches (IL 74).
As for missionary action and cooperation, bishops, as men of communion and hope, are requested to:
1. to introduce missionary animation in their ordinary pastoral;
2. to welcome with evangelical spirit to be sent on missionary work; in fact, there is no greater gift to the missionary Church than sending a priest or religious community to strengthen the Church that is still developing;
3. to promote missionary cooperation of all the People of God, translated into prayer, testimony of life, voluntary sacrifices and economic help. I have finished. Thank you.
[00253-02.04] [ln209] [Original text: Spanish]
In this Assembly, the Fathers have several times recalled the patristic words ubi escopus, ibi Ecclesia. Thus stating the Bishop’s identification with the Church, that is the local Church.
The African Synod on one hand has underlined the image of the Church as the Family of God. And the Instrumentum laboris (nos. 9 and 19) speaks of the "same family of God".
We know that the Family of God ‘par excellence’ is the Most Holy Trinity. And the perfect image of the Trinity on earth is the Holy Family. With these two images of the Church or the Family of God, the bishop, as Ecclesiae imago, now becomes analogically identified. And we have the bishop as icon or image living in the Most Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and in the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph), in virtue of the grace received with Ordination, confirmed by the potestas given to him by Jesus Himself.
The identity of the Bishop and his way of acting are trinitarian. But here we are not dealing with growing to the heights of the Trinity, rather with allowing oneself to be modelled by the same Trinity, committed in favor of the Bishop for the salvation of man, of each and every man, and therefore for the hope of the world. It is the Bishop’s turn to assume the new identity, to welcome the Word like Mary, to accept and to keep the Divine Plan like Joseph and to live in fullness the three munera (docendi, sanctificandi et regendi) like Jesus, for the hope of the world.
As the Trinity and the Holy Family it becomes obvious that being a bishop for the grace or the charism of unity, for communion, for love without which the bishop loses his substance, his intrinsic identity; and ceases, so to speak, to be the living hope for himself and for the world. In fact, the tensions dissolve in the Trinity. The ministries and the charisms are united. In the Holy Family love is alive, faith is strong and hope is solid.
In the light of all this, the figure of the Bishop is understood: --as provident Father who generates sons and daughters with the Word and the Sacraments, who creates the ecclesial structures (parishes, councils, communities...) governs with and for love, protects the family name and minds the growth of Jesus (like Saint Joseph). –As Son sent by the Father (Christ) obedient and humble, poor and faithful servant and the bridge between heaven and earth, guide on the path of truth towards eternal life, that is towards hope (the exercise of munus docendi); as the Spirit, who like Mary generates and guides the first steps of the children, gathers, sanctifies and renews the Church born on the day of Pentacost.
This figure seems crushing for the bishop. Do not fear, You are gods, the Scriptures already affirmed this. And we know that it is God the Father who reigns through the bishop, God the Son who teaches and God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies, through the same bishop.
[00255-02.05] [in210] [Original text: Italian]
The conflict and persecution in Sudan are a direct result of a systematic campaign of Islamisation and Arabisation of non Arabs and non Muslims who do not hold political and economic power in Sudan.
Religious persecution is the systematic denial of basic religious freedom. A program of Islamisation continues to characterise the approach of the fundamentalist regime of Khartoum towards the Christians and those Muslims who do not profess that particular version of fundamentalist Islam.
Cultural persecution is the systematic undermining of the dignity of non-Arab Sudanese citizens; the relegation of people to a status of subservience continues to shape social institutions and fundamental attitudes of people living in Northern Sudan for which the government is responsible.
Continuous Aerial Bombardment
Frequent aerial bombardments of civilian targets are carried out by the government. This is a systematic use of the high altitude Russian made Antonov bombers to terrorize the civilian population in contested areas. Other tactics are also used to drive people out from oil rich regions of Southern Sudan; these are part of the military strategy of the government of Sudan. Oil Exploration
Oil exploration in Southern Sudan by Multinational oil Companies from Canada, China and Malaysia fuels the war. Its development and sales contribute to an expansion of the war, deepen the plight of the people of Southern Sudan, harden the resolute decision of the government to see a military solution to the conflict and widen the gap between the government and the armed Liberation Movement in Southern Sudan which is contesting the government's practices and legitimacy.
Plight of the Internally Displaced People
The internally displaced people in the North and South of Sudan live in desperate conditions of life with little hope for immediate improvement.
Sudanese Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries suffer in refugee camps with few prospects for their future. Compassion donor fatigue on the part of the International Community is due to the fact that the conflict is being protracted.
There is urgent need for intervention in Southern Sudan, particularly in the areas of education and technical training and for formation of individuals and communities in the basic principles of responsible governance and civil administration.
[00256-02.06] [un211] [Original text: English]
My reference is to the Biblical Image of the Washing of Feet, to the Mystery of Uniting the Bishop and His People and to a Church with a Human Face. All this calls for a new style of leadership.
The Asian Bishops stated in the 5th Plenary Assembly in 1990 "the new way of being Church is to be a Participatory Church where all the gifts of the Spirit to lay people, to priests and religious alike are recognised and put to use" (cf. FABC 5 No. 8).
In the Communion of Communities, leadership is shared among the community and it in turn builds and enhances community. It is a leadership that makes leaders of others. Leadership is a ministry at the service of the community.
Participatory Church calls for a participatory exercise of the Bishop's leadership to build co-responsibility. Participatory Church is not simply having "helpers" but having "responsible co-workers" for the mission. They are to be made to feel co-responsible for the Church's mission.
This participatory Church leadership is exercised by the bishop by 1) Offering a vision to the people; 2 ) Creating a culture for empowering; and 3) Re-adjusting the structures to allow participation.
The vision gives the people a sense of direction to all the pastoral plans.
To create a culture of empowerment people must be made to feel that they are trusted and are being encouraged to participate by giving their suggestions, to listen to others and to work together for the decisions made.
The readjustment of structures implies that people are made to work as teams -- all participate in decision-making. Where there is involvement of the representatives of the people, there we have concrete expression of the Communion of Communities. The FABC has already had on-going formation programs for bishops and programs for new bishops and would be happy to share our resources and experiences with any other regional conference.
My second point is the need to promote missionary vocations. Ad Gentes of Vatican II in No. 38 states that a bishop is ordained for the whole church and not merely for a diocese.
It means that every bishop is responsible for the missionary needs not only of his own diocese but for every other possible area of the Church. This is clearly a need first within the territory of one's own Bishops' Conference; then within the continent, and throughout the whole world.
Our FABC Office for Missionary Activity is ready to co-ordinate to work in contact with the needy local Churches.
The third point I wish to make is the need to have clearer guidelines to promote a better relationship between the individual bishop and the respective Bishops' Conference. Therefore we make a plea to this Synod to enunciate concrete guidelines for the relationship of all dioceses vis-à-vis the Bishops' Conference, in the light of Vatican II.
My fourth point concerns the Church as an educator not only in the faith but in every aspect of human formation. With the growing trend of secularism the Church was systematically excluded from the field of what we call secular education. Bishop's leadership is essential to safeguard religious and moral dimensions in education, social communications and mass media. I believe this is a part of the mission of the bishop as teacher.
[00257-02.04] [in212] [Original text: English]
I am Paul, speaking to nations. The bishops here present represent their Churches as well as their nations. Therefore, I preach to nations. Holy Father look at this young bishop speaking to so many Patriarchs, Cardinals and Bishops. I feel great! Praise the Lord! Now listen to this young bishop.
We live in the global world of terrorism, atheism, racism, genocidal wars, hatred atrocities, revenge, injustice, corruption and incurable pandemic diseases. The world is gradually becoming one village, but one dominated by sin. The devil is working day and night to build and establish his rule in the hearts of people. Sects and satanic cults are working very hard in Africa.
The Church is the Sacrament of Love, the Sacrament of the Kingdom of God. The Church can give hope here on earth and in life thereafter. St. Peter warns us: "Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith" (1Pt 5: 8-9). This is the scenario even in Christian and Catholic countries. Do we have no compassion? Why, Why, O Lord?!
The Twentieth Century has been one of the worst in history, filled with horrible examples of atrocities that had been predicted by Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady told us to pray and make sacrifices. Oh Heavenly Mother, pray for us sinners!
The mission of Christ is to teach all about repentance, conversion and to build the Kingdom of God. The constitution, carta magna, of the kingdom of God is the greatest and new commandment of love of God and our neighbour. Like Christ, the bishop must teach the law that commands us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. The greatest love is excelled in giving our life for God and others. Ubi caritas, ibi Deus est.
There can be no hope where there is no love. If all would love one another, there would be no hatred, no war, no corruption and no injustice. Oh God, Our Father, give us love and hope through your Church! As this new millennium begins, let us let shine the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Darkness cannot overcome light. When people see and hear Christ in the bishop, faith and hope will develop in them.
This Synod of Bishops takes place during the month of October, month of the Holy Rosary. It was on October 13, 1917 that the miracle of a dancing sun attracted a crowd of over 70,000. Oh Mary, Our Mother, obtain for us love, hope faith and peace! Amen.
[00258-02.04] [in258] [Original text: English]
The episcopal ministry, beyond the great responsibility and the heavy cross it represents, like all ministries in Christ, must be for us a joyful ministry, independent from the values of a strongly secularised society with its rapid changes, because the truth of Christ remains unwavering.
The Church of our country, Kazakhstan, where Catholics represent about 2.5% of the population and where Christians and Muslims live together in peace, as well as representatives of about forty other confessions from over 120 ethnic groups, has considerable history.
Using this occasion of being with you, I wish to thank His Holiness Pope John Paul II for his recent visit to our country. This visit was the apex of expectations of several generations of believers. I hope that the whole world saw how the great soul of the Kazakh steppes was open to receive love, truth and hope.
Today, after the acts of terrorism against New York and Washington, all humanity tries to create a deeper division between the "East" and "West", to increase confrontation between the so-called "Muslim" world and the "Christian" world. In this background of tragedy, in Kazakhstan, which links Europe and Asia, the clear voice of the Vicar of Christ rang out, calling both Christians and Muslims to prayer, calling out to keep that great gift of God, which is peace. Many people of good will in Kazakhstan accepted this call with hope.
The bishop must humbly trust in God, and even when apparent disasters occur in a developing bad context, he must not succumb to despair. But by preaching hope, he must be rooted in it and contemplate his ministry in the perspective of eternity.
[00268-02.06] [inz14] [Original text: French]
The Holy Father should be thanked for having chosen the episcopal ministry as the theme of this Synod. Holiness, zeal and the human qualities of the Bishop are reflected in fact in the local Church, which he sanctifies, teaches and leads in the name of Christ. The Instrumentum Laboris, remarkably well done, does not miss mentioning the Eastern Catholic Churches and their rich traditions on the matter. However, I would like to add a contribution on certain points.
1. Collegiality and synodality. Our "sui iuris" Patriarchal Churches (cf. IL 74) live the bishops’ collegiality (affectus collegialis) not only by effective and affective communion with the Church of Rome and her bishop, and with their brother bishops in the same territory, but also synodally. The Synod of Bishops of the Eastern Patriarchates, with extended competencies, is understood as a way of practicing the collegiality of the bishops, sanctioned from the first ecumenical councils (Nicea I in 325, canons 6 and 7, for example), enriched by the long and multiform experiences of the Eastern Churches. Vatican Council II did not hesitate in stating that the Patriarchs of the East were born "by Divine Providence" (Lumen Gentium, 23).
2. The pastoral ministry of the Eastern faithful in the Diaspora. The Eastern Catholic Churches, in particular those in the Near East, today face a tragedy: emigration of their faithful, and risk facing it more in the future. Certain Churches count more faithful in the Diaspora than in the traditional territories! This is a great loss for our Churches and for the Christian presence in this part of the world. But this once again means that the Eastern Catholic Churches must be capable of effectively organizing a proper and apt pastoral ministry for their faithful living the situation of the Diaspora, evidently in deep communion and real concertation with the local bishops of other "sui iuris" Churches.
3. The election of Bishops. The episcopal vocation comes into the divine choice and the bishop is created by the sacred rite of ordination, be it of the Eastern or the Western tradition. But who makes the Bishop, that is to say the man, who calls him, who elects him? Who prepares the episcopal lists, who organizes the preliminary consultations? Etc... Two very different yet legitimate traditions answer these questions, which have existed together, side by side, throughout the lengthy history of the Church. The Instrumentum Laboris in mentioning "preliminary consultations" obviously alludes to the questions that emerged within the Church of Latin Rite. The Eastern tradition, sanctioned by the ecumenical councils and the pontifical documents, gives the Synod of Bishops of the "sui iuris" Church competence over the election of Bishops, which raises electoral act to the rank of an ecclesial act of primary importance. The election of the bishop in the Eastern tradition is not the fact or the work of an organ that prepares, studies, proposes names, but the work of a solidary and responsible college which elects, creates, makes the bishop.
From this we can draw that we should entrust the canonical research made by the Patriarch and the bishops of the Synod and to come back to the ancient and traditional practice on the matter, for the patriarchal as well as the non-patriarchal territories: in other words that the name of the bishop elected by the Synod may be published immediately and that the elected bishop then ask the Pope to accord ecclesial communion to him.
[00269-02.04] [in215] [Original text: French]
The theology and spirituality of communion embraced by the Synod clearly establishes the Bishop as a man of relationships Essential to these relationships is the image of the Bishop, how we see the ministry and how others see it. One of the most important influences in shaping this image of the Bishop is the clerical Episcopal subculture that has emerged from the life of the church and the way the Episcopal ministry has been exercised both in the past and today.
Customs and protocols associated with the Bishop influence this image. The Episcopal ministry can come to be seen as a special status rather than a servant role: a career path for the Bishop, rather than a life of service to the people. In this clerical Episcopal culture, the focus can be more on the Bishop than the people.
The eccentricities of Bishops can be tolerated without averting to the frustration and helplessness of the people of God for whom they are supposed to care. Bishops who treat people without the normal respect, courtesies and rights that they have rightly come to expect in secular society, often go unchecked. Bishops can blatantly ignore their accountability to their priests and people and not be challenged.
In this culture, the sacramental communion Bishops share through ordination can be treated as an optional extra, to be taken or left, according to the whim of an individual Bishop. If we are not working to change this culture, we are cooperating in keeping it as it is. This culture can be an enemy within, which we do not recognize as we combat many enemies without.
[00270-02.03] [in216] [Original text: English]
The Instrumentum Laboris as a working document establishes many scriptural texts and theological-spiritual considerations as basis to affirm the centrality of the bishop’s ministry in the Church. I will not venture to elaborate further on these treasured references and justifications that have been dealt with quite thoroughly and convincingly.
Being placed at the center of the faith community entrusted to him, the bishop's principal role is that of being the focus of faith and center of unity . (IL 64) The bishop is the animator of pastoral spirituality aimed at building relationships towards communion in the Trinitarian model.
The bishop's ministry as the servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the World is that of extending God's call to all people to holiness through proclamation of the Good News. The Bishop's own experience of the Lord, like that of the Apostles (1 Jon 1: 1-4), will be the basis of his witness of the Good News in gathering his people together. Through his sermons and pastoral letters and other opportunities, he will draw from his close union with the Lord to lead and direct his people in their growth towards maturity in love.
The people must feel the surge of love, compassion and hope when they meet their bishop and his collaborators. (IL86, 88) The building of reconciling relationships through genuine dialogue and participation will pave the way for the bishop to lead his diocese along the path of unity -holiness.
The importance of an organic spiritual-pastoral plan for the diocese has been recommended strongly by some of the presentations. It is also my hope that this much-needed programmed coordination of evangelization in the diocese will be adopted and implemented in all our dioceses. This will mean making changes that will give way to new relationships of brotherly and sisterly love. The bishop' s own spiritual journey will continue to give inspiration and hope to his priests and together they will lead their people in the pilgrimage towards unity and holiness.
[00271-02.03] [in217] [Original text: English]
The Rosary of the Holy Father John Paul II on the Thirtieth Day of the terrorist attack of September 11th 2001 will be recited at the end of the Seventeenth General Congregation of this afternoon, Thursday 11th October 2001.
The second Press Conference on the works of the Tenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, after the Report after the Discussion will take place tomorrow Friday October 12th 2001, at 12.45 p.m., in the Hall of John Paul II of the Press Office of the Holy See.
The following will intervene:
The tenth briefing for the language groups will take place on Tuesday October 16th 2001 at 13:10 (in the briefing locations and with the Press Officers indicated in Bulletin No. 2).
We would like to remind the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) to request the access permit (restricted) from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The ninth pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Eighteenth General Congregation of Friday morning, October 12th 2001.
The list for registration to the pool is available to the editors at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Press Office of the Holy See (at the entrance, on the right).
We would like to recall that the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are kindly requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications to participate in the information pool for the Synod Hall.
We would also like to remind the participants in the Information Pool that they are kindly requested to be at the Press Area at 8:30 a.m., outside the entrance of the Paul VI Hall, when they will be called by name to enter the Synod Hall, always accompanied respectively by an officer of the Holy See Press Office and from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The next Bulletin No. 20, regarding the works of the Seventeenth General Congregation of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of this afternoon will be available to the accredited journalists tomorrow morning Friday 12 October 2001, at the opening of the Holy See Press Office.
Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - X Ordinary
General Assembly - 2001