CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS
Successors of the Apostles (Apostolorum Successores) by divine institution, Bishops are constituted as Pastors of the Church when the Holy Spirit is conferred upon them at their episcopal ordination, and they receive the task of teaching, sanctifying and governing in hierarchical communion with the Successor of Peter and with the other members of the episcopal College.
The title “Successor of the Apostles” lies at the root of the pastoral ministry of the Bishop and of his mission in the Church and it clearly defines the figure of the Bishop and his mission.
Bishops, as members of the episcopal College which is the successor of the Apostolic College, are intimately united to Jesus Christ, who continues to choose and to send out his Apostles. As a successor of the Apostles, by virtue of his episcopal ordination and through hierarchical communion, the Bishop is the visible principle and the guarantee of unity in his particular Church(1).
According to the Book of Revelation, the walls of the new Jerusalem “had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles” (Rev 21:14). The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium teaches: “the Bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the Apostles as Pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ”(2).
As successors of the Apostles, Bishops receive the grace and the responsibility to safeguard the mark of apostolicity in the Church. In order that the living Gospel might always be preserved in its entirety in the Church, the Apostles left Bishops as their successors, entrusting to them their own Magisterial task(3).
This is why Bishops, generation after generation, are called to safeguard and to hand on Sacred Scripture and to promote the Traditio, that is, the proclamation of the one Gospel and the one faith, in complete fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles. At the same time, their task is to shed the light of the Gospel upon the new questions that are constantly presented by changing historical circumstances (for example, questions of a cultural, socioeconomic or scientific and technological nature)(4). Bishops, moreover, are responsible for sanctifying and governing the People of God cum et sub Petro, with missionary dynamism and in continuity with the work accomplished by their episcopal predecessors.
The present Directory, an updated and revised version of the one issued on 22 February 1973, has been prepared by the Congregation for Bishops in order to offer to the “Shepherds of Christ’s flock” a useful guide that will help them to exercise more fruitfully every aspect of their complex and difficult pastoral ministry in the Church and in the modern world. It is intended to help the Bishops to address, with humble trust in God and with constant courage, the challenges and new problems of the present day, amid the great progress and the rapid changes that mark the beginning of this third millennium.
This Directory belongs to a rich tradition: from the sixteenth century onwards, many ecclesiastical writers have produced documents with such titles as Enchiridion, Praxis, Statutes, Ordo, Dialogues, Aphorisms, Munera, Instructions, Officium, with a view to offering Bishops comprehensive pastoral manuals to assist them in the exercise of their ministry.
The principal sources of this Directory are the documents of the Second Vatican Council, as well as more recent pontifical teaching and the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
Significantly, this Directory is being published shortly after the promulgation of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, which brought together the ideas and proposals of the Tenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held in 2001 and devoted to a study of the episcopal ministry under the heading: “The Bishop, minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world”. This recent Apostolic Exhortation completed the series of Post-Synodal Magisterial reflections by the Holy Father on the different vocations of the People of God, in the context of the ecclesiology of communion set out by the Second Vatican Council, focusing on the diocesan Bishop as the visible sign and central principle. Hence, this Directory is closely linked to the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis with regard to its doctrinal and pastoral foundations. It was produced after wide consultation, taking note of suggestions and comments received from various diocesan Bishops and from some Bishops Emeritus.
The Directory is fundamentally pastoral and practical in nature, offering suggestions and concrete guidelines for the activity of Bishops, without prejudice to the prudent discretion of each individual Bishop in judging how best to apply them in the particular conditions of his diocese, taking into account the local mentality and social situation, and the growth of his people’s faith. In this Directory, whatever is drawn from the discipline of the Church retains the same force that it has in its original source.
THE IDENTITY AND MISSION
“I am the Good Shepherd;
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations,
I. THE BISHOP WITHIN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST
1. Identity and Mission of the Bishop.
Reflecting upon his office and his duties, the Bishop should consider as the key to his identity and mission the mystery of Christ and the attributes willed by the Lord Jesus for his Church, “a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”(5). For it is in the light of the mystery of Christ, Shepherd and Guardian of souls (cf. 1 Pet 2:25), that the Bishop will come to understand ever more profoundly the mystery of the Church, in which he, by the grace of episcopal ordination, has been appointed as teacher, priest and shepherd so as to guide her with the power he has received.
As Vicar(6) of the “great shepherd of the sheep” (Heb 13:20), the Bishop manifests through his life and his episcopal ministry the fatherhood of God. He reveals the goodness, the loving care, the mercy, the gentleness and the authority of Christ, who came to give his life and to gather all people into one family, reconciling them in the love of the Father. The Bishop also manifests the constant vitality of the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the Church and sustains her in her human weakness. This Trinitarian understanding of the Bishop’s being and acting (esse and agere) is rooted in the life of Christ himself. He is the eternal and only-begotten Son of the Father, who from the beginning is in the Father’s bosom (cf. Jn 1:18) and was anointed and sent into the world by the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 11:27; Jn 15:26 and 16:13-14)(7).
2. Eloquent Images of the Bishop.
Some dynamic images of the Bishop, drawn from Scripture and from the Tradition of the Church, such as the image of the shepherd, the fisherman, the father, the brother, the friend, the comforter, the servant, the teacher, the leader, the sacramentum bonitatis, point to Jesus Christ and characterize the Bishop as a man of faith and discernment, a man of hope and serious commitment, a man of gentleness and compassion, a man of communion. These images indicate that to enter into the Apostolic succession is to enter into combat for the Gospel(8).
Among the different images, that of the shepherd illustrates with particular eloquence the breadth of the episcopal ministry, in that it expresses its meaning, purpose, style and evangelical missionary dynamism. The model of Christ the Good Shepherd suggests to the Bishop daily fidelity to his mission, total and serene dedication to the Church, joy in leading to the Lord the People of God entrusted to his care, and gladness in gathering into the unity of ecclesial communion the scattered children of God (cf. Mt 15:24; 10:6). In contemplating the Gospel icon of the Good Shepherd, the Bishop discovers the meaning of constant self-giving, remembering that the Good Shepherd offered his life for his flock (cf. Jn 10:11) and came not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20:28)(9). Moreover, he discovers the inspiration for his pastoral ministry and for the proper exercise of his triple munera of teaching, sanctifying, and governing according to the model of the Good Shepherd. So if his episcopal ministry is to bear fruit, the Bishop is called to conform himself closely to Christ both in his personal life and in the exercise of his apostolate, in such a way that the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16) thoroughly informs his thoughts, words and deeds, and the light streaming from the face of Christ illumines his “care of souls, which is the art of arts”(10). This spiritual aspiration awakens in the Bishop the hope of receiving from Christ the “unfading crown of glory” (1 Pet 5:4) when he comes again as universal shepherd to bring together and to judge all nations (cf. Mt 25:31-46). This same hope guides the Bishop throughout his ministry, illuminating his days, nourishing his spirituality, increasing his trust and sustaining him in his struggle against evil and injustice. Together with his people, he therefore looks forward in certain hope to contemplating the Lamb that was slain, the Shepherd who leads all people to the source of life and to the vision of God (cf. Rev 7:17).
II. THE BISHOP IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
3. The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ and the People of God.
The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium proposes a number of images which illustrate the mystery of the Church and highlight its characteristic marks, revealing the indissoluble bond that unites the People of God with Christ. Among these, two that particularly stand out are that of the mystical body, with Christ as head(11), and that of the People of God, which gathers together all the children of God, pastors as well as lay faithful, and intimately unites them through one baptism. This people has Christ as its head, Christ who was “put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 4:25). They live in the dignity and the freedom of the children of God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts as in a temple. Their law is the new commandment of love and their goal is the Kingdom of God already inaugurated on earth(12).
Our Saviour entrusted to Peter and to the other Apostles the task of feeding this one and only Church of his (cf. Jn 21:17) and he commissioned them to govern it and to enable it to grow (cf. Mt 28:18-20). He established it for ever as a pillar and bulwark of the truth (cf. 1 Tim 3:15).
4. Common Priesthood and Ministerial Priesthood.
Christ has endowed all the members of this people with hierarchical and charismatic gifts, established them in a communion of life, charity and truth, and invested them with priestly dignity (cf. Rev 1:6; 5:9-10). They have been consecrated by him through baptism, so as to offer spiritual sacrifices through everything they do. They have been sent out as the light of the world and the salt of the earth (cf. Mt 5:13-16) to proclaim the marvellous works of Him who has called them out of darkness into his wonderful light (cf. 1 Pet 2:4-10). Some members of the Body of Christ, however, are consecrated by the sacrament of holy orders to exercise the priestly ministry. The common priesthood and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood differ essentially, even if they are ordered one to another, since each shares in its own proper way in the one priesthood of Christ. “The ministerial priest, by the sacred power that he has, forms and rules the priestly people; in the person of Christ he effects the eucharistic sacrifice and offers it to God in the name of all the people. The faithful indeed, by virtue of their royal priesthood, participate in the offering of the Eucharist. They exercise that priesthood, too, by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, abnegation and active charity”(13).
5. Particular Churches.
The People of God is not merely a community of different nations, but in its very nature it is composed of different parts, the particular Churches, formed in the image of the universal Church. In them and from them exists the one and only Catholic Church(14). The particular Church is entrusted to the Bishop(15), who is the visible source and foundation of unity(16), and through his hierarchical communion with the head and the other members of the episcopal College, the particular Church is incorporated into the plena communio ecclesiarum of the one Church of Christ.
In this way, the entire mystical Body of Christ is also a body of Churches(17), generating a wonderful reciprocity, since the riches of the life and works of each one redound to the good of the whole Church. Both the Pastor and his flock thus share in the supernatural abundance of the whole Body.
These particular Churches are also “in” and “from” the Church, which is “truly present and operative” within them. Hence the Successor of Peter, Head of the episcopal College, and the Body of Bishops are proper, constitutive elements of each particular Church(18). The pastoral governance of the Bishop and the life of his diocese must manifest their reciprocal communion with the Roman Pontiff and with the episcopal College, and also with particular sister Churches, especially those present in the same region.
6. The Church, Sacrament of Salvation.
The Church is a sacrament of salvation in that, through the visible Church, Christ is present in the midst of his people and he continues his mission, pouring out his Holy Spirit upon the faithful. The body of the Church therefore differs from all human societies, because she is governed not according to the personal capacities of her members, but through her intimate union with Christ. From him, the Church receives life and energy, which is passed on to her members. The Church does not only signify intimate union with God and the unity of the whole human race, but she is the effective sign of this unity and is therefore a sacrament of salvation(19).
7. The Church, Communion and Mission.
At the same time, the Church is communion. The images of the Church and the essential marks which define her reveal that in her most intimate nature she is a Trinitarian mystery of communion, because, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, “the faithful, united with their Bishops, have access to God the Father through the Son, the Word made flesh who suffered and was glorified, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And so… they enter into communion with the most holy Trinity”(20). Communion lies at the heart of the Church’s self-understanding (21) and is the bond which expresses her nature as a human reality, as a community of saints and as a body of Churches; communion also expresses the reality of the particular Church.
Ecclesial communion is communion of life, of charity and of truth(22), and as a bond uniting people with God, it establishes a new kind of relationship among people and manifests the sacramental nature of the Church. The Church is “the home and the school of communion” (23), built up around the Eucharist, sacrament of ecclesial communion, through which, “really sharing in the body of the Lord… we are taken up into communion with him and with one another”(24). At the same time, the Eucharist is the epiphany of the Church, by which her Trinitarian character is made visible.
The Church has a mission to proclaim and to spread the Kingdom of God to the utmost ends of the earth, so that all may believe in Christ and so come to eternal life(25). The Church is therefore also missionary. In fact, “Christ did not bequeath to the Church a mission in the political, economic, or social order: the purpose he assigned to it was a religious one. But this religious mission can be the source of commitment, direction, and vigour to establish and consolidate the community of men according to the law of God”(26).
8. The Bishop, Visible Principle of Unity and Communion.
The Bishop, visible principle of unity in his diocese, is called to build up the particular Church unceasingly in the communion of all its members, and to ensure that their diverse gifts and ministries, in union with the universal Church, serve to build up all the faithful and to spread the Gospel.
As teacher of the faith, sanctifier and spiritual guide, the Bishop knows he can count on a special divine grace, conferred upon him at his episcopal ordination. This grace sustains him as he spends himself for the Kingdom of God, for man’s eternal salvation, and in his commitment to shape the course of history with the power of the Gospel, giving direction to man’s pilgrimage through time.
III. THE COLLEGE OF THE TWELVE AND THE COLLEGE OF BISHOPS
9. The Pastoral Mission of the Twelve.
At the beginning of his mission, the Lord Jesus, after praying to the Father, appointed twelve Apostles to be with him and to be sent out to preach the Kingdom of God and to cast out demons(27). Jesus willed the Twelve to be an undivided College with Peter as head, and so it was that they carried out their mission as eye-witnesses of his resurrection, beginning from Jerusalem (cf. Lk 24:47) and then to all the peoples of the earth (cf. Mk 16:20). This mission, which the Apostle Peter forcefully proclaimed when addressing the first Christian community of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 1:21-22), was fulfilled by the Apostles as they went forth proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:16-20). In this way they were continuing the very task that the Risen Christ had entrusted to them on that first Easter evening: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21)(28).
10. The Apostles, Foundations of the Church.
The Apostles, with Peter as head, are the foundation of the Church of Christ, and their names are written on the foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem (cf. Rev 21:14). As the architects of the new People of God, they guarantee fidelity to Christ, cornerstone of the building, and to his Gospel: they teach with authority, they guide the community and safeguard its unity. In this way, the Church, “built on the foundation of the Apostles” (Eph 2:20), possesses the mark of apostolicity, inasmuch as it preserves and hands on whole and entire the deposit received through the Apostles from Christ himself. The apostolicity of the Church is the guarantee of fidelity to the Gospel received and to the sacrament of orders, which perpetuates the apostolic office.
11. Continuity of the Mission of the Twelve in the Episcopal College.
The pastoral mission of the Apostolic College is perpetuated in the episcopal College, just as the primatial office of Peter is perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff. The Second Vatican Council teaches that “the Bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as Pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ (cf. Lk 10:16)”(29).
The episcopal College, with the Roman Pontiff as its head and never without him, is “the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church”(30), while the Pontiff, as “Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the entire Church”(31), possesses “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely”(32). This means that the Roman Pontiff also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular Churches and groups of them(33). The episcopate, one and undivided, shows itself united in a single fraternity around Peter, in order to fulfil its mission to proclaim the Gospel and to shepherd the Church so that it grows throughout the world, always remaining an apostolic community amid the rich diversity of times and places.
12. Membership and Activity of the Bishop in the Episcopal College.
The Bishop becomes a member of the episcopal College by virtue of his episcopal ordination, which confers the fullness of the sacrament of orders and configures the Bishop ontologically to Jesus Christ as Pastor of his Church. By virtue of his episcopal ordination, the Bishop becomes a sacrament of Christ himself, present and active among his people. Through the episcopal ministry, Christ preaches the Word, administers the sacraments of faith and guides his Church (34). For the exercise of the episcopal munus, a “canonical mission” is needed from the Roman Pontiff, with which the Head of the episcopal College entrusts to the Bishop a portion of the People of God or an office for the good of the universal Church (35). So it is that the three functions which constitute the “pastoral munus” received by the Bishop in his episcopal ordination must be exercised in hierarchical communion, even if, because of its distinct nature and purpose, the function of sanctifying is exercised differently from those of teaching and governing (36). The latter two functions, in fact, by their very nature (natura sua) can only be exercised in hierarchical communion, since otherwise they would lead to invalid acts.
The Bishop is never alone because, through “affective collegiality” (collegialitas affectiva), he is constantly united with his brethren in the episcopate and with the one chosen by the Lord to be the Successor of Peter. Affective collegiality finds expression as “effective collegiality” (collegialitas effectiva) in an Ecumenical Council or in the joint action of Bishops throughout the world, initiated by the Roman Pontiff or received by him, in such a way as to constitute a truly collegial act. The spirit (affectus) of collegiality, which is more than a mere sense of solidarity, is manifested in different degrees and the acts which derive from it may have juridical consequences. It takes different forms, such as the Synod of Bishops, the ad limina visit, the participation of diocesan Bishops as members of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, missionary cooperation, particular councils, Episcopal Conferences, ecumenical activity, and inter-religious dialogue (37).
THE BISHOP’S SOLICITUDE FOR THE
“All Bishops as members of the College of Bishops and legitimate successors
I. THE BISHOP’S SOLICITUDE FOR THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
13. Cooperation for the Good of the Universal Church.
By virtue of his membership in the episcopal College, the Bishop is solicitous for all the Churches. He is linked with the other members of the College by episcopal fraternity and by the close bond uniting the Bishops to the Head of the College. This requires that every Bishop should work together with the Roman Pontiff, Head of the episcopal College, who exercises primacy over the whole Church and has been entrusted with the task of bringing the light of the Gospel to all peoples.
In the first place, the Bishop must be an effective sign and source of unity in the particular Church which he represents within the universal Church. He is also bound to show due solicitude for the whole Church; even if this does not involve the power of jurisdiction over individuals, it redounds to the advantage of the whole People of God. For this reason, the Bishop has the duty of “fostering and safeguarding the unity of the faith and of upholding the discipline which is common to the whole Church”(38). He should contribute to the ordinary Magisterium of the Church and to the proper application of universal canonical discipline, he should educate his flock in a love for the universal Church and he should work with them to further every aspect of the Church’s common apostolate. The Bishop should never forget the pastoral principle by which, in governing his own particular Church well, he contributes to the welfare of the whole People of God, which is a corporate body of Churches.
In addition to the principal institutional means by which Bishops work together for the good of the whole Church – the Ecumenical Council, a solemn and universal exercise of the power of the episcopal College – they also work together in the exercise of their supreme and universal power through joint action, provided always that it is initiated or freely received by the Roman Pontiff (39). Every Bishop has the right and the duty to assist and cooperate actively in one or other of these collegial actions through prayer, study, and the expression of his votum.
The Synod of Bishops, a consultative body, provides a valuable service to the primatial function of the Successor of Peter, as well as strengthening the bonds uniting the members of the episcopal College with one another(40). If he is nominated to take part in the Synod, the Bishop should fulfil his task with zeal, for the glory of God and the good of the Church. The same concerns should guide him when expressing his opinion on the questions proposed for the reflection of the Synod, and when participating in the election of Bishops from his own Episcopal Conference, active or retired, to be delegates at the Synod by virtue of their knowledge and experience of the topic under discussion.
This same solicitude for the universal Church should prompt the Bishop to offer the Pope recommendations, observations and suggestions, to point out dangers for the Church, opportunities for new initiatives and other useful ideas. In this way he renders an inestimable service to the primatial ministry and a sure contribution to the effectiveness of the Pope’s universal governance. When asked for opinions on pastoral questions and when invited to assist in the preparation of documents for the whole Church – especially in his capacity as a member or consultor of a Dicastery of the Roman Curia – the Bishop should respond candidly, after serious study and meditation coram Domino on the topic(41). If he is asked to perform some particular task for the benefit of the whole Church, the Bishop should, if at all possible, accept it and fulfil it diligently.
Conscious of his responsibility for the unity of the Church and mindful of the speed with which any statement in today’s world can become widely known to a broad cross-section of public opinion, the Bishop should take care not to cast doubt on aspects of doctrine taught by the authentic Magisterium or on disciplinary matters, so as not to damage the authority of the Church or his own authority. If he has questions to raise regarding these doctrinal or disciplinary matters, he should, instead, have recourse to the normal channels of communication with the Apostolic See and with other Bishops.
14. Cooperation with the Apostolic See.
As a consequence of his episcopal ordination, of hierarchical communion and of his membership in the episcopal College, the Bishop should prize highly and nourish in his heart that communion of charity and obedience which binds him to the Roman Pontiff, making his own the Holy Father’s intentions, initiatives, joys and concerns, and fostering also within the faithful those same filial sentiments.
The Bishop should carry out faithfully the instructions of the Holy See and of the different Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, which assist the Roman Pontiff in his mission of service to the particular Churches and to their Pastors. He should ensure, moreover, that the documents of the Holy See are brought to the attention of every priest, and, when appropriate, of every member of the faithful; and he should find ways of explaining the content of the documents, so as to make them accessible to everyone.
In order to apply each document in the most effective way, the Bishop should pay attention not only to its content, but also to its genre (e.g. teaching documents, norms, guidelines), and its pastoral implications. When it consists of laws and other general norms, special attention is needed to ensure that they are observed immediately on promulgation, if necessary by means of appropriate diocesan directives. If a document belongs to some other category, such as general guidelines, the Bishop should prudently judge the best way to proceed for the pastoral good of his flock.
Relations with the Papal Legate.
The papal Legate represents the Roman Pontiff to the particular Churches and to nations (42). His mission does not supplant, neither does it obstruct or replace the function of the Bishops, but favours it in many ways and supports it with fraternal counsel. Hence, the Bishop should set out to maintain good fraternal relations of mutual trust with the papal representative, both on a personal level and through the Episcopal Conference, and he should make use of the Legate’s offices to send information to the Apostolic See and to request canonical provisions for which it is competent.
As a specific form of cooperation with the ministry of the Roman Pontiff, the Bishop, together with the other Pastors of the ecclesiastical province or of the Episcopal Conference, or even personally, indicates to the Apostolic See the names of priests considered suitable for the episcopate. In the course of preliminary investigations on possible candidates, the Bishop may consult well-informed individuals, but he should never agree to a collective consultation, since this would endanger the secret prescribed by canon law – necessary to protect the good name of those concerned – and it would condition the freedom of the Roman Pontiff to choose the most suitable candidate(43).
“By reason of the bond of unity and charity and according to the resources of their dioceses, Bishops are to assist in procuring those means which the Apostolic See needs, according to the conditions of the times, so that it is able to offer service properly to the universal Church”(44). Neither should the Bishop neglect the special collection known as Peter’s Pence, designed to enable the Church of Rome to fulfil properly its office of presiding in universal charity. When the resources of the diocese allow and when there are suitable priests with the necessary preparation whose services are requested, the Bishop should place them at the disposal of the Holy See ad tempus or indefinitely.
15. The ad Limina Visit (45).
Canonical discipline requires the diocesan Bishop to observe the ancient tradition of the ad limina visit every five years, by venerating the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and by meeting the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
In its liturgical and pastoral dimensions and in its opportunities for fraternal exchange, the visit has a clear purpose for the Bishop: it increases his sense of responsibility as Successor of the Apostles and gives renewed vigour to his communion with the Successor of Peter. At the same time, the visit is also important for the life of the particular Church which, through the person of its Bishop, strengthens the bonds of faith, communion and discipline uniting it to the Church of Rome and to the entire ecclesial body(46).
Fraternal meetings with the Roman Pontiff and with his closest collaborators in the Roman Curia offer the Bishop a privileged opportunity not only to give an account of the situation of his diocese and its needs, but also to learn more about the hopes, the joys and the difficulties of the universal Church and to receive helpful counsel and guidance on the problems of his flock. The visit has great importance also for the Successor of Peter, who welcomes the Pastors of the particular Churches and discusses with them issues concerning their ecclesial mission. The ad limina visit is therefore an expression of his pastoral solicitude for the whole Church (47).
Hence, careful preparation is necessary. Sufficiently far in advance (not less than six months, if possible), the Bishop should send the Holy See his “Report on the state of the diocese”, following the scheme set out in the Form for the Quinquennial Report prepared by the Congregation for Bishops. This Report should provide the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Dicasteries with first-hand information – accurate, synthetic and precise – of great value for the exercise of the Petrine ministry. For the Bishop, on the other hand, the Report provides a good opportunity to examine the state of his Church and to formulate a pastoral plan: so it is advisable that in drawing up this document the Bishop should avail himself of the help of his closest advisers in pastoral governance. Yet his own contribution remains indispensable, above all in those sections relating to his personal activity, where he gives an overall account of his pastoral ministry.
The current practice is that ad limina visits are normally arranged for entire Episcopal Conferences, sometimes divided into smaller groups if necessary, and this serves to underline the collegial union of Bishops. While the whole group participates in some parts of the visit – the pilgrimages to the tombs of the Apostles, the Pope’s address, the meetings with the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia – it is always the individual Bishop who presents his Report and makes the visit on behalf of his Church. It is the individual Bishop who meets the Successor of Peter personally and retains the right and the duty to communicate directly with him and the Heads of Dicasteries on all questions concerning his diocesan ministry.
16. Diocesan Bishops as Members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
A further sign of the spirit of collegiality between Bishops and the Pope is given by the presence of some diocesan Bishops as members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Their presence enables them to express to the Supreme Pontiff the thinking, the hopes and the needs of all the Churches. In this way, through the Roman Curia, the bond of unity and charity existing within the episcopal College is extended throughout the People of God(48).
17. Missionary Activity.
Together with the Roman Pontiff, Bishops are directly responsible for the evangelization of the world (49). Every Bishop should fulfil this responsibility with the greatest solicitude. In view of his role as coordinator and focal point of diocesan missionary activity, the Bishop should make every effort to open his particular Church to the needs of others, awakening in the faithful a missionary spirit, finding men and women to work in the missions and enkindling a fervent apostolic and missionary spirit among the presbyterate, among religious and members of societies of apostolic life, among the students of his seminary and among the lay faithful. Cooperating with the Apostolic See in the task of evangelizing peoples, he should support young Churches with material and spiritual aid. In this and in other ways appropriate to the circumstances of time and place, the Bishop manifests his fraternity with other Bishops and carries out his duty to proclaim the Gospel to all nations (50).
Insofar as the situation of the diocese permits, and having secured the agreement of the Holy See and the Ordinary concerned, the Bishop is encouraged to establish a relationship with a particular missionary Church, sending missionaries and material resources in accordance with agreed commitments. Moreover, he is urged to promote and support in his particular Church the Pontifical Missionary Societies, securing the necessary spiritual and financial aid (51). With this end in view, the Bishop should appoint a competent priest, deacon or layperson to organize the various diocesan initiatives, such as the annual World Mission Day and the annual collection for the missionary societies(52).
In the same way, the Bishop should join his own efforts with those of the Holy See in order to assist Churches which suffer persecution or are afflicted with serious shortages of clergy or of resources(53).
The bond of communion between the Churches is clearly manifested in the fidei donum priests, chosen from among those who are suitable and sufficiently trained. Through these priests, older dioceses contribute effectively to the evangelization of newer Churches, and receive, in their turn, freshness and vitality of faith from the younger Christian communities(54).
When a suitable cleric (priest or deacon) expresses a desire to join the fidei donum priests, the Bishop should, as far as possible, accede to the request, even if this involves a short-term sacrifice for his diocese. He should ensure that the cleric’s rights and duties are clearly established by means of a written agreement with the Bishop in the territory of destination. A temporary transfer need not involve excardination, thereby allowing the cleric on his return to retain all the rights he would have enjoyed had he remained in the diocese(55).
The Bishops of younger Churches in mission countries should also be prepared to send their priests to other regions in the same country, the same Continent or other Continents which have greater need of evangelization or of clergy.
The Bishop should be broadly disposed to accept into his own diocese priests from mission countries who request temporary hospitality for study or other purposes. In such cases the Bishops involved should draw up an agreement regulating the different aspects of the priest’s life. For this purpose, the norms established by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples should be observed(56).
18. Ecumenical Commitment.
Bearing in mind that the reestablishment of unity was one of the principal intentions of the Second Vatican Council(57) and that it is no mere postscript added on to the traditional activity of the Church(58), the Bishop should sense the urgency of promoting ecumenism, a goal to which the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed.
While responsibility for the direction of the ecumenical movement lies principally with the Holy See, the Bishops, individually as well as jointly in Episcopal Conferences, have responsibility for establishing practical norms for applying higher-level decisions to local circumstances(59).
Faithfully following the directives and guidelines of the Holy See, the Bishop should also concern himself with maintaining ecumenical relationships with the different Churches and Christian Communities present in his diocese, and should appoint a representative competent in the field, who will coordinate and promote diocesan activities in this area(60). If the circumstances of the diocese so suggest, the Bishop should establish a secretariat or a commission charged with proposing measures aimed at promoting Christian unity. Its tasks would include carrying out the initiatives that the Bishop himself has indicated, fostering a spiritual ecumenism in the diocese, preparing resources for the ecumenical formation of the clergy and the seminarians(61), and supporting parishes in their ecumenical activity.
19. Relations with Judaism.
The Second Vatican Council recalls the spiritual bond uniting the people of the New Testament with the descendants of Abraham (62). By virtue of this bond, the Jewish people have a special place in the Church’s regard for members of non-Christian religions: to them “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ” (Rom 9:4-5). The Bishop should promote among Christians an attitude of respect towards these our “elder brothers”, so as to combat the risk of anti-semitism, and he should be vigilant that sacred ministers receive an adequate formation regarding the Jewish religion and its relation to Christianity.
20. Inter-religious Dialogue.
The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in other religions. “She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. Yet she proclaims and is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6). In him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2 Cor 5:18-19), men find the fullness of their religious life”(63).
In her relationship with non-Christian religions, the Church is called to establish a sincere and respectful dialogue, avoiding any false irenicism, in order to discover the seeds of truth present in the religious traditions of man and to encourage legitimate spiritual aspirations. This dialogue is intimately linked with the irrevocable call to mission contained in Christ’s command, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15), a mission that must be guided by a delicate respect for the conscience of each individual.
21. Support for the Initiatives of the Holy See on an International Level.
As far as the circumstances of his diocese allow, the Bishop should help to promote the objectives of international institutions and associations supported and sustained by the Apostolic See: for justice and peace in the world, for the protection of the family and the protection of human life from the moment of conception, for the progress of peoples and for other initiatives.
As a particular form of apostolic action in the international sphere, the Holy See participates as a full member of the principal international organizations and actively contributes to the various Conferences held under their auspices. At these international gatherings, the Church must make her voice heard in defence of the dignity of the human person and of fundamental human rights, in calling for the protection of the weakest and in promoting justice in international relations and respect for nature. The Bishop should lend his support to such initiatives as he addresses the faithful and seeks to influence public opinion, remembering that his pastoral ministry can have a significant impact on the establishment of a just international order, truly respectful of the dignity of the human person(64).
II. EPISCOPAL COOPERATION AND THE STRUCTURES
A) EPISCOPAL COOPERATION
22. The Joint Exercise of the Episcopal Ministry.
“Without prejudice to the power which each Bishop enjoys by divine institution in his own particular Church, the consciousness of being part of an undivided body has caused Bishops throughout the Church’s history to employ, in the fulfilment of their mission, means, structures and ways of communicating which express their communion and solicitude for all the Churches, and perpetuate the very life of the College of the Apostles: pastoral cooperation, consultation, mutual assistance, etc” (65). So the Bishop exercises the ministry entrusted to him not only when discharging within the diocese the functions proper to him, but also when cooperating with his brothers in the episcopate in various supra-diocesan episcopal structures. These include meetings of Bishops from the ecclesiastical province, from the ecclesiastical Region (where the Apostolic See has established one) and, first and foremost, the Episcopal Conference itself.
These episcopal gatherings are expressions of the collegial dimension of the episcopal ministry and its need to adapt to the different human situations in which the Church exercises her saving mission (66). Their principal purpose is mutual assistance in the exercise of the episcopal office and the harmonization of each Pastor’s initiatives, for the good of individual dioceses and the good of the entire Christian community of the territory. By means of these meetings, the particular Churches experience the bond of communion uniting them with the universal Church through the Bishops, their lawful representatives (67).
Unless the law of the Church or a special mandate from the Apostolic See gives them binding force, any joint actions by these episcopal gatherings must have, as their primary criterion, a proper sensitivity and respect for the personal responsibility of each Bishop in relation to the universal Church and to the particular Church entrusted to him, while duly acknowledging the collegial dimension inherent in the episcopal office.
B) SUPRA-DIOCESAN STRUCTURES AND THE METROPOLITAN BISHOP
23. Various Supra-diocesan Episcopal Gatherings
a) Meetings of the Bishops of an Ecclesiastical Province.
The suffragan Bishops of an ecclesiastical province together with the metropolitan Ordinary meet in order to coordinate their pastoral activities and to exercise the joint competence pertaining to them under the law (68). These provincial meetings are convoked at regular intervals by the metropolitan Archbishop. Auxiliary and coadjutor Bishops of the province also take part, with a deliberative vote. Where pastoral need so suggests, and with the permission of the Apostolic See, the Bishops of a neighbouring diocese, immediately subject to the Holy See, may become associated with joint initiatives. The same applies to Apostolic Vicars and Prefects who govern in the name of the Supreme Pontiff.
b) Duties of the Metropolitan Archbishop.
A special responsibility for the unity of the Church falls to the metropolitan Archbishop in his relation to the suffragan dioceses and their Bishops (69). The authority which he holds within the ecclesiastical province, in communion with the Church of Rome, is signified by the pallium which every Metropolitan asks to receive personally or via a proxy from the Roman Pontiff. The pallium is blessed by the Roman Pontiff every year on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul (29 June) and is conferred upon each Metropolitan present. A Metropolitan who is unable to make the journey to Rome receives the pallium from the papal Legate. In every case, the Metropolitan possesses the faculties pertaining to his office from the moment he takes possession of the archdiocese. The Metropolitan may wear the pallium in all the Churches of his ecclesiastical province, but he may never wear it outside the province, not even with the consent of the diocesan Bishop. When a Metropolitan is transferred to another metropolitan See, he must request a new pallium from the Roman Pontiff (70).
The Metropolitan has the duty to be vigilant that faith and ecclesial discipline are diligently maintained throughout the province and that the episcopal ministry is exercised in conformity with canon law. Should he observe abuses or errors, the Metropolitan, attentive to the good of the faithful and to the unity of the Church, should refer the matter objectively to the papal Legate, so that the Apostolic See can take appropriate action. Before referring the matter, the Metropolitan may, if he sees fit, speak directly to the Bishop in question regarding the problematic issues arising in the suffragan diocese. His solicitude for suffragan dioceses will be especially evident during sede vacante periods or at times of particular difficulty for the diocesan Bishop.
Yet the role of the Metropolitan should not be limited to disciplinary matters; rather, as a natural consequence of the precept of charity, it should also include discreet fraternal concern for the human and spiritual needs of the suffragan Bishops, in relation to whom he may be considered in some degree an elder brother, a “primus inter pares”. The effective exercise of the Metropolitan’s role, as foreseen by the Code of Canon Law, should favour greater pastoral coordination and a more incisive local collegiality among the suffragan Bishops.
Together with the other Bishops of the ecclesiastical province, the metropolitan Archbishop should promote joint initiatives intended to offer an adequate response to the needs of the dioceses under his care. In particular, if circumstances so warrant, the Bishops of an ecclesiastical province may wish to arrange joint programmes for the ongoing formation of the clergy or to hold pastoral discussions about agreed guidelines on matters of interest throughout the territory. For the formation of candidates for the priesthood, the Bishops may wish to establish a metropolitan seminary, whether major or minor. They could set up a house of formation for adult vocations, for the formation of permanent deacons, or for laypersons engaged in the apostolate. Other areas of joint pastoral work could be proposed by the Metropolitan to the Bishops. If in some particular case the Archbishop needs special faculties in order to carry out his mission, especially if it has to do with a pastoral programme planned jointly with the suffragan Bishops, then in agreement with the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province he may request these faculties from the Holy See.
c) Meetings of the Bishops of an Ecclesiastical Region.
Where an ecclesiastical region has been established for a number of ecclesiastical provinces(71), the diocesan Bishops take part in the meetings of the regional assembly of Bishops according to the form laid down in its statutes.
d) The Episcopal Conference.
The Episcopal Conference is an important means of strengthening communion among the Bishops and promoting joint action in a particular territory, which in principle corresponds to a whole country. The Conference has certain pastoral functions of its own, which it exercises through collegial acts of government, and it is the most suitable vehicle for promoting all kinds of joint pastoral initiatives for the good of the faithful (72).
e) International Meetings of Episcopal Conferences.
These structures are a natural consequence of the ever-deepening human and institutional relations beween the countries of a particular geographical region. Their purpose is to guarantee a stable relationship between the Episcopal Conferences that are represented, so as to facilitate cooperation between Conferences and to serve the local hierarchies of the nations concerned.
C) PARTICULAR COUNCILS
24. The Experience of Councils throughout History.
“From the earliest ages of the Church, Bishops in charge of particular Churches… [established]… synods, provincial councils and, finally, plenary councils… in which the Bishops determined on a common programme to be followed in various churches both for teaching the truths of the faith and for regulating ecclesiastical discipline”(73).
Particular councils are assemblies of Bishops, in which other ministers and lay faithful may participate with a consultative vote, intended to provide for the pastoral needs of the People of God in a particular territory, adopting appropriate measures for the increase of the faith (74), for the organization of common pastoral action, for the regulation of morals and for the safeguarding of ecclesiastical discipline (75).
Particular councils can be provincial, if the territory concerned corresponds to an ecclesiastical province, or plenary, if it involves all the particular Churches of an Episcopal Conference. In the case of a plenary council (or a provincial council when the province is coterminous with the territory of a nation), it is necessary to obtain the approval of the Apostolic See before proceeding (76). Before granting approval, the Apostolic See needs to know the precise motive for convoking the council and also the topics or subjects to be discussed.
In particular councils, only the Bishops may make decisions, since they have a deliberative vote, but certain important ecclesiastical office-holders and the major Superiors of religious institutes and societies of apostolic life must also be invited, so that they may collaborate with the Bishops, offering their experience and their counsel. Moreover, the Bishops are free to invite other clerics, religious and laypersons, but should ensure that their number does not exceed half the number of those present by right (77).
In view of the great importance of particular councils for the ordering of ecclesiastical life within the province or nation, the Bishop should be personally involved in their preparation and celebration (78).
27. Legislative Power.
In order to meet these objectives, particular councils have power of governance, especially legislative power, on the basis of which the Bishops establish the same norms for their different Churches, thereby providing for more effective pastoral activity in tune with the needs of the times. So canonical discipline leaves ample freedom for the Bishops of the same province or Conference to regulate pastoral matters jointly, always respecting higher norms (79). This freedom should lead the Bishops to submit for common judgement and decision only those questions which require identical regulation throughout the territory, since otherwise the power proper to each Bishop within his own diocese would be inappropriately conditioned.
All the binding decisions of a particular council, both general and particular decrees, must be examined and approved by the Apostolic See before being promulgated (80).
D) THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE
28. Objectives of the Episcopal Conference.
The role of the Episcopal Conference has grown in importance in recent years. In manifold and fruitful ways, the Conference contributes to the realization and development of the spirit of collegiality (affectus collegialis) among members of the same Episcopate. Through the Conference, the Bishops fulfil certain pastoral functions jointly for the faithful of their territory. Such action corresponds to the need, particularly evident today, for Bishops to provide for the common good of particular Churches through an agreed and well coordinated policy (81). The task of the Episcopal Conference is to assist the Bishops in their ministry, to the advantage of the whole People of God. The Conference fulfils an important function in all kinds of pastoral areas through:
– the joint regulation of certain pastoral matters via general decrees, binding both the Bishops and the faithful of the territory
To this end, canon law has granted certain competences to the Conference;
– a channel for dialogue with the political authority common to the whole territory;
are unable to provide alone.
In addition to the above, there is the vast area of mutual support in the exercise of episcopal ministry, via the sharing of information, the exchange of ideas and the achievement of consensus.
29. Members of the Episcopal Conference.
By virtue of the law itself, all diocesan Bishops of the territory and those equivalent to them in law (84), as well as coadjutor Bishops, auxiliaries and other titular Bishops who perform a special pastoral function for the good of the faithful, belong to the Episcopal Conference. Those appointed for an interim period to govern an ecclesiastical circumscription in the country are also members (85). Catholic Bishops of another rite with jurisdiction in the territory of the Episcopal Conference may be invited to the plenary assembly with a consultative vote. The Statutes of the Episcopal Conference may decree that they are members. In such cases, they have a deliberative vote (86).
Bishops Emeritus are not members of the Conference by law, but it is desirable that they be invited to the plenary assembly, in which they take part with a consultative vote. It is good, moreover, to call upon them for meetings or study commissions created to examine matters in which they have particular competence. Some Bishops Emeritus may also be called to serve on the Commissions of the Episcopal Conference (87).
The Legate of the Roman Pontiff, while he is not a member of the Episcopal Conference and has no right to vote, is invited to the opening session of the Episcopal Conference, according to the Statutes of each episcopal assembly. As a member of the Conference, certain fundamental duties pertain to the Bishop:
a) The Bishop should ensure that he is well acquainted with the universal norms regulating this institution as well as the Statutes of his particular Conference which establish the basic norms for joint action (88). Inspired by a profound love for the Church, he should be vigilant that the activities of the Conference are always conducted according to the canonical norms.
b) He should participate actively and diligently in the episcopal assemblies, without ever ceding this responsibility to the other Bishops. If he is elected to fulfil a particular task within the Conference, he should not refuse without just cause. He should study carefully the topics proposed for discussion, if necessary with the help of experts, in such a way that his arguments are always well founded and formulated according to his conscience.
c) In the meetings, he should express his opinion with fraternal candour, without fear of expressing a different opinion from the others when necessary, always disposed to listen with understanding to opposing arguments.
d) When the common good of the faithful requires a joint approach, the Bishop should be ready to follow the opinion of the majority, without insisting on his own point of view.
e) Should he ever feel in conscience that he cannot assent to a statement or a resolution of the Conference, he should weigh carefully before God all the circumstances, mindful also of the public repercussions of his decision. If it concerns a general decree endorsed by the recognitio of the Holy See, the Bishop should apply to the Holy See for a dispensation allowing him to distance himself from its contents.
The Conference may invite non-members to attend its meetings, but only in certain cases and only with a consultative vote (89).
30. Specific Matters Assigned to the Conference.
Clearly, the apostolate in the modern world has to face pastoral matters and problems that can only be adequately addressed at the national level. For this reason, canon law has assigned certain areas to the joint attention of the Bishops, according to the particular circumstances.
Among these, the following stand out:
– the formation of sacred ministers, both candidates for the priesthood and for the permanent diaconate;
Christian people (90).
In each of these areas, the competence proper to the Conference must be consistent with the responsibility of each Bishop in his own diocese. Such harmony should arise naturally when there is respect for the canonical norms which regulate the matters under discussion.
31. The Juridical and Doctrinal Competence of the Episcopal Conference.
Episcopal Conferences are intended to be instruments of mutual assistance for Bishops in fulfilling their pastoral responsibilities. Therefore, as indicated by the Second Vatican Council, the Apostolic See grants them the power to issue binding norms on certain matters (91), and to adopt particular decisions, which each Bishop should accept faithfully and apply in his diocese(92).
The normative power of the Conference is exercised by the Bishops gathered in a plenary assembly, which makes it possible to engage in collegial dialogue and to exchange ideas; it requires the favourable vote of two thirds of the members who have a deliberative vote. These norms must be reviewed by the Holy See before they are promulgated, in order to guarantee their conformity with universal canon law (93). No other structure within the Conference may take to itself the competence of the plenary assembly (94).
Under certain conditions established by law, the Bishops assembled in the Episcopal Conference also exercise a doctrinal function (95), since they are authoritative teachers and instructors in the faith for their people. In fulfilling this doctrinal role, especially when they have to address new questions or shed light on new problems emerging within society, the Bishops should be conscious of the limited scope of their pronouncements, inasmuch as their Magisterium is not universal, even though it is authoritative and official (96).
The Bishops should bear in mind that doctrine is a bond of communion benefiting the whole People of God, which requires that they follow the universal Magisterium of the Church and take steps to ensure that it is communicated to the faithful.
Doctrinal statements by the Episcopal Conference, if they are to constitute authentic Magisterium and be published in the name of the Conference, must be approved unanimously by the Bishop members or else by a two-thirds majority of the Bishops with a deliberative vote. In the latter case, these doctrinal statements must obtain the recognitio of the Holy See before they can be published. They must be sent to the Congregation for Bishops or the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, whichever has oversight of the territory concerned. These Dicasteries will proceed to grant the requested recognitio after consultation with other competent departments of the Holy See(97).
When doctrinal statements by the Episcopal Conference are proposed for approval, non-episcopal members of the Conference do not have the right to vote in the plenary assembly(98).
Should a number of Episcopal Conferences find it necessary to act in solidum, they must first seek the authorization of the Holy See, which will indicate the norms to be observed in each case. Prescinding from such cases, individual diocesan Bishops enjoy the personal authority to choose whether or not to adopt and enforce guidelines drawn up in agreement with other Bishops within the same region. Yet it would not be licit to extend the power of the Conference, transferring to it the jurisdiction and the responsibility of its members for their dioceses, since only the Roman Pontiff is competent to effect such a transfer (99). On his own initiative or at the request of the Conference, the Supreme Pontiff may issue a special mandate in those cases where he judges it opportune (100).
32. The Commissions of the Conference.
Various agencies and commissions dependent on the Episcopal Conference have a specific competence to assist the Bishops and to prepare and put into effect the decisions of the Conference. Permanent or ad hoc commissions of the Conference which are designated “episcopal” must be composed of Bishop members or of those equivalent to them in law. If the number of Bishops is insufficient to form such Commissions, it is possible to create alternative structures such as councils, made up of priests, religious and laity with a Bishop presiding. These structures may not be designated “episcopal” (101).
The members of these different commissions should realize that their competence is not to direct or coordinate some particular aspect of the Church’s pastoral work in their country, but something more modest, but no less effective: it is to assist the plenary assembly – that is the Conference itself – in attaining its objectives, and to provide the Bishops with sufficient resources for the fruitful exercise of their ministry in their particular Churches.
This fundamental criterion should remind those in charge of the commissions to avoid any action based on a false sense of independence or autonomy, as for example the publication on their own initiative of guidelines in a particular pastoral area, or a way of dealing with diocesan structures and commissions that bypasses the essential role of the respective diocesan Bishop.
SPIRITUALITY AND ONGOING FORMATION OF THE BISHOP
“Train yourself in godliness… set the believers an example in speech and conduct,
I. JESUS CHRIST, SOURCE OF THE BISHOP’S SPIRITUALITY
33. Jesus Christ, Source of the Bishop’s Spirituality.
Through his episcopal ordination, the Bishop receives a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit which configures him in a singular way to Christ, Head and Shepherd. The same Lord, “good master” (cf. Mt 19:16), “high priest” (Heb 7:26), “good shepherd who offers his life for his sheep” (cf. Jn 10:11) has imprinted his human and divine face, his likeness, his power and his strength in the Bishop(102). Jesus is the sole and the permanent source of the Bishop’s spirituality. Therefore, the Bishop, sanctified in the sacrament through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is called to respond to the grace received through the laying on of hands, sanctifying himself and conforming his personal life to Christ in the exercise of the apostolic ministry. This configuration to Christ allows the Bishop to submit his whole being to the Holy Spirit in order to integrate within himself his different roles as member of the Church and simultaneously head and shepherd of the Christian people, as brother and as father, as disciple of Christ and teacher of faith, as son of the Church and, in some sense, father of the Church, as minister of the supernatural rebirth of Christians.
The Bishop should always remember that the effect of his personal holiness is never limited to the purely subjective level, but redounds to the good of the faithful entrusted to his pastoral care. The Bishop must be a man of contemplation as well as a man of action, so that his apostolate can become contemplata aliis tradere. Fully convinced that nothing he can do serves any purpose unless he be with Christ, the Bishop must be in love with the Lord. Moreover, he should always remember that the credibility of his episcopal ministry depends on the moral authority and authenticity which arise from the holiness of life underlying his exercise of juridical power (103).
34. Typically Ecclesial Spirituality.
Through his baptism and confirmation which unite him to all the faithful, and through his own sacramental ordination, the Bishop’s spirituality is typically ecclesial. It may aptly be described as a spirituality of communion (104), lived in union with all God’s children incorporated into Christ as his followers, in accordance with the demands of the Gospel. The Bishop’s spirituality also has its own specific quality: being shepherd, servant of the Gospel and bridegroom of the Church, he must relive, together with his priests, the spousal love of Christ for his bride the Church, in intimate prayer and in self-giving to his brothers and sisters, so that he may love the Church with a renewed heart, and through his love may preserve her unity in charity. Hence, with every means at his disposal, the Bishop should tirelessly promote the holiness of the faithful and he should take steps to enable the people of God to grow in grace through the celebration of the sacraments (105).
By virtue of his communion with Christ the Head, the Bishop has the strict obligation to present himself as the perfecter of the faithful, that is, as teacher, promoter and example of Christian perfection for the clergy, for consecrated persons living the evangelical counsels, and for the laity, each according to his or her particular vocation. This should lead the Bishop to unite himself to Christ in discerning the will of the Father, so that “the mind of the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:16) may permeate his way of thinking, feeling and acting as he ministers among his flock. His goal must be to grow constantly in holiness, so that he can truly say: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).
35. Marian Spirituality.
The Marian dimension of the Church gives the Bishop’s spirituality a Marian aspect. The icon of the nascent Church, which presents Mary together with the Apostles and the disciples of Jesus united in persevering prayer, waiting for the Holy Spirit, expresses the indissoluble bond between Mary and the successors of the Apostles (106). As a mother, both to the lay faithful and to the Pastors, as a model and a type of the Church (107), she sustains the Bishop in his interior task of configuration to Christ and in his ecclesial service. From Mary, the Bishop learns the art of contemplating the face of Christ, from her too he draws consolation for the exercise of his ecclesial mission and strength to proclaim the Gospel of salvation.
The maternal intercession of Mary accompanies the confident prayer of the Bishop, enabling him to penetrate more profoundly the truths of the faith, and to preserve it pure and entire as she did in her heart (108); rekindling his fervent hope, which he sees already realized in the “Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul” (109); and nourishing his charity so that the maternal love of Mary may animate the Bishop’s entire apostolic mission.
In Mary, who “shines forth… to the pilgrim People of God” (110), the Bishop contemplates the Church in her mystery (111); he sees already attained in her the perfection of holiness for which he himself must strive with all his strength, and he proposes her to the faithful entrusted to his care as a model of intimate union with God.
Mary, the “woman of the Eucharist” (112), teaches the Bishop to offer his life daily in the Mass. At the altar, he makes his own the fiat with which Our Lady offered herself at the joyful moment of the Annunciation and again in sorrow at the foot of the Cross.
The Eucharist, “the source and the summit of all preaching of the Gospel” (113), is intimately linked with the other sacraments (114) and it points the Bishop’s Marian devotion firmly towards the Liturgy. The Virgin has a special presence in the celebration of the mysteries of salvation and is an exemplary model for the whole Church of listening and prayer, of self-offering and of spiritual maternity.
The spiritual fruitfulness of the Bishop’s ministry depends on the intensity of his prayerful union with the Lord. It is from prayer that a Bishop draws light, strength and comfort for his pastoral activity. For a Bishop, prayer is like the staff which supports him as he makes his pilgrimage through daily life. The Bishop who prays is not discouraged by difficulties, however great, because he knows that God is at his side and he finds refuge, serenity and peace in God’s paternal embrace. In opening himself trustingly to God, he also opens himself with greater generosity towards his neighbour, and so is able to shape the course of events according to God’s plan. Conscious of this spiritual duty, the Bishop should celebrate the Eucharist and pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day, and should devote himself to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle, to praying the Rosary, to frequent meditation on the Word of God and to lectio divina (115). These practices nourish his faith and his life in the Spirit, which he needs if he is to live pastoral charity to the full in the exercise of his day-to-day ministry, in communion with God and in fidelity to his mission.
II. THE BISHOP’S VIRTUES
37. The Theological Virtues.
Obviously, the holiness to which the Bishop is called requires the practice of the virtues, first and foremost the theological virtues, because by their nature they direct man towards God. The Bishop, as a man of faith, hope and charity, should order his life according to the evangelical counsels and the beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1-12), so that he too, following the command given to the Apostles (cf. Acts 1:8), may be a witness to Christ before the world, a true, effective, faithful and credible sign of divine grace, of charity and of other supernatural gifts.
38. Pastoral Charity.
The Bishop’s life, weighed down by so many cares, runs the risk of becoming fragmented through the sheer multiplicity of tasks. Its inner unity and energy is found through pastoral charity, which may rightly be called the bond of episcopal perfection: it is a fruit of the grace and the character of the sacrament of episcopal ordination (116). “Saint Augustine defines the entirety of this episcopal ministry as an office of love: amoris officium. This gives us the certainty that the pastoral charity of Jesus Christ will never be lacking in the Church” (117). The Bishop’s pastoral charity is the soul of his apostolate. “Here it is not only a matter of an existentia, but indeed of a pro-existentia, that is to say, of a way of living inspired by the supreme model of Christ the Lord and which is spent totally in worship of the Father and in service of neighbour” (118).
Set on fire with this charity, the Bishop is moved to devout contemplation and imitation of Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation. Pastoral charity unites the Bishop to Jesus Christ, to the Church, and to the world which must be evangelized. It enables him to act as an ambassador for Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:20) with decorum and competence, to spend himself every day for the clergy and the people entrusted to his care, and to offer himself as a sacrificial victim on behalf of his brothers and sisters (119). Having accepted the office of Pastor in the expectation not of tranquillity but of hard work (120), the Bishop should exercise his authority in a spirit of service and should consider it his vocation to serve the whole Church with the mind and heart of the Lord (121).
The Bishop should set a fine example of fraternal charity and of a truly collegial spirit, offering loving care and support, both spiritual and material, to the coadjutor, the auxiliary and the Bishop Emeritus, to the diocesan presbyterate, the deacons and the faithful, and particularly to the poor and the needy. His home and his heart should be open to welcome, advise, encourage and console. The Bishop’s charity should extend to the Pastors of neighbouring dioceses, especially those of the same metropolitan province, and to any Bishops who are in particular need (122).
39. Faith and the Spirit of Faith.
The Bishop is a man of faith, like Moses who, as Sacred Scripture attests, when leading the people from Egypt towards the promised land, “endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Heb 11:27).
The Bishop should evaluate all things, accomplish all things and endure all things in the light of faith. He should read the signs of the times (cf. Mt 16:4) in order to discover what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Churches with regard to eternal salvation (cf. Rev 2:7). He will be able to do this if he nourishes his mind and heart with “the words of faith and good doctrine” (1 Tim 4:6), diligently cultivating his theological knowledge, enriching it with tested doctrines, old and new, always in total harmony with the Roman Pontiff and the Magisterium of the Church in matters of faith and morals.
40. Hope in God, ever Faithful to His Promises.
Sustained by his faith in God, who is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1), the Bishop should expect to receive every good gift from God and should place the greatest trust in divine Providence. He should be able to say with Saint Paul: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13), mindful of the example of the holy Apostles and the numerous Bishops who, despite great difficulties and obstacles of every kind, nevertheless preached the Gospel of God with great candour (cf. Acts 4:29-31; 19:8; 28:31).
Hope which “does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5) evokes the Bishop’s missionary spirit, which enables him to approach his apostolic undertakings creatively, to direct them firmly and to see them through to their conclusion. The Bishop knows that he has been sent by God, the King of ages (cf. 1 Tim 1:17), to build up the Church in the place and in the “times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). Hence that healthy optimism which the Bishop manifests personally and, so to speak, radiates to others, especially to his closest advisers.
41. Pastoral Prudence.
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 (1 Cor 3:10), the changing needs of the Body of Christ. As a prudent Pastor, the Bishop should show himself ready to assume the responsibilities of his office, to enter into dialogue with the faithful, to exercise his powers, but also to respect the rights of others in the Church. 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. In this way, the diocesan community will move forward along the path of healthy continuity, adapting as necessary to new legitimate demands.
Pastoral prudence will make the Bishop mindful of his public image and the impression that he gives through the media. It will help him to assess whether it is appropriate for him to be present in certain places or social gatherings. Conscious of his role, of the people’s expectations and the importance of his example, the Bishop should treat everyone with courtesy, good manners, cordiality, affability and kindness, as a sign of his paternal and brotherly love.
42. Fortitude and Humility.
Since, as Saint Bernard has written, “prudence is the mother of fortitude (123) – Fortitudinis matrem esse prudentiam”, this is another virtue which a Bishop needs to practise. Ever patient in bearing adversity for the Kingdom of God, he should be no less courageous and firm in the decisions that he makes, always observing the proper norms. In this spirit of fortitude, the Bishop should not hesitate to say with the Apostles “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20) and without the slightest fear of losing favour with men (124), he should always act courageously in the Lord to counter every form of dishonesty or arrogance. Fortitude needs to be tempered with meekness, following the model of him who is “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).
In guiding the faithful, the Bishop should seek to harmonize the ministry of mercy with the authority of governance, meekness with strength, pardon with justice, conscious that “certain situations cannot be resolved with asperity or hardness, nor with highhanded methods, but with teaching rather than commands, with admonition rather than threats” (125). At the same time, the Bishop should cultivate the humility which comes from recognizing his own weakness, that humility which – as Saint Gregory the Great says – is the primary virtue (126). He knows he needs the compassion of his brethren, as all Christians do, and like them he is obliged to work out his own salvation “with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Moreover, because his daily pastoral concerns give the Bishop greater scope for personal decision-making, his scope for error is also greater, however good his intentions: this thought should encourage him to remain open to dialogue with others, always ready to learn, to seek and accept the advice of others.
43. Obedience to the Will of God.
Christ, who became “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8), whose food is to do the will of the Father (cf. Jn 4:34), is ever present before the eyes of the Bishop as the supreme example of that obedience which was the cause of our justification (cf. Rom 5:19). Conforming himself to Christ, the Bishop offers an outstanding service to unity and to ecclesial communion: his conduct demonstrates that no one in the Church may legitimately command others if he does not first offer himself as an example of obedience to the Word of God and to the authority of the Church (127).
44. Celibacy and Perfect Continence.
Celibacy, solemnly promised before receiving holy orders, requires the Bishop to live in continence “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:12), following in the footsteps of the celibate Jesus. In this way he demonstrates before God and before the Church his undivided love and his total availability for service, offering the world a shining testimony to the future Kingdom (128).
For this reason too, trusting in divine assistance, the Bishop should practise voluntary mortification of body and spirit, not merely as an exercise in ascetic discipline, but more as a way of carrying within himself “the death of Jesus” (2 Cor 4:10). Through word and example, through his paternal and watchful care, the Bishop cannot ignore or leave undone the task of holding up to the world the great truth of a holy and chaste Church, in her ministers and in her faithful. When situations of scandal arise, especially on the part of the Church’s ministers, the Bishop must act firmly and decisively, justly and serenely. In these lamentable cases, the Bishop is required to act promptly, according to the established canonical norms, for the spiritual good of the persons involved, for the reparation of scandal, and for the protection and assistance of the victims. By acting in this way and living in perfect chastity himself, the shepherd goes before his flock like Christ, the Bridegroom who gave his life for us and left us an example of pure, celibate, ever fruitful and universal love.
45. Affective and Effective Poverty.
In order to bear witness to the Gospel before the world and before the Christian community, the Bishop, in his deeds and his words, should follow the eternal Shepherd, who “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9) (129). He should be visibly poor, he should be tireless in giving alms and he should lead a modest life which, without detracting from the dignity of his office, nevertheless takes account of the socio-economic conditions of his flock. As the Council says, he should seek to avoid anything that might in any way alienate the poor, and even more than the other disciples of the Lord, he should seek to eliminate from his possessions every hint of vanity. He should furnish his home in such a way that it never appears unapproachable, so that no one, even the humblest, is ever afraid to visit it (130). Simple in his bearing, he should seek to be affable towards everyone, and should never indulge in favouritism on the basis of wealth or social standing. He should behave like a father towards everyone, especially towards those of lowly condition: he knows that he was anointed by the Holy Spirit, like Jesus (cf. Lk 4:18), and that he was sent first of all to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. “In this perspective of sharing and of simplicity of life, the Bishop will administer the goods of the Church like the ‘good head of a household’, and be careful to ensure that they are used for the Church’s own specific ends: the worship of God, the support of her ministers, the works of the apostolate and initiatives of charity towards the poor” (131).
In due time he should draw up his last will and testament, ensuring that, if any goods have come to him from the service of the altar, they return entirely to the altar.
46. Example of Holiness.
The call to holiness requires the Bishop to give serious attention to his interior life, through those means of sanctification which are useful and necessary to every Christian, but especially to a man consecrated by the Holy Spirit to govern the Church and to spread the Kingdom of God. Above all, he should seek to fulfil faithfully and tirelessly the duties of his episcopal ministry (132) as his personal path to holiness. 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 (133). 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.
Each month the Bishop will try to set aside a suitable period for spiritual recollection, and once a year he will make a retreat. In this way, despite his manifold responsibilities and activities, the Bishop’s life will be solidly rooted in the Lord and he will find his path to holiness through the exercise of his episcopal ministry.
47. Human Gifts.
In the exercise of sacred power, the Bishop must show himself to be rich in humanity in imitation of Jesus, the perfect man. To this end, his conduct should radiate those virtues and human gifts which arise from charity and are rightly valued in our society. These gifts and human virtues bear fruit in pastoral prudence, in wise care of souls and in good governance (134).
Not least among these gifts are: a rich humanity, a good and loyal spirit, a constant and sincere character, an open, forward-looking mind, a sensitivity to the joys and sufferings of others, a thorough self-mastery, kindness, forbearance and discretion, a healthy readiness to engage in dialogue and to listen, an habitual attitude of service (135). The Bishop should always cultivate these qualities and seek to advance in them constantly.
48. The Example of Saintly Bishops.
In the course of his ministry, the Bishop should look to the example of canonized Bishops whose lives, teaching and holiness can shed light on his own spiritual journey and offer him direction. For guidance he might look not only to the Apostles, but also to the great Bishops of the early Church, the founders of particular Churches, witnesses to the faith in times of persecution, those who were able to rebuild their dioceses after persecutions or other disasters, Bishops who gave themselves generously to the poor and the suffering by establishing hospices and hospitals, the founders of religious orders, and, not least, the Bishop’s own predecessors in the same See who have distinguished themselves by their holiness of life. In order to keep alive the memory of Bishops who were outstanding in the exercise of their ministry, the Bishop, together with his presbyterate or the Episcopal Conference, should take steps to make these figures known to the faithful through new biographies and, if appropriate, he should introduce the cause for their canonization (136).
III. THE ONGOING FORMATION OF THE BISHOP
49. The Duty of Ongoing Formation.
The Bishop will realize that he too has a duty to attend to his ongoing formation, a duty he shares with all the faithful whatever their age or condition in life, whatever their level of responsibility in the Church (137). The inner dynamism of the sacrament of orders, the Bishop’s own vocation and mission, and his duty to study closely the particular problems and issues of the society he has to evangelize, impel him to grow day by day towards the fullness of mature manhood in Christ (cf. Eph 4:13). In this way, the charity of Christ and the Church’s solicitude towards all people will shine forth ever more clearly through the testimony of the Bishop’s human, spiritual and intellectual maturity in pastoral charity: the key to his ongoing formation.
50. Human Formation.
As a shepherd of the People of God, the Bishop should continually attend to his human formation, allowing his episcopal personality to be shaped by the gifts of grace, and cultivating the human virtues listed earlier. He needs to develop these virtues if he is to deepen his human sensitivity, to grow in his capacity to welcome, to listen, to engage in dialogue and personal encounter, and to expand his knowledge and his ability to lead others. In this way, his humanity will become richer, simpler, more authentic and more transparent, so as to reveal the mind and heart of the Good Shepherd. The Bishop, like Christ himself, should manifest the most genuine and perfect human qualities if he is to share the daily life of his people and to be one with them in times of joy and sorrow. This human and affective maturity is required of the Bishop if, like a good father, he is to exercise his episcopal authority as an authentic service to the unity and right ordering of the family of God’s children.
In exercising his pastoral authority, the Bishop should constantly seek to achieve a good balance of all the facets of his personality as well as a healthy sense of realism, enabling him to discern and make decisions in serenity and freedom, aiming solely at the common good of persons.
51. Spiritual Formation.
The Bishop’s path of human formation is intrinsically linked to his growth in personal and spiritual maturity. The sanctifying mission of the Bishop requires him to live deeply the new life of baptismal grace and the pastoral ministry to which he has been called by the Holy Spirit, conforming himself ever more closely, in a spirit of continual conversion, to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ.
This constant spiritual formation enables the Bishop to animate his pastoral activity with an authentic spirit of holiness, tirelessly promoting and sustaining the universal call to holiness.
52. Intellectual and Doctrinal Formation.
Conscious of his responsibility for the entire ministry of the Word in his particular Church (138), 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. In the light of the Word of God, the Bishop should be able to discern and evaluate currents of thought, as well as anthropological and scientific trends, so as to respond, with fidelity to the doctrine and discipline of the Church, to the new questions arising in society.
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. Such dialogue can lead to new insights into the deepest truths of the Christian mystery, an ever greater understanding of the Word of God and the appropriation of suitable methods and language with which to present it to the modern world. 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.
53. Pastoral Formation.
The Bishop’s ongoing formation also applies to the pastoral dimension, the goal towards which the other aspects of his formation are directed and a key factor in determining their content and particular character. The Church’s earthly pilgrimage requires the Bishop to be attentive to the signs of the times and to adapt his style and behaviour so as to ensure that his pastoral action responds effectively to the needs of society.
Pastoral formation requires from the Bishop an evangelical discernment of the socio-cultural situation, a readiness to listen, to enter into communion and into dialogue with his priests, especially the parish priests whose mission renders them particularly sensitive to the changing needs of evangelization. It is most valuable for the Bishop and his priests to share their experiences, to consider different approaches and to evaluate new pastoral resources. Dialogue with experts in pastoral science and in socio-pedagogical fields further assists his pastoral formation; so too does in-depth study of the law, of liturgical texts and the spirit of the liturgy.
Despite the inter-relatedness of the four aspects of ongoing formation – human, spiritual, intellectual-doctrinal and pastoral – the Bishop needs to pursue each of them individually. The whole of his formation is directed towards a deeper contemplation of the face of Christ and a true communion of life with the Good Shepherd. The faithful in turn can contemplate in the Bishop’s face those qualities given him through grace. When he proclaims the Beatitudes, they should shine out as if from Christ’s self-portrait: the face of poverty, of meekness and of passion for justice; the merciful face of the Father, of the peacelover and peacemaker; the face of purity which gazes solely upon God and which brings to life Jesus’ compassion for the afflicted; the face of fortitude expressing the interior joy of those persecuted for the cause of Gospel truth.
54. The Means of Ongoing Formation.
Just as other members of the People of God are the ones primarily responsible for their own formation, so too the Bishop should consider it his duty to make a personal commitment to ongoing integral formation. By virtue of his mission in the Church, he has to offer the faithful an example in this area, since they look to him as a model disciple in the school of Christ. The Bishop follows him with daily fidelity in a life of truth and love, shaping his humanity by the grace of divine communion. For his ongoing formation, the Bishop should make use of those means which the Church has always proposed as indispensable elements of his spirituality, enabling him to trust in God’s grace. Communion with God in daily prayer leads to the serenity of spirit and the prudent intelligence which help the Bishop to relate to people with paternal openness and to evaluate carefully the various questions arising in pastoral governance. Proper attention to rest will allow the Bishop to nurture a profound humanity with wisdom, balance, joy and patience. Following the example of Jesus himself, who invited the Apostles to rest from the labours of their ministry (cf. Mk 6:31), the Bishop should ensure that he has sufficient time to rest each day, a regular day off, and a holiday every year, according to the norms established by the Church’s discipline (139). The Bishop should remember that Sacred Scripture speaks of the necessity for rest, when it indicates that God himself, on completing his work of creation, rested on the seventh day (cf. Gen 2:2).
Among the means of ongoing formation, the Bishop should give particular attention to the study of doctrinal and pastoral documents issued by the Roman Pontiff, the Roman Curia, the Episcopal Conference and his brother Bishops. This not only allows him to live his communion with the Successor of Peter and with the universal Church, but also provides useful insights for his pastoral work, so that he may enlighten the faithful regarding the major questions repeatedly asked of Christians by modern society. Through study, the Bishop should follow developments in theology, so as to deepen his knowledge of the Christian mystery, to evaluate, discern and safeguard the purity and integrity of the faith. He should be equally assiduous in following cultural and social currents of thought, so as to recognize the “signs of the times” and to evaluate them in the light of the faith and the permanently valid heritage of Christian thought and philosophy.
The Bishop should be particularly keen to participate, whenever possible, in formation gatherings arranged by various ecclesial bodies: the annual colloquium for newly ordained Bishops held by the Congregation for Bishops, meetings arranged by national or regional Episcopal Conferences or by continental Councils of Episcopal Conferences.
Further opportunities for the Bishop’s ongoing formation are provided by those gatherings of the diocesan presbyterate that he himself arranges with the help of his diocesan advisers. So too are other cultural initiatives through which the seed of truth is sown in the field of the world. On certain more important topics, the Bishop should seek opportunities to listen at length, to enter into dialogue with experts, sharing experiences, methods and new resources for pastoral ministry and the spiritual life.
The Bishop should always remember that his lived communion with other members of the People of God, through daily contact with priests and lay faithful, provides the setting in which the Spirit speaks to him, reminding him of his vocation and mission, and forming his heart through the vibrant life of the Church. Hence the Bishop should always adopt an attitude of careful listening to what the Spirit is saying to the Church and in the Church.
THE MINISTRY OF THE BISHOP IN THE
“Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly,
I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES FOR THE PASTORAL GOVERNANCE OF THE BISHOP
55. Some Fundamental Principles.
In fulfilling his episcopal ministry, the diocesan Bishop should be guided by certain fundamental principles which characterize his modus operandi and inform his life. These principles transcend time and place. They are the sign of the Bishop’s pastoral solicitude towards the particular Church entrusted to him and towards the universal Church for which, as a member of the College of Bishops led by the Roman Pontiff, he is also responsible.
56. The Trinitarian Principle.
The Bishop should remember that he has been placed at the head of the Church of God in the name of the Father, whose image he makes present; in the name of Jesus Christ his Son, by whom he is constituted as teacher, priest and shepherd; and in the name of the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the Church (140). The Holy Spirit constantly sustains the Bishop’s pastoral mission (141), safeguarding the unique sovereignty of Christ. Making the Lord present, speaking his word and administering his grace and his law, the Bishop renders a service to the people which helps them to know and to follow the will of the one Lord of all.
57. The Principle of Truth.
As an authoritative teacher of the faith, the Bishop sets revealed truth at the heart of his pastoral action as the primary criterion with which to evaluate opinions and ideas emerging from the Christian community and from civil society. At the same time he offers hope and certainty by shedding the light of truth upon the people’s journey through life. The Word of God and the Magisterium of the Church’s living tradition are essential points of reference not only for the Bishop’s teaching but also for his pastoral governance. Good government requires the Bishop to do all in his power to seek the truth and to make every effort to perfect his teaching, attentive not only to the quantity but also to the quality of his pronouncements. In this way he will avoid the risk of adopting pastoral solutions of a purely formal nature which fail to address the substance of the problems. His pastoral activity is authentic when it is anchored in truth.
58. The Principle of Communion.
In exercising his pastoral ministry, the Bishop should act in the knowledge that he is the “visible principle and foundation” (142) of unity in his diocese, but always with a view also to the unity of the whole Catholic Church. He should promote unity in faith, in love and in discipline, so that the diocese is aware that it forms a vital part of the whole People of God. The unity which the Bishop seeks to promote is not proposed as sterile uniformity, but it encompasses legitimate diversity, which he is called to safeguard and to encourage. Ecclesial communion will lead the Bishop to work constantly for the common good of the diocese, mindful that this is subordinated to the good of the universal Church and that, in turn, the good of the diocese prevails over that of individual communities. So as not to hinder any legitimate particular good, the Bishop should make it his business to acquire accurate knowledge of the common good of the diocese. This knowledge should be continually updated and confirmed through frequent visits among the people of God entrusted to him – so that he comes to know them – and also through study, socio-religious research, the counsel of prudent persons and constant dialogue with the faithful, since modern life is subject to such rapid changes.
59. The Principle of Cooperation.
The ecclesiology of communion requires the Bishop to involve all Christians in the one mission of the Church. In fact all Christians, individually and collectively, have the right and the duty to cooperate in the mission which Christ entrusted to his Church, each according to his own particular vocation and gifts received from the Holy Spirit (143). In those things not essential to the common good, the baptized justly enjoy freedom of opinion and of action. In governing the diocese the Bishop should willingly recognize and respect this healthy pluralism of responsibility and this just freedom, whether of persons or associations. He should gladly communicate to others a sense of responsibility, both individual and collective, and he should encourage this in those who hold office in the Church, showing them his full confidence; in this way they will accept and fulfil with zeal the tasks that fall to them by virtue of canon law or their vocation.
60. The Principle of Respecting the Competence of Others.
In guiding his particular Church, the Bishop should follow the principle according to which he should not normally take to himself what others can accomplish well. On the contrary, he should show respect for the legitimate competence of others, granting appropriate faculties to his co-workers and encouraging healthy initiatives, individual or collective, among the faithful.
The Bishop should consider it his duty not only to stimulate, encourage and increase the good work taking place in his diocese, but also to coordinate it, always respecting the freedom and the legitimate rights of the faithful, thus avoiding wasted efforts, unnecessary duplication of labour and harmful tensions. When other personal ecclesiastical jurisdictions exist within his diocesan territory, either of Latin rite (e.g. military ordinariates) or of another rite, the diocesan Bishop should show respect for the competence of other ecclesiastical authorities and place himself at their full disposal for fruitful cooperation, in a pastoral spirit of collegiality.
61. The Principle of the right Person for the right Post.
In conferring offices within the diocese, the Bishop ought to be guided solely by supernatural criteria and the pastoral good of his particular Church. Therefore he should look first of all to the good of souls, respecting the dignity of persons and making use of their talents in the most appropriate and beneficial way, in the service of the community, always assigning the right person to the right post.
62. The Principles of Justice and Legality.
The Bishop, in guiding his diocese, should observe the principles of justice and legality, knowing that respect for the rights of all in the Church requires that everyone, including himself, be subject to canon law. For the common good and the good of every baptized person, the faithful, in fact, are entitled to be guided in a way that takes account of the fundamental rights of the person, the rights of the faithful, and the general discipline of the Church. The example of the Bishop should lead the faithful to be more assiduous in fulfilling their duties towards one another and towards the Church. He should avoid governing according to an unduly personal interpretation of ecclesial life.
II. EPISCOPAL POWER
63. The Bishop as Centre of Unity in his Particular Church.
The diocese is entrusted to the pastoral care of the Bishop, assisted by his presbyterate; he presides over it with sacred power, as a teacher of doctrine, a priest of sacred worship and a minister of governance(144).
The diocesan Bishop (145), in exercising his sacred power, should keep always before him the example of Christ and should assume an authentic spirit of evangelical service towards the portion of the People of God entrusted to his care (146).
In fulfilling his mission, the diocesan Bishop should always remember that the community over which he presides is a community of faith, needing to be nourished by the Word of God. It is a community of grace, continually built up by the eucharistic sacrifice and by the celebration of the other sacraments, through which the priestly people offers to God the Church’s sacrifice of praise. It is a community of charity, spiritual and material, issuing forth from the fountain of the Eucharist. It is a community of apostolate, in which all the children of God, either individually or jointly, are called to bear witness to the unsearchable riches of Christ. The diversity of vocations and ministries which make up the particular Church requires the Bishop to exercise his ministry not in isolation, but in close union with his co-workers, the priests and deacons. He is further assisted by members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, which enrich the particular Church with fruitful charisms and the witness of holiness, charity, fraternity and mission.
The Bishop should have a lively sense of being the foundation and visible principle of unity for his particular Church. He should promote and continually safeguard ecclesial communion in the diocesan presbyterate, so that his example of dedication, of openness, of goodness, of justice, of effective and affective communion with the Pope and his brother Bishops should always unite the priests more closely with one another and with him. No priest should feel excluded from the paternity, the fraternity and the friendship of the Bishop. This spirit of communion with the Bishop will encourage the priests in their own pastoral solicitude as they lead their people towards communion with Christ in the unity of the particular Church. Regarding the lay faithful, the Bishop will promote communion by incorporating them into the unity of the particular Church, according to their own vocation and mission, recognizing their just autonomy, listening to their advice and evaluating with great care legitimate requests regarding their spiritual needs (147). He will welcome lay associations into the overall pastoral ministry of the diocese, respecting the particular identity of each one and appraising them according to the “criteria of ecclesiality” indicated in the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (148). Thus, members of associations, movements and ecclesial groups, united with one another and with their Bishop, should be able to cooperate with the priests and with diocesan agencies so as to usher in the Kingdom in the society which they are called to evangelize and lead towards God.
64. Episcopal Power.
In contrast with the power exercised in every other human society, episcopal power is distinguished by its divine origin and by the context of ecclesial communion and mission. It has a pastoral goal and character which promotes unity in faith, in sacraments and in ecclesial discipline, and orders the particular Church in accordance with its nature and ends. The diocesan Bishop accomplishes his mission through exercising in Christ’s name that power which is attached by law to the office conferred by the canonical mission. This power is proper, ordinary and immediate. Nevertheless, its exercise is ultimately regulated by the supreme authority of the Church – the Roman Pontiff – and so can be restricted in certain respects for the advantage of the Church or of the faithful (149). In virtue of this power, Bishops have the sacred right and duty before the Lord to issue laws for the faithful, to make judgements and to regulate everything pertaining to the good order of worship and the apostolate (150). Hence the distinction between the legislative, judicial and executive functions of episcopal power (151).
65. Pastoral Character of Episcopal Power.
The functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing are intimately interconnected. Following the example of the Good Shepherd, the entire ministry of the Bishop is focused on serving God and the flock (152).
In order to accomplish his mission, the Bishop teaches, counsels and persuades, but he should also exercise his authority and sacred power when this is required for the building up of the faithful (153). In fact, the correct exercise of jurisdiction is itself a pastoral activity, since the Church’s canon law exists for the service of a just order in which love, grace and charismatic gifts can be harmoniously developed (154).
In treating problems and in making decisions, the salvation of souls is the supreme law to which no exception can be made (155). In conformity with this principle, the Bishop should exercise his authority in such a way that the people can accept it as paternal care and not as an oppressive yoke: he should offer his flock dynamic but discreet guidance, not imposing unnecessary burdens hard to bear (cf. Mt 23:4), but demanding only what Christ and his Church lay down, only what is truly necessary or particularly conducive to safeguarding the bonds of charity and communion.
The Bishop will judge all things with prudence, according to that balanced canonical wisdom which is intrinsic to the whole ordering of the Church, ever mindful of the human person, who in every situation must be guided towards his supernatural good, while at the same time mindful of the common good of the Church. With a merciful and benign yet firm spirit, he will rise above personal interests, avoiding undue haste or partisan spirit, and will be sure to listen to the interested parties before reaching a judgement on their actions.
66. Ministerial Dimension of Episcopal Power.
In exercising his episcopal power, the Bishop should remember that it is a ministry, and that “this office which the Lord committed to the Pastors of his people is, in the strict sense of the term, a service, which is called very expressively in sacred scripture a diakonia or ministry (cf. Acts 1:17,25; 21:19; Rom 11:13; 1 Tim 1:12)” (156).
The Bishop, realizing that he is not only father and head of the particular Church, but also a brother in Christ and a member of the Christian faithful, does not act as if he were above the law, but observes the same rule of justice which he applies to others (157). By virtue of the diaconal dimension of his office, the Bishop should avoid authoritarianism in the exercise of his power and should be ready to listen to the faithful and seek their cooperation and their counsel, through the channels and structures established by canonical discipline.
There is a real interplay, as it were a perichoresis, between the Bishop and the faithful. The latter, by virtue of their baptism, are responsible for the building up of the Body of Christ, and hence for the good of the particular Church (158). For his part, gathering up the insights which emerge from the portion of the People of God entrusted to him, the Bishop authoritatively proposes measures that assist each individual to realize his true vocation (159).
The Bishop should recognize and accept the great diversity that exists among the faithful, their different vocations and charisms, taking care not to impose a rigid uniformity, and avoiding unhelpful constraints or authoritarian measures. This does not exclude, but rather presupposes the exercise of his authority, as well as his counsel and exhortation exhortation, so that the roles and activities of each person may be respected by others and rightly ordered to the common good.
67. Criteria for the Exercise of the Legislative Function.
In exercising the legislative function, the diocesan Bishop should keep in mind some basic principles:
a) Its personal character:
Legislative power in the diocesan forum belongs exclusively to the diocesan Bishop. This grave responsibility, instead of preventing the Bishop from listening to advice and seeking the cooperation of diocesan structures and councils, actually requires him to do so before issuing norms or general directives for the diocese. The diocesan Synod is the instrument par excellence for assisting the Bishop in establishing the canonical ordering of the diocesan Church (160).
It follows from the very nature of the particular Church that the meaning of legislative power does not consist solely in the local enforcement or application of juridically binding norms issued by the Holy See or the Episcopal Conference, but it extends also to the regulation of any pastoral matter in the diocesan forum that is not reserved to the supreme authority or to some other ecclesiastical authority (161). Nonetheless, legislative power should always be exercised with discretion, so that the norms always respond to a real pastoral necessity.
c) Subjection to superior law:
The diocesan Bishop fully realizes that his power is subject to the supreme authority of the Church and to the norms of canon law. Thus, when enacting laws for the good of the diocese, he should always ensure the necessary harmony between these local pastoral decrees or guidelines and universal canonical discipline (162) or the particular law established by Episcopal Conferences or particular councils.
d) Care in redacting laws:
The Bishop should take care that legislative and canonical texts are drawn up with precision and technical-juridical rigour, avoiding contradictions, useless repetitions, or a multiplication of rulings on a single matter. He should also ensure the necessary clarity so that it is obvious when an instruction is obligatory and when it is merely a guideline, what type of conduct is prescribed and what is prohibited. For this purpose he should avail himself of the assistance of specialists in canon law, who should never be lacking in a particular Church. Moreover, a precondition for the just regulation of any aspect of diocesan life is precise knowledge regarding the situation of the diocese and the circumstances of the faithful, insofar as these have a significant influence on the way people think and act.
68. Criteria for the Exercise of the Judicial Function.
In exercising the judicial function, the Bishop should keep in mind the following general criteria:
a) Without prejudicing the exercise of justice, the Bishop should encourage the faithful to resolve their differences peacefully and seek to be reconciled at the earliest opportunity, even after the canonical process has begun, thereby avoiding the prolonged animosity to which judicial processes often give rise (163).
b) The Bishop should observe and require others to observe the procedural norms established for the exercise of judicial power, since he recognizes that these rules are no mere formality, still less an obstacle to be circumvented, but are a necessary means for establishing the facts and for administering justice (164).
c) If he receives notice of behaviour which gravely damages the common good of the Church, the Bishop should investigate with discretion, either by himself or through a delegate, the facts and the imputability of the accused (165). When he judges that he has assembled sufficient proof of the facts which gave rise to the scandal, he should proceed formally to correct or admonish the accused (166). Yet when this does not suffice to repair the scandal, restore justice and bring about the rehabilitation of the person, the Bishop should proceed with the imposition of penalties, which may be applied in either of two ways (167):
– via a regular penal process in a case for which canon law requires it, given the gravity of the penalty, or when the Bishop judges it more prudent (168);
– via an extra-judicial decree, in conformity with the procedure established in canon law (169).
d) Given that the diocesan tribunal exercises the Bishop’s own judicial power, the Bishop should be vigilant that it observes the principles of the proper administration of justice in the Church. In particular, taking account of the singular importance and pastoral impact of sentences concerning validity or nullity of marriage, he should devote great care to this area, in harmony with the instructions of the Holy See. Where necessary, the Bishop should do all that is required to prevent abuses, especially those which suggest an attempt to introduce a divorce-like mentality in the Church. He will also fulfil whatever responsibilities he may have for interdiocesan tribunals.
69. Criteria for the Exercise of the Executive Function.
In the exercise of the executive function, the Bishop should keep in mind the following criteria:
a) He may perform administrative acts regarding his own faithful, even when he or they are outside his territory, unless the nature of the matter or a prescript of law establishes otherwise (170).
b) He may perform administrative acts regarding visitors present in his territory, if it is a question of granting favours or of applying laws, universal or particular, that provide for the public order, determine the formalities of acts, or regard immovable goods located in the territory (171).
c) Ordinary executive power as well as power delegated for all cases must be interpreted broadly. When it is delegated for individual cases, it must be interpreted strictly (172).
d) One to whom power has been delegated is understood to have been granted also those faculties without which the delegate cannot exercise this power (173).
e) When more than one authority has competence to act, the fact that a person approaches a particular authority does not suspend the executive power, ordinary or delegated, of the others (174).
f) When a member of the faithful submits a case to a higher authority, the lower authority is not to become involved in the matter, except for a grave and urgent cause. In this case, the lower authority is immediately to notify the higher, in order to avoid contradictory decisions (175).
g) When issuing extraordinary singular decrees, the Bishop, before all else, is to seek out the necessary information and proofs, and, as far as possible, to hear those involved in the question (176).
Unless some grave cause indicates otherwise, the Bishop’s decision should be drawn up in writing and delivered to the party concerned. In the decree, without harming the good reputation of persons, he should indicate the precise motives both in order to justify his decision and to avoid any appearance of arbitrariness.
This also makes it possible for the person concerned to have recourse against the decision (177).
h) When the term established for an appointment ad tempus has expired, the Bishop should act with the greatest solicitude both for the good of persons and for juridical certainty. He may choose formally to renew the appointment of the office-holder, or to extend it for less than a full term. Otherwise, he may confirm that the term of office has expired and appoint the person concerned to a new responsibility.
i) Expeditious treatment of cases is a norm of well-ordered administration and also of justice towards the faithful (178). When the law prescribes that the Bishop should take action on a particular matter, or if the interested party legitimately presents a petition or a recourse, the decree should be issued within three months (179).
j) In applying his wide-ranging faculties to dispense from ecclesiastical laws, the Bishop ought always to promote the good of the faithful and of the entire ecclesial community, avoiding the least hint of arbitrariness or favouritism (180).
III. THE AUXILIARY BISHOP, THE COADJUTOR
70. The Auxiliary Bishop.
The auxiliary Bishop, the principal co-worker of the diocesan Bishop in the governance of the diocese, is appointed in order to provide more effectively for the good of souls in a large or densely-populated diocese or for other reasons connected with the apostolate. The Bishop should therefore look upon the auxiliary as a brother and should involve him in his pastoral projects, decisions and in all diocesan initiatives, so that through their mutual exchange of ideas and opinions, they may proceed in unity and harmony in their intentions and endeavours. For his part, the auxiliary Bishop, conscious of his role at the heart of the diocese, should always act in complete obedience to the diocesan Bishop, respecting his authority.
71. Criteria for Requesting an Auxiliary Bishop
a) When the needs of the diocese truly require it, the diocesan Ordinary who seeks the assistance of an auxiliary Bishop should make a petition to the Holy See, explaining his reasons. The request must not be motivated simply by considerations of honour or prestige.
b) When it is possible to provide adequately for the needs of the diocese by appointing Vicars general or episcopal Vicars without episcopal character, the diocesan Bishop should do so, instead of requesting the appointment of an auxiliary Bishop.
c) When requesting an auxiliary, the diocesan Bishop should present a detailed description of the offices and tasks which he intends to entrust to the auxiliary, even when it is a case of replacing an auxiliary Bishop who has been transferred elsewhere or who has resigned his office. In this way the diocesan Bishop personally avails himself of the opportunity to evaluate the quality of his episcopal service for the good of the whole diocese. The diocesan Bishop should not entrust the auxiliary Bishop with the care of a parish nor with tasks of a purely marginal or occasional nature.
d) The auxiliary Bishop is normally appointed a Vicar general (181), or at least an episcopal Vicar, so that he depends solely on the authority of the diocesan Bishop. Moreover, the diocesan Bishop should assign to him those tasks which, according to legal norms, require a special mandate. In particularly grave circumstances, including those of a personal nature, the Holy See may appoint an auxiliary Bishop with special faculties (182).
72. The Coadjutor Bishop.
When circumstances so suggest, the Holy See may appoint a coadjutor Bishop (183). The diocesan Bishop should welcome him gladly in a spirit of faith and should promote an effective communion by virtue of their joint episcopal responsibility, establishing an authentic partnership which, with a coadjutor, should be particularly cordial and fraternal for the good of the diocese.
The diocesan Bishop should always remember that the coadjutor Bishop has the right of succession (184) and is therefore to act in full agreement with him, so that the future exercise of the coadjutor’s own pastoral ministry is unimpeded. The diocesan Bishop ought to show similar agreement with an auxiliary equipped with special faculties (185).
73. The Apostolic Administrator sede plena.
The Holy See may, in particular circumstances, take the extraordinary action of appointing an apostolic Administrator to a diocese that has its own Bishop. Should this happen, the Bishop, for his part, is to cooperate in the total, free and serene fulfilment of the apostolic Administrator’s mandate.
74. Resignation from Office.
When he reaches his seventy-fifth birthday, each Bishop is bound to observe what is prescribed in the Code of Canon Law. However, for the sake of the good of souls and of his particular Church, the Bishop will hasten to present his resignation earlier if his strength is diminished, or if he has great difficulty in adapting to new circumstances, or if for some other grave cause he becomes less able to fulfil his office (186).
IV. THE PRESBYTERATE
75. The Bishop and the Priests of the Diocese.
The primary role in the care of souls lies with the diocesan clergy who, being incardinated or appointed to a particular Church, are wholly dedicated in its service to the care of that portion of the Lord’s flock. Diocesan priests, in fact, are the principal and irreplaceable co-workers of the order of Bishops, invested with the unique and identical ministerial priesthood which the Bishop possesses in its fullness. The Bishop and the priests are constituted as ministers of the apostolic mission. The priests share in the Bishop’s solicitude and responsibility in such a way that together they nurture an ecclesial sense at once local and universal (187).
The Bishop is father of the priestly family and through him the Lord Jesus Christ is present among believers. For this reason, just as Jesus manifested his love for the Apostles, so too the Bishop knows that it is his duty to show particular love and solicitude for priests and candidates for the sacred ministry (188).
Guided by sincere and unwavering charity, the Bishop should take care to assist his priests in every way, so that they come to appreciate the sublime priestly vocation, live it with serenity and defend it with vigour, radiant with joy as they faithfully carry out their duties (189).
76. The Bishop: Father, Brother and Friend of Diocesan Priests.
The rapport between a Bishop and his presbyterate needs to be inspired and nourished by charity and by a vision of faith, such that their juridical bonds, deriving from the divine constitution of the Church, appear as a natural consequence of the spiritual communion each one has with God (cf. Jn 13:35). In this way, the apostolic labours of priests will be more fruitful, since their union of will and of intent with the Bishop deepens their union with Christ, who continues his ministry as the invisible head of the Church acting through the visible hierarchy (190).
In exercising his ministry, the Bishop relates to his priests not merely as a ruler towards his subjects, but rather as a father and a friend (191). He should devote himself wholeheartedly to creating a climate of affection and trust such that his priests may respond with a convinced, pleasing and firm obedience (192). The practice of obedience is strengthened rather than weakened if the Bishop, as far as possible and without prejudice to justice and charity, explains to the interested parties the reasons for his decisions. He should show equal care and attention to every priest, because all of them, while their gifts will be many and varied, are engaged in the service of the Lord as members of a single presbyterate.
The Bishop should encourage a spirit of initiative among his priests, avoiding anything that might lead them to understand obedience in a passive and irresponsible manner. He should ensure that each gives his best and does so generously, placing his own capacities in the service of God and of the Church, with the mature freedom of the sons of God (193).
77. Personal Acquaintance with the Priests.
The Bishop should consider it his sacred duty to know his diocesan priests well, their character, their aptitudes, their aspirations, the depth of their spiritual life, their zeal, their ideals, their state of health, their financial situation, their families and everything which concerns them. And he should know them not just in groups (as for example when he meets the clergy of the whole diocese or of a deanery or vicariate) or through pastoral bodies, but also individually and, as far as possible, in their place of ministry. This is the purpose of his pastoral visits, when as much time as possible should be given to personal matters, rather than to administrative concerns which might equally well be addressed by a cleric delegated by the Bishop (194).
In a paternal spirit and with genuine familiarity, he should initiate a dialogue, discussing with the priests whatever is in their interest, the responsibilities assigned to them and the problems arising in diocesan life. The Bishop should encourage priests of different generations to come to know one another, urging in the younger ones a genuine respect and veneration for their older brethren, and in the older priests a desire to support and accompany their younger brethren, so that the whole presbyterate feels united around the Bishop, jointly responsible with him for the particular Church.
The Bishop should manifestly hold his priests in esteem, showing them trust and praising them as they deserve. He should respect and require others to respect their rights and should defend them against unjust criticism (195). He should act swiftly to resolve controversies, so as to avoid the prolonged disquiet which can overshadow fraternal charity and do damage to the pastoral ministry.
78. Pastoral Assignments.
The pastoral activity of priests must be ordered with a view, firstly, to the good of souls and the needs of the diocese, but also giving due consideration to the different aptitudes and legitimate aspirations of each priest, respecting their human and priestly dignity. Such wisdom in governing is manifested, among other things, by the following:
– In assigning offices, the Bishop should act with the greatest discretion, so as to avoid even the slightest suspicion of arbitrariness, favouritism or undue pressure. To this end, he should always seek the opinion of prudent persons, and should establish the suitability of candidates, even by means of an examination (196).
– When conferring responsibilities, the Bishop should carefully judge the capacity of each person and should not overburden anyone with responsibilities which, in number or importance, could exceed their capacity or damage their interior life. It is not good to give too demanding a ministry to priests who have only recently completed their seminary formation, but rather to proceed gradually after fitting preparation and appropriate pastoral experience (197), assigning them to suitable pastors, so that in their early years of priesthood they may further develop and wisely strengthen their priestly identity.
– The Bishop should remind priests that every task they undertake at the Bishop’s behest, even when not directly concerned with the care of souls, can rightly be called pastoral ministry, endowed with dignity, with supernatural merit and efficacy for the good of the faithful. Those priests too, who, with the consent of the competent authority, exercise their ministry at supradiocesan or national level (such as the superiors and professors of interdiocesan seminaries and ecclesiastical faculties, or the officials of the Episcopal Conference), cooperate with the Bishops by means of a genuinely pastoral activity which deserves special attention on the part of the Church (198).
In this way, the Bishop ensures that priests dedicate themselves completely to whatever is proper to their ministry (199), since the needs of the Church are great (cf. Mt 9:37-38).
79. Relationships of Priests with one another.
All priests, because they share in the one priesthood of Christ and are called to cooperate in a single mission, are united by particular bonds of fraternity (200).
It is therefore appropriate for the Bishop to encourage as much as possible the common life of priests, which expresses the collegial dimension of the sacramental ministry (201), recapturing the tradition of apostolic life for the sake of a more fruitful ministry. In this way the clergy should feel supported in their priestly task and in the generous exercise of their ministry: this has a particular relevance for those working together in the same pastoral activity (202).
The Bishop should also foster good relations between all priests, both the secular clergy and members of religious institutes or societies of apostolic life, since they all belong to the one order of priesthood and exercise their ministry for the good of the particular Church. This worthy objective can be achieved through regular meetings at deanery or vicariate level (or through other groupings of parishes within the diocese), for study purposes, for prayer and for fraternal conviviality (203). One proven means of bringing priests together is the so-called “clergy house” (casa del clero).
The Bishop should support and value those priestly associations which may exist in his diocese. On the basis of statutes recognized by the competent ecclesiastical authority and through appropriate programmes of spiritual life and fraternal assistance, these associations promote the sanctification of the clergy in the exercise of their ministry and strengthen the bonds which unite the priest with his Bishop and with the particular Church to which they belong (204).
80. Attention to the Human Needs of the Priests.
The priest should not be deprived of whatever is necessary to maintain a fitting and worthy quality of life, and the faithful in the diocese should be aware that it is their responsibility to provide for this.
In this regard, the Bishop should concern himself first of all with their remuneration, which must be consistent with their circumstances, “taking into account the nature of their function and the conditions of places and times”, but also ensuring always that “they can provide for the necessities of their life as well as for the equitable payment of those whose services they need” (205). In this way, priests will not find themselves having to seek additional income through activities outside their ministry, which might well obscure their chosen state of life and reduce their pastoral and spiritual activity. Steps should also be taken to ensure that they can benefit from social assistance, “which provides for their needs suitably if they suffer from illness, incapacity, or old age” (206). This just provision for clergy can also be met through interdiocesan, national (207) and international foundations.
The Bishop should be vigilant that priests, including religious priests, are correctly attired, according to the universal law of the Church and the norms of the Episcopal Conference (208), so that their priestly dignity is always evident. In their attire they bear living witness to the supernatural realities which they are called to communicate (209).
The Bishop will set an example by the faithful and dignified manner in which he wears the cassock (whether with piping or simply black), or in certain circumstances at least the clerical suit and Roman collar.
In a paternal spirit, the Bishop should keep a discreet and watchful eye on the dignity of the priests’ housing and domestic provision, helping them to avoid any semblance of carelessness, eccentricity or negligence in personal manner of life that might endanger their spiritual health. He should encourage them to make use of their leisure time for healthy recreation and formative reading, with prudent and moderate use of the media and public entertainment. He should also encourage them to enjoy a sufficient period of vacation each year (210).
81. Attention to Priests in Difficulties.
Assisted by his regional vicars, the Bishop should seek to anticipate and to resolve any human or spiritual difficulties that priests might experience. He should come lovingly to the help of any priest who finds himself in a difficult situation, especially the sick, the elderly, and the poor, so that they all sense the joy of their vocation, with gratitude towards their Shepherd. When they are sick, the Bishop should comfort them with a visit or at least with a letter or a telephone call, and should ensure that they receive proper material and spiritual assistance. When they die, their funerals should be celebrated by the Bishop himself, if at all possible, or else by his representative.
Some specific cases require particular attention:
a) It is important to anticipate the loneliness and isolation that some priests can feel, particularly if they are young and exercise their ministry in remote and underpopulated areas. To resolve any difficulties they might encounter, the Bishop should enlist the help of a zealous and experienced priest and should encourage frequent contact between brother priests (211), which could include the possibility of sharing a common life.
b) It is important to be aware of the danger that years of work and the difficulties inherent in the ministry may lead to a certain weariness or fatigue. The Bishop, making use of the resources of the diocese, should study, case by case, the form of spiritual, intellectual and physical renewal that could help a priest resume his ministry with fresh vigour. In exceptional cases, it might be appropriate to consider a so-called “sabbatical” period (212).
c) The Bishop should show great paternal affection to those priests who, through fatigue or infirmity, find themselves in a state of moral weakness or exhaustion, appointing them to tasks which are less burdensome and easier to accomplish, given their situation. In this way they can avoid the isolation that might otherwise afflict them and they can be helped, with understanding and patience, to regain a sense of purpose and to discover the supernatural efficacy of their current situation through union with the Cross of our Lord (213).
d) The Bishop should also treat with a paternal spirit those priests who leave the active ministry (214), making every effort to bring about their interior conversion and helping them to overcome whatever difficulty led them away, so that they can return to their priestly life or at least regularize their situation in the Church (215). In the latter case, by means of a rescript of dismissal from the clerical state, he would remove them from all activities requiring an office conferred by the hierarchy (216), thereby avoiding scandal among the faithful and confusion in the diocese.
e) In the event of scandalous conduct, the Bishop should intervene with charity, yet firmly and decisively: whether through admonition or correction, or by taking steps towards removal or transfer to an office in which the occasion for such misconduct does not arise (217). If these measures are unsuccessful or insufficient, in view of the gravity of the misconduct or the obstinacy of the cleric, the Bishop should impose the penalty of suspension according to the law or, in extreme cases provided for in canonical norms, he should initiate a penal process aimed at dismissal from the clerical state (218).
82. Attentiveness to Clerical Celibacy.
In order to help priests maintain a chaste commitment to God and to the Church, the Bishop needs to take great care that celibacy is presented in all its Biblical, theological and spiritual richness (219). He should encourage all his priests to lead a profound spiritual life and to seek divine assistance, so that their hearts may be filled with love for Christ.
The Bishop should strengthen the bonds of fraternity and friendship between priests, and should take pains to show the positive value that exterior solitude can have for their interior life and for their human and priestly maturity. He should present himself to them as a faithful friend and confidant, to whom they may entrust themselves in search of understanding and good counsel.
The Bishop should be aware of the real obstacles which, today more than in the past, stand in the way of priestly celibacy. He should therefore exhort his priests to practise supernatural and human prudence, teaching them that being proper and discreet in their comportment towards women is in accord with their consecrated celibacy, whereas greater familiarity, if misinterpreted, could lead to sentimental attachment. If necessary, he should intervene to warn anyone who might be putting himself at risk. Depending on the circumstances, the Bishop may wish to establish concrete norms in order to facilitate the observance of the promises associated with priestly ordination (220).
83. Attentiveness to the Ongoing Formation of the Clergy.
The Bishop should educate his priests of every age and condition to fulfil their duty of ongoing formation and he should ensure that due provision is made for this (221), so that their enthusiasm for the ministry does not wane, but grows and matures with the passage of time, making the sublime gift they have received more dynamic and more effective (cf. 2 Tim 1:6).
The importance of continuing and deepening their priestly formation, even after ordination, needs to be impressed upon future priests while they are still in the seminary, so that as their institutional studies and community life come to a conclusion, their formation is not interrupted. Moreover, older priests need to cultivate the youthfulness of spirit that manifests itself in a lifelong interest in constant growth towards “the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). This should help them overcome any unwillingness to participate in the programmes of ongoing formation offered by the diocese (222), whether as a result of routine, fatigue, an exaggerated work ethic or an excessive reliance on their own abilities. The Bishop sets a good example for his priests if, alongside them, his closest co-workers, he himself actively participates as much as possible in formation programmes (223).
The Bishop should consider the annual retreat a primary and essential element in the ongoing formation of his priests. It should be arranged in such a way that each one has time for an authentic and personal encounter with God and for reflection on his personal life and ministry.
In drawing up programmes and initiatives for priestly formation, the Bishop should not fail to make use of the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, which presents a synthesis of doctrine and ecclesial discipline on priestly identity, on the priest’s role in the Church and on his relations with other members of the Christian faithful. In the same Directory, the Bishop will also find suggestions and useful guidelines for the organization and direction of different methods of ongoing formation.
V. THE SEMINARY
84. The Pre-eminent Institution of the Diocese.
Among diocesan institutions, the Bishop should consider the seminary to have primacy of place, and he should make it the object of his most intense and assiduous pastoral care, because it is largely on seminaries that the continuity and fruitfulness of the Church’s priestly ministry depends (224).
85. The Major Seminary.
The Bishop should insist firmly and with conviction on the importance of the major seminary as a privileged instrument for priestly formation (225), and he should endeavour to provide the diocese with its own major seminary, as an expression of the pastoral care for vocations in the particular Church. The seminary is at the same time an ecclesial community in its own right, forming future priests in the image of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. The establishment of a major diocesan seminary is conditioned by the resources at the disposal of the diocese for offering a profound human, spiritual, cultural and pastoral formation to candidates for the priesthood. To this end, the Bishop should seek to ensure that formators and future professors themselves receive the necessary formation, to the highest academic level possible.
If the diocese is not able to support its own seminary, the Bishop should combine his resources with those of neighbouring dioceses in order to establish an interdiocesan seminary, or he should send his candidates to the seminary closest to his diocese (226).
The Holy See, recognizing how difficult it is for every diocese to support a seminary of its own, gives approval for the establishment of interdiocesan seminaries and for their statutes. The Bishops concerned should agree upon the norms governing such seminaries. Each of them is responsible for personally visiting his students and taking an interest in their formation. In this way he should elicit from the seminary superiors whatever he needs to know in order to judge whether a candidate fulfils the conditions for admission to holy orders (227).
The possibility of reducing the period of time prescribed for seminary formation is to be considered an exception in specific individual cases (228).
86. The Minor Seminary or Similar Institutions.
In addition to the major seminary, the Bishop should make it his concern, wherever possible, to establish a minor seminary, or to support one already present (229). This seminary should be understood as a distinctive school community where the seeds of a priestly vocation are protected and nurtured. The diocesan Bishop should organize the minor seminary according to a rule of life suited to the age-group, to the needs of adolescents and according to the norms of a healthy psychology and pedagogy, fully respecting the freedom of young men in their life-choice. The Bishop, moreover, should be aware that this type of community requires continuous dialogue between the teaching staff of the seminary, the parents of the students and the school (230).
In view of its nature and mission, the minor seminary could well become a significant reference point for vocations promotion in the diocese, with suitable formative experiences for young men seeking to discover the direction of their lives and their vocation, and for those who have already decided to set out on the path to ministerial priesthood, but are not yet ready to enter the major seminary.
The Bishop should encourage close cooperation between the respective formation teams of the major seminary and the minor seminary, so as to avoid any discontinuity in their basic approach to formation. In this way, the minor seminary can offer an adequate and solid foundation to those who will continue their vocational journey in the major seminary (231).
The minor seminary needs to offer the students a course of studies fulfilling the requirements of the State curriculum, perhaps needing recognition by the State (232).
87. Late Vocations.
Just as the Bishop nurtures the seeds of vocation in adolescents and young men, so too he needs to provide for the formation of adult vocations, ensuring that there are suitable institutions offering a formation programme adapted to the age and state of life of these candidates for the priesthood (233).
88. The Bishop, the one Primarily Responsible for Priestly Formation.
The complex and difficult situation of young people in today’s world requires that the Bishop be particularly attentive in assessing candidates at the time of their admission to seminary. In some difficult cases, when selecting candidates for admission to the seminary, it will be appropriate to ask them to undergo psychological testing, but only si casus ferat (234), because recourse to such means cannot be generalized and must be undertaken with the greatest prudence, so as not to violate the person’s right to privacy (235). In this context, great care must also be taken over the acceptance of candidates for the priesthood coming from other seminaries or religious families. In these cases, the Bishop’s duty is to apply scrupulously the norms contained in the Church’s discipline (236) regarding admission to seminary of ex-seminarians, ex-religious and ex-members of societies of apostolic life. As a manifestation of his primary role in the formation of candidates for the priesthood, the Bishop should visit the seminary frequently, not forgetting the students from his diocese who are resident at the interdiocesan seminary or in another seminary. He should relate cordially to them so that they are comfortable in his presence. The Bishop should consider these visits one of the most important dimensions of his episcopal mission, inasmuch as his presence in the seminary helps to root this special community in the particular Church, urges everyone to strive for a pastorally oriented formation and strengthens the sense of Church among young candidates for the priesthood (237).
During these visits, the Bishop should seek the opportunity for a direct and informal encounter with his students so that he comes to know them personally, developing his familiarity and friendship with each of them so as to be able to evaluate their interests, their aptitudes, their human and intellectual gifts as well as those aspects of their personalities that require greater attention in formation. This familiar relationship should allow the Bishop to assess more accurately the suitability of candidates for the priesthood and to compare his own judgement with that of the seminary superiors, which forms the basis of his decision whether to proceed to sacramental ordination. In fact the Bishop has ultimate responsibility for the admission of candidates to holy orders. Their suitability must be established to his satisfaction with positive arguments. If he has grounds for doubt, he should not admit them to ordination (238).
The Bishop should take care to send intellectually gifted priests to undertake further studies in ecclesiastical universities, so as to ensure that the diocese has an academically well-prepared presbyterate, sound theological teaching and priests who are suitably qualified to exercise special ministries. In order to derive maximum benefit from their studies, it is normally appropriate that these priests should spend some time exercising their ministry beforehand (239).
89. The Bishop and the Formation Team in the Seminary.
The Bishop should select with great care the Rector, the Spiritual Director, the Superiors and the Confessors for the Seminary. They must be chosen from among the best priests of the diocese, they should excel in devotion and sound doctrine, suitable pastoral experience, zeal for souls and particular aptitude for formation and teaching. If such priests are not at his disposal, he should request them from other dioceses with greater resources. It is appropriate that the formators should provide an element of stability and should have their permanent residence in the seminary community. The Bishop should also give particular care and attention to ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the task, on a technical, pedagogical, spiritual, human and theological level (240).
As the students’ formation proceeds, the Bishop should obtain from the superiors of the seminary clear information regarding their situation and their progress. With prudent forethought, and via scrutinies, he should establish that each of the candidates is suitable for holy orders and fully committed to living the demands of the Catholic priesthood. He should never act precipitously in such a delicate matter and, in uncertain cases, he should defer giving his approval until every shadow of doubt regarding a candidate’s suitability has been dispelled. Should a candidate be judged unsuitable for ordination, this assessment should be communicated to him in due time (241).
Likewise, all the seminary professors share the responsibility for integral priestly formation, including those whose subjects are not strictly theological. It is important to appoint to such positions only those who are distinguished by sound doctrine and who have sufficient academic preparation and pedagogical skill. The Bishop should be vigilant that they fulfil their task diligently, and if anyone should dissent from the Church’s doctrine or give a bad example to the students, he should be removed from the seminary without delay (242).
In particular cases, according to the nature of the scientific discipline, the office of seminary professor may also be entrusted to competent laypersons who offer an example of authentic Christian life (243). The Bishop should maintain frequent personal contact with those in charge of the seminary, placing his trust in them, so as to encourage them in their task and to foster among them a spirit of full harmony, communion and cooperation.
90. The Formation of Seminarians.
It lies within the Bishop’s competence to approve the formation programme of the seminary and the rule of life. This programme should be drawn up in accordance with the principles set out in the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education, in other documents of the Holy See and in the Ratio Institutionis Sacerdotalis issued by the Episcopal Conference, keeping in mind the specific needs of the particular Church (244).
The fundamental objective of the formation programme is to configure the seminarians to Christ, head and shepherd, in the exercise of pastoral charity. This objective will be reached by means of the following:
a) human formation, which educates the seminarians in those virtues which allow them to develop a balanced personality and to increase their personal apostolic effectiveness;
b) spiritual formation, which disposes the students to aspire to Christian holiness through the priestly ministry, exercised with living faith and love for souls (245);
c) doctrinal formation, which helps the students to acquire a complete knowledge of Christian doctrine to sustain their spiritual life and to assist them in their teaching ministry (246). To this end, the Bishop should be vigilant over the sound doctrine of the professors, and of the manuals and other books used in the seminary;
d) pastoral formation, which roots the students in the different apostolic activities of the diocese and in direct pastoral experience, through specific placements determined by the Bishop. This formation should be marked by a natural continuity with the students’ future ministry, especially during their early years of priesthood, in conformity with the national plan for priestly formation (247);
e) missionary formation, which is demanded by the universal dimension of the sacred ministry (248), and which awakens in the seminarians a concern not just for their own particular Church, but also for the universal Church, making them ready to offer their services to particular Churches in grave need. Seminarians who express a desire to exercise their ministry in other particular Churches should be encouraged and should receive a special formation (249).
91. Pastoral Care of Vocations and Diocesan Promotion of Vocations.
The pastoral care of vocations, closely linked with the pastoral care of young people, is properly served through a central diocesan agency for the promotion of vocations. It is therefore appropriate to establish in the diocese a single office for all vocations, under the direction of a priest, in order to coordinate the various initiatives, always respecting the proper autonomy of each ecclesial institution (250). If it is helpful, the Bishop may wish to propose diocesan “working plans” for the shorter or longer term.
In particular, it is an important priority for Bishops to ensure that a sufficient number of sacred ministers is engaged in this work, supporting what is already being done and fostering further initiatives (251). The task of explaining to the faithful the importance of the sacred ministry should be close to the Bishop’s heart, as he teaches them of their responsibility to encourage vocations for the service of their brothers and sisters and the building up of God’s People. This task has always been necessary, but today it has become a grave and urgent duty.
The Bishop should not neglect to encourage among priests a real commitment to providing for the future of their divine mission, as a natural consequence of their apostolic spirit and love for the Church. Above all the pastors have a special role in promoting vocations to the sacred ministry, and they should give close attention to those boys and young men who show a particular aptitude in their service at the altar, offering them spiritual guidance suited to their age, and also encouraging their parents (252).
VI. PERMANENT DEACONS
92. The Diaconal Ministry.
The Second Vatican Council, according to the venerable tradition of the Church, defined the diaconate as a ministry “of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of charity” (253). The deacon, therefore, participates in his own way in the three functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing, which belong properly to the members of the hierarchy.
He proclaims and expounds the Word of God, he administers baptism, Communion and the sacramentals, and he animates the Christian community mainly in those areas relating to the exercise of charity and the administration of goods.
The ministry of these clerics, in its different aspects, is pervaded by the sense of service which gives rise to the very name “deacon”. As in the case of any other sacred ministry, diaconal service should be directed in the first place to God, and, in God’s name, to the brethren. Yet the diaconate is also a service to the episcopate and to the presbyterate, to which the order of deacons is joined by bonds of obedience and communion, according to canonical discipline. In this way, the entire diaconal ministry constitutes a unity in the service of the divine plan of redemption, and its different elements are closely interconnected: the ministry of the Word leads to the ministry of the altar, which in turn implies the exercise of charity. Therefore, the Bishop should take steps to ensure that all the faithful, and priests in particular, appreciate and hold in esteem the ministry of deacons, which in all its aspects (e.g. liturgical, catechetical, charitable, pastoral, administrative) serves to build up the Church and may help to compensate for any shortage of priests.
93. Functions and Offices entrusted to Permanent Deacons.
It is very important to enable deacons, as far as possible, to exercise their ministry in its fullness: in preaching, in the liturgy, and in works of charity (254). Deacons should understand that their various tasks are not a mere aggregate of different activities, but are strictly linked by virtue of the sacrament received. While some of these tasks may also be performed by the lay faithful, they are always diaconal when performed by a deacon in the name of the Church, and sustained by the grace of the sacrament (255).
For this reason, it is preferable that any office which involves supplying for the presence of a priest be assigned to a deacon rather than to a layperson, especially when it is a question of providing some form of stable leadership for a Christian community without a priest, or assisting widely dispersed groups of Christians in the name of the Bishop or the pastor (256). Yet at the same time, it is important to ensure that deacons exercise their proper functions, rather than simply supplying for a priest.
94. Relationships of Deacons with one another.
Like Bishops and priests, deacons constitute an order of the faithful united by bonds of solidarity in the exercise of a common activity. For this reason, the Bishop should encourage human and spiritual fellowship among deacons, so that they come to sense a special sacramental fraternity. This can be achieved through standard means of ongoing diaconal formation and also through regular meetings, called by the Bishop, to evaluate the exercise of the ministry, to share experiences and to receive support in order to persevere in their vocation.
Deacons, like other members of the faithful and other clerics, have the right of association with others, lay and clerical, for the purpose of deepening their spiritual life and performing works of charity or apostolate suited to their clerical state and compatible with the fulfilment of their proper duties (257). Nevertheless, this right of association should not lead to an undue corporativism for the protection of their interests, which would be an inappropriate imitation of secular models, irreconcilable with the sacramental bonds that unite deacons with one another, with the Bishop and with other sacred ministers (258).
95. Deacons engaged in a Profession or a Secular Occupation.
The diaconal ministry is compatible with the exercise of a profession or civil office. Depending on local circumstances and the particular ministry assigned to the individual deacon, it is desirable that he should have work and a profession of his own, so that he has sufficient means of support (259). It goes without saying that his involvement in secular business does not transform the deacon into a layperson.
Those deacons who practise a profession should be able to offer an example of honesty and a true spirit of service, so that their professional and human relationships serve to bring people closer to God and to the Church. They should be zealous in conforming their work to individual and social moral norms. They should not fail to consult their pastor when the practice of their profession becomes more an obstacle than a means to sanctification (260).
Deacons may exercise any honest profession or activity, provided that they are not prevented in principle from doing so by the prohibitions established by canonical discipline for clerics (261). Nevertheless, it is preferable that deacons should perform those professional activities more closely linked to the transmission of Gospel truth and the service of the brethren: such as education – principally religious education – various social services, communications media, and some areas of medical research and practice.
96. Married Deacons.
The married deacon’s witness of fidelity to the Church and to his vocation of service is also expressed through family life. It follows that the consent of the wife is necessary for her husband’s ordination (262). Particular pastoral attention should be given to the deacon’s family, so that they can live with joy the commitment made by their husband or father and support him in his ministry. Nevertheless, functions and activities proper to the ministry should not be entrusted to the deacon’s wife or children, because the diaconal state is properly and exclusively his. Naturally, this does not prevent family members from assisting the deacon as he fulfils his responsibilities. Moreover, the experience of family life makes married deacons especially well suited to the pastoral care of families, at diocesan or parochial level, for which they should receive appropriate preparation.
97. The Formation of Permanent Deacons.
The initial and ongoing formation of deacons has considerable importance for their life and ministry. In order to determine what is needed for the formation of candidates for the permanent diaconate, the norms issued by the Holy See and the Episcopal Conference should be observed. It is preferable that permanent deacons should not be too young, but should have arrived at human as well as spiritual maturity, and that they should be formed in a suitable community for three years, unless in a particular case serious reasons suggest otherwise (263).
Their formation comprises similar elements to that of priests, but with some specific differences:
– the spiritual formation of the deacon264 helps him on his path to Christian holiness with particular emphasis on the distinctive feature of his ministry, i.e. the spirit of service. Avoiding, therefore, every risk of merely maintaining a façade or of a dichotomy between his vocation and his manner of life, the deacon should wish to conform his entire existence to Christ, who loves and serves all people;
– the exercise of the deacon’s ministry, especially preaching and teaching the Word of God, presupposes a continuous doctrinal formation, directed by suitably qualified professors;
– every deacon should receive personal support, enabling him to address his particular life circumstances, in his relations with other members of the People of God, in his professional work, and in his family ties.
VII. CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE
98. Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Diocesan Community.
The Bishop, as father and shepherd of the particular Church in all its aspects, welcomes the various expressions of consecrated life as a grace. It will therefore be his concern to support consecrated persons, so that, while always remaining faithful to the inspiration of their founder, they may open themselves to an ever more fruitful spiritual and pastoral cooperation according to the needs of the diocese (265). In this way, institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life, hermits and consecrated virgins are fully a part of the diocesan family because they are resident in the diocese, and through the example and witness of their lives and their apostolic work, they bring an inestimable benefit to the diocese. Their priests should be considered partners of the diocesan presbyterate, co-workers with the Bishop in the care of souls (266).
The diocesan Bishop should consider the consecrated state as a divine gift which “while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness” (267). He should appreciate the uniqueness of the way this gift is lived out within the Church and the great missionary evangelizing energy, arising from the consecrated state, which it brings to the diocese. For these reasons, the Bishop receives this divine gift with a profound sense of gratitude, he should welcome and esteem its charisms, giving them a place in the pastoral plans of the diocese (268).
99. Involvement in the Life of the Diocese.
As a natural consequence of the bonds linking consecrated persons to other members of the Church, the Bishop should take care to ensure the following:
a) that members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life sense that they form a vital part of the diocesan community, ready to assist their Pastors in every way possible (269). To this end, the Bishop should be well acquainted with the charism of each institute and society, described in their Constitutions, and he should meet the Superiors and the communities personally, reviewing their situation, their concerns and their hopes for the apostolate.
b) that consecrated life is known and esteemed by the faithful, and in particular that clergy and seminarians, through their respective methods of formation, receive instruction in the theology and spirituality of consecrated life (270). They should sincerely value consecrated persons, not only for the contribution they can make to diocesan pastoral work, but most of all for the strength of their witness of consecrated life and for the richness they introduce into the local and universal Church by their vocation and their manner of life.
c) that relationships between diocesan clergy and those belonging to institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life are imbued with a spirit of fraternal collaboration (271). The Bishop should encourage the participation of religious priests in meetings of the diocesan clergy, for example deanery or vicariate meetings, so that they can come to know one another, grow in mutual esteem and offer the faithful an example of unity and charity. If it seems opportune, he should also arrange for them to take part in the formation of the diocesan clergy.
d) that the consultative diocesan structures adequately reflect the presence of consecrated life in its various charisms within the diocese (272), and that suitable norms are established to this end. The Bishop may wish, for example, to stipulate that members of institutes should be represented according to the type of apostolic activity in which they engage, thereby providing for the presence of different charisms. In the case of the presbyteral council, the priest-electors (religious and secular) should be free to choose members of institutes to represent them.
100. The Power of the Bishop in Relation to Consecrated Life.
Consecrated persons, together with other members of the People of God, are subject to the pastoral authority of the Bishop, insofar as he is teacher of the faith with responsibility for the observance of universal ecclesiastical discipline, guardian of liturgical life and moderator of the entire ministry of the word (273). While zealously defending the common discipline of religious institutes (274), even with regard to individual members, the Bishop should himself respect and require others to respect the rightful autonomy of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life (275), without interfering in their life and government and without claiming to be the authoritative interpreter of their original charisms. He should reinforce the spirit of holiness in all consecrated persons, reminding them of their duty, even if they are engaged in an external apostolate, to renew within themselves the spirit of their original charism, to remain faithful to their Rule and to submit to their Superiors (276), since their specific contribution to evangelization consists principally in “the witness of a life given totally to God and to their brothers and sisters” (277). It is therefore his responsibility to call to the attention of the Superiors any abuses he observes in the works performed by the institutes, or in the manner of life of a particular consecrated person (278).
The Bishop should remind consecrated persons of the duty and the joyful grace that falls to them, by virtue of their vocation, to set an example of adherence to the pontifical and episcopal Magisterium. As the teacher of Catholic truth in his diocese, he should be particularly concerned:
a) to exercise his rights with humble firmness in the area of publications, by means of appropriate contacts with Superiors (279), so as to guarantee fidelity to the ecclesial Magisterium;
b) to ensure that schools directed by religious institutes provide a formation fully in accordance with their Catholic identity, by visiting them from time to time either in person or via a representative (280).
Following the norm of law, the Bishop will respect the exemption given to certain institutes, through which “the Pope, as primate over the entire Church, can exempt any institute of Christian perfection and its individual members from the jurisdiction of local ordinaries and subject them to himself alone” or to another ecclesiastical authority (281). Such an exemption, however, does not affect the submission of all consecrated persons to the power of the Bishop (over and above submission to their Superiors) where the care of souls, public worship and works of apostolate are concerned (282). In these matters it is necessary that consecrated persons, while faithfully observing their own charism, should set an example of communion and harmony with the Bishop, by virtue of his pastoral authority and the need for unity and agreement in apostolic work (283).
101. Different Forms of Apostolic and Pastoral Cooperation between Consecrated Persons and the Diocese.
In order to understand better the status of each apostolic work undertaken by members of institutes, it is necessary to distinguish between the following categories:
a) Works proper to the institutes by virtue of their charism and directed by their respective Superiors. Such works need to be situated within the overall programme of diocesan pastoral care, and for this reason they should not be established unilaterally, but on the basis of an agreement between the Bishop and the Superiors. Constant dialogue is needed between both parties over the direction of such works, without prejudice to the rights conferred on each by canonical discipline (284).
Religious institutes and societies of apostolic life need the written consent of the diocesan Bishop for the following purposes:
to open a house in the diocese, to assign apostolic works to a particular house different from those originally intended, to build and open a public church and to establish schools according to the charism of the institute (285). The Bishop must also be consulted before the supreme Moderator can close a religious house that has been legitimately opened (286).
b) Diocesan works and parishes entrusted to religious institutes or societies of apostolic life remain under the overall authority and direction of the Bishop, although the consecrated persons responsible are still bound by the discipline of their institutes and under obedience to their Superiors. The Bishop should ensure that a written agreement is drawn up with the institute or the society clearly defining those things which pertain to the work to be accomplished, the members to be devoted to it and financial matters (287).
c) Moreover, when a diocesan office is conferred upon a religious, according to the canonical norm (288), both the Bishop and the religious Superiors should be involved. The Bishop should avoid asking religious to undertake work that conflicts with the requirements of consecrated life (for example, if it presents an obstacle to community life) and he should remind religious that, in whatever activity they are engaged, their primary apostolate consists in the witness of their consecrated life (289).
Collaboration between the diocese and institutes or their members can be interrupted on the initiative of either party, with due regard for the rights and obligations established by norms or by agreements (290). Yet in such a case, it is necessary to give due notice to the counterpart (the Bishop or the institute), so as to avoid presenting a fait accompli. In this way, the necessary provision can be made for the good of the faithful, for example, by inviting another institute or person to assume responsibility for the work or the office in question, and by studying with due attention the human and financial consequences.
102. Coordination of Institutes.
It is for the Bishop, as father and shepherd of the whole particular Church, to promote communion and coordination in the exercise of the different legitimate charisms, respecting the identity of each institute (291). For their part, the institutes, according to the particular character of each one, “are called to practise a fraternity which is exemplary and which will serve to encourage the other members of the Church in the daily task of bearing witness to the Gospel” (292).
For the sake of improved coordination of different apostolic works and programmes within the diocesan pastoral context, and with a view to becoming better acquainted and fostering mutual esteem, it is good that the Bishop should regularly meet the Superiors of the institutes. This should provide an excellent opportunity for sharing experiences, identifying goals for evangelization and finding suitable methods to meet the needs of the faithful, so that the institutes can plan new apostolic activities and improve existing ones (293). Likewise, the Bishop will regularly meet the leaders of diocesan delegations of the Conference of Superiors and/or Major Superiors. In order to foster good relations between the Bishop and the different communities, it is often helpful to appoint an episcopal Vicar for consecrated life, who is equipped with ordinary executive power and acts for the Bishop in matters concerning institutes and their members. Another task of the Vicar is to keep the Superiors duly informed about diocesan life and pastoral activity. In view of the Bishop’s many specific areas of competence in relation to institutes – which differ according to the type of institute – it is advisable that the Vicar should himself be a consecrated person or at least have a good knowledge of consecrated life.
103. Contemplative Life.
Both in countries with a strong Catholic tradition and in mission territories, great encouragement should be given to institutes of contemplative life (294): in fact these institutes, especially in modern times, constitute a splendid witness to the transcendence of the Kingdom of God over and above any transient earthly reality, making them worthy of particular esteem on the part of the Bishop, the clergy and the Christian people.
The Bishop should involve contemplative religious, both male and female, in the mission of the particular and universal Church, not neglecting to visit them personally, encouraging them to persevere in fidelity to their vocation, informing them of diocesan and universal initiatives and commending the profound value of their hidden apostolate of prayer and penance for the spread of God’s Kingdom.
The Bishop ought to ensure that the faithful of the diocese can benefit from this school of prayer found in monasteries and, insofar as their particular norms and the demands of enclosure permit, he may encourage participation in the liturgical celebrations of these communities.
104. Consecrated Women.
An inestimable service is given to the Church in countless ways by consecrated women in religious institutes (295), in societies of apostolic life, in secular institutes (296) and in the order of virgins, (297) and it is hoped that in the future this service will expand even further. For this reason, the Bishop takes special care to provide suitable and, if possible, abundant resources for their spiritual growth, their Christian instruction, and their cultural enrichment.
The Bishop should show particular concern for the order of virgins, who are dedicated to the service of the Church, entrusted to the Bishop’s pastoral care and consecrated to God at his hands. Bearing in mind the formation needs of consecrated women today, not dissimilar to those of consecrated men, the Bishop should assign chaplains and confessors to them from among the best at his disposal, distinguished by a good understanding of consecrated life and by their piety, sound doctrine, ecumenical and missionary spirit (298).
The Bishop should also be vigilant that consecrated women are given sufficient opportunities for participation in different diocesan structures, such as diocesan and parish pastoral councils, where these exist, in the various diocesan commissions and delegations, and in the direction of apostolic and educational initiatives in the diocese. They should also be involved in decisionmaking processes, especially in matters directly affecting them. In this way they can bring to the service of God’s people their particular sensitivities and their missionary fervour, their unique gifts and the fruits of their experience (299).
105. Autonomous Monasteries and the Houses of Religious Institutes of Diocesan Right.
The Bishop will be particularly solicitous towards autonomous monasteries entrusted to him and towards communities of religious institutes of diocesan right with houses located in his diocese. He should exercise his right and duty to conduct a canonical visitation, which may include matters of religious discipline and an examination of the financial reports (300).
The Bishop extends particular pastoral care to hermits, especially those recognized as such in law by publicly professing at his hands the three evangelical counsels, and those confirmed as such by vows or some other sacred bond. Under his direction, they are to observe the form of life proper to them, dedicating their lives to the praise of God and to the salvation of humanity, in separation from the world, in silence, in solitude, through assiduous prayer and penance. The Bishop must also be vigilant with regard to possible abuses and inappropriate developments (301).
107. New Charisms in Consecrated Life.
It is the Bishop’s task to discern new charisms emerging in the diocese, to welcome with gratitude and joy those which are authentic, while taking care not to establish institutes that are superfluous or lacking in vigour (302). He should therefore observe and assess the fruits of their labour (cf. Mt 7:16), which will allow him to recognize the working of the Holy Spirit. He should examine specifically “the witness of life and the orthodoxy of the founders of such communities, their spirituality, the ecclesial awareness shown in carrying out their mission, the methods of formation and the manner of incorporation into the community” (303).
For approval, however, it is not sufficient merely to establish that the works undertaken are worthwhile, still less that certain devotional phenomena are present, which in themselves may be ambivalent. In order to discern accurately the human, religious and ecclesial quality of a group of the faithful wishing to be constituted as a form of consecrated life, it is appropriate to introduce them into the diocese as a “Public Association of the Faithful”.
Only after a trial period, having consulted and obtained the nihil obstat of the Holy See, will it be possible to proceed to the formal establishment of an Institute of diocesan right, under the special personal care of the Bishop (304).
VIII. THE LAY FAITHFUL
108. The Lay Faithful in the Church and in the Diocese.
The building up of the Body of Christ is the task of the whole People of God, and so all Christians have the right and the duty, under the guidance of the Pastors, to play their part in the Church’s mission, each according to his own vocation and gifts received from the Holy Spirit (305). It is therefore the duty of all sacred ministers to rekindle in the lay faithful a sense of their Christian vocation and their full membership in the Church, ensuring that they do not feel in any way undervalued. Whether in person or through his priests, the Bishop should encourage in the laity a true awareness of their ecclesial mission, and he should urge them to accomplish that mission with a sense of responsibility, always with a view to the common good (306).
In considering diocesan affairs, the Bishop should welcome and give due consideration to the opinion of the lay faithful, by virtue of their competence, their wisdom and their fidelity (307). He should also keep in mind their opinions on religious and ecclesial problems in general, as expressed through the media – such as newspapers, periodicals, or cultural circles. Moreover, he should respect their proper freedom of opinion and of action in the secular sphere, provided that the Church’s teaching is always faithfully upheld (308).
109. The Mission of the Lay Faithful.
The universal call to holiness, proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council (309), is closely linked to the universal call to apostolic mission (310). To the laity, therefore, belongs the weighty and honourable task of spreading the Christian message through word and example, in the different settings and within the various human relationships in which they live their lives: family life, friendships, the workplace, the multi-faceted associations of secular life, culture and politics. This lay mission is not just a question of apostolic effectiveness, but rather a right and a duty founded on baptismal dignity (311).
Without segregating them from priests and religious, the Council also drew attention to the manner of life which is proper to the lay faithful: their secular character (312). This is expressed through “seeking the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will” (313), in such a way that their secular activities become the forum for the exercise of their Christian mission and their means of sanctification (314). The Bishop should promote cooperation among the lay faithful, so that together they may inscribe the divine law as they build the earthly city. In order to attain this ideal of holiness and apostolate, the lay faithful should seek to carry out their temporal occupations with competence, honesty and a Christian spirit.
110. The Role of the Lay Faithful in the Evangelization of Culture.
The lay apostolate today opens up vast horizons, both for the spread of the Good News of Christ and for the construction of the temporal order according to God’s will (315). The lay faithful, immersed as they are in all kinds of secular activities, have an important part to play in the evangelization of culture “from within”, in this way bridging that gap between culture and the Gospel which is so evident in the modern world (316). Among the areas in greatest need of the Bishop’s careful attention with regard to the specific contribution of the laity are the following:
a) The promotion of a just social order, putting into practice the principles of the Church’s social doctrine. Those professionally engaged in this field have a particular obligation to offer a Christian response to the problems most intimately linked with the good of the person. These include questions of bioethics (with respect to the life of the unborn and of the dying), the defence of marriage and the family (for it is on the health of these institutions that the “humanization” of persons and society depends), genuine freedom in education and culture, in economic life and in working relationships (which must always be marked by true respect for man and for creation, solidarity with the less fortunate and care for the needy), education for peace and the promotion of a well-ordered democratic society (317).
b) Participation in politics is a vitally important service to society, to one’s own nation and to the Church, and an eminent form of charity towards one’s neighbour. Nevertheless, lay people sometimes avoid it, deterred perhaps by displays of careerism, worship of power, the corruption of certain political figures, or perhaps because of the widespread view that politics inevitably involves moral danger (318). In performing this noble task, lay people should remember that the application of principles to specific cases can admit of different interpretations, and so they should avoid the temptation of presenting their own political positions as if these were the doctrine of the Church (319). When political action has to address fundamental moral principles which do not admit of exception, derogation or compromise, then the duty and responsibility of Catholics is clear, because in the face of such fundamental and unchanging ethical demands the essence of the moral order regarding the integral good of the person is at stake. This applies to civil legislation on the subject of abortion, euthanasia, and the protection of the human embryo. It applies to the promotion and protection of the family based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, an institution that must be safeguarded in its stability and unity and in the freedom of parents to educate their children. It applies to laws which offer social protection to minors and which free people from modern forms of slavery, and to laws promoting peace, economic policies in the service of the human person, and measures to defend religious liberty, both individual and collective. In addressing such questions as these, Catholics have the right and the duty to speak out, so as to remind their hearers of the deeper meaning of life and the responsibility of each person in forming culture and social conduct for the well-being and the future of peoples. Catholics active in legislative Assemblies have “the precise obligation to oppose” any law which would result in an attack on human life. Nevertheless, when, for example, their opposition to abortion is clear and well known to all, they may “licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality” (320).
c) The laity are also responsible for the evangelization of centres for the transmission of culture. These include schools and universities, places of scientific and technological research, of artistic creativity and work in the humanities, as well as the communications media; all these must be rightly directed, so as to enhance the level of culture (321).
d) Exercising to the full their rights as citizens, lay people should defend the freedom of the Church to accomplish its own ends. This is no mere theoretical requirement, but involves respecting and appreciating the great contribution made by the Church to a just social order (322). It applies in particular to freedom of association and the right to teach according to Catholic principles.
111. Cooperation of the Laity with the Ecclesial Hierarchy.
Within the ecclesial community, the laity offer invaluable assistance to the Pastors, without which the hierarchical apostolate cannot have its full effect (323). This lay contribution to church activities has always been important, and never more so than in our own day.
The laity can be invited to cooperate with their Pastors, in accordance with their state, in various fields:
– in carrying out liturgical functions (324);
All these forms of lay participation are not only possible, but necessary. At the same time, it is important that the laity should not become unduly absorbed in ecclesial tasks and services, other than those required by a particular vocation, because it would distance them from the secular realm, whether it be professional, social, economic, cultural or political. These are the areas in which they have a clear responsibility, and in which their apostolic action is irreplaceable (328).
For the most part, the laity generously offer their services on a voluntary basis. In specific cases, the Bishop will arrange for the just financial remuneration of laypersons whose professional activity is performed in ecclesial settings, such as teachers of religion in schools, administrators of ecclesiastical goods, those who direct charitable activity or work in the Church media. The same rule of justice must be observed when temporarily engaging the professional services of the laity.
112. Supplying in the Absence of Priests and Deacons.
In situations where there is a shortage of priests and deacons, the Bishop may invite laypersons with suitable preparation to supply certain duties proper to ordained ministers. These duties are as follows: exercising the ministry of preaching (but never giving a homily) (329), presiding over Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest (330), acting as extraordinary ministers of communion (331), solemnizing marriages (332), administering baptism (333), conducting funerals (334) and others (335). These duties must be carried out according to the prescribed rites and the norms of universal and particular law.
While on the one hand this phenomenon gives cause for concern, since it is a consequence of the insufficient number of sacred ministers, on the other hand it highlights the generous and commendable availability of the laity. The Bishop should ensure that such activities do not create confusion among the faithful with respect to the nature and the irreplaceable character of the ministerial priesthood, which is essentially distinct from the common priesthood of the faithful. Therefore, it is important to avoid establishing de facto “an ecclesial structure of parallel service to that founded on the sacrament of orders” (336) or attributing to laypersons titles or categories which correspond solely to clerics, such as “chaplain”, “pastor” or “minister” (337).
To this end, the Bishop should be vigilant to “guard against a facile yet abusive recourse to a presumed ‘situation of emergency’… where objectively this does not exist or where alternative possibilities could exist through better pastoral planning” (338). In order to fulfil such functions, a special mandate is required, temporarily conferred, according to the norm of law (339). Before granting it, the Bishop should determine, in person or via a delegate, whether the candidates fulfil all the conditions of suitability. He should devote great care to their formation, so that they are able to accomplish their duties with sufficient knowledge and with full awareness of their dignity. He should also ensure that they have the support of sacred ministers responsible for the care of souls (340).
113. The Ministries of Lector and Acolyte.
The Bishop should promote the ministries of lector and acolyte, which may be conferred upon male laypersons, observing the appropriate liturgical rite and following the practice laid down by the different Episcopal Conferences (341). Through these ministries, the full and active participation of the lay faithful in liturgical celebrations is expressed, so that the liturgy manifests the nature of the Church as an assembly made up of different orders and ministries. In particular, the Bishop should entrust the lector not only with the task of proclaiming the Word of God in the liturgical assembly, but also with the preparation of other members of the faithful for this same task. The lector may also be entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the faithful to participate worthily in sacramental celebrations and leading them to a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture through Bible study.
The task of the acolyte is to serve at the altar, assisting the deacon and the priest in their liturgical actions. As an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist he may distribute the Eucharist in cases of necessity, and he may expose the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration of the faithful without giving benediction. He is also responsible for instructing altar servers. The Bishop should not fail to offer lectors and acolytes an appropriate spiritual, theological and liturgical formation, enabling them to participate in the sacramental life of the Church with ever deeper understanding.
114. Lay Associations.
“The new era of group endeavours of the lay faithful” (342), so evident today, especially through the phenomenon of ecclesial movements and new communities, inspires deep gratitude for God’s providence, which never ceases to lead his children to an ever increasing and renewed commitment to the Church’s mission. Recognizing the right of association of the faithful, a right that is founded on human nature and on the baptismal dignity of the Christian, the Bishop encourages the development of associations with a paternal spirit, warmly welcoming “ecclesial movements” and new communities so as to renew the vigour of Christian life and evangelization. The Bishop ought to accompany these new lay communities as a father, so that they may humbly take their place within the life of the local Church and within diocesan and parish structures. Moreover, the Bishop should aim to secure the approval of the statutes of these lay associations as a sign of ecclesial recognition (343). In this way, the various apostolic works jointly carried out in the diocese may be coordinated under his direction, with due regard for the proper character of each (344). Close contact with the leaders of each lay association will enable the Bishop to know and understand the spirit and objectives of the different movements. As father of the diocesan family, it falls to him to promote relations of cordial cooperation between the different lay movements, avoiding the conflict or antagonism that can occasionally arise (345). The Bishop will realize that judging the authenticity of particular lay charisms and assessing whether they can be harmoniously incorporated into the life of the ecclesial community are tasks for the Pastors of the Church, who are urged “not to quench the Spirit, but to test everything and hold fast what is good” (1 Thess 5:19-21) (346). The Bishop should take notice when the Holy See recognizes or establishes international lay associations for the Universal Church.
115. Ministerial Assistance for the Lay Apostolate.
The Bishop ought to ensure that initiatives of the lay apostolate never lack prudent and assiduous ministerial assistance in keeping with the individual character of each initiative. For this important task, after consulting the laypersons involved, he should carefully select clerics fully suited by character and ability to adapt to the context in which they are called upon to minister. These clerics, whenever possible, should be released from other offices which might prove incompatible with such work, and suitable provision should be made for their decent support. With due respect for the charisms, the recognized objectives and the rightful autonomy proper to these associations or lay apostolates, as well as for the responsibility exercised in them by the lay faithful even at the level of governance, the ecclesiastical assistant (chaplain) should be able to instruct and assist laypersons to adhere to the Gospel and the Church’s doctrine as the supreme norm of their thinking and their apostolate. Lovingly but firmly he should require them to keep their initiatives in conformity with Christian faith and spirituality (347). Chaplains should also communicate faithfully the directives and the thinking of the Bishop, whom they represent, so as to foster good mutual relations. The Bishop will encourage ecclesiastical assistants to meet one another, so as to strengthen the bonds of communion and cooperation between them and the Pastor of the diocese, and to examine the most suitable methods for their ministry. It is particularly important that priests with the necessary preparation should generously offer their services to young people, to families, as well as to those laypersons who assume important public responsibilities, who direct major charitable works or who bear witness to the Gospel in highly secularized environments or especially difficult circumstances.
116. The Formation of the Lay Faithful.
From the importance of the lay apostolate today follows the need to provide laypersons with a broadly based formation: this must be a priority in diocesan pastoral planning (348). The Bishop should be able to respond generously to this challenge, acknowledging the value of autonomous initiatives by other hierarchical institutions in the Church, institutes of consecrated life, associations, movements and other ecclesial structures, directly supporting them by enlisting the cooperation of priests, religious, members of societies of apostolic life and laypersons well prepared in each area. In this way all diocesan agencies and centres of formation can contribute generously, and their benefits can reach a larger number of the faithful: in parishes, Catholic educational and cultural institutions, associations, groups and movements. In the first place, the spiritual formation of the laity should make use of methods both old and new (retreats and spiritual exercises, days of recollection), thereby leading them to regard the activities of their daily lives as a means towards union with God and the accomplishment of his will, and also as a service to others, bringing them to communion with God in Christ.
Through courses and conferences, they should be given a sufficient doctrinal formation, intended to offer the broadest and deepest possible vision of the mystery of God and man. Within this framework belongs moral formation, including professional ethics and the social doctrine of the Church. Finally, it is important not to lose sight of formation in human values and virtues, without which there can be no true Christian life: these testify before the world to the saving character of Christian faith. All these aspects of lay formation are intended to awaken in the laity a profound apostolic spirit, so that they pass on the Christian faith through their own spontaneous witness, with candour and with courage (349).
117. The Bishop and Public Authorities.
The pastoral ministry and the common good of society require that the Bishop maintain direct or indirect relations with civil, political, socioeconomic, military and other authorities. The Bishop should always accomplish this task with respect and courtesy, but without ever compromising his proper spiritual mission. While he nurtures in himself and encourages in the faithful a great appreciation for public office, and while he prays for those charged with the administration of temporal affairs (cf. 1 Pet 2:13-17), he should never consent to any restriction of his apostolic freedom to proclaim the Gospel openly and to enunciate moral and religious principles, including those affecting the life of society. Ready to commend worthy efforts and genuine successes in the public arena, he should be equally ready to condemn every public offence against God’s law and against human dignity, taking care never to give the community the least impression that he is meddling in affairs outside his competence or supporting partisan interests. In these matters, the Bishop should set an example of apostolic conduct for priests, consecrated persons and members of societies of apostolic life, so that they too are able to maintain the same freedom in their respective ministries or apostolates.
THE MUNUS DOCENDI OF
“If I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting.
I. THE BISHOP, AUTHENTIC TEACHER IN THE CHURCH
118. Characteristics of the Particular Church in Relation to the Munus Docendi.
The particular Church is:
– a community of faith, which needs to be nourished by the Word of God;
Each of these aspects, which involve different ministries, finds a radical unity and harmony in the figure of the Bishop, placed at the heart of the particular Church, surrounded by his presbyterate, assisted by religious and laity. In the name of Christ and with his authority, the Bishop teaches, sanctifies and governs the people to whom he is intimately united as a shepherd to his flock. There is an interplay, or perichoresis, between the faithful and their Pastor and teacher, the Bishop. As a member of the people of God himself, the Bishop receives the deposit of faith that has been handed on. He in turn authoritatively presents that same faith, to which the whole people of God assents (350).
119. The Bishop, Teacher of the Faith.
Foremost among the different ministries of the Bishop is that of proclaiming the Word of God, as did the Apostles (cf. Rom 1:1) (351), announcing it with courage (cf. Rom 1:16) and defending the Christian people against errors that threaten them (cf. Acts 20:29; Phil 1:16). The Bishop, in communion with the Head and members of the College, is an authoritative teacher, invested with Christ’s own authority, both when he teaches individually and when he teaches in union with the other Bishops. For this reason the faithful must assent with religious submission to his teaching (352). There is a strict relationship between the Bishop’s teaching ministry and the witness of his life. This “becomes for a Bishop a new basis for authority alongside the objective basis received in episcopal consecration. ‘Authority’ is thus joined by ‘authoritativeness’.
Both are necessary. The former, in fact, gives rise to the objective requirement that the faithful should assent to the authentic teaching of the Bishop; the latter helps them to put their trust in his message” (353).
The Bishop is called, therefore, to meditate upon the Word of God and to devote himself generously to this ministry (cf. Acts 6:4), so that everyone can render obedience not to the word of men, but to God, the source of revelation. He ought to teach clerics that the proclamation of the Word of God is an essential task for any pastor of souls (354). The Bishop’s mission to evangelize is not restricted to his concern for the faithful, but it also reaches out to those who have abandoned Christian faith or practice, or who do not believe in Christ. He should direct the efforts of his co-workers towards this goal and should never tire of reminding everyone of the blessing and the responsibility of working with and for Christ in missionary activity (355).
120. Object of the Bishop’s Preaching.
The Bishop has a personal obligation to preach often, proposing to the faithful, in the first instance, what they are to believe and do for the glory of God and for their eternal salvation. He proclaims the mystery of salvation accomplished in Christ, so as to demonstrate that Our Lord is the one Saviour and the centre of the lives of the faithful and of all human history (356).
It is also the Bishop’s task to proclaim always and everywhere the moral principles of the social order, in this way announcing man’s authentic liberation, brought about through the Incarnation of the Word. When the rights of the human person or the salvation of souls so demand, it is his duty to express a judgement based on revelation about the concrete realities of human life: in particular, on matters concerning the value of life, the meaning of freedom, the unity and stability of the family, the procreation and education of children, the contribution to the common good, human labour, the consequences of technical progress, the use of material goods and the peaceful and fraternal co-existence of all peoples (357). The Bishop should not fail to make known to his people the teachings and guidelines that he receives from the Holy See.
121. Preaching Style.
The Word of God should be proclaimed with authority, since it proceeds not from man, but from God himself; it should be preached with conviction, never watered down to make it more palatable; and it should be presented attractively, as doctrine not only preached, but also practised. So the Bishop takes care that his preaching is firmly anchored in the doctrine of the Church and rooted in Scripture. His words are to be imbued with pastoral charity, he chooses his themes wisely and develops an appropriate style, drawing inspiration from the great masters, especially the Fathers of the Church (358).
122. Forms of Preaching
a) The Homily. As an integral part of the liturgy, which is the source and summit of the Church’s entire life (359), the homily is the most excellent and, in a certain sense, the sum of all forms of preaching. The Bishop should seek to expound Catholic truth in its fullness, in simple, familiar language, suited to the capacities of his hearers, focusing – unless particular pastoral reasons suggest otherwise – on the texts of the day’s liturgy. He should plan his homilies so as to elucidate the whole of Catholic truth.
b) Pastoral letters. On special occasions in the life of the diocese, the Bishop should also propose doctrine by means of pastoral letters and messages, addressed to the whole Christian community. These may appropriately be read out in Churches and oratories and also distributed in printed form among the faithful. In drafting these letters, the Bishop may wish to enlist the help of his advisers, of the presbyteral council and, if the case so warrants, of the diocesan pastoral council. These groups may suggest topics to be treated, present-day objections to be refuted, or they may point out issues arising in the diocese on which it is appropriate for the Bishop to speak authoritatively.
c) Other forms of preaching. The Bishop should never miss an opportunity to communicate the doctrine of salvation, making full use of the possibilities offered by the mass media: newspaper articles, television and radio broadcasts, conferences or lectures on religious topics, particularly when he is addressing those responsible for disseminating ideas in the professional worlds of education and information (360).
II. THE BISHOP, MODERATOR OF THE MINISTRY OF THEWORD
123. The Bishop’s Duty of Vigilance over Doctrinal Integrity.
The Bishop is not only responsible for personally proclaming the Gospel, but also for presiding over the entire ministry of preaching in the diocese. He needs to be especially vigilant over the doctrinal integrity of his flock and over the diligent observance of the canonical norms in this area (361).
124. The Bishop’s Co-workers in the Ministry of the Word.
By virtue of the sacrament of orders, the ministry of preaching belongs properly to priests – predominantly parish priests and those entrusted with the care of souls – and also to deacons, in communion with the Bishop and his presbyterium (362). The Bishop has a duty to monitor the suitability of ministers of the Word, and he has the faculty to impose certain conditions on the exercise of preaching (363). He will ensure that, during their seminary years and through their ongoing formation, they receive a specific and thorough training that will include technical aspects such as rhetoric, elocution and the art of communication.
Where priests and deacons are in short supply, and where the norms issued by the Episcopal Conference permit, the Bishop may invite other members of the faithful – especially religious and members of societies of apostolic life, but also exemplary laypersons with the appropriate training – to collaborate in the ministry of preaching. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the homily is always reserved exclusively to the priest or deacon (364). Laypersons with the necessary qualities may also receive from ecclesiastical authority the mandate required in order to teach the sacred sciences at every level (365).
It is a primary responsibility of the Bishop to monitor the orthodoxy and integrity of the teaching of Christian doctrine, without hesitating to exert his authority when required. He should be swift to admonish those who presume to propose doctrines at variance with the faith, and if they persist, he should remove their faculties for preaching or teaching (366).
125. The General Programme of the Ministry of the Word.
The Bishop should promote, organize and regulate preaching in the churches of the diocese which are open to the public, including those entrusted to religious (367). Making use of any resources provided by the agencies of the Episcopal Conference and taking advice from experts in theology and catechetics, the diocesan authorities should consider drawing up an overall programme of preaching and catechesis, remembering especially the following:
a) The Homily must never be omitted during public Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, at nuptial Masses (368) or other ritual Masses celebrated according to the rubrics. At least a brief homily is recommended on weekdays in Advent, Lent and Eastertide, so that the Paschal Mystery of Christ, signified and made present in the Eucharist, may always be celebrated with living faith and devotion.
b) Catechesis, both in specific sacramental preparation and in more general systematic instruction, as outlined in Section III below.
c) Special forms of preaching, adapted to the needs of the faithful, such as retreats and parish missions (369).
d) Ways of bringing the Word of God to those who, for different reasons, do not have access to sufficient common and ordinary pastoral care (370).
126. The Work of Theologians.
Through their apostolic succession, Bishops possess a sure charism of truth, and it is therefore their responsibility to safeguard and interpret the Word of God and to judge authoritatively what is and is not in conformity with it (371). To this end, Jesus Christ promised them the assistance of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, Pastors need the help of theologians, whose vocation it is, in communion with the Magisterium, to acquire an ever deeper understanding of the Word of God contained in Sacred Scripture and handed down by the living Tradition of the Church. Theological investigations, while they do not constitute normative truth, serve to enrich and illuminate the deeper meaning of Magisterial teaching (372).
For this reason the Bishop will enlist the services of qualified theologians both in preparation for his preaching and in accomplishing the tasks assigned to him by the Holy See and the Episcopal Conference.
By virtue of the authority he has received from Christ, it is the Bishop’s duty to be vigilant in firmly defending the integrity and the unity of the faith, so that the deposit of faith is preserved and handed down with fidelity and so that particular insights are clearly integrated into the one Gospel of Christ.
Hence, between Bishops and theologians there needs to be a cordial collaboration and a fruitful dialogue in mutual respect and charity, in order to guard the People of God in the truth, and to avoid divisions and conflicts, as well as to encourage a rich convergence in the unity of the faith preserved by the Church’s Magisterium.
III. THE BISHOP, THE ONE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR CATECHESIS
127. Dimensions of Catechesis.
Through catechesis, the Word of God is handed down whole and entire, that is, without alteration, distortion or omission, in its full meaning and power (373). In promoting and planning catechesis, the Bishop should keep in mind a number of important elements:
a) To catechize is to explain the mystery of Christ in all its dimensions, so that the Word of God bears fruit in new life. Thus, in addition to communicating the intellectual aspect of the faith, which must never be lacking, catechesis must also communicate the joy and the demands of Christian discipleship.
b) Catechesis must be situated in its proper relation to the liturgy. This avoids the dual risk of reducing the knowledge of Christian doctrine to passive intellectualism and of impoverishing sacramental life by turning it into empty ritualism.
c) Catechesis must address the condition of man, who is ever in need of pardon yet capable of conversion and growth. So it should direct the faithful to a life of continuous reconciliation with God and with others, through frequent and fruitful recourse to the sacrament of penance.
d) In catechizing young people today, attention should be focused on the circumstances in which they live amid the strong pressures exerted by the media. They should therefore be educated in the intrinsic value of human life and in the various dimensions of the whole human personality, according to right reason and Christian doctrine. This should include, in particular, education in human love, in chastity and in marriage.
e) Without the practice of charity, the Christian life would lose an essential dimension. Hence the need to ensure that new generations are formed in a Christian understanding of suffering, dedicating themselves to works of mercy as an indispensable element in their journey towards Christian maturity (374).
128. The Bishop’s Responsibility for Diocesan Catechesis.
Together with preaching, one of the Bishop’s principal tasks is the promotion of an active and effective catechesis. No organization in the Church can claim a monopoly in the area of catechesis, and so it is the responsibility of the Bishop alone to regulate diocesan catechesis, according to the principles and norms issued by the Apostolic See (375), providing for the different forms of catechesis in ways best suited to the needs of the faithful.
He should see to it that the diocese is supplied with abundant resources for catechesis:
– In the first place, there needs to be a good number of catechists, supported by an effective diocesan organization responsible for their basic and ongoing formation, in such a way that they themselves become a living catechesis.(376) The Bishop will draw attention to the particular ecclesial character of catechists when granting them their mandate.
– In addition, suitable materials are needed for carrying out the work of catechesis. The Bishop may make use of catechisms published by the Episcopal Conference (377) or, if he considers it more opportune, he may prepare a catechism specifically for the diocese.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the indispensable point of reference on which any local catechisms must be based (378).
129. Forms of Catechesis
a) From the time a child is presented for baptism, a programme of catechesis should be set in motion, starting with the preparation of the family and continuing through successive periods of catechesis, in preparation for the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, confirmation and marriage. This is a most important means of fostering and educating the faith of the people at significant moments in their lives, disposing them to receive the sacraments worthily, and encouraging them to renew their commitment to the Christian life.
Care must also be taken with regard to catechesis offered during the celebration of the sacraments, so that it helps those present to understand what is taking place, rekindling the faith of any who may be present at the ceremony for purely social reasons and leading them to conversion.
b) Throughout his diocese, the Bishop ought to make due provision for the catechumenate for adults who wish to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation, so that catechumens are offered systematic instruction in the Word of God, and are gradually introduced to the Church’s doctrine, to the liturgy, to charitable action and to the apostolate, according to the norms of the Code of Canon Law, those issued by the Apostolic See and by the Episcopal Conference (379).
c) Systematic and ongoing catechesis should be provided for the faithful, with particular attention to the formation of adults. To this end, a well-planned programme may be drawn up, distributed over the course of the year or over several years, tailored to the needs of different age groups –young people, adults, the elderly – so that it is well suited to their circumstances and to the particular questions arising at each stage in life.
d) Since the family has such a vital part to play in faith education, care is needed to ensure that it truly fulfils its role as a forum for catechesis. In drawing up suggestions for “the domestic Church”, it should be noted that within the Christian family the Gospel is rooted in the context of profound human values experienced through the medium of daily life. Catechesis in the family depends more on the witness of family members than on their teaching (380).
130. The Settings in which Catechesis is offered.
It is important to ensure that, in ways suited to the level of formation and the differing circumstances of its hearers, the Word of God can penetrate into all environments and categories of modern society: into urban and rural settings, and into the milieu of students, professionals and workers. Provision should also be made for Christian doctrine to be presented to those with limited access to common and ordinary pastoral care, such as the physically or mentally disabled or special groups (e.g. refugees, those seeking political asylum, nomadic peoples, circus and fairground workers, immigrants, prisoners).
In the rapidly expanding urban environment, catechetical courses may be arranged at regular intervals, aimed at specific groups according to their respective professional interests and cultural levels: for workers, intellectuals, professionals, employees and merchants, or artists. Care is needed in choosing the most suitable format in each case (classes, lectures, debates, round table discussions) as well as the most appropriate locations (mainly parishes, but also, when appropriate, the workplaces themselves, educational centres, shops, offices, cultural centres, sports centres, retirement homes, tourist sites, pilgrimage sites, places of public entertainment).
For this purpose, the Bishop enlists the help of clergy, religious, members of societies of apostolic life and laypersons who, because they are already present in these different social environments, have direct experience of the particular mindset, speak the same language and – in the case of the laity – share the same manner of life. The Bishop encourages all diocesan organizations to become involved, and he requests the generous assistance of associations, communities and ecclesial movements.
Finally, Christian parents should be constantly reminded of their right and duty, which they can never renounce, to educate their children in the Christian faith, above all through the example of a good Christian life, but also through their teaching, especially if other settings for catechesis have proved insufficient (381). It is appropriate, moreover, to urge them to undertake fruitful catechetical initiatives within the family, or “family catechesis”, aimed at their own children and those of their friends. For this purpose, families need to be provided with the necessary resources (382).
131. Teaching the Church’s Social Doctrine.
The aspiration to transform human life according to God’s creative and redemptive plan leads to the promotion of a just social order, respecting the dignity of persons. It is therefore necessary to instil in clerics, consecrated persons and the laity (383) a keen sense of social justice, at national and international levels, so that they can practise and propagate it in every area of their daily lives: in the family, in the workplace, in social and civil life. In this way the Bishop should seek to transmit the social teaching of the Church, which explains the meaning of human relations and the world of economics in the light of revelation (384). Preaching, catechesis, and above all the instruction given in Catholic educational centres are the means to achieve this end.
132. Religious Formation in Schools.
The Bishop will see to it that in all educational centres (schools, colleges, institutes), whether or not they are dependent on ecclesiastical authority, Catholic students receive a solid religious and moral education which helps them to mature as authentic disciples of Christ and as a leaven of Christian living within society. To this end, following whatever guidelines have been laid down by the Episcopal Conference, the Bishop is to regulate and monitor everything pertaining to Catholic religious education and instruction, wherever it takes place (385).
As far as public sector schools and institutes are concerned, good relations should be cultivated with the civil authorities and with professional associations, so as to facilitate the regular religious instruction of the students. If this proves impossible, catechetical formation should at least be provided as an extracurricular activity, and entrusted to suitable clerics, religious and laypersons.
When the resources of the diocese permit, provision should be made for different types of Catholic centres of education, according to the needs of the community and the task of evangelization: schools or colleges, professional or technical schools, teacher training colleges, institutes for adult education or for “evening classes” (386). On the other hand, the Bishop should hold in high regard educational centres promoted by the faithful themselves, especially by Catholic parents, respecting their legitimate autonomy while at the same time ensuring that the Catholic identity of the formation programme is faithfully maintained, perhaps by means of agreements with Church institutions able to guarantee this Catholic identity and to furnish pastoral assistance to the educational community.
133. The Catholic School.
The Catholic school occupies an important place in the Church’s saving mission, since it offers a complete personal formation, educating students in the fullness of the faith and in a true Christian spirit (387). Insofar as it has received a mandate from the Hierarchy, the Catholic school should operate in complete harmony with the Pastors. It is the Bishop’s right to establish norms for the general organization of Catholic schools in the diocese, including those run by religious institutes, and to visit the schools regularly, in person or through a representative, so that their apostolic spirit may grow and the work of teaching may take its proper place within the overall pastoral activity of the diocese (388).
The Catholic identity of the school leads to the promotion of the whole human person, because it is in Christ, the perfect man, that all human values find their fullest realization and therefore their unity. For this reason, the Catholic school should strive to achieve a synthesis between culture and faith, and between faith and life, by integrating the content of different areas of human knowledge in the light of the Gospel message, and by developing those virtues which characterize the honest citizen and the good Christian.
In order to achieve this ideal of formation, the teachers in the school and the students’ families should share the same educational objectives. The Catholic school should therefore be concerned to provide the means of Christian formation not only for the benefit of the students, but for parents, teachers and staff as well.
The Catholic school should give special attention to the students with greater needs, whether because of natural weaknesses or because of family difficulties, and should provide as far as possible for the needs of those with insufficient financial means, enlisting the generous help of more affluent families. The Catholic school should also show solicitude towards those lacking the gift of faith, taking care, however, to secure the consent of the students’ parents with regard to the formation offered (389).
134. The Formation of Teachers of Religion.
In order to accomplish the immense task of educating young people in the faith, the Bishop will enlist the generous cooperation of suitably prepared members of the faithful, ensuring that those who aspire to become teachers of religion receive an adequate theological formation and have sufficient pedagogical skills. This may be established by the presentation of a diploma, a certificate, or through examinations and personal interviews (390).
He should therefore provide, either by himself or jointly with other Bishops, for the formation of future teachers of religion. In this way, many of the faithful may deepen their study of the sacred sciences, if possible by attending institutes with ecclesiastical faculties, or through attending, over a number of years, schools which offer courses at times compatible with their work schedules and under the direction of suitable and able professors.
Such studies may in time become ecclesiastical faculties by decree of the Apostolic See or may be assimilated to an already existing civil university (391).
135. Catholic Universities and Centres of Higher Studies (392).
The Church has always held the academic world in great esteem, since the university contributes most effectively to the progress of civilization and the promotion of the human person. For this reason, according to a tradition which goes back to the origins of universities, the Church has never ceased to encourage the founding of Catholic universities, able to offer teaching in various human disciplines inspired by and in conformity with the doctrine of Jesus Christ (393).
While respecting the autonomy of the university as an institution with its own statutes, the Bishop should also fulfil his obligations, observing the requirements of the Episcopal Conference and remaining vigilant over the university’s fidelity to the principles of its Catholic identity, namely: complete adherence to the Christian message as presented by the ecclesiastical Magisterium and constant reflection, in the light of the Catholic faith, on the growing wealth of human knowledge (394).
Having established a candidate’s human, ecclesial, scientific and pedagogical suitability for teaching subjects pertaining to faith and morals, the diocesan Bishop, according to the norms of the university statutes, gives a mandate to the candidate, who must make the profession of faith including the oath of fidelity, according to the form established by the Church (395). It is therefore highly appropriate that the Bishop cultivate good relations with university authorities, so as to establish a close collaboration, personal and pastoral, marked by mutual trust. The Bishop will seek to establish dialogue and cooperation with all the universities present in the diocese. In addition to the universities formally constituted as Catholic, he will have a special appreciation for the work of centres promoted by the faithful with a truly Catholic inspiration. While respecting their academic autonomy, the Bishop should take steps to encourage this Catholic inspiration, perhaps by helping to draw up formal agreements with the diocese or other Church institutions so as to guarantee the doctrinal and moral framework of the teaching and research, and to provide appropriate pastoral assistance. If an institution were to present itself as Catholic without truly being so, the Bishop, having first tried to resolve the problem, should declare publicly in what way the institution contradicts the faith and morals of the Church, so as to dispel all possible confusion in the mind of the public.
136. Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (396).
It falls to the Apostolic See to found, approve and oversee ecclesiastical universities and faculties, that is to say, those which are engaged in teaching and scholarly research in the sacred sciences or other related disciplines (397).
If the Bishop is the chancellor of a university, he should exercise the functions proper to his office. If he is not, he is still responsible for vigilance over the ecclesiastical universities and faculties located in the diocese, with regard to the faithful observance of the principles of Catholic doctrine. If he detects abuses or irregularities, he should inform the chancellor or the competent Roman Congregation, as the case may be (398). The chancellor represents the Holy See to the university or faculty and likewise represents the university or faculty to the Holy See. He attends to the university’s maintenance and progress, and he fosters its communion with the particular and universal Church (399). Having established the human, ecclesial, scientific and pedagogical suitability of a candidate for a teaching post in a discipline connected with faith and morals, the chancellor or his delegate grants a canonical mission once the candidate has made a profession of faith. The oath of fidelity, in the form established by the Church, constitutes an integral part of that profession (400).
Teachers of other subjects must receive formal authorization, or the venia docendi. Before granting the canonical mission to a candidate for a permanent teaching post, the chancellor should request the nihil obstat of the Holy See. With a view to the good of the diocese, the diocesan Bishop should send seminarians and young priests who are outstanding in character, virtue and intelligence (401) to study at these ecclesiastical universities.
IV. THE BISHOP AND THE MEANS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
137. The “New Areopagi”.
The Church’s mission is addressed to the human person as an individual, but it also reflects the social and cultural dimension of human persons. It therefore involves the exciting challenge of evangelizing human culture through all appropriate means of social interaction and communication, so that the Church may be an ever clearer sign for people of every generation (402).
Following the example of Saint Paul (cf. Acts 17), the Church seeks to spread the message of salvation through the “new Areopagi” in which culture is defined and disseminated, especially through the communications media (403). These include periodicals and journals, television, radio, cinema and, increasingly, internet and information technology.
In forming the faithful in this field of social communications, emphasis is placed on the unique contribution individual persons can make, according to their particular situation in the Church and the world. The work of those lay faithful who are professionals in this area is to be especially valued. They should be encouraged to contribute actively to those media forms where their involvement is morally possible, and also to create new ones, working in partnership with other people when this can be of benefit to society. Nor should it be forgotten that the faithful have a responsibility as the recipients to whom the media’s message is addressed: they can choose to use or not to use the various media outlets, they can exercise their right, individually or jointly, to express publicly a positive or negative judgement on the conduct of the media, and they have the opportunity to influence the direction taken by the media through the financial support they give to certain initiatives.
138. Transmission of Christian Doctrine via the Means of Social Communication.
The Pastors of the Church need to know how to make use of these media in accomplishing their mission, realizing how effective they can be for the spread of the Gospel (404).
In the first place, the Bishop should assume responsibility for the manner of presenting Christian doctrine through the communications media, encouraging the generous involvement of the faithful – clerics, religious, members of societies of apostolic life and laypersons – in this area. The subject of the mass media should also be addressed in the diocesan pastoral plan. In some circumstances, it is desirable that the Bishop should draw up a diocesan pastoral plan specifically for social communications. He should also monitor the content of Catholic programmes and initiatives to ensure conformity with Church doctrine, duly observing any decisions of the Episcopal Conference concerning this apostolate (405).
In the pastoral formation of seminarians, the use of the communications media should not be overlooked. For suitable instruction on the subject, the Bishop should engage professionals well versed in the technology, without losing sight of the ultimate goal of these activities, namely the salvation of souls and the advancement of the human person (406).
139. Catholic Media.
The Bishop should combine his own resources with those of other dioceses in order to develop suitable forms of Catholic media, or he should at least make ample use of those already in existence. He would do well to avoid allowing persons or institutions to acquire monopolies in this field, however much they might claim to represent the public interest (407).
He should consider it a duty linked to his magisterial role to print and distribute Catholic newspapers or periodicals, containing both general and religious information. In this ever contemporary field of evangelization, not only dioceses but also religious institutes and associations of the faithful have an important role to play. Whoever is responsible for directing them, these Catholic media ought to accomplish their activity in harmony with the Church’s doctrine and in communion with their Pastors, according to canonical norms (408).
Nor should it be forgotten how much can be achieved by parish newsletters and other periodical publications of limited circulation to increase the cohesion of local communities, to disseminate news on the life of the Church and to provide valuable assistance to the work of catechesis and liturgical formation of the faithful.
140. Vigilance over the Means of Social Communication.
Recognizing the great influence the media can exert, the Bishop should intensify his own involvement with the relevant secular institutions so that the media, and especially television and radio programmes, are properly respectful of human dignity and of the Church, and he should make this concern known to the whole Christian community (409). Moreover, he should exhort pastors and parents to ensure that the media are used with prudence and moderation in families and Christian environments, avoiding anything that might be harmful to the faith and moral conduct of the lay faithful, especially younger members. If necessary, he should censure publicly any harmful scripts and programmes (410).
As experience has shown in many countries, it can be effective for the Bishop to create and maintain an information service intended to offer reliable guidance to parents and teachers about the programmes to be broadcast in different media. He should also remember to be vigilant, with the solicitude of a father, that the information offered does not depart from the principles of human and Christian good sense. Texts written by the faithful on the subject of faith or morals, before being published, should be submitted to the Bishop’s judgement when universal or particular canonical norms so determine, and it may also be advisable to do the same in other cases (411). When necessary, the Bishop should apply the sanctions provided for in the law of the Church, in order to bring about the reform of the authors and above all to protect the spiritual good of the faithful and ecclesial communion (412).
141. Vigilance over Books and Periodicals.
The Bishop knows that it is his right and duty in the Church to examine books and periodicals, if possible before publication, and if necessary to criticize or censure any that are harmful to faith or morals (413).
a) Personally or through others, including the censors approved by the Episcopal Conference (414), he should monitor books and periodicals printed or sold in his territory, including those translated from other languages, and he should not neglect to criticize writings which could be harmful or spiritually dangerous for the faithful.
b) He looks for appropriate ways to counteract the effect of such texts by expounding and explaining the Catholic doctrine that is impugned or endangered by them. Even so, if these writings have been widely circulated in the diocese and the danger to faith and morals is grave and certain, then he should also refute them publicly.
c) The Bishop should not censure books without first, as far as possible, informing their authors of the errors attributed to them, and without having given them ample opportunity to defend themselves either in person or through others of their choice.
d) Unless in particular cases a grave motive suggests otherwise, the reasons for censuring books should be publicly stated, so that the faithful may be well informed of the nature and gravity of the danger they might encounter through reading them.
e) Permission to publish a new edition of a censured book should be given only when the requested amendments have been made. The author of a censured book has the faculty to write or edit other books, even on the same topic, once it has been established that the erroneous opinions have been rectified.
THE MUNUS SANCTIFICANDI
“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
I. THE BISHOP, HIGH PRIEST IN THE COMMUNITY OFWORSHIP
142. The Exercise of the Munus Sanctificandi.
The Bishop should consider his responsibility for divine worship to be his pre-eminent role: his other activity as teacher and Pastor is ordered to this sanctifying function. Although closely united by nature to the ministries of teaching and governing, the sanctifying role is distinguished from the others insofar as it is specifically exercised in the person of Christ, Eternal High Priest, and insofar as it constitutes the source and summit of the Christian life (415).
143. The Bishop, Dispenser of the Christian Mysteries.
The Bishop is invested with the fullness of the priesthood of Christ and, as his instrument, communicates divine grace to the other members of the Church. Therefore, it can be said that the spiritual life of the faithful to some degree derives from and depends on his ministry. As a result, the Bishop should diligently seek to cultivate in himself and in the faithful a religious disposition towards God. Moreover, as the principal dispenser of the divine mysteries, he should devote himself constantly to fostering the life of grace in his flock through the celebration of the sacraments (416).
Called to intercede before God on behalf of the people entrusted to him, the Bishop should not cease to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the needs of the faithful, especially on Sundays and holydays of obligation, when he has a particular ministerial obligation to do so (417). In celebrating the sacred mysteries, he should be visibly absorbed by the mystery unfolding before him, for the High Priest “is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God” (Heb 5:1) (418).
144. The Liturgical Celebrations at which the Bishop Presides (419).
It is the duty of the Bishop to preside frequently at liturgical celebrations surrounded by his people, since in this way the unity in charity of the Mystical Body is symbolized. When possible, he should celebrate the holydays of obligation and other solemnities in the cathedral church (420). He should be mindful that the celebrations at which he presides are to set an example for all other celebrations (421).
Likewise, it is appropriate that the Bishop should celebrate the liturgy in other churches of the diocese, taking advantage of those opportunities which the exercise of his ministry provides: principally the pastoral visit, the baptism of adults and confirmation (422).
Other opportunities may arise when there is a large or sizeable gathering of the faithful, or when the presbyterate comes together. This serves to reinforce the necessary communion between all God’s people and their Bishop, the head of the praying community.
The Bishop is the ordinary minister of the sacrament of confirmation, and so, whenever possible, he should seek to administer it in person (423). In this way the spiritual efficacy of this sacrament is brought into focus, uniting the faithful ever more closely to the Church, present in the person of the Successor of the Apostles, and strengthening the Christian faithful in their mission to bear witness to Christ (424). The Bishop should make sure that the confirmandi receive an appropriate preparation and that the sacrament is administered with due solemnity and in the presence of the Christian community.
The Bishop’s ministry as both head and servant of the community of the faithful is exercised especially when he confers the holy orders of diaconate and priesthood. It is the Bishop’s prerogative to ordain his own candidates (425), preferably in the presence of a good number of the faithful. In this way the Christian people are built up, families grow in their esteem for the priesthood, and they offer the candidates the inestimable gift of their prayers.
II. THE REGULATION OF THE SACRED LITURGY
145. The Bishop, Moderator of Diocesan Liturgical Life.
As High Priest responsible for divine worship in the particular Church, the Bishop has the task of ordering, promoting and safeguarding the entire liturgical life of the diocese (426). He should, therefore, be vigilant that the norms established by legitimate authority are attentively observed. In particular, he should make sure that clergy and lay faithful carry out all those tasks and only those tasks which are proper to them, without changing the sacramental rites or liturgical celebrations according to personal taste or preference (427).
In liturgical matters, it pertains to the Bishop to issue appropriate norms that are binding throughout the diocese (428), while always respecting what has been established by higher authority.
These norms, among other things, may address:
The Bishop should enlist the help of offices or diocesan commissions for liturgy, sacred music or sacred art, which can offer valuable assistance in promoting divine worship, providing for the liturgical formation of the faithful and enkindling in pastors of souls a keen interest in every aspect of the celebration of the divine mysteries (435).
146. The Dignity of Divine Worship.
Since the liturgy is the official public worship of the Church as the mystical Body of Christ, both head and members, the Bishop should be most attentive to the decorum and order with which it is celebrated. He should oversee the decorum of liturgical vessels and appointments, and should require ordained ministers, acolytes and lectors to conduct themselves with the necessary dignity.
He should ensure that the faithful can participate in a “full, conscious, and active” way (436), and that the entire assembly exercises its liturgical role (437). Sacred music has an important part to play in worship. It is meant to enhance the celebration and to call forth a deep resonance in the hearts of the faithful. It should always be united to liturgical prayer, marked by expressive beauty and conducive to the harmonious participation of the assembly at those points in the liturgy indicated by the rubrics (438).
147. Adaptations in the Liturgy (439).
It pertains to the conferences of Bishops to adapt the liturgical books according to the character and traditions of the people and the particular needs of pastoral ministry, within the limits defined in the liturgical books themselves (440).
In this necessary but delicate task, the Bishop should remember that inculturation must be accompanied by the transformation of the authentic values of different cultures through their integration into Christianity, and by the purification of those elements that prove to be incompatible with the Catholic faith. In this way, diversity of expression does no damage to unity in sacramental signs and in the one faith (441).
148. The Sanctification of Sunday.
Sunday is the liturgical day par excellence in which the faithful come together into one place. “They should listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the passion, resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God” (442). The Bishop requires the faithful to sanctify Sunday and celebrate it as an authentic “Day of the Lord” by their participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by their works of charity and by their necessary rest from work (443). Great care and attention must be given to the celebration of Sunday Mass because for many people the preservation and nourishment of their faith depends on their participation in this weekly Eucharist.
Some specific aspects of organization should be noted:
149. The Communal Character of the Liturgy.
Every liturgical action is a celebration of the Church and a public act of worship, even when celebrated without the participation of the faithful. Nevertheless, so that the nature of each rite may be preserved, the communal form of celebration is to be preferred (445).
In accordance with this communal dimension of the liturgy, some practical points need to be kept in mind:
Sometimes it will be appropriate to administer baptism during Mass. Every effort should be made to include the celebration of baptism during the Easter Vigil.
150. The Celebration of Sacraments and Sacramentals.
The Bishop should regulate the discipline of the sacraments according to the norms established by the competent ecclesial authority, so that all the faithful can receive them fully (450). He will devote particular care to instructing the faithful in the meaning of each sacrament, so that they can understand and “live” each sacrament in all its personal and communal dimensions. He should therefore make sure that the ministers celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals with the greatest respect and diligence, in conformity with the rubrics approved by the Holy See, especially with regard to the following matters:
III. DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES
151. The Importance of Popular Piety.
Popular piety constitutes an authentic treasury of spirituality in the life of the Christian community. It leads the faithful to a personal encounter with Christ, to fellowship with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, especially through hearing the Word of God, through participation in sacramental life, through the witness of charity and through prayer (457). Jesus Christ insisted on the necessity of praying at all times, without losing heart (cf. Lk 18:1): in fact, the faithful advance in the spiritual life in the measure in which they pray. It is in prayer, offered with faith, that the key to facing life’s personal and social problems and difficulties can be found.
“Prayer internalizes and assimilates the liturgy during and after its celebration. Even when it is lived out ‘in secret,’ (Mt 6:6) prayer is always prayer of the Church; it is a communion with the Holy Trinity”(458).
152. The Regulation of Forms of Piety.
In order that the entire People of God may grow in devotion, the Bishop should warmly recommend and encourage all forms of liturgical prayer. He should foster acts of devotion and piety towards the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, regulating them in such a way that they harmonize with the sacred liturgy, the source from which they draw their inspiration and the goal towards which they lead. “With the assistance of their collaborators, especially of the rectors of shrines, it is for the Bishops to establish norms and practical guidelines… taking into account local traditions and particular manifestations of popular piety and religiosity” (459). The following matters merit the Bishop’s particular attention:
a) With the greatest solicitude, he should foster adoration of Christ Our Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament both within and outside the Mass. In order to assist the devotion of the faithful, he should provide for churches to remain open, insofar as local custom and circumstances permit, giving careful consideration to security. The Bishop should see to it that parishes in his diocese organize some form of annual Eucharistic adoration, for example, the so-called “Forty Hours”, and that the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord is celebrated with the greatest solemnity. From time to time, he may wish to hold a diocesan Eucharistic Congress, an excellent opportunity for public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and for reminding the faithful of the doctrine and the centrality of the Eucharist in Christian and ecclesial life.
b) The Bishop encourages those expressions of piety which are deeply rooted in the Christian people, purifying them, if need be, of any excesses that are less in conformity with the truth or with the mind of the Church. He should prudently remain open to the possibility of new forms of popular piety. Two excellent forms of piety that need to be preserved and promoted are devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
c) The Bishop should examine prayers and songs that are proposed for publication before giving them his approval (460). He should make sure that they are imbued with a biblical and liturgical spirit and that they are doctrinally sound, so that the texts help to catechize the faithful and encourage deeper devotion. He should guard against the introduction of prayers and musical compositions which may be contrary to a genuine Christian spirit or may present profane characteristics or meanings. In translating prayers into other languages or adapting older prayers, it is good to consult pastors, theologians and literary experts.
d) The Bishop will be concerned that shrines, many of which are dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, should offer an effective contribution to the spiritual life of the diocese. Therefore, he should oversee the dignity of their liturgical celebrations and the preaching of the Word of God. He should take steps to remove from their vicinity anything that could hinder the devotion of the faithful or suggest undue concern for profit.
e) The Bishop should encourage public devotions and festive expressions, often rooted in ancient traditions, on feast-days, whether those of the universal or diocesan calendar, or during local celebrations provided for by the norms and particularly loved by the people (e.g. Christmas, Easter, feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of patron saints). This should be done in such a way that the faithful can connect these public festivities with the joy inherent in the Christian mysteries. When appropriate, elements of catechesis and authentic devotion should be incorporated.
153. The Promotion of Specific Devotions.
The practice of certain devotions is to be jealously preserved, as a precious spiritual patrimony that the Pastors of the Church have never ceased to recommend:
IV. CHURCHES AND OTHER SACRED PLACES
154. The Sacred Character of Church Buildings.
Church buildings where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated and reserved are not simply meeting places for the faithful but the dwelling place of God and a symbol of the Church present in the locality. Since they are permanently designated for the worship of God, the Bishop should solemnly celebrate the Rite of Dedication in them or arrange for another Bishop to do so, or even, in exceptional cases, a priest (463).
With regard to the use of sacred places, “only those things which serve the exercise or promotion of worship, piety or religion are permitted in a sacred place; anything not consonant with the holiness of the place is forbidden. In an individual case, however, the Ordinary can permit other uses which are not contrary to the holiness of the place” (464). In particular, with reference to concerts, the Bishop needs to make sure that only sacred music is performed, that is, music intended for liturgical use or inspired by the Christian faith. The concert should be planned and performed with the explicit purpose of fostering devotion and a religious spirit, and never to the detriment of the primary pastoral purpose of the sacred place (465). All initiatives of this kind should be carefully evaluated and they should be few in number.
155. The Cathedral Church.
Of all the churches in the diocese, the most important is the cathedral church, which is a sign of the unity of the particular Church. It is here that diocesan life finds its fullest expression and it is here that the most sublime and sacred act of the Bishop’s munus sanctificandi is accomplished, which, like the very liturgy at which he presides, involves both the sanctification of the people and the worship and glorification of God. The cathedral is also a sign of the teaching authority and the sacred power of the diocesan Pastor. The Bishop will encourage the chapter of canons to ensure that liturgical functions in the cathedral are carried out with dignity, with respect for the rubrics and with a true spirit of devotion in a manner befitting the Mother Church of the diocese (466).
156. Norms and Guidelines for Building and Restoring Churches.
The architecture and decoration of churches should be “well-ordered, designed for prayer and for sacred liturgy” and should be marked not so much by sumptuous display as by noble beauty, so that they truly serve as symbols of supernatural realities. With regard to the arrangement of the tabernacle and the sanctuary (altar, ambo, chair, seats for concelebrants and other elements), the relevant liturgical norms should be observed, as well as canonical norms concerning the materials for the construction of altars (467).
The Bishop should see to it that the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or the tabernacle are of the greatest dignity and are so positioned as to be immediately visible. Canonical regulations regarding the place of celebration for baptism and the sacrament of reconciliation should be diligently observed (468). “Confessionals are regulated by the norms issued by the respective Episcopal Conferences, who shall ensure that confessionals are located ‘in an open area’ and have ‘a fixed grille’, so as to permit the faithful and confessors themselves who may wish to make use of them to do so freely” (469). In the design, construction or restoration of churches, it is necessary to harmonize devotional, aesthetic, functional and sound doctrinal considerations. Always respecting the primary importance of charity, and keeping in mind the socio-economic situation of the Christian community as well as the financial resources of the diocese, it is always appropriate to choose good quality materials. Besides enhancing the dignity of the building, this constitutes an exercise in the practice of poverty because it guarantees the durability of the work. From the outset, appropriate insurance should be arranged for the building and provision should be made for its conservation and maintenance (470). All these norms suggest that the Bishop should always seek advice fromexperts so as to observe the principles of liturgy and sacred art, as well as technical requirements and those of civil law in the country concerned.
157. Sacred Paintings and Images.
The practice of displaying in churches sacred images and artistic representations of the Christian mysteries should be faithfully maintained because it constitutes an indispensable aid to devotion and catechesis for the faithful. To this end:
– images displayed in churches should be moderate in quantity, preserving due decorum, so as to avoid any inappropriate devotion;
– ostentatious novelty, however artistic it may seem, is to be avoided, since it risks provoking wonder or astonishment instead of nourishing the devotion of the faithful (471).
THE MUNUS REGENDI
“For I have given you an example,
I. PASTORAL GOVERNANCE
158. The Bishop as Father and Shepherd of the Diocese.
In the exercise of his ministry as father and Pastor in the midst of his faithful, the Bishop should act as one who serves, always keeping before his eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45) and to lay down his life for his sheep (472).
Sent in Christ’s name as a Pastor to care for the portion of the People of God entrusted to him, the Bishop is responsible for shepherding the Lord’s flock (cf. 1 Pet 5:2), educating the faithful as beloved children in Christ (cf. 1 Cor 4:14-15) and governing the Church of God (cf. Acts 20:28) so as to help her grow, through the Gospel and the Eucharist, into one community in the Holy Spirit (473). This is the source of the Bishop’s iconic role and of his authority to govern the Church entrusted to him. Through sacramental ordination, he receives the power necessary to exercise his pastoral ministry (munus pastorale) as a sharer in the consecration and mission of Christ himself (474).
Hence, Bishops, as vicars and legates of Christ, “govern the particular Churches assigned to them by their counsels, exhortations and example, but over and above that also by the authority and sacred power which indeed they exercise exclusively for the spiritual development of their flock in truth and holiness, keeping in mind that he who is greater should become as the lesser, and he who is the leader as the servant (cf. Lk 22:26-27)” (475). For this reason the Bishop is the good shepherd who knows his sheep and is known by them. He is a true father, distinguished by his spirit of charity and zeal towards everyone (476). At the same time, the service which the Bishop renders to the community when he acts as a judge is no less excellent, indeed it is indispensable for the spiritual good of the faithful. He normally administers justice through the judicial Vicar and the tribunal. Through his office as Pastor of the Church entrusted to him, the Bishop is invested with sacred power, which he exercises personally in Christ’s name. By virtue of this power, he has the sacred duty to make laws for his people, judging and regulating all that pertains to worship and the apostolate (477). “The Bishop, by virtue of the office that he has received, is thus invested with an objective juridical power meant to be expressed in authoritative acts whereby he carries out the ministry of governance (munus pastorale) received in the sacrament.
The Bishop’s governance, nonetheless, will be pastorally effective – once again this must be recalled – only if it rests on a moral authority bestowed by his life of holiness. This is what will dispose hearts to accept the Gospel that the Bishop proclaims in his Church, as well as the rules which he lays down for the good of the People of God” (478).
159. The Bishop, Guide of his People.
The Bishop needs to walk with his people, going ahead of them and indicating the path to be travelled. He does this first and foremost through his words and the witness of his life, with the authority he has received from Christ. He should be a spiritually sound and courageous guide who, like Moses, sees Him who is invisible; he should not hesitate to go against the tide of opinion when the spiritual good of his flock so requires. While he will certainly try to ensure that his words and actions are well received and that his authority is not impaired in the eyes of the diocesan community, nevertheless a Bishop’s ultimate concern should be the judgement of God.
160. The Personal Responsibility of the Bishop.
The Bishop is called to encourage the lay faithful to participate in the life of the Church, making every effort to enlist their much-needed collaboration. He should also be prepared to consult experts and to listen to the various diocesan agencies, as the law requires, so as to confront those human, social and juridical problems that can present him with significant difficulties. In this way, the Bishop will acquire an overview of the situation and the needs of that portion of the People of God entrusted to him. Nevertheless, conscious of his role as Pastor and sign of unity in the particular Church, the Bishop avoids acting as a mere moderator between the various councils and other pastoral committees. Instead, he acts according to his personal rights and duties of governance that require him to decide independently according to conscience and truth, not simply according to the majority opinion of his counsellors, unless of course the law stipulates that he needs the consent of some college or group of persons before he may place a particular act (479). The weight of responsibility to govern the diocese falls squarely on the shoulders of the Bishop.
161. The Duty of Residence.
His loving service and his responsibility towards the particular Church require the Bishop to observe the ancient law of residence, which is still both relevant and necessary for good pastoral governance (480). This is a fundamental obligation of a Bishop: his first duty is to his diocese, and he cannot adequately fulfil that duty unless he is resident there. The Bishop’s personal obligation to reside in the diocese still applies when he has a coadjutor or auxiliary Bishop. He may legitimately be absent from his diocese for one month each year, whether continuous or interrupted, either for vacation or some other reasonable cause. In every case, before absenting himself from the diocese, the Bishop should make provision so that the diocese will suffer no detriment from his absence, and he should make the necessary arrangements for the administration of the diocese.
When the Bishop is absent from the diocese on account of his duties towards the universal Church, for example, during the ad limina visit, or when taking part in Ecumenical or particular Councils, in the Synod of Bishops or in meetings of the Episcopal Conference, these absences do not count towards the month’s leave available to him each year. Neither do the periods he spends in retreat or in carrying out particular duties entrusted to him by the Holy See. In all these instances, the Bishop should make sure that he is absent from the diocese only for the minimum amount of time required. For other absences, the Bishop should request the permission of the Holy See.
The Bishop should always be in the diocese on major solemnities, such as: Christmas, Holy Week, the Resurrection of the Lord, Pentecost, and the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. If the Bishop remains illegitimately absent from the diocese for more than six months, it is the duty of the Metropolitan to inform the Holy See; if it concerns the Metropolitan, the senior suffragan is to do so (481).
II. THE EVANGELIZING MISSION OF THE BISHOP
162. The Bishop, Guide and Coordinator of Evangelization.
The Church is called to bring the truth and the grace of Christ to all people through the concerted apostolic action of all her children. By virtue of his apostolic mandate, it falls to the Bishop to call forth, direct and coordinate the evangelical endeavour of the diocesan community so that Gospel faith can grow and flourish, the lost sheep can be led back to the flock of Christ (cf. Jn 10:16; Lk 15:4-7) and the Kingdom of God can spread throughout the world. This apostolic and evangelical mission takes on varying dimensions and significance in different parts of the world. While some Churches are called to promote the mission ad gentes, others vigorously confront the challenges of “re-evangelizing” the baptized and of dwindling resources for the pastoral care of the faithful. For this reason, the boundary between evangelization and pastoral ministry is unclear in many places (482).
163. Knowledge of the Cultural and Social Milieu.
The Church carries out her apostolic activity in particular historical settings that condition people’s lives in significant ways (483). For this reason, a good grasp is needed of the diverse social and cultural factors that influence religious attitudes, so that the apostolate always addresses people’s genuine needs and manner of life. To this should be added an understanding of the different trends and currents of thought that directly concern religion in general and the role of the Church in particular: atheism, different notions of “secularity” or “secularism”, the positive phenomenon of “return to religion” that is evident in many places (even though at times it manifests itself in deviant forms of religiosity), and widespread ignorance about the present and historic reality of the Church and her teaching, even in traditionally Catholic countries.
Knowledge of such phenomena and their positive and negative effects demands an apostolic zeal of Pastors who, with great trust in God, are to go in search of all souls in order to bring them back to the life of grace and truth. With clarity and conviction, using language and methods adapted to present-day circumstances, they should proclaim the good news of God in Christ, his incarnate Son and Redeemer of humanity, together with the doctrine of grace and eternal life. Particular attention should be given to the formation of the Church’s ministers so that their preaching and catechesis provides clear answers to the questions posed by modern man (484).
164. The Coordination of the Diocesan Apostolate and Pastoral Plan.
In order that the Word of God might reach many different environments and people, close coordination of all apostolic activities under the Bishop’s guidance is necessary. “Thus all the undertakings and organizations, whether their object be catechetical, missionary, charitable, social, family, educational, or any other pastoral end, will act together in harmony, and the unity of the diocese will be more closely demonstrated” (485). The Bishop is to involve all the faithful, as individuals and as members of associations, in the diocesan apostolate. He should do so respecting the legitimate freedom of persons and associations to carry out their own apostolates, according to common and particular ecclesial discipline, while at the same time ensuring that each undertaking contributes to the common good of the Church (486).
The Bishop will provide adequately for the organization of the diocesan apostolate according to a programme or pastoral plan intended to achieve appropriate coordination of various “specialized” pastoral areas (liturgical, catechetical, missionary, social, cultural, educational or family) (487). In order to formulate this plan, the Bishop enlists the help of the different diocesan offices and committees. In this way, the Church’s apostolic activity will respond to the genuine needs of the diocese and will succeed in uniting the efforts of all concerned in carrying it forward, never forgetting, of course, the integral role of the Holy Spirit in the task of evangelization.
The formulation of such a plan requires prior analysis of the sociological conditions in which the faithful live their lives, so that pastoral activity may be ever more effective in addressing real problems. The plan should take account of the varied geographical aspects of the diocese as well as the demographic distribution and composition of the population, keeping in mind the changes that have already taken place or could take place in the near future. It should encompass the whole diocese in all its complexity, including those areas which are considered outside ordinary pastoral care.
Once the different areas of evangelization have been studied and once pastoral resources have been duly allocated, it is important to instil an authentic “zeal for holiness” in those who are involved in the Church’s apostolate. It must not be forgotten that the abundance of fruit and the true efficacy of this work will be the result not so much of perfectly organized pastoral structures as of the union of each individual with the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6) (488).
III. STRUCTURES OF PARTICIPATION
165. The Participation of the Faithful in Diocesan Councils.
By virtue of their baptism, all the faithful enjoy true equality in dignity and action. Hence, all are called to cooperate, according to their particular circumstances and responsibilities, in building up the Body of Christ and in fulfilling the mission that God gave the Church to accomplish in the world (489).The organic nature of ecclesial communion and the spirituality of communion require the Bishop to evaluate the structures of participation envisaged by canon law (490). These structures guarantee a dimension of communion in the pastoral governance of the Bishop, insofar as they generate a kind of reciprocal interplay between what a Bishop is called to contribute to the good of the diocese through exercising his personal responsibility, and the contribution made through the collaboration of all the faithful (491). The Bishop should keep clearly in mind that these structures of participation do not take their inspiration from criteria of parliamentary democracy, because they are consultative rather than deliberative (492). Fruitful dialogue between a Pastor and his faithful will unite them “a priori in all that is essential, and… [lead] them to pondered agreement in matters open to discussion”(493). In promoting the participation of the faithful in the life of the Church, the Bishop will recall the rights and duties of governance to which he is personally bound. These include not only witnessing, nurturing and caring for the faith, but also cherishing, defending and proposing it rightly (494).
The coordination and marshalling of all diocesan resources requires opportunities to gather for joint reflection. The Bishop needs to make sure that these encounters are well prepared and not unduly long, that they have clear objectives and achieve tangible results. In this way, with a genuine Christian spirit, the participants establish a good mutual rapport and sincerely seek to collaborate.
A) THE DIOCESAN SYNOD
166. Act of Governance and Event of Communion.
According to a norm of pastoral practice handed down through the centuries, codified by the Council of Trent, taken up again by the Second Vatican Council and regulated in the Code of Canon Law, the highest of all diocesan structures of participation in the Bishop’s pastoral governance is the diocesan Synod (495). A Synod is both an act of episcopal governance and an event of communion, and thus it expresses the character of hierarchical communion that belongs to the nature of the Church (496).
167. The Nature of the Synod.
The diocesan Synod is a consultative gathering or assembly, convoked and chaired by the Bishop, to which priests and other faithful of the particular Church are called, in accordance with canonical norms, so as to help the Bishop in his task of leading the diocesan community. In and through a Synod, the Bishop solemnly exercises the office and ministry of shepherding his flock.
168. The Application and Adaptation of Universal Discipline.
In its dual dimension as “an action of episcopal governance and an event of communion” (497), the Synod is a suitable means by which to apply and adapt the laws and the norms of the universal Church to the particular situation of the diocese. It indicates the methods to be adopted in diocesan apostolic work, overcomes difficulties arising in the apostolate and the governance of the diocese, inspires activities and initiatives of a general nature, proposes sound doctrine and corrects any errors of faith or morals that might exist.
169. The Composition of the Synod as an Image of the Particular Church.
In accordance with the canonical prescriptions (498), the membership of the Synod must reflect the diversity of vocations and apostolic undertakings, and the social and geographic variety which characterizes the diocese. A prevalent role should be entrusted to clerics, however, in view of their office in the ecclesial communion. The contribution of the Synod members will be all the more valuable if they are distinguished for their moral rectitude, pastoral prudence, apostolic zeal, competence and prestige.
170. The Presence of Observers from other Churches or Christian Communities.
In order to give a greater role to ecumenical concerns in normal pastoral work, the diocesan Bishop, if he judges it opportune, can invite as observers some ministers or members of other Churches or ecclesial communities that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Their presence contributes to the growth of mutual understanding and reciprocal charity and may lead to fraternal collaboration. In choosing observers, it is usually advisable to consult the leaders of the churches and communities concerned, who can then suggest the persons best suited to represent them (499).
171. The Rights and Duties of the Bishop in the Synod.
It falls to the Bishop, after consulting the presbyteral council, to convoke a diocesan Synod when in his judgement circumstances so suggest (500). It is the Bishop’s responsibility to decide how often to convoke a Synod. The criteria that guide the Bishop in making this decision are the needs of the diocese and those of diocesan governance. He should consider the need for overall pastoral planning, the need to apply higher norms or guidelines in the diocesan setting, the need for greater ecclesial communion as well as collective solutions to particular problems in the diocese. In evaluating whether it would be opportune to convoke a Synod, the Bishop will take into account the outcome of his pastoral visits, which will offer him a greater insight into the spiritual needs of the diocese than he could obtain from sociological studies or polls. Moreover, it falls to the Bishop to determine the agenda for the Synod and to issue the Decree of Convocation on the occasion of an important liturgical feast. The faculty to convoke a diocesan Synod does not belong to one who temporarily presides over a diocese (501), but if the Bishop has the care of several dioceses or has the care of one as the proper Ordinary but of another as Administrator, he can convoke one diocesan Synod for all the dioceses entrusted to him (502). From the beginning of the Synod, the Bishop will make it clear that the participants are called to assist the diocesan Bishop with their opinions and consultative votes. This consultative form of voting means that the Bishop is free to accept or not to accept the opinions of the Synod participants, even though he recognizes their importance. On the other hand, the Bishop will not dissociate himself from opinions and votes expressed by a large majority except for grave doctrinal, disciplinary or liturgical reasons. If necessary, the Bishop should explain from the outset that the Synod can never set itself in opposition to the Bishop by claiming to “represent” the People of God. Once the Synod has been convoked, the Bishop presides over it personally, although he can delegate a Vicar general or episcopal Vicar to fulfil this responsibility for individual sessions of the Synod (503). Through the Synod, the Bishop exercises his teaching role in the Church, discerning, instructing and correcting, so that all may come to adhere to the Church’s doctrine. It is the Bishop’s duty to suspend or dissolve the diocesan Synod, should grave doctrinal, disciplinary or social reasons intervene which, in his judgement, disturb the peaceful course of the Synodal discussions (504). Before promulgating the Decree of suspension or dissolution, the Bishop would do well to seek the opinion of the presbyteral council, even though he remains free to make whatever decision he thinks best (505). The Bishop will make sure that the Synodal texts are redacted with precise language, so as to avoid unduly generic or merely exhortative expressions. Only the Bishop may sign the declarations and decrees of the Synod. The language used in the documents should indicate clearly that the diocesan Bishop is the sole legislator at the diocesan Synod. He should keep in mind that a Synodal decree which contradicts a higher law is juridically invalid.
172. The Preparation of the Synod.
The Bishop should be fully involved in the preparation, planning and celebration of the Synod, using up-to-date methods adapted to the current needs of the Church. To this end, the Bishop should follow the Instruction on Diocesan Synods published jointly by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (506). In order that the Synod may proceed smoothly, yielding truly fruitful results for the growth of the diocesan community, it requires good preparation. For this purpose, the Bishop forms a preparatory commission with the task of assisting him and carrying out instructions during the preparatory phase. In this way, the agenda of the Synod can begin to take shape.
173. Gathering Suggestions, Circulating Information and Offering Prayers in the Preparatory Phase.
The faithful are to be invited by the Bishop freely to formulate their suggestions for the Synod, and priests in particular should be encouraged to submit proposals regarding the pastoral governance of the diocese. On the basis of these contributions and with the assistance of experts or of elected Synod members, the Bishop determines the various issues that are to be presented for discussion and deliberation during the Synod. From the beginning of the preparatory work, the Bishop should keep the entire diocese informed about the event and he should continue to request their fervent prayers for its successful outcome. He may also wish to offer suitable aids for preaching, in order to promote widespread catechesis on the nature of the Church, on the dignity of the Christian vocation and on the participation of all the faithful in their supernatural mission, in the light of conciliar teaching.
174. The Celebration of the Synod.
The ecclesial character of the Synodal assembly manifests itself principally in the liturgical celebrations which constitute the visible focal point of the Synod (507). All the faithful should be welcome to participate in the solemn eucharistic liturgies to mark the opening and closing of the Synod, as well as the daily celebrations of Mass. Discussions and debates on the issues or draft proposals are reserved to the members of the Synodal assembly, always in the presence and under the direction of the Bishop or his delegate. “All proposed questions are subject to the free discussion of the members during sessions of the Synod” (508), but “the Bishop has the duty to exclude from the Synodal discussions theses or positions – as well as proposals submitted to the Synod with the mere intention of transmitting to the Holy See ‘polls’ in their regard – discordant with the perennial doctrine of the Church or the Magisterium, or concerning material reserved to Supreme ecclesiastical authority or to other ecclesiastical authorities” (509). Once the Synodal sessions have concluded, the Bishop entrusts the task of drafting Synodal documents to various commissions, giving them appropriate instructions. Finally, the Bishop examines the prepared texts and, as the sole legislator, he signs the Synodal decrees and declarations and orders their publication with his personal authority (510).
Upon the conclusion of the Synod, the Bishop is to communicate the decrees and declarations to the Metropolitan and the Episcopal Conference in order to foster communion and harmony in matters of law between the particular Churches of the region. Likewise, the Bishop will send a copy of the Synodal documentation via the Apostolic Nunciature to the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See, particularly the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (511). If Synodal documents issue norms without defining how they are to be applied, then it will be the Bishop who determines how to implement them, enlisting the aid of the relevant diocesan agencies.
175. “Forum” Meetings and other similar Ecclesial Assemblies.
It is desirable that the substance of the norms of the Code of Canon Law concerning the diocesan Synod and the directions contained in the Instruction on Diocesan Synods, servatis servandis, be observed in “forum” meetings and in other ecclesial assemblies which are of a synodal nature. The Bishop will guide such assemblies with a great sense of responsibility and see to it that no proposals are adopted which are contrary to the faith and discipline of the Church.
B) THE DIOCESAN CURIA
176. The Diocesan Curia in general.
“The diocesan curia consists of those institutions and persons which assist the Bishop in the governance of the whole diocese, especially in guiding pastoral action, in caring for the administration of the diocese and in exercising judicial power”(512). This is, in fact, “the structure employed by the Bishop to express his pastoral charity in its different aspects” (513).
Without changing the essential structure of the diocesan curia indicated by canons 469-494 of the Code of Canon Law, the Bishop may supplement it with other offices. These may have ordinary or permanent delegated powers, above all of a pastoral nature, depending on the needs of the diocese, its size and local custom.
The Bishop freely appoints the heads of the various curial offices (514) from among those who distinguish themselves by competence in their respective fields of expertise, by pastoral zeal and by the integrity of their Christian life, taking care not to entrust offices or tasks to those lacking the necessary skills. On the contrary, the Bishop will first assure himself that they are theologically, pastorally and technically prepared, and only then will he introduce them gradually into the various fields of specialized work. In making these appointments, the Bishop would be well advised to consider the opinions of certain priests and lay people through opportune consultation. When appointing priests to these positions, the Bishop should see to it that they exercise some other ministry involving the care of souls, so as to keep alive their apostolic zeal and to avoid developing a damaging bureaucratic mentality through lack of direct contact with the faithful. The various responsibilities of the curia ensure the smooth functioning of diocesan services and the necessary continuity in administration, notwithstanding changes in personnel. As soon as a Bishop is nominated, it is important that he acquaint himself with the workings of the curia and its administrative praxis, and that he adopt it himself, as far as he can, in order to expedite the work of the diocese. Needless to say, he should not hesitate to introduce any improvements that may be necessary with regard to the curia’s modus operandi, nor to correct carefully anything that does not fully conform to canonical discipline.
177. The Coordination of Different Offices.
“A diocesan Bishop must take care that all the affairs which belong to the administration of the whole diocese are duly coordinated and are ordered to attain more suitably the good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him” (515).
It is the Bishop who is naturally responsible for the coordination of diocesan pastoral activity, and it is on him that the Vicars general and episcopal Vicars directly depend (516). Where the Bishop has judged it expedient, he can establish an “episcopal council”, consisting of the Vicars general and episcopal Vicars, in order to coordinate all diocesan pastoral activity (517). The Bishop can also establish the office of Moderator of the curia with the specific task of coordinating administrative affairs and of taking care that the other members of the curia properly fulfil their duties. This office should be given to a Vicar general, unless particular circumstances suggest otherwise. In every case, the Moderator of the curia should be a priest (518). In directing and coordinating all the work of the diocesan agencies, the Bishop will keep in mind, as a general principle, that diocesan structures should always be at the service of the good of souls and that administrative demands should not take precedence over the care of persons. Therefore, he should see that the operation is smooth and efficient, avoiding all unnecessary complexity or bureaucracy, and always directed towards its proper supernatural end.
178. The Vicar General and Episcopal Vicars.
The Bishop must appoint a Vicar general, the pre-eminent official of the diocesan curia, who is to assist him in the governance of the diocese (519). Even though as a general rule there should preferably be only one Vicar general, nevertheless, if the Bishop considers it opportune, because of the size of the diocese or for some other pastoral reason, he may appoint more than one. Since they all have the same power over the whole diocese, clear coordination of their activity is necessary, observing what the Code lays down regarding favours granted by different Ordinaries (520), and, in general, regarding the exercise of their respective competence.
When the good governance of the diocese requires it, the Bishop may nominate one or more episcopal Vicars. They possess the same ordinary power as the Vicar general, but it is limited to a specific part of the diocese, to a certain type of affairs, to the faithful of a specific rite or to certain groups of persons. The appointment of episcopal Vicars is to be made only for a certain period of time to be determined in the act of appointment (521). When appointing an episcopal Vicar, the Bishop will take care to define clearly the extent of his faculties. In this way he will avoid overlapping areas of competence or, what would be worse, uncertainty on the part of the Vicar himself or the faithful. The diocesan Bishop should appoint as Vicar general or as episcopal Vicars priests who are doctrinally sound, trustworthy, esteemed by the presbyterate and in public opinion. They should be wise, honest and morally upright, with pastoral and administrative experience, capable of establishing a good human rapport with others and competent in dealing with diocesan affairs. They should be not less than thirty years old, but when possible, it is preferable that they should be forty years old or more, with suitable academic preparation in the form of a doctorate or licence in canon law or sacred theology, or at least genuine expertise in those disciplines.
By virtue of their office, the Vicar general and, within the areas of their competence, the episcopal Vicars possess ordinary executive power. Therefore, they can carry out all the administrative acts that lie within the competence of the diocesan Bishop, except for those he chooses to reserve to himself and those that the Code of Canon Law expressly entrusts to the diocesan Bishop. In order to place such acts, the Vicar needs a special mandate from the Bishop.
The diocesan Bishop cannot appoint to the offices of Vicar general and episcopal Vicar his own blood relations up to the fourth degree. Neither are these offices compatible with that of canon penitentiary (522).
Vicars must always act according to the intention and mind of the Bishop, to whom they should render an account of the principal matters in which they are involved (523).
179. The Chancellor of the Curia and other Notaries.
“In every curia, a chancellor is to be appointed whose principal function… is to take care that acts of the curia are gathered, arranged, and safeguarded in the archive of the curia” (524). Nevertheless, the role of the chancellor (and of the vice-chancellor, if there is one) is not limited to these areas, since it includes two other important offices (525):
a) Notary of the Curia: This office, held by the chancellor and any other notaries, has a particular canonical importance since the notary’s signature bears witness to juridical acts, whether judicial or administrative, that is, it “certifies” the juridical identity of the document, thereby confirming the act itself and attesting that it has been properly recorded in writing. The Bishop should enlist the help of the chancellor and the notaries in the preparation of juridical documents, such as different kinds of juridical acts, decrees, or indults, so that the wording of the documents will be precise and clear.
b) Secretary of the Curia: This office involves overseeing the good ordering of curial administrative tasks, in close collaboration with the Vicar general and, if there is one, with the Moderator of the curia. It falls to particular law to specify the relationship between the chancellor and the other principal officials of the curia. The member of the faithful who is entrusted with the office of chancellor must be of good reputation and above all suspicion, with canonical ability and experience in the management of administrative affairs (526). In cases in which the reputation of a priest can be called into question, the notary must be a priest (527). In order to assist the chancellor, the Bishop, if he considers it necessary, may appoint a vice-chancellor who has the same duties and should possess the same personal characteristics required of a chancellor.
180. The Diocesan Tribunal.
The Bishop exercises judicial power either personally or through the judicial Vicar and the judges (528).
The administration of canonical justice is a duty of grave responsibility that demands, first and foremost, a profound sense of justice, but also sufficient canonical expertise and experience (529). For this reason, the Bishop must choose carefully those who are to hold the following offices:
– Judicial Vicar. As judge and head of judicial administration, the judicial Vicar must be appointed by the Bishop (530). His appointment will be for a definite time, and is renewable. The judicial Vicar and any adjutant judicial Vicars must be priests not less than thirty years of age, of good reputation, doctors or licensed in canon law. When a See is vacant, the judicial Vicar remains in office and he cannot be removed by the diocesan Administrator.
– other diocesan judges, who decide canonical cases in the Bishop’s name. They are required to have the same qualities needed in a judicial Vicar.
– Promoter of Justice and Defender of the Bond. These officials have the duty of vigilance over the public ecclesial good, within their respective areas of competence (531).
The Bishop may assign these two offices to expert laypersons, according to the criteria and the conditions established by canonical norms (532), so that clergy may be more free to carry out those indispensable tasks proper to ordained ministers. If the Episcopal Conference so permits, lay faithful can also be judges. Where necessity suggests, one of these can be chosen in forming a college of judges (533).
If, in response to local circumstances, several dioceses establish an interdiocesan tribunal of first instance, the Bishops involved exercise in common the powers which each one would have over a tribunal of his own (534).
Realizing that the administration of justice is an aspect of sacred power, and that its correct and timely exercise is of great importance for the good of souls, the Bishop will make the judicial domain an object of his personal pastoral concern. While respecting the proper autonomy of a legitimately constituted tribunal, he will nevertheless monitor the effectiveness of its work and its fidelity to the Church’s doctrine in faith and morals, especially in the area of marriage. Without being intimidated by the technical nature of many issues, the Bishop will know how to seek counsel and make suitable executive decisions in order to ensure that his tribunal administers true ecclesial justice.
181. Diocesan Pastoral Structures.
In order to ensure that the curia is also equipped to direct apostolic work (535), it is good to establish other offices or commissions, temporary or permanent, when there are sufficient resources available. These offices have the task of carrying out diocesan programmes and examining various pastoral and apostolic initiatives (such as those in the area of the family, education or the social apostolate). With the aid of the presbyteral and pastoral councils of the diocese, the Bishop studies the proposals put forward by these offices and makes the necessary decisions.
In order to determine which offices or commissions to establish, the Bishop will evaluate the particular needs and the local customs of the diocese, applying the guidelines of the Holy See and the recommendations of the Episcopal Conference. Whichever administrative model is adopted, it is important to avoid establishing and maintaining atypical structures of government that somehow replace or compete with those envisaged in canon law, since this would by no means promote the efficacy of pastoral governance. There is a corollary at parish level: the pastoral council and the parish priest should fulfil their respective roles effectively, avoiding any hint of congregationalism (536).
For greater effectiveness, it is important to ensure that the work of these offices is well distributed and coordinated, avoiding mutual interference, excessive delineation of tasks or, on the contrary, overlapping of tasks. The Bishop should seek to instil in everyone a good spirit of collaboration towards a common goal and a sense of responsible initiative in carrying forward their respective duties. He should arrange frequent meetings with the heads of these offices, or their delegates, in order to indicate the direction their work should take and to encourage their apostolic zeal. Moreover, all those who are working in a similar field could profitably come together from time to time, in order to evaluate their common work, to exchange points of view and to seek ways of better attaining their goals.
C) DIOCESAN COUNCILS
182. The Presbyteral Council.
The hierarchical communion between the Bishop and the presbyterate, founded on the unity of the ministerial priesthood and of the ecclesial mission, manifests itself institutionally in the presbyteral council, insofar as it is “a group of priests which, representing the presbyterium, is to be like a senate of the Bishop, and which assists the Bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote as much as possible the pastoral good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him”(537).
In this way, in addition to facilitating the necessary dialogue between the Bishop and the presbyterate, the council serves to foster fraternity between different groups of clergy in the diocese. The council is firmly rooted in the concrete reality of the presbyterate and in the particular ecclesial mission that falls to priests as principal co-workers of the order of Bishops (538). The council is therefore “diocesan” by nature. It is mandatory to establish one in each diocese (539) and the priestly state is a requisite both for membership and for participation in the election of its members (540).
The presbyteral council must never act without the knowledge of the Bishop, who alone is competent to convoke the council, preside over it, determine the questions to be treated by it and make public the content of the discussions and any decisions taken (541). Even though it is consultative in nature (542), the council is called to assist the Bishop regarding the governance of the diocese. It also provides a suitable forum for developing an overall perspective on the situation of the diocese, for discerning the promptings of the Holy Spirit as expressed through people or groups, for exchanging ideas and experiences and for determining clear objectives for the exercise of various diocesan ministries, proposing priorities and suggesting methods.
The Bishop is to consult the council on affairs of greater importance concerning the Christian life of the faithful and the governance of the diocese (543). After obtaining the opinion of the council, the Bishop is free to make the decisions that he thinks are appropriate, evaluating and deciding the matter “coram Domino”, except when universal or particular law requires the consent of the council on certain questions (544). However, the Bishop should not act contrary to the unanimous opinion of his councillors without a serious and overriding reason, which he must weigh carefully according to his prudent judgement (545). The composition of the council should reflect an adequate representation of the priests serving in the diocese, taking account of the diversity of ministries and regions, in such a way as to reflect the number of priests and the pastoral importance of each area of the diocese (546). If the total number of priests in the diocese is very small, there is no reason why they should not all be summoned. In this way, an assembly of the presbyterate would take the place of the formal presbyteral council.
The council should draw up its own statutes, establishing norms concerning such matters as its composition, the election of its members, the principal matters to be submitted for study, the frequency of meetings, internal offices (e.g. moderator, secretary), the commissions that could be set up for addressing specific questions and the procedure to be followed at meetings. The proposed statutes are to be presented to the Bishop for his approval. He should ensure that they conform to the prescriptions of the Code and the norms of the Episcopal Conference. He should also consider whether the structure proposed is appropriate for a consultative body, and whether it succeeds in avoiding any organizational complexities that could detract from its clarity (547).
Ever disposed to serene dialogue and attentive listening to what the members of the council have to say, the Bishop will encourage the priests to adopt constructive, responsible and farsighted positions, having at heart only the good of the diocese. Rising above any narrow individualism, the diocesan Bishop will seek to promote within the council a climate of communion, attentiveness and a common search for the best solutions. He should avoid giving the impression that the council lacks purpose and should chair the meetings in such a way that all its members can freely express their opinions.
If the presbyteral council does not fulfil the function entrusted to it for the good of the diocese or gravely abuses it, the Bishop, according to the law, can dissolve it but must establish it anew within a year (548).
When a diocese is vacant, the presbyteral council ceases and the college of consultors assumes its functions. The new Bishop must re-constitute the council within one year of taking possession of the diocese (549).
183. The College of Consultors.
“From among the members of the presbyteral council and in a number not less than six nor more than twelve, the diocesan Bishop freely appoints some priests who are to constitute for five years a college of consultors to which belong the functions determined by law” (550). The establishment of the college is intended to guarantee that the Bishop is ably assisted. It expresses its consent and its opinion as required by law when important decisions of an economic nature (551) have to be made and, in the case of a vacant or impeded See, it assures continuity of pastoral governance (552) and correct procedure regarding the succession.(553) The Episcopal Conference may determine that the functions of the college are to be entrusted to the cathedral chapter (554).
The meetings of the college of consultors should be chaired by the diocesan Bishop or by the one who takes his place. He abstains from voting with the consultors when an opinion or consent is requested of the college (555).
184. The Pastoral Council.
Ideally, every diocese should establish a diocesan pastoral council, although not bound to do so by canonical discipline, thus expressing through this institution the participation of all the faithful, of whatever canonical state, in the Church’s mission. The pastoral council is composed of members of the faithful: clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life and especially laity (556). It falls to the council, under the authority of the Bishop, to “investigate and consider matters relating to pastoral activity and to formulate practical conclusions” (557). Its statutes are established and, when necessary, modified by the Bishop (558).
Even though the council does not, strictly speaking, represent the faithful, it should truly reflect the entire portion of the People of God which constitutes the particular Church. Its members should be chosen “with consideration given to the different areas of the diocese, social conditions and professions, and the role which they have in the apostolate whether individually or jointly” (559).
All the members of the pastoral council should be in full communion with the Catholic Church, outstanding in firm faith, good morals and prudence (560). It is for the Bishop to decide the method of electing members, by means of appropriate indications in the statutes: for example, by entrusting to parishes and other institutions the right to propose candidates. However, perhaps by the practice of confirming the election of members, the Bishop reserves to himself the right to exclude those who do not appear suitable.
The Bishop convokes the council at least once a year. He proposes the questions to be treated, he chairs the meetings, he decides whether or not it is appropriate to publish the themes considered and he determines how to reach conclusions (561). The council is therefore of a consultative nature (562). It should always be characterized by proper respect both for episcopal jurisdiction and for the autonomy of the faithful (as individuals or in associations). It should never claim the authority to direct or coordinate activities beyond its competence. Nevertheless, the Bishop should give due consideration to the opinions of the members of the council insofar as it is an expression of the responsible collaboration of the ecclesial community with his apostolic office.
The Bishop may propose themes for the council to discuss in connection with the pastoral activity of the diocese (563): these include the pastoral plan, various catechetical, missionary and apostolic initiatives, ways of improving the doctrinal formation and sacramental life of the faithful, assistance for the pastoral ministry of the clergy, and various means of raising public awareness regarding concerns of the Church.
For maximum effectiveness, the meetings of the council should be preceded by suitable preparation, arranged with the help of the pastoral institutions and offices of the diocese. It is helpful if the Bishops discuss the activity of diocesan pastoral councils at meetings of the Episcopal Conference, so that each Bishop in his own diocese can profit from the experience of others. The pastoral council ceases when a diocese is vacant (564) and it may be dissolved by the Bishop when it does not fulfil the tasks assigned to it.
D) THE CHAPTER OF CANONS
185. The Responsibilities of the Chapter and the Appointment of Canons.
“A chapter of canons, whether cathedral or collegial, is a college of priests which performs more solemn liturgical functions in a cathedral or collegial church. In addition, it is for the cathedral chapter to fulfil the functions which the law or the diocesan bishop entrusts to it” (565). In forming the chapter, the Bishop should choose experienced priests, outstanding in doctrine and in the integrity of their priestly life, some of whom may already hold important offices in the diocese, always remembering, however, that the Vicar general, the episcopal Vicars and the blood relatives of the Bishop up to the fourth degree may not hold the office of canon penitentiary (566).
186. The Establishment, Alteration and Suppression of the Chapter.
The establishment of a cathedral chapter (which is not mandatory) and its alteration or suppression are reserved to the Apostolic See (567). While respecting the laws of its foundation and keeping in mind local custom, the chapter drafts its own statutes which are then submitted for the approval of the Bishop (568).It is also helpful to draw up a Rule, in which matters of procedure are considered in greater detail.
187. Offices in the Chapter.
Each chapter has a President or Provost, who is primus inter pares and moderator of the meetings. The statutes may determine that the Provost be elected by the canons, in which case his election needs the confirmation of the Bishop (569). Among the other offices of the chapter – all of which are freely determined by the Bishop (570) – should be numbered that of the penitentiary who has the important duty of absolving in the sacramental forum from canonical censures (571). Where a chapter of canons is not established, the Bishop should appoint a priest to fulfil the role of penitentiary (572).
E) THE BISHOP, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL GOODS
188. The Duties of the Bishop in the Administration of the Patrimony.
As the one who presides over the particular Church, it falls to the Bishop to organize the administration of ecclesiastical goods. He does this through suitable norms and instructions, in harmony with the directives of the Apostolic See, and he may also make use of any guidelines and resources supplied by the Episcopal Conference (573).
Likewise, as sole administrator of the diocese, the Bishop has the following duties:
– In order to avoid abuses, he should monitor carefully the administration of all the goods which belong to public juridical persons subject to him (574). He is to establish by decree, after having heard the diocesan finance council, those acts which exceed the limits and the parameters of ordinary administration. He may alienate, with the consent of the diocesan finance council and of the college of consultors, those goods whose value falls within the minimum and maximum amounts determined by the Episcopal Conference. The permission of the Holy See is also required for alienations of goods whose value exceeds the maximum amount, of goods given to the Church by vow, or of objects of artistic or historical value (575).
– He should implement all donations and provisions mortis causa (so-called pious wills) directed towards pious causes. In these cases, he should fulfil the will of the benefactor or ensure that it is fulfilled (576).
– In the administration of goods, always presupposing that justice is observed, the Bishop concerns himself first of all with providing for divine worship, charity, the apostolate and the support of the clergy: these ends are given precedence over all others.
189. The Principal Criteria that should Govern the Administration of Goods.
The basic criteria are the following:
a) The criterion of pastoral and technical competence: “The financial administration of the diocese [should be entrusted] to individuals who are competent as well as honest, so that it can become an example of transparency for other similar church institutions” (577). The Bishop, in fact, must seek the collaboration of the college of consultors and the finance council in those matters determined by the universal law of the Church (578) and when prudence so dictates, because of the importance of the case or its particular circumstances.
b) The criterion of participation: The Bishop should involve the diocesan clergy, through the presbyteral council, in the important financial decisions that he wishes to make, and he should seek their opinion in such matters (579). In certain cases, it may also be helpful to consult the diocesan pastoral council. It is opportune, moreover, that the diocesan community be kept informed concerning the financial situation of the diocese. Therefore, unless in a special case prudence suggests otherwise, the Bishop will see to the publication of the financial reports at the end of every year and at the conclusion of diocesan projects. Likewise, parishes and other institutions could do the same under the Bishop’s oversight.
c) The ascetic criterion: In keeping with the spirit of the Gospel, this demands that the disciples of Christ “make use of the world as though they were not using it” (cf. 1 Cor 7:31). Therefore, they should be moderate and detached, trusting in divine providence and generous towards the needy, always preserving the bond of love.
d) The apostolic criterion: This requires that goods be used as instruments in the service of evangelization and catechesis. The same principle governs the use of the media and information technology, as well as the organization of sacred art exhibitions, guided tours of churches and places of religious interest, and similar activities.
e) The criterion of the good head of a household: This refers to the conscientious andresponsible way in which the Bishop conducts administration (580). For example:
– He should take care that the ownership of ecclesiastical goods is protected by civilly valid methods. He should see that the prescripts of both canon and civil law, or those imposed by a founder, a donor, or legitimate authority, are observed. Moreover, he should be especially vigilant so that no damage comes to the Church from the non-observance of civil laws (581).
– In the employment of workers, he should observe and see to it that others observe meticulously the civil laws concerning labour and social policy, according to the principles handed on by the Church (582).
– He should see that civil law is obeyed, especially with regard to contracts (583) and dispositions mortis causa for the good of the Church (584).
– He needs to be aware of the decisions of the Episcopal Conference concerning acts of extraordinary administration (585) and he should see to their implementation. The same applies to the conditions for the alienation and leasing of ecclesiastical goods (586).
– He should instil in pastors and in those charged with the administration of goods a strong sense of responsibility for the preservation of these goods, taking adequate security measures so as to avoid theft (587).
– He should see to the preparation and updating of inventories, including photographs, with the description and appraisal of immovable and movable goods which are precious or of some cultural value (588).
190. Patrimonial Foundations for Covering Diocesan Expenses.
In order to meet the principal economic needs of the diocese, canonical discipline provides for the creation of two institutes:
a) The diocese should be responsible for the remuneration of clerics who offer service for the benefit of the diocese, through the establishment of an institute or special foundation for collecting goods and offerings from the faithful, or through some other means (589).
b) Insofar as necessary, each diocese will establish a “common fund” to meet other needs of the diocese and also to help poorer dioceses. However, these purposes can also be obtained by means of special agreements and institutes on an interdiocesan or national level (590). It is desirable that all these institutes be established in such a way that they are also recognized in civil law (591).
191. The Participation of the Faithful in the Support of the Church.
In an appropriate manner, the Bishop will see to it that the faithful are educated to play their part in the support of the Church as active and responsible members. In this way, all will feel personally involved in the Church’s activity and its charitable works and will gladly cooperate in the just administration of goods (592).
In order to make provision for the Church’s needs, the Bishop encourages the faithful to manifest their generosity through offerings and almsgiving, according to the norms issued by the Episcopal Conference (593). He also has the right:
– to impose a moderate tax, duly observing the canonical conditions (594);
– to establish special collections for the needs of the Church, when it is appropriate (595);
– to issue norms concerning the allocation of offerings received from the faithful during liturgical functions and also concerning the remuneration of the priests who fulfil these functions (596).
In this regard, so as not to overburden the faithful with excessive financial appeals, the Bishop should carefully consider in each case whether there is a real necessity to raise funds.
Finally, the Bishop should take opportunities to educate and inform the faithful on the meaning of Mass offerings and offerings given on the occasion of the administration of sacraments and sacramentals, with reference to the ordering of worship, the support of sacred ministers and charity towards the poor. He should instruct the clergy to avoid in this area any undue attachment to worldly goods (597).
192. The Diocesan Finance Council and the Finance Officer.
In every diocese a finance council is to be established over which the Bishop or his delegate presides (598). Similar councils are to be established for each parish and for other juridical persons (599). The members of these councils should be chosen from among those faithful who are knowledgeable in financial affairs and civil law, renowned for their honesty and their love for the Church and its apostolate. In those places where the permanent diaconate has been instituted, steps should be taken to arrange the participation of the deacons in finance councils, according to the charism of their order.
Together with the diocesan finance council, the Bishop examines work proposals, budgets, and plans for financing them, and he makes the necessary decisions in conformity with the law. Moreover, the diocesan finance council, jointly with the college of consultors, must be consulted for acts of administration which, given the economic situation of the diocese, are of greater importance; for the acts of extraordinary administration (established by the Episcopal Conference), the Bishop needs the consent of the college of consultors and the diocesan finance council. In placing various acts of administration, the Bishop, without prejudice to his own competence, will avail himself of the collaboration of the diocesan finance officer (600).
In every diocese, after having heard the college of consultors and the finance council, the Bishop is to appoint a finance officer for a five-year renewable term.
The finance officer, who may be a permanent deacon or a lay person, must possess extensive experience in the administration of financial affairs. He must have a good knowledge of civil and canonical legislation concerning temporal goods and of any legal agreements with the civil authority concerning ecclesiastical goods.
Under the authority of the Bishop, the diocesan finance officer must administer the goods of the diocese according to the parameters approved by the finance council and according to the approved budget. At the end of each year, the finance officer must render an account of income and expenditure to the finance council (601).
IV. THE EXERCISE OF CHARITY
193. Following in the Footsteps of Christ.
Christ gave his disciples the new commandment of charity: “even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn 13:34). Charity means loving as Christ loves. As a witness to this, the members of the Church have always performed countless charitable works. The Church understands that her mission, while spiritual in nature, embraces all the temporal aspects of human life, since the fulfilment of God’s plan for mankind inextricably links the proclamation of the Gospel with the advancement of humanity (602). This firm conviction translates into multiple forms of assistance and wide-ranging benefits for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, and those who find themselves in situations of hardship or weakness, whom the Church looks upon with preferential love (603).
With equal attention and solicitude, the Church, through her charitable activities, seeks to alleviate the “suffering of the soul” and the “suffering of the body”. This obligation is made explicit in the Christian duty to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy (604). These works have been practised in the Church from her inception, through almsgiving (cf. Acts 9:36; Heb 13:16), distribution of goods (cf. Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37), service at table (cf. Acts 6:2), and collections for the poor (cf. Acts 9:36,39; 10:2,31; Gal 2:9-10). In the beginning, the Apostles chose seven men who, through prayer and the laying on of hands, were designated for the ministry of charity (cf. Acts 6:2-6). For the Christian community of the present age, charity must also maintain a preeminent place, suggesting new forms of assistance and advancement to complement the traditional ones.
194. The Church, Community of Charity.
The Bishop’s responsibility in the realm of charity is apparent from the liturgy of episcopal ordination, when the candidate is asked the specific question: “Do you resolve, for the sake of the Lord’s name, to be welcoming and merciful to the poor, to strangers, and to all who are in need?” Conscious of his office as president of the assembly and minister of charity in the Church, the Bishop personally does all that he can to fulfil this role in the manner which the human conditions of his flock demand and the means at his disposal allow. At the same time, he seeks to instil in all the faithful – clergy, religious and laity – a genuine attitude of charity and mercy towards all who labour and are heavy laden (Mt 11:28) so that in the entire diocese charity can reign as a way of accepting and witnessing to the command of Jesus Christ (605). In this manner, the faithful will experience the Church as a true family of God united in fraternal love (cf. 1 Pet 1:22) and many more men and women will be inspired to follow Christ. Following the example of the good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:25-37), the Bishop should see to it that the faithful are instructed, exhorted, and given every help to practise all the works of mercy, both personally in the unique circumstances of their lives, as well as communally, within various charitable organizations. As a result, the interconnection between preaching, liturgy and witness of life will find its expression in the Christian life. Inspired by God’s Word and nourished by the sacraments, the faithful will endeavour to exercise that charity which gives authentic witness to the faith they profess. The practice of charity manifests the “new commandment” which reveals to the world the new life of the children of God.
Moreover, the Bishop ought to encourage and promote all those charitable initiatives which have arisen throughout history and still today continue to emerge for the support and advancement of the most needy, both in first world countries and in developing nations. The Bishop should provide for the ongoing formation of those faithful who hold positions of leadership or responsibility in charitable initiatives.
The ministry of charity, while it is an obligation for every Christian, is in a particular way a diaconal charism (606). For this reason, all candidates for sacred orders, but particularly aspirants to the permanent diaconate, need to prepare themselves through an adequate formation for their charitable ministry, which will be perfected in the light of experience. Permanent deacons, according to their personal talents, may be of particular assistance in the financial administration of the diocese. The pastoral care of the Church must also be directed toward social workers and health care professionals, especially if they are employed in Catholic health care institutions, so that they may discover the true significance of their vocation within their profession. Such work certainly requires technical competence, but also genuine sensitivity towards the human and spiritual needs of all persons, especially patients (607).
195. The Charitable Services of the Diocese.
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 (608). Large urban centres require particular pastoral creativity on the part of their Shepherds, because in sprawling cities poverty presents itself in ever new forms: one need only consider the large number of workers of different races and nations, families deprived of housing and food, those who live in shanty towns, or young drug addicts. Nor should we forget to address that poverty of spirit, which today takes on ever new forms, as for example loneliness, hopelessness and the loss of a sense of purpose.
To facilitate aid for the needy in the most effective manner, the Bishop should promote a diocesan branch of Caritas, Catholic Charities, or other similar organizations which, under his guidance, animate the spirit of fraternal charity throughout the diocese. These promote the generous cooperation of the faithful in the particular charitable works of the Church, which are true manifestations of Catholic charity. These diocesan charitable operations, depending upon the circumstances, may collaborate with public institutions dedicated to the same end. The transparency of their works and their faithful witness to the love of Christ will enable them to imbue public institutions with a Christian spirit, and sometimes to coordinate their activities. In every situation, diocesan Caritas or Catholic Charities should participate in all authentically humanitarian initiatives, so as to testify that the Church is close to those in need and in solidarity with them. The Bishop should also take care to provide adequate spiritual formation for the lay faithful who work in such public institutions, so that they themselves might offer a competent and consistent Christian witness. At the same time, insofar as possible, the Bishop should establish in each parish setting a branch of Caritas or Catholic Charities which, together with those on the diocesan level, can serve as the instrument for coordinating and animating the exercise of Christian charity in the parish community. It would be most desirable if, in each of the charitable institutions administered by the Church, there were a group responsible for identifying cases of true need, physical or spiritual, attending to the collection of funds as well as strengthening the relationship between benefactors and beneficiaries.
196. The Genuine Spirit of the Charitable Services of the Church.
Every charitable activity of the Bishop and of the Christian community needs to be distinguished for its integrity, loyalty, and magnanimity, thus revealing the gratuitous love of God for man, “for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Mt 5:45).
Without ever misusing works of charity for purposes of proselytism, the Bishop and the diocesan community exercise charity in order to bear witness to the Gospel, to inspire people to listen to the Word of God and to convert hearts. All the works of mercy and service undertaken by the Christian community need to manifest the supernatural spirit of charity motivating them, in order to offer an eloquent testimony which moves hearts to glorify our heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:16). To promote the development of peoples and provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief, the Bishop, when opportune and according to the norms and guidelines of the Apostolic See, ought to foster good relations between the charitable organizations of his diocese and those of our separated brethren. In this way, through joint charitable assistance they demonstrate unity in Christian charity, and they foster that mutual understanding which one day, by God’s grace, will mature into the unity that is so greatly desired by those who profess faith in Christ. The Bishop prepares the way for these relations, providing proper guidance and vigilance over the ecumenical engagement of diocesan charitable organizations.
197. The Relationship between the Charitable Services provided by the Church and those provided in the Public and Private Sector.
It is understood that civil authorities have both the responsibility and the duty to provide in the best way possible for the needs of their citizens in the various departments of health and social services. At the same time, the Bishop should always keep in mind that in this world the poor will always be with us (cf. Mt 26:11): the spiritually, psychologically and materially needy who depend upon the charity of the Church. Moreover, the Church has in this field an irreplaceable mission to accomplish, which flows precisely from the supernatural virtue of charity.
The Bishop ought to avoid any appearance of competition between diocesan charitable works and those of other institutions, public or private; instead, he should foster mutual esteem and cooperation among them. Nevertheless, the Church claims the right to assist the needy and to be present wherever there is any form of spiritual or material poverty. No one has a monopoly in serving the poor. The Bishop will also take care that the Church’s charitable work and institutions adapt to the realities of technical and scientific progress as well as to civil legislation, provided that these are consonant with the Church’s teaching.
V. THE IMPORTANCE OF “SOCIAL SERVICES” AND VOLUNTARY SERVICES
198. Social Workers and Volunteers.
Among present-day charitable initiatives, “social services” have a position of honour, and are exercised principally in the workplace, in families, in cities, in suburban neighbourhoods, and in prisons. These social services offer to individuals and to groups an opportunity to nurture a sense of the dignity of human life, to educate them in awareness of their proper responsibilities, and to encourage them in their commitment to overcome material and spiritual difficulties. It is therefore fitting that there be a good number of social workers in the diocese, chosen from young and old, male and female, also from among religious, who receive appropriate formation in schools and in institutions especially equipped for that purpose, with particular reference to the Church’s social doctrine. These social workers carry out their apostolate in suitable centres, in associations in larger parishes, in vicariates or deaneries, in the name of the whole Christian community and with its financial support (609). They will thus be better able to confront not only the older but also the newer forms of poverty which “often affect financially affluent sectors and groups which are nevertheless threatened by despair at the lack of meaning in their lives, by drug addiction, by fear of abandonment in old age or sickness, by marginalization or social discrimination” (610).
The flourishing of volunteer services in recent times is most encouraging. Through various forms of volunteer work, Christians, together with other people of good will, especially young people, dedicate their time and energy to providing coordinated assistance to the needy, both within their own dioceses and in other parts of the world. These initiatives accomplish an enormous amount of good, since they not only alleviate the needs of the poor, but contribute significantly to the formation of younger generations of Christians, and serve as an efficacious means of drawing others to the faith of the Church (611). Therefore, where voluntary services are not sufficiently developed, the Bishop will strive to awaken that spirit which urges people to devote themselves to the service of their neighbours, making whatever arrangements are necessary to support this work. Given the tremendous contribution which such services make to the common good, it is often only natural to solicit the financial support of public associations, or, particularly in poorer countries, of other organizations, so that these services might be established and sustained.
199. The Relationship between Charity and Liturgy.
To instil within the faithful a sense of Christian charity, the Bishop teaches that active and conscious participation in the liturgy, most of all in the Eucharist, leads naturally to the practice of charity towards the poor and needy. To foster this natural bond between the Eucharist and fraternal charity, he will encourage generous financial contributions and other offerings during the celebration of the Eucharist, according to the rubrics and liturgical norms. With the same end in view, the Bishop will urge that charity be expressed also in other appropriate forms such as visits to the sick, to prisoners, to poor families, and to those living in charitable institutions.
200. Assistance for Poorer Dioceses and for Catholic Charitable and Apostolic Works.
Sacred Scripture attests to the example of the Apostles who, in addition to providing for the just distribution of goods to each of the Churches, also organized collections for poorer communities (cf. Acts 11:29-30; 1 Cor 16:1-14; 2 Cor 9:2; Rom 15:26; Gal 2:10, etc.). Likewise, the Bishop seeks to provide every assistance his diocese can offer to poorer dioceses (612), as well as to national or international Catholic charitable initiatives of relief or aid. With this in mind, the Bishop may propose to his clergy and people the observance of special days in the year, designated at national or international level, whose purpose is to awaken interest, to promote prayer, and to ask the Christian community for financial assistance. It is altogether fitting that the clergy, from the time of their seminary formation, be prepared to live the spirit of poverty and mutual charity as a vocation, following the example of the early Church (cf. Acts 2:44-45; 4:32 ff.). It would be a clear testimony to the spirit of the Gospel if priests and ecclesiastical institutions, led by their Bishop, were to commit themselves to allocating a fixed percentage of their annual income to charitable causes within the local or universal Church. This would serve also for the laity as a fine example to follow, insofar as their means allow.
VI. AREAS WHICH REQUIRE PARTICULAR ATTENTION
201. Some areas require Particular Pastoral Care on the part of their Shepherds, according to the local ecclesial and social circumstances. This Directory will limit itself to only a few of these areas.
202. The Family.
For every Bishop, the family in contemporary society represents a major pastoral priority (613). The challenges which families confront today are enormous: a flawed anthropology which detaches modern man from the family and from the supreme value of life; a widespread contraceptive mentality and the devaluation of conjugal love; a tendency to relegate the family to some private realm and to dissociate it from marriage; the pressure brought to bear on governments to recognize homosexual unions as marriages. Likewise, the situation of women presents new challenges. On the one hand, their human rights and dignity have been increasingly recognized, and the forms of discrimination to which they were subject in the past have notably diminished; on the other hand, their mission as wives and mothers has been devalued and is often considered as servile submission or discrimination.
As the one primarily responsible for the pastoral care of the family, which is the foundation and original cell of society and of the Church, the Bishop should establish this apostolate as a clear priority within the diocesan pastoral programme. In the family, human values and Christian virtues come together so as to form persons and to transmit the faith in all its integrity. To this end, it is the Bishop’s responsibility to make every effort to establish and promote effective pastoral care of the family in all parishes, institutions and diocesan communities, with the active participation of priests, deacons, religious and members of societies of apostolic life, laity and families themselves. This particular apostolate encompasses every area of pastoral life. It includes remote and immediate marriage preparation, ideally conducted “as in a catechumenal journey”(614) during which courses of preparation for marriage are provided. These need to be serious in purpose, excellent in content, sufficient in length and obligatory in nature (615). It includes formation for responsible loving (616), which necessarily requires education in sexual morality and formation in ethical values and principles (617). It ought to include information on natural methods for the regulation of fertility, which should only be practised for just motives and never as a refusal of parenthood. Furthermore, it involves a serious reflection on bioethical issues, conducted with the involvement of the laity through courses, conferences and meetings. In order to encourage the participation of the family in social and political life and to help prevent unjust laws, the Bishop concerns himself with the promotion of a family apostolate in civil society as well, maintaining close contact with political leaders, particularly those who are Catholic, and providing for their formation. The Bishop should establish a Commission for the Pastoral Care of the Family in the diocese, in vicariates and deaneries, and, where possible, in parishes. It is recommended that these commissions be responsible for promoting the sanctity of human life and caring for women, children, and young people. In order to train personnel for these commissions, the diocese would do well to create a centre of formation or “family institute”. Other effective means for such formation include associations founded for mutual support and the defence of family values, vis-à-vis society and the government (618).
Sadly, the number of baptized persons today who find themselves in irregular marital situations (619) 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. At the same time, Bishops should show great charity towards these people, since they often find themselves in situations which are difficult to change, especially due to the presence of children. In every case, the Bishop carefully explains the reasons for the Church’s norms, according to which the divorced and remarried may not receive Holy Communion, given that they find themselves in situations which objectively contradict the loving union between Christ and his Church, which the Eucharist signifies and makes present (620). The Bishop will show divorced and remarried persons the maternal solicitude of the Church, so that they may not be excluded from ecclesial life and may participate regularly in the life of their respective parishes. In every diocese or on the interparochial level, there should be groups or associations which care for divorced persons.
203. Adolescents and Young People.
One area which requires the keen attention of the Bishop and his ever increasing fatherly solicitude is the pastoral care of youth (621), in particular, young students. Often lacking clear direction, young students are subjected to the influence of diverse opinions and new ideologies, which can easily cause them to drift away from the Church, following other paths or remaining simply in an existential void. It is therefore necessary to assist young people in professing a mature faith, by involving them in active roles in the life and pastoral work of the diocese. It is helpful if, on diocesan and parochial levels, young people are represented in a way that allows them to express their particular spiritual needs and to take their place in the pastoral life of the diocese and the parish. It is the Bishop’s task to ensure that there is a good number of suitable priests, religious and laity in the diocese who are devoted to the youth apostolate. The Bishop will see to it that the pastoral care of youth is provided for in every parish, or at least at an inter-parochial level.
Without a doubt, one of the most effective forms of youth apostolate is religious education in schools. Nevertheless, various initiatives, groups and associations whose purpose is the formation of adolescents need also to be supported and maintained at the pastoral level.
Those who assist in the youth apostolate need to be seen by young people as their brothers, sisters and friends, but at the same time they must be witnesses of higher truths and ideals. They will be able to understand the aspirations of young people, their points of view and their way of expressing themselves, but will avoid frivolous or anomalous behaviour in a vain attempt to be popular. They render a true service to young people not by accepting their shortcomings, but by pointing out to them the highest of ideals. Finally, those who work with youth must motivate the young people’s personal sense of responsibility through specific initiatives, so that they consider themselves and truly become active and responsible builders of the Christian community.
The apostolate among university students requires special attention on account of their particular needs and milieu. Either on his own or in collaboration with Bishops of other dioceses, the Ordinary will attend to the pastoral care of university students, perhaps by establishing a personal parish on the university campus or nearby, with residences and other centres which offer the students constant spiritual and intellectual assistance (622). Similarly, insofar as it lies within his competence, the Bishop will encourage and support the work of other ecclesial institutions and associations dedicated to this often difficult apostolate. The Bishop will oversee those institutions dependent upon or within the diocese, to ensure that they provide suitable means for Christian formation, observe correct discipline, and foster an authentic human and spiritual outlook.
204. Workers and Labourers.
The Bishop should also show a lively interest in the pastoral care of city workers and rural labourers, because evangelization of urban and rural working environments is part of the Church’s mission, and because workers can suffer the consequences of industrialization that ignores human dignity, as well as the effects of uprooting that follow upon emigration. The Bishop will be no less attentive towards rural labourers, who are often subject to harsh conditions and at times deprived of the presence of a priest.
The Bishop seeks direct pastoral contact with workers and labourers, even in their own workplaces. He will provide suitable priests who are well prepared, especially in the Church’s social teaching, to exercise their ministry in industrial and rural settings, through means and initiatives adapted to the social, psychological and spiritual circumstances of the people. The Bishop ensures that in parishes and diocesan centres which serve workers and labourers, pastoral care is organized for families, and provision is made for groups, associations, evening or night schools, technical or professional training centres and places of recreation.
Many commendable works and institutions of a socioeconomic character have as their purpose the assistance of the poor through facilitating access to property, the just use of goods and their equitable distribution. This is accomplished by studies and cooperative social activities, by associations of workers and artisans, and by means of economic and financial initiatives. Within this vast area, the Christian lay faithful are called to exercise charity in the form of justice and human solidarity, in keeping with their secular vocation (623). The Bishop should therefore encourage these laypersons and, if necessary, personally promote their works, infusing in them a truly Christian spirit. The Bishop should also make a personal contribution to the ecological debate for the protection of God’s creation, teaching the right relationship between human beings and nature. In the light of the doctrine of God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, this relationship is one of “stewardship”: human beings are placed at the centre of creation as stewards of the Creator. In this sense there is a need for ecological conversion (624) and a recognition that together with the protection of God’s creation, there needs to be an ever greater commitment to a human ecology, capable of protecting the radical good of life in all its manifestations and of leaving behind for future generations an environment which conforms as closely as possible to the Creator’s plan.
205. Those who Suffer.
Health care represents one of the most demanding challenges of present-day society (625). Many forms of endemic disease still persist in different parts of the world. Despite the tremendous efforts which medical and scientific research has made in finding innovative solutions or treatments, there are always new situations which pose a threat to physical and mental health. Human concern prompts the Bishop to imitate the Good Samaritan, who cares for every suffering person with great mercy and compassion. Within his own diocese each Bishop, with the help of suitably qualified persons, is called to work for an integral proclamation of the “Gospel of Life”. As medical practice and care of the sick become more humane, this closeness to those who suffer brings into clearer focus for every person the image of Jesus, healer of body and soul. Among the instructions entrusted to his Apostles, the Lord included an exhortation to heal the sick (cf. Mt 10:8). The organization of adequate pastoral provision for health care workers, with the good of the sick ever in mind, should thus be a priority close to the heart of every Bishop. Such pastoral care ought to be characterized by the following: an outspoken defence of human life in the areas of biogenetic engineering, palliative care and opposition to euthanasia; a renewed pastoral approach to the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Viaticum, without neglecting the sacrament of penance; the witness of consecrated persons who devote their lives to the care of the sick and the contribution of volunteer health care workers; the attentiveness of pastors to those parishioners who are sick. The Bishop gives his support to Catholic hospitals, and opens new ones where appropriate, maintaining their Catholic identity even when, for whatever reason, they come under secular direction. In Catholic faculties of medicine, the Bishop sees to it that medical ethics are taught in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church, particularly in questions of bioethics.
206. Persons in need of Particular Pastoral Attention.
The Bishop is most attentive to the spiritual needs of those who, because of their condition of life, are unable to benefit sufficiently from the ordinary pastoral care offered within the region (626). Some of the different situations which require a particular pastoral response are as follows:
a) International Emigration. This is an increasing phenomenon which demands the attention of Bishops: one need only consider, for example, refugees, nomadic peoples, or the large number of persons who move to other countries in search of employment or education (627). The Bishop’s task becomes all the more urgent when, as is frequently the case today, the emigrants are Catholic. In order to provide these people with appropriate pastoral care suited to their different situations and spiritual needs, a combined effort is required from individual Bishops and Episcopal Conferences both in their countries of origin and in their adopted countries. An excellent solution is to send priests, deacons and other faithful to accompany the emigrants, founding special centres to train them for this work; suitable structures may be created in order to coordinate this particular form of personal pastoral care (628). Nor should Bishops forget the many other persons who require special attention, such as itinerant people, pilgrims, travellers, circus and fairground workers and the homeless.
b) Dispersed groups of the faithful. In order to provide pastoral care for certain dispersed groups present within the diocese, the Bishop may establish a “personal parish”, or appoint suitable priests as chaplains, granting them the necessary faculties. In order to assist fishermen and sailors, the Bishop would promote the work of the Apostolate of the Sea, according to its particular norms.
Today, more than in the past, it is important that the Bishop make provision for an appropriate pastoral outreach in tourist areas, establishing churches and oratories to supplement the work of the parishes. The same applies, where sufficient resources are available, in the vicinity of bus and railway stations, and in airports.
c) Military personnel. Those who serve in the military constitute a particular group of the faithful who, because of their state in life, require singular attention. For their pastoral care, the Holy See establishes Military Ordinariates, whose Ordinaries are in principle equivalent to diocesan Bishops. Local diocesan Bishops, therefore, maintain fraternal relations with the Military Ordinary, assisting him in whatever way they can, for example by releasing suitable diocesan priests for service in the Military Ordinariate. In this way, military personnel, their families, and the numerous young people engaged in temporary military service can count on adequate support in living out their Christian faith.
207. Ecumenical Relations.
The Bishop extends his pastoral charity with great zeal towards members of non-Catholic Churches and Christian communities (629). To this end, ecumenical formation is necessary for the whole diocesan community, in order that all the faithful, and clergy in particular, might cherish the inestimable gift of unity, growing always in charity and understanding towards their Christian brothers and sisters, though without any false irenicism, uniting themselves in prayer with the whole Church, according to the desire and the norms of the Second Vatican Council and the instructions of the Apostolic See. Special emphasis ought to be placed on ecumenical formation in seminaries and in other centres of formation for clergy and laity (630).
It is also important that the Bishop favour the concrete practice of ecumenism: first of all a spiritual ecumenism, which consists in the interior conversion of Christians; then prayer, of which one widespread and commendable expression is the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”; and finally, ecumenical collaboration with other Christians, of which the most familiar forms are common prayer, dialogue, and joint Christian witness in defence of human and Christian values (631). Moreover, it is important to keep in mind the situation regarding mixed marriages between Catholics and other baptized persons. These marriages, while they may bear fruit for ecumenical relations, require special pastoral care to ensure that both parties understand and observe Catholic teaching on matrimony, to remove any danger of the Catholic party abandoning the faith, and to encourage that the children be educated in the Catholic faith (632).
With regard to the question of communicatio in sacris, the norms set forth by the Second Vatican Council, by the Code of Canon Law and by the Apostolic See must be strictly observed (633).
There is a pressing need to offer sound formation to the faithful, to equip them to respond with clarity to proselytizing by so-called “sects” of a Christian or syncretistic character. Not only their particular theories but also their strong appeals to religious emotion can easily confuse persons who are inadequately prepared.
208. Relations with other Religions.
The presence of members of other religions in traditionally Christian countries is a growing phenomenon today, especially in large urban, university and industrial centres, where people come for work, for education or for tourism. Christian charity and missionary zeal compel the diocesan community to reach out to them with humanitarian aid,to enter into dialogue and to proclaim Christ in various ways (634):
a) The Bishop urges his flock to exercise Christian charity in an impartial manner towards these persons, assisting them in any difficulties they may encounter in their insertion into society, helping them to acquire proper education, learn a new language, procure proper housing and receive medical care. To accomplish this the Bishop will naturally depend on Catholic social service agencies and associations.
b) Respect for the human dignity and for the religious tradition of each person suggests that the Bishop establish interreligious dialogue to promote mutual understanding and collaboration. This dialogue needs to honour the fundamental principles of religious freedom of conscience, which today are subject to attack from secularized society. In order to advance such dialogue, the Bishop will take care to train persons suited to the task. It would be opportune to create a diocesan Commission for inter-religious dialogue where one does not already exist, employing the assistance of experts in the field, clergy, religious and laity (635).
c) These people should be given the opportunity to know and to embrace the truth which God has revealed to the world through the Incarnation of his Son, in whom alone is found salvation; “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The path to conversion will often be the fruit of personal friendship or the witness on the part of Catholics who must always act with the deepest respect for the conscience of others. In this way, acceptance of the true faith will always be the result of interior conviction, and never a means of material gain or of obtaining favours. It is recommended that appropriate catechumenal courses be organized which take into account each person’s spiritual history.
d) In such a pluralistic inter-religious milieu, the Bishop will often find himself engaged in joint initiatives and meetings with other religious leaders. These initiatives, when carefully weighed with prudence and discernment, may be occasions of fruitful encounter and mutual exchange. Regarding the question of prayer in company with believers of different religions, it is advisable to evaluate case by case the format proposed and the manner of participation, carefully avoiding anything which might give the impression of religious indifferentism or syncretism.
209. The Bishop as Promoter of Justice and Peace.
The modern world manifests grave forms of injustice caused by an ever increasing disparity between rich and poor; by an unjust economic system through which, in many parts of the world, people suffer from hunger and growing numbers become marginalized, while in other parts there is great wealth; by the horrors of war which continually threaten the peace and stability of the international community; by the discrimination which men suffer at the hands of other men; and by the degradation of women, on the one hand by a hedonistic and materialistic culture and on the other by the refusal to recognize their fundamental rights as persons.
In the face of these challenges, the Bishop is called to be a prophet of justice and peace, a defender of the inalienable rights of the human person. He does this by proclaiming the Church’s teaching, especially in defence of the right to life from conception to natural death; in defence of human dignity; and, taking to heart the defence of the weak, he lends his voice to those who have no voice of their own, to assert their rights. In the same way, the Bishop needs to condemn vigorously all forms of violence and to raise his voice in favour of those who are unemployed, oppressed, persecuted or humiliated, and in favour of children who suffer grave abuse.
The Bishop, with the same strength of spirit, proclaims the peace of Christ, day after day, calling all the faithful and all men and women of good will to be peacemakers. The Bishop should never tire of teaching that peace arises from the witness of those who cultivate a constant attitude of peace, who fully appreciate the communitarian dimension of life, who open themselves to God by promoting universal fraternity within a culture and spirituality of solidarity and peace, who constantly invoke God in prayer. The Bishop will be a prophet and an untiring builder of peace, showing that Christian hope is profoundly linked to the integral promotion of humanity and society (636).
THE PARISH, THE VICARIATE FORANE
“But as it is impossible for the Bishop always and everywhere
I. THE PARISH
210. The Parish, Stable Community of the Diocese.
Each diocese must be subdivided into parishes which are communities of the faithful, stably constituted and entrusted to parish priests as their proper pastors (637). As a general rule, parishes include all the faithful of a certain territory. However, when it is expedient, personal parishes may be established for groups of people determined not according to their domicile in the diocese, but by reason of rite, language, nationality or some other particular factor (638). If for some reason (perhaps related to civil or economic difficulties) it is not possible to constitute a parish for a certain group of the faithful, the Bishop may establish a provisional quasi-parish and entrust it to a priest as its proper pastor. Whatever is determined by canonical discipline regarding parishes applies also to quasi-parishes, unless the law provides otherwise (639). With due regard for the demographic composition of the territory, the division of the diocese into parishes must enable the faithful to be a true ecclesial community which gathers for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, receives the Word of God and exercises charity through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It should be possible for the pastors to know the members of their flock personally and to offer them constant pastoral care. In particular, parish clergy must be helped to fulfil the canonical duties entrusted to them: the proclamation of the Word of God, the celebration of the liturgy, the administration of the sacraments – especially their “parochial” responsibilities – and an attentive pastoral presence among the faithful, particularly the most needy (640).
The Bishop regulates parochial administration, with special reference to the following:
211. The Model of Parish Life.
The parish must be characterized above all by a communion of persons, so that it can be a true community of faith, of grace and of worship, presided over by the pastor. Specific attention should be given to the following aspects, all of which form part of the model of parish life, thereby increasing pastoral effectiveness:
– Priestly collaboration. Without relinquishing his proper duties and responsibilities (646), the pastor, together with the assistant pastors and other collaborators, plans and puts into effect programmes and initiatives pertaining to the care of souls. It is desirable that the pastor and the assistant pastors live in the same parish house. Where this is not possible, there should be times when they can meet during the day, to share the common life, to become better acquainted, to foster harmony and communion with one another and to bear witness to priestly fraternity (647).
– Participation of the faithful (clerics, religious and laity). In harmony with the pastor’s intention and together with others in positions of responsibility, those who collaborate in the work of the parish assume and duly fulfil their apostolic duties according to their state in life (648). The pastor should never fail to seek the opinion of his collaborators regarding the varied questions arising in parish life, particularly through the parish pastoral council (649) (where it exists) or through other forms of participation in parish life.
– Parish associations. These are to be encouraged, particularly those established by the competent ecclesial authority in order to promote catechesis and public worship (650).
– Centres of formation. These include the following: schools for catechesis, nursery, elementary or other schools, centres for youth formation, centres for charitable and social assistance, centres for the family apostolate and libraries; in brief, an organized network which can be truly effective for all the different settings and groups within the parish.
212. The Ministry of the Pastor and his Assistant Pastors.
With the help of his assistant pastors and of other priests associated with the parish, the pastor makes present the triple service of the Bishop as teacher, priest and shepherd within a specific community of the diocese. He is the proper pastor of the parish community and he acts under the Bishop’s authority (651).
The relationship between pastors and the faithful entrusted to their care must reflect the communal nature of the Church. For this reason the Bishop tries to engender in priests, and especially in pastors, a paternal spirit which will move them to relate personally to the faithful. This task can be difficult if the number of faithful entrusted to a pastor is very large, as is the case not only in mission territories, but also in parishes located in vast and sprawling urban areas. Insofar as it is possible to address such situations, the Bishop will stir up the zeal of the pastors, inspiring them to take every opportunity to draw closer to the faithful, especially to families in their own homes, and he will warn them of the danger of becoming mere functionaries or bureaucrats. Exercising pastoral ministry by taking communion to the sick, blessing families and visiting the elderly can provide privileged opportunities for this.
The Bishop must be especially diligent in his choice of pastors, considering the importance of the office of pastor for the care of souls. Through appropriate inquiries into the pastoral needs of the parish, conducted in consultation with the Vicar forane (Dean), the Bishop will be sure to find a suitable priest of sound doctrine and moral rectitude, who possesses apostolic zeal and the other virtues necessary for parish ministry (652), such as good communication skills and gifts of organization and leadership. The Bishop will weigh carefully and prudently the human conditions, the potential and the problems of the parish in question, in order to appoint a priest who is well matched to the particular parochial situation.
The salvation of souls is the supreme law which must guide the Bishop in appointing or removing pastors. For the true good of the faithful and for the serene exercise of the care of souls, pastors should enjoy a certain stability of office, and should therefore be assigned, in principle, for an indefinite period of time. Only with approval from the Episcopal Conference can a Bishop appoint a pastor for a temporary period. In such a case, the Decree of appointment must indicate the temporary nature of the particular assignment. The Bishop may not appoint a pastor for a shorter period than that indicated by the Episcopal Conference (653). Stability, however, must not become an obstacle to a pastor’s willingness and availability to accept another parish if the good of souls so requires (654).
The resignation of a pastor does not need to be accepted automatically, even when it is presented at seventy-five years of age. First, careful consideration should be given to the good of the community and the personal situation of the pastor in question.
Depending on the circumstances, the Bishop may entrust a smaller and less demanding parish to a pastor who has resigned. If a pastor refuses to submit his resignation on time, despite ill health and consequent incapacity verified by objective and documented evidence, the Bishop should insistently try to make him understand the necessity of submitting to the judgement of the Church’s Pastors. The invitation to resign at seventy-five years of age (655) could become a moral imperative if the good of the community so requires, even in the absence of other grounds (656). Only for grave reasons can a pastor be removed or transferred by force, and in such cases the procedures established by canonical discipline must be observed (657).
213. The Organization of Parishes in Large Cities.
Large cities are extremely complex conglomerations, characterized by a high degree of mobility on the part of their inhabitants and by pronounced contrasts from one area to the next. They are usually subdivided into markedly different regions, for example: the historic centre with its monuments, museums and shops; residential areas where more affluent families live; the outskirts or suburbs which are continually and rapidly expanding; those districts where the poor and the immigrants find refuge, often occupying the poorest and most humble dwellings; densely populated industrial zones; dormitory towns or bedroom communities and huge apartment complexes.
From an ecclesial point of view, the rapid growth of urban areas can often give rise to an imbalance between different districts, such that in some areas there may be sufficient or even abundant places of worship and religious houses, while in other areas there may be too few or none at all. Parishes in large cities may have many social and business institutions within their boundaries (e.g. offices, schools, factories) which bring people into the parish for employment or other reasons, even though they live elsewhere. Having carefully studied all aspects of the situation, then, the Bishop should attend to the following matters:
a) There should be an equitable and efficient distribution of sacred ministers in all areas of the city. In appointing clergy, consideration must be given to their personal aptitudes vis-à-vis the needs of the parishioners, and the specific ministry they are called to exercise.
b) Parishes, churches and oratories, religious houses and other centres of evangelization and worship are to be organized according to appropriate criteria with regard to their geographical distribution and their territorial dimensions.
c) There should be strict coordination between parish clergy and those clergy and religious whose pastoral duties extend to a number of different parishes or the whole diocese (658).
d) In urban parishes with very few parishioners, for the good of the faithful, a spiritual and pastoral ministry should also be offered to those who are employed in the local area.
214. Planning for the Establishment of Parishes.
The diocesan Bishop should be concerned to organize the arrangement of parishes in ways adapted to the care of souls, according to an inclusive and organic vision with wide pastoral outreach (659). If the good of the faithful so requires, the Bishop should proceed, after consulting the diocesan presbyteral council (660), to alter territorial boundaries, to divide parishes that are too large, to merge small parishes, to establish new parishes or non-territorial centres for pastoral service in the community, or even to reorganize completely the arrangement of parishes within a particular city. In order to study all the issues pertaining to the establishment of parishes and the construction of churches, the Bishop may wish to set up a diocesan office or commission that can operate in collaboration with other relevant diocesan commissions.
This office or commission should be staffed by clergy or members of the lay faithful chosen for their professional competence. In view of demographic and industrial developments in the diocese and building projects undertaken by civil authorities, the Bishop should plan in advance suitable locations where it might be appropriate to build new churches, taking care to obtain in good time the necessary tracts of land and to meet the canonical requirements for establishing parishes. In this way, it should be possible to avoid situations where land proves to be unavailable or where local inhabitants give up religious practice through lack of pastoral provision. In such cases, it is better to appoint priests to serve the people at the earliest opportunity, instead of waiting for buildings to be completed.
When religious institutes and societies of apostolic life or other institutions or persons wish to build churches within the territory of the diocese, they must first obtain written permission from the Bishop. Before deciding, the Bishop will consult the presbyteral council and the pastors of neighbouring churches. He must evaluate whether the new church will serve the good of souls, and whether those who have proposed it have at their disposal adequate means for the construction of the church and sufficient sacred ministers for divine worship (661).
215. The Adaptation of Parochial Provision in Particular Circumstances.
In addressing certain pastoral needs, the Bishop may have recourse to the following solutions:
a) In some cases it can be helpful to entrust a group of parishes to several priests who administer them “in solidum” (662), one of them being the “moderator”.
b) Increasingly, recourse is being made to so-called “pastoral units” which are intended to promote forms of integral collaboration between adjoining parishes, as an expression of comprehensive pastoral care. When the Bishop considers the establishment of such structures opportune, it is appropriate to observe the following criteria: that the territories be demarcated in a cohesive manner, from a sociological perspective as well; that the parishes involved should achieve a thoroughly coordinated pastoral activity; that pastoral services be effectively guaranteed for each of the communities in the territory. The different ways in which pastoral service is organized should not obscure the fact that each community, even the smallest, has the right to authentic and efficacious pastoral care.
c) Some Bishops, because of a shortage of priests, have chosen to establish so-called “pastoral teams”, composed of a priest and some members of the faithful – deacons, religious and laypersons – who are given the task of carrying out pastoral activities in several parishes combined into one, even if not formally so. In some cases, the exercise of pastoral care for one parish has been bestowed upon one or more deacons or other members of the faithful, with a priest who directs them while also holding other ecclesiastical offices (663). In such cases, it is necessary to establish clearly and concretely, not simply juridically, that it is the priest who is in charge of the parish and it is he who is answerable to the Bishop for its governance, while the deacon, the religious, and the laypersons assist him with their collaboration. Obviously, only sacred ministers are permitted to perform those functions which require sacred orders. The Bishop is to instruct the faithful that this is a temporary situation due to a shortage of priests eligible for appointment as pastors, which he will remedy as soon as it is possible (664).
d) When a certain community cannot be established as a parish or quasi-parish, the diocesan Bishop is to provide for its pastoral care in another way (665). For example, in some circumstances when there is an increased influx of immigrants into a certain district of the city or when particular communities are widely dispersed, the Bishop may provide for their needs by establishing a pastoral centre. Here sacred ceremonies can be celebrated and catechetical work as well as other pastoral activities can be carried out for the benefit of the faithful (charitable and cultural activity, or aid to those in need). To ensure the dignity of worship, a simple and fitting chapel or oratory may be established (666). The pastoral centre may be entrusted to an assistant pastor, but for all intents and purposes it is dependent upon the local pastor. Concerning the administration of the centre and its daily activities, laity and religious may be asked to collaborate, fulfilling responsibilities suited to their state in life.
e) One practical way of sub-dividing parishes in certain regions is through the establishment of what are called “basic ecclesial communities” – groups of Christians who gather together to assist each other in the spiritual life and in Christian formation and to discuss shared human and ecclesial problems related to their common goal. Such communities have given proof of efficacious evangelizing, above all in parishes in rustic or rural settings. It is important, however, to avoid every temptation to become isolated from ecclesial communion or ideologically exploited (667).
216. The Financial Contribution of the Faithful.
Invoking the spirit of faith of the people of God, the Bishop will appeal to the generosity of the faithful by asking them to contribute financially to the needs of the Church and to the support of the clergy (668), and also to the establishment of new parishes and other places of worship. For these diocesan projects, the Bishop may order a special collection in all the churches and oratories open to the faithful (including those belonging to religious institutes and societies of apostolic life), in the form of special “appeal days” or in some other appropriate manner (669). With the same end in view, he may also impose a moderate tax, whether ordinary or extraordinary (670).
For promoting financial appeals among the faithful and for raising funds, unless the Episcopal Conference has determined otherwise, it can be helpful to establish a special canonical association or foundation directed by members of the lay faithful. In this area, the Bishop must never allow financial concerns to take precedence over pastoral concerns since, in the eyes of the world, that spirit of faith and detachment from material goods, which is proper to the Church, must shine forth.
II. THE VICARIATE FORANE (DEANERY)
217. Vicariates Forane, Deaneries.
In order to foster pastoral care through common activity, several neighbouring parishes can be joined together into special groups known as vicariates forane, deaneries, pastoral regions or prefectures (671). A similar procedure may be adopted with regard to other offices for the care of souls, like hospital or school chaplaincies, so that each area of pastoral life is suitably developed.
Several factors should be considered by the Bishop in the establishment of vicariates forane or the like, to enable them to fulfil their pastoral purpose: the homogeneity of the population and its customs, shared topographical characteristics (e.g. an urban area, a mining district, a civil circumscription), historical and geographical proximity of parishes, greater facility in organizing regular meetings for the clergy, and other matters, including local traditions.
It is helpful to draw up common statutes for deaneries, to be approved by the Bishop after consulting the presbyteral council.
These would establish, among other things:
– the composition of each vicariate forane or deanery;
– the title attached to the presidential office, according to local tradition (Archpriest, Dean, Vicar forane), his faculties, the way he is chosen, the duration of his office (672);
– deanery meetings: attended by pastors and assistant priests, those responsible for specific pastoral areas, and others;
– if not established elsewhere, the statutes can also determine that some of the vicars forane be “ex officio” members of diocesan councils, such as the presbyteral and pastoral councils.
When appropriate, common pastoral services can be arranged for the parishes of the deanery, carried out by groups of priests, religious and laity.
218. The Mission of the Vicar Forane, Archpriest, Dean.
The Vicar forane (Dean) holds an office of considerable pastoral importance: he is a close collaborator with the Bishop in pastoral care of the faithful, and an attentive “elder brother” towards the priests of the deanery, especially those who are ill or in difficult situations. It falls to him to coordinate the common pastoral activity of the parishes, to see to it that priests are living lives in conformity with their state and that parochial discipline is duly observed, particularly with regard to the liturgy (673). It is opportune, therefore, that the Bishop should hold regular meetings with his Vicars forane in order to address the problems of the diocese and to be duly informed regarding the situation of the parishes. Moreover, the Bishop will consult the Vicars forane regarding the appointment of pastors.
Unless particular law or legitimate custom determines otherwise – for example when there is an elective or mixed method of appointment or when the pastors of some of the principal parishes have the right to elect – the Bishop personally chooses the Vicars forane (674), after he has consulted the priests who exercise ministry in the vicariate in question. The Bishop may remove a Vicar forane from office for a just cause according to his own prudent judgement (675).
The Vicar forane must possess the following characteristics:
219. Pastoral Regions.
The same factors which motivate the establishment of vicariates forane (deaneries) may equally well suggest, in territorially extensive dioceses, the establishment of various other groupings known as pastoral regions or the like. Episcopal Vicars may be put in charge of each region, invested with ordinary power for pastoral administration in the Bishop’s name, and with any special faculties that he chooses to assign to them (677).
III. THE PASTORAL VISIT
220. The Nature of the Pastoral Visit.
“A Bishop is obliged to visit the diocese annually, either in whole or in part, so that he visits the entire diocese at least every five years either personally or, if he has been legitimately impeded, through the coadjutor Bishop, an auxiliary, Vicar general, episcopal Vicar, or another presbyter” (678).
The pastoral visit is one of the ways, confirmed by centuries of experience, through which the Bishop maintains personal contact with the clergy and with other members of the People of God. It is an occasion to rejuvenate the energies of those engaged in evangelization, to praise, encourage and reassure them. It is also an opportunity to invite the faithful to a renewal of Christian life and to an ever more intense apostolic activity.
The pastoral visit helps the Bishop to evaluate the effectiveness of the structures and agencies designed for pastoral service, taking account of the circumstances and difficulties of the task of evangelization, so as to determine more accurately the priorities and the means required for overall pastoral provision.
The pastoral visit is therefore an apostolic activity to be carried out by the Bishop in true pastoral charity, which reveals him to be the principle and visible foundation of the unity of the particular Church (679). For the communities or institutions visited by the Bishop, it is an event of grace, reflecting in some measure that great visit with which the “chief Shepherd” (1 Pet 5:4) and Guardian of our souls (cf. 1 Pet 2:25), Jesus Christ, has visited and redeemed his people (Lk 1:68) (680). “Persons, Catholic institutions, and sacred things and places, which are located within the area of the diocese” (681) are subject to ordinary episcopal visitation, including autonomous monasteries and the houses of religious institutes of diocesan rite. So too are churches and oratories of pontifical rite, with due regard for the limitations indicated by canon law (682).
221. The Procedure for a Parish Pastoral Visit.
In making a pastoral visit, the Bishop should seek to accomplish the following, if time and local circumstances permit:
a) to celebrate Mass and preach the Word of God;
b) to confer the sacrament of confirmation with due solemnity, within Mass if possible;
c) to meet the pastor and the other clerics who assist in the parish;
d) to have meetings with the pastoral council or, if one does not exist, with the faithful who collaborate in diverse apostolates (clerics, religious and members of societies of apostolic life and the laity) and with associations of the faithful;
e) to have a meeting with the parish finance council;
f) to have a meeting with children, youth and young adults who are receiving catechetical instruction;
g) to visit the school and other Catholic institutions dependent on the parish;
h) to visit some of the sick in the parish, insofar as it is possible.
The Bishop may also choose to be present among the faithful in other ways, considering local custom and apostolic opportunities: for example, with young people at cultural or sporting events, or in the company of workers and in conversation with them.
During a pastoral visit, the Bishop should be sure to examine the administration and maintenance of the parish, including places of worship, liturgical vessels and appointments, parish registers and other goods. Nevertheless, some aspects of this task may be left to the Vicars forane or other suitable clerics (683) just before or after the visit, so that the Bishop can concentrate on personal meetings during the visit itself, as befits a true Shepherd (684).
222. Preparation for the Pastoral Visit.
The pastoral visit should be organized well in advance, and the faithful should receive suitable preparation through a special series of talks and sermons on themes concerning the nature of the Church, hierarchical communion, and the episcopate. Pamphlets could be issued and other means of social communication could also be employed for this purpose. In order to highlight the spiritual and apostolic dimension, the pastoral visit may be preceded by a parish mission (685), intended to reach all parishioners, whatever their social level, including those who have fallen away from the practice of the faith.
The Bishop should also make suitable preparation for the visit by informing himself in advance of the socio-religious situation of the parish. Such information could prove useful to him and to the relevant diocesan offices in forming a true picture of the state of the parish community and in making appropriate provision.
223. The Demeanour of the Bishop during the Visit.
As in every exercise of his pastoral ministry, the Bishop should conduct himself with simplicity and kindness during a parish visit, giving an example of devotion, charity and poverty: all virtues which, together with prudence, should distinguish a Pastor of the Church. The Bishop esteems the pastoral visit as quasi anima episcopalis regiminis, an extension of his spiritual presence among his people (686).
With Jesus the good Shepherd as his model, he should present himself to the faithful not “in lofty words or wisdom” (1 Cor 2:1), nor with an air of mere mechanical efficiency, but rather clothed in humility and goodness, always interested in the individual person and capable of listening and making himself understood.
In the course of the visit, the Bishop should take care not to burden the parish or the parishioners with unnecessary expenses (687). This does not prevent them, however, from organizing simple festivities as a natural consequence of their Christian joy and an expression of affection and esteem for their Pastor.
224. Conclusion of the Visit.
After each parish visit, it is recommended that the Bishop prepare a record of the visit that has taken place, expressing appreciation for the various pastoral activities and offering recommendations for certain improvements in the life of the parish, with special reference to the state of divine worship, to pastoral work and any other important initiatives.
THE BISHOP EMERITUS
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
225. The Invitation to Present the Resignation from Office.
On completing their seventy-fifth year of age, diocesan Bishops, coadjutor Bishops and auxiliary Bishops are invited to present their resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will provide for the acceptance of the resignation after evaluating all the particular circumstances (688). In cases where, through ill health or some other grave cause, the exercise of his episcopal ministry is impaired, the Bishop should feel duty bound to present his resignation from office to the Roman Pontiff (689). From the time of the publication of the Roman Pontiff’s acceptance of the resignation, the diocesan Bishop assumes, ipso iure, the title of Bishop Emeritus of the said diocese (690), while an auxiliary Bishop retains the title of his titular See and is known as “former auxiliary Bishop” of the diocese he had served.
226. Fraternal Relationship with the Diocesan Bishop.
The relationship between the diocesan Bishop and the Bishop Emeritus should be marked by a fraternal spirit which flows from their membership in the one episcopal college, from their common apostolic mission, and also from their shared affection for the particular Church (691). This fraternal relationship between the diocesan Bishop and the Bishop Emeritus will serve to edify the People of God and, in particular, the diocesan clergy. If the Bishop Emeritus resides within his former diocese, his successor will be able to call upon him for the administration of the sacraments, particularly the sacraments of penance and confirmation. If it seems opportune, the Bishop Emeritus can also be entrusted with some other special responsibility. The diocesan Bishop will value the good that the Bishop Emeritus can accomplish, for the Church in general and for the local diocese in particular, through his prayer, perhaps through suffering accepted with love, through the example of his priestly life and through his counsel when it is requested.
For his part, the Bishop Emeritus will be careful not to interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, in the governance of the diocese. He will want to avoid every attitude and relationship that could even hint at some kind of parallel authority to that of the diocesan Bishop, with damaging consequences for the pastoral life and unity of the diocesan community. To this end, the Bishop Emeritus always carries out his activity in full agreement with the diocesan Bishop and in deference to his authority. In this way all will understand clearly that the diocesan Bishop alone is the head of the diocese, responsible for its governance.
227. Rights of the Bishop Emeritus in relation to the Episcopal Munera
a) The Bishop Emeritus retains the right to preach the Word of God everywhere, unless the diocesan Bishop has expressly forbidden it in particular cases (692);
b) He retains the right to administer all the sacraments, in particular:
1. the sacrament of confirmation, with at least the reasonably presumed permission of the diocesan Bishop (693);
2. the sacrament of reconciliation, for which he retains universal faculties. In the sacramental forum he can also remit a latae sententiae penalty not yet declared and not reserved to the Apostolic See (694);
3. the ordination of deacons and priests, provided that there are dimissorial letters from the candidate’s Ordinary, and the ordination of Bishops, provided that there is a pontifical mandate(695);
4. the sacrament of marriage, at which he may validly assist with proper delegation from the Ordinary of the place or from the pastor (696).
228. Rights of the Bishop Emeritus in relation to the Particular Church
a) The Bishop Emeritus, if he so desires, may continue to live within the boundaries of the diocese which he served. If he has not made his own arrangements, the diocese must provide him with suitable accommodation. The Holy See, in special circumstances, can determine that the Bishop Emeritus should not reside within the territory of the diocese (697). The Bishop Emeritus has the right to establish a private chapel in his personal residence, with the same rights as an oratory (698), and he may reserve the Blessed Sacrament there (699). A religious Bishop, if he prefers, may choose to live in a house that does not belong to his institute, unless the Apostolic See has provided otherwise (700).
b) The Bishop Emeritus has the right to receive sustenance from the diocese in which he served. The obligation to provide for this falls secondarily upon the Episcopal Conference and, in the case of a religious Bishop, his own institute may freely provide for his decent support (701).
c) The Bishop Emeritus has the right to receive the diocesan bulletin and other documentation of the kind, in order to keep himself informed about the life and activity of the particular Church (702).
d) The Bishop Emeritus has the right to be buried in his own cathedral church or, if he is a religious, in a cemetery belonging to his institute (703).
229. Rights of the Bishop Emeritus in relation to the Universal Church
a) The Bishop Emeritus continues to be a member of the episcopal College “by virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college”(704). Therefore, he has the right to assist the Roman Pontiff and to collaborate with him for the good of the whole Church. Furthermore, he has the right to take part in an Ecumenical Council, exercising a deliberative vote (705), and to exercise his collegial power within the terms of the law (706).
b) The Bishop Emeritus may be elected by the Episcopal Conference to take part in an assembly of the Synod of Bishops as an elected representative of that same Conference (707).
c) In view of his particular expertise, the Bishop Emeritus may be appointed a member (until he is eighty years old) or a consultor of a Dicastery of the Roman Curia (708).
d) The Bishop Emeritus retains the right to present to the Apostolic See the names of priests he judges worthy and suitable for the episcopate (709).
e) Regarding penal matters, anyone who uses physical force against the person of the Bishop Emeritus incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if he is a cleric, also a latae sententiae suspension (710). Moreover, in contentious matters, the Bishop Emeritus has the right to be judged by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota (711), while in penal cases he is judged by the Roman Pontiff (712). The Bishop Emeritus also has the right to be heard in the place he selects (713).
f) The Bishop Emeritus has the right to manifest his solicitude for all the Churches, and, in a particular way, for missionary work, sustaining through his ministry the activity of missionaries so that the Kingdom of God may spread throughout the world.
230. The Bishop Emeritus and Supra-diocesan Organizations
a) The Bishop Emeritus may be invited to a particular council where he has a deliberative vote.
b) It is appropriate to invite the Bishop Emeritus to meetings of the Episcopal Conference, where he has a consultative vote, according to the Statutes. In this regard, it is recommended that the Statutes of Episcopal Conferences make the necessary provision (714).
c) When studying issues of a pastoral or juridical nature, Episcopal Conferences are encouraged to avail themselves of the expertise and experience of Bishops Emeritus, if they are in good health and are willing to offer their assistance, not least because Bishops Emeritus will normally have more time to examine particular problems in depth. The Officers of Episcopal Conferences are authorized to appoint to each of the episcopal Commissions one Bishop Emeritus who has particular experience in a given field, and is able and willing to assume the task requested of him. Within the episcopal Commission to which he is appointed, the Bishop Emeritus has a deliberative vote (715).
231. Without doubt, the pastoral office of the Bishop, that is, the constant, daily care of the flock, which this Directory has examined in summary form, is an arduous task, especially today. Recognizing his limitations, in humility and wisdom, the Bishop should never lose heart.
He knows Whom he has believed (cf. 2 Tim 1:12); he is certain that he is doing the work of God himself, “who desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). He is confident that he can do all things in Him who strengthens him (cf. Phil 4:13) and therefore he is sustained by invincible hope that in the Lord his labours, whatever they may be, are not in vain (cf. 1 Cor 15:58).
The Lord Jesus always assists his Church and his ministers, especially the Bishops to whom he has entrusted the governance of the Church. With the office, He imparts grace; together with the burden, He provides the strength to carry it. May the Mother of the Church, the ever Virgin Mary, Auxilium Apostolorum, protect and sustain the Pastors of the Church in their apostolic mission.
The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, during the audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 24 January 2004 approved the present Directory and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for Bishops, 22 February 2004, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, Apostle.
GIOVANNI BATTISTA Card. RE
THE VACANT DIOCESE OR SEDE VACANTE
232. The Causes for the Vacancy of a Diocese.
An episcopal See is vacant upon the death of a diocesan Bishop, upon resignation accepted by the Roman Pontiff, or upon transfer or privation made known to the Bishop (716).
When a diocesan Bishop dies, the See becomes vacant “ipso facto”. Whoever assumes the interim governance of the diocese must inform the Holy See as soon as possible. Acts placed by the Vicar general or by the episcopal Vicar have force until they have received certain notice of the death of the Bishop (717).
When a Bishop is deprived of his office as a penalty, the See becomes vacant from the moment the Bishop receives notice of the penalty.
When a Bishop resigns, the See becomes vacant from the moment of publication of the acceptance of the resignation by the Roman Pontiff (718).
233. The Transfer of the Diocesan Bishop.
When a diocesan Bishop is transferred, the See becomes vacant from the day he takes canonical possession of the new diocese. From the time of publication of the Bishop’s transfer until he takes possession of the new diocese, the Bishop obtains in the diocese “a qua” the power of a diocesan Administrator with the related obligations. Although the diocese does not become vacant until the transferred Bishop takes possession of the diocese “ad quam” (719), the faculties of the Vicar general and of the episcopal Vicars cease with the publication of the Bishop’s transfer, but he may confirm their faculties in his capacity as diocesan Administrator (720).
234. The Coadjutor Bishop and the Auxiliary Bishop when a See becomes Vacant.
As soon as the episcopal See becomes vacant, the coadjutor Bishop immediately becomes the Bishop of the diocese for which he had been appointed, provided that he has legitimately taken possession (721). Unless the Holy See has established otherwise, the auxiliary Bishop, even one with special faculties, retains all the faculties that he possessed as Vicar general or as episcopal Vicar during the sede plena. If he is not elected diocesan Administrator, he continues to exercise the same offices by force of law, under the authority of the one who now presides over the governance of the diocese (722). It is desirable, however, that the auxiliary Bishop should be elected to the office of diocesan Administrator. If there are several auxiliaries, it is desirable that one of them should be so elected (723).
235. The Governance of the Diocese and the College of Consultors.
As soon as the episcopal See becomes vacant, the governance of the diocese is entrusted to the auxiliary Bishop or, if there is more than one, to the auxiliary who is senior by nomination, until the election of a diocesan Administrator or the appointment of an apostolic Administrator. If there is no auxiliary Bishop, the governance of the diocese is assumed by the college of consultors until the election of the diocesan Administrator, unless the Holy See has provided otherwise by appointing an apostolic Administrator (724). Whoever assumes governance of the diocese before the election of the diocesan Administrator has the faculties pertaining to a Vicar general (725). In those countries where the Episcopal Conference has entrusted the duties of the college of consultors to the cathedral chapter, the governance of the diocese passes to that same chapter, which then proceeds to elect the diocesan Administrator (726).
236. The Election of the Diocesan Administrator.
Within eight days of receiving certain notice that the episcopal See is vacant, the college of consultors must elect a diocesan Administrator. The college is convoked by whoever has assumed the governance of the diocese or by the priest consultor who is most senior by ordination, and he presides until the election of the diocesan Administrator (727).
If the college of consultors does not elect a diocesan Administrator within the prescribed time, then his designation becomes the responsibility of the Metropolitan. If the metropolitan See is also vacant, then the suffragan Bishop senior in promotion appoints the diocesan Administrator (728).
The one who is elected diocesan Administrator must notify the Holy See of his election as soon as possible (729).
237. Conditions necessary for the Valid Election of a Diocesan Administrator.
The college of consultors must be comprised of priests only, no fewer than six and no more than twelve, if the election of the diocesan Administrator is to be valid (730). Only one diocesan Administrator is to be elected. The simultaneous election of two or more persons is invalid for all who are elected. Any custom to the contrary is without force and is reprobated. If the finance officer of the diocese is elected diocesan Administrator, another temporary finance officer must be elected by the finance council (731). When the new Bishop takes possession of the See, the diocesan Administrator resumes his previous office as diocesan finance officer (732).
238. The Procedure to be followed for the Election of the Diocesan Administrator.
For the valid election of a diocesan Administrator, it is necessary to follow the procedure described in canons 165-178. In view of the paramount importance of the election, these norms cannot be modified by particular law. The statutes can specify whether to allow voting by letter, by proxy (733) or by compromise (734). It is always necessary to obtain a twothirds majority of those voting, and the norm of canon 119 is to be applied in the case of indecisive ballots (735).
239. Requisites for the Diocesan Administrator.
Those who can validly be elected to the office of diocesan Administrator include priests who have completed thirty-five years of age, from the local presbyterate or from another diocese, the Bishop Emeritus himself or another Bishop. They must not have been elected, appointed or presented already for the same vacant See. They must be outstanding in doctrine and prudence (736).
240. Faculties of the Diocesan Administrator.
As soon as he accepts election, the diocesan Administrator assumes ordinary power over the diocese, excluding those matters which do not pertain to him by their nature or by the law itself (737). The diocesan Administrator may install or confirm priests legitimately presented or elected for a parish. Only if the See has been vacant for a year can he appoint pastors (738), but he cannot entrust parishes to a religious institute or a society of apostolic life (739).
The diocesan Administrator may administer the sacrament of confirmation and may delegate this faculty to another priest. For a just cause, the diocesan Administrator can remove assistant pastors, with due regard, however, for what the law prescribes in the specific case of religious priests (740). For the duration of his office, the diocesan Administrator is a member of the Episcopal Conference with a deliberative vote, although, unless he is a Bishop, this does not apply to doctrinal declarations (741).
241. Duties of the Diocesan Administrator.
Upon election, the diocesan Administrator must make a Profession of Faith in the presence of the college of consultors, in accordance with canon 833:4° (742). From the moment when he assumes governance of the diocese, the Administrator is bound by all the obligations of a diocesan Bishop; in particular he must observe the law of residence in the diocese and he must apply Mass for the people every Sunday and on holydays of obligation (743).
242. Limits of the Diocesan Administrator’s Power.
While the See is vacant, the diocesan Administrator must hold to the ancient principle of avoiding all innovations (744). Equally, he must never act in a way that could prejudice either the good of the diocese or the rights of the Bishop. With particular diligence, he must look after all the documents of the diocesan curia without altering, destroying or removing any of them. With equal diligence, he should ensure that no one else can tamper with the archives of the curia (745). Only he, in a case of true necessity, may have access to the secret archive of the curia (746). With the consent of the college of consultors, the diocesan Administrator can grant dimissorial letters for the ordination of deacons or priests, provided that the diocesan Bishop has not already denied these (747).
The diocesan Administrator cannot grant excardination or incardination; nor can he grant permission for a cleric to move to another particular Church, unless the See has been vacant for a year and he has the consent of the college of consultors (748). The diocesan Administrator is not competent to establish public associations of the faithful (749). He cannot remove the judicial Vicar (750).
He cannot convoke a diocesan Synod (751). Nor is he permitted to convoke other similar initiatives, particularly those which could compromise the rights of the diocesan Bishop (752). Unless he has the consent of the consultors, the diocesan Administrator cannot remove the chancellor or the other notaries from office (753).He cannot confer canonries either in the cathedral chapter or in a collegial church (754).
243. Cessation of Office.
The office of diocesan Administrator ceases when the new Bishop takes possession of the diocese, or upon the resignation or removal of the Administrator. The resignation must be presented by the diocesan Administrator to the college of consultors in authentic form, either in writing or orally in the presence of two witnesses (755), and it does not need to be accepted. The removal of a diocesan Administrator, however, is reserved to the Holy See (756). The college of consultors which elected him does not have the power to remove him. In the case of the death, resignation or removal of the diocesan Administrator, within eight days the college of consultors must proceed to a new election according to the canonical norms indicated above (757).
244. The Apostolic Administrator sede vacante.
The Holy See can provide for the governance of a diocese (758) by appointing an apostolic Administrator. Even if he is granted all the faculties of a diocesan Bishop, the diocese is still vacant, and so the offices of the Vicar general and the episcopal Vicars cease, as well as the functions of the presbyteral and pastoral councils. The apostolic Administrator may confer delegated power upon the Vicar general and episcopal Vicars until the new Bishop takes possession of the See, but he may not extend the duties of the councils, since their functions are fulfilled by the college of consultors.
245. The Death and the Funeral of the Diocesan Bishop.
When the Bishop has died, his body is to lie in state in a place suitable for prayer and veneration by the people. The Bishop’s body is to be dressed in purple vestments with his pontifical insignia, including the pallium if he is a metropolitan Archbishop, but without the crozier.
In the presence of the coffin, or in the cathedral church, the Office for the Dead or some other vigil service is to be celebrated. It would be fitting for the cathedral chapter to attend to these celebrations. Special prayers are also to be offered in all the parish churches of the diocese. The funeral of the Bishop is held in the cathedral church and is presided over by the metropolitan Archbishop or by the President of the regional Episcopal Conference, with whom the other Bishops and the diocesan presbyterate concelebrate. The diocesan Bishop is to be buried in a church, preferably the cathedral church of his diocese, unless he has provided otherwise (759).
246. Prayers for the Election of the New Bishop.
During the vacancy of the See, the diocesan Administrator should invite the priests, the parish communities and the religious to offer fervent prayers for the appointment of the new Bishop and for the needs of the diocese.
In the cathedral and in all the other churches of the diocese, Holy Mass for the election of a Bishop is to be celebrated according to the formulary provided in the Roman Missal (760).
Sede plena: 73
Diocesan Administrator: 233, 234, 235
Cessation of office: 243
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
(See: Sacraments – Anointing of the Sick)
The Apostles appoint seven deacons: 193
Apostolate and adaptation of universal discipline: 168
APOSTOLIC SEE – HOLY SEE – ROMAN CURIA
Absence of the Bishop with the permission of the Apostolic See: 161
Apostolic succession and apostolicity in the Church: Intr.
Associations: 59, 63
Associations and catechesis: 130
(See: Sacraments – Baptism)
Auxiliary Bishop: 70, 71
Auxiliary Bishop and diocesan Bishop: 38, 72
Coadjutor Bishop: 72, 74
Coadjutor Bishop and diocesan Bishop: 38
Diocesan Bishop and administration of goods: 188-192
Bishop Emeritus: 225
Bishop Emeritus and diocesan Bishop: 226, 227
Catechesis: 125, 127, 129, 152
The Bishop, primarily responsible for catechesis: 127, 128
Catechumenate and marriage preparation: 202
Cathedral Church: 144, 155, 185, 228, 245, 246
Cathedral chapter: 155, 186, 242
Appointment of canons: 185, 242
Catechism of the Catholic Church and local catechisms: 128
Charism 99, 100
Charism of Bishops and work of theologians: 126
Charity 37, 63, 76, 127, 193, 195, 200, 204
Charity and celebrations of the Bishop: 144
Christ: 1, 2, 10, 49, 50, 51, 52, 118, 163, 209
Christ and the administration of goods: 189
Catholic Church: 5, 18, 58, 128, 184
Collegial chapter: 185
COLLEGE OF CONSULTORS
College of consultors: 182, 183
College of consultors and administration of goods: 188, 189, 192
Commissions of the Episcopal Conference: 29, 32, 230
Bishop, man of communion: 2, 72, 118
COMMUNICATIO IN SACRIS
Communicatio in sacris: 207
(See: Sacraments – Confirmation)
See: Consecrated persons
(Includes institutes of consecrated life, religious and secular, societies of apostolic life, hermits, the Order of Virgins and new forms of consecrated life)
The diocesan Administrator and the removal of associate pastors: 240
Ecumenical: 12, 13, 161, 229
Diocesan finance council: 188, 221
Deacon fidei donum: 17
Deaneries: 198, 202, 217, 219
Dean: 217, 218
Diakonia and Church: 195
Diocese: 48, 70
Diocese and diocesan Administrator: 237, 239, 240, 241, 242, 244
The Bishop defends the discipline common to the whole Church: 13
Offerings of the faithful: 190, 191, 216
Ecumenism and the Episcopal Conference: 30
Areas of competence: 30, 31, 48
(See: Sacraments – Eucharist)
Evangelical counsels and the eremitical life: 106
(See: Consecrated persons)
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples: 31, 172
The Bishop exercises the solicitude of a father regarding mass media: 140
Ongoing formation of the Bishop: 49-54
Administration of goods: 92, 188, 189, 192
See: Apostolic See
Justice: 21, 42, 53, 62, 63, 66, 68, 69, 76, 111, 131, 158, 180, 188, 204, 209
Lay faithful: 108-117
Pastoral Letters: 122
Liturgy and catechesis: 127, 129
Magisterium: 13, 31, 39, 57, 100, 126, 135, 142, 150, 155, 174, 205
(See: Sacraments – Marriage)
The Bishop should pray the rosary daily: 36
Migrants and pastoral care: 206
Ministries of the Bishop: 119, 142
Of the Bishop: 12, 17, 40, 119, 164, 184
Oratory (place of worship): 215, 228
PAPAL LEGATE (Pontifical Representative, Nuncio)
Papal Legate: 14, 23, 29
Parish and diocesan Administrator: 240
Pastor, appointment of: 212
Pastoral action: 53, 57, 116, 164, 177
Pastoral administration: 219
Pastoral visit: 77, 144, 171, 220-224
Penance and mortification: 103, 106
See: Sacraments – Penance
Presbyterate and diocesan Administrator: 245
Public Authority: 117
Roman Pontiff and the Bishop: 39, 54, 64, 225
Avoid ritualism in sacramental life: 127
Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum:
The Bishop should ensure that pastoral practice regarding the administration of anointing and Viaticum is kept up to date: 205
Baptism in the absence of priests and deacons: 112
Administration of confirmation: 144, 149, 221
The diocesan Administrator must celebrate Mass pro populo: 241
The Bishop Emeritus celebrates validly with delegation: 227
There are certain indispensable tasks associated with the sacrament of orders: 180
Penance – Confession – Reconciliation:
Catechesis of a baptized child for confession: 129
Sacramentals and the permanent deacon: 92
The Catholic School: 100, 133
SEMINARY (major and minor)
Seminary: 17, 84-91, 124
Metropolitan seminary: 23
Communication and communion: 22
Christian spirituality and the lay state: 115
Sunday and activity of supply: 112
Synod of Bishops: 12, 13, 161, 229
Ordinary and extraordinary taxes: 191, 216
Theologians and collaboration with the Bishop: 52, 126
Tourism and catechesis: 130
University: 134, 135
Catholic university: 135
Of inventories: 189
Episcopal Vicar: 71
Appointment of the episcopal Vicar: 178
Vicar forane: 218
Vicar forane and appointment of pastors: 218
Vicar general: 71
Appointment of the Vicar general: 178
VISIT, AD LIMINA
Quinquennial Report: 15
The Bishop recommends proper and discreet comportment towards women: 82
Works of social assistance: 80
(1) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(2) ibid., 20; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 860-862.
(3) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 7; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 77-79.
(4) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 38; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 8.
(5) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 4.
(6) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 27.
(7) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 7.
(8) Cf. TENTH ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Relatio post disceptationem, 5.
(9) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 27.
(10) SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, Regula Pastoralis, 1.
(11) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 7.
(12) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 9.
(13) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 10.
(14) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 368.
(15) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 11; Code of Canon Law, cc. 381 § 1, 369, 333.
(16) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(17) Cf. ibid.
(18) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Communionis Notio, 9, 13.
(19) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1.
(20) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 15.
(21) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Address to the Bishops of the United States of America, 16 September 1987.
(22) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 9.
(23) JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43.
(24) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 47; cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 3, 7, 11; Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 2; JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
(25) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus 6; Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 5-8, 20-22, 36-41.
(26) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 42.
(27) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 19; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 864.
(28) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 863.
(29) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 20.
(30) Code of Canon Law, c. 336.
(31) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 22.
(32) Code of Canon Law, c. 331.
(33) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 333 § 1.
(34) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 21.
(35) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Nota explicativa Praevia, 2.
(36) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 8.
(37) Cf. ibid.
(38) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(39) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 22; Code of Canon Law, c. 337.
(40) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 58.
(41) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, artt. 7, 8, 26.
(42) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 363 § 1; PAUL VI, Motu Proprio Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum.
(43) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 377 §§ 2-3; COUNCIL FOR THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH, Decree Episcoporum delectum, I, 2.
(44) Code of Canon Law, c. 1271.
(45) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 400; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Directory for the “Ad Limina” Visit; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 57.
(46) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Directory for the “Ad Limina” Visit, Foreword, I and IV.
(47) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, Appendix I, 3-4.
(48) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, art. 9.
(49) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 63.
(50) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(51) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 6.
(52) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 81, 84.
(53) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 6-7.
(54) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 68; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 18.
(55) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 271.
(56) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests from Mission Territories, 2-7.
(57) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 1.
(58) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint, 20.
(59) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 755 §§ 1-2.
(60) Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY, Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 41-45.
(61) Cf. ibid., 55-91.
(62) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on the Relations of the Church with Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, 4.
(63) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, 2; cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Declaration Dominus Iesus, III.
(64) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 37; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Declaration Dominus Iesus, VI.
(65) JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos 3; cf. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 59.
(66) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 13.
(67) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 55.
(68) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 431 § 1, 377 § 2, 952 § 1, 1264: 1°, 2°.
(69) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 62.
(70) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 436 §§ 1-3.
(71) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 433; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 62.
(72) Cf. nn. 28-32 of this Directory.
(73) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 36.
(74) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 753.
(75) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 445.
(76) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 439, 440 § 1.
(77) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 443.
(78) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 36; Code of Canon Law, cc. 439ff.
(79) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 135 § 2.
(80) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 446; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, artt. 82, 157.
(81) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 37; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 63.
(82) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 455.
(83) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 753.
(84) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 381 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 15.
(85) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 427 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 17.
(86) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 450 § 1.
(87) Cf. n. 229 of this Directory; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Norms In vita ecclesiae (1988), 4.
(88) Regarding the Statutes of the Conference, cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 451; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 18.
(89) Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 31 October 1970.
(90) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 242, 236, 755 § 2, 804 § 1, 809, 810 § 2, 821, 823, 830, 831 § 1. On Ecumenism, cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY, Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 6, 40, 46-47. Regarding the competence of Episcopal Conferences for the publication of catechisms and the elaboration of diocesan ones, cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Response Con Lettera (7 July 1983).
(91) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 455 §§ 1-2. Included among the general decrees are general executive decrees, for which see canons 31-33; cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 5 July 1985.
(92) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 38.
(93) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 445 § 2.
(94) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 22.
(95) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 753, 755 § 2.
(96) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 21-22.
(97) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 22.
(98) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, Complementary Norms, art. 1.
(99) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 20, 24, Complementary Norms, art. 1; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 13 May 1999.
(100) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 455 § 1.
(101) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 18; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 13 May 1999, 9.
(102) Cf. PAUL VI, Homily in Bogotá, 22 August 1968.
(103) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 11.
(104) Cf. ibid., 13.
(105) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 387.
(106) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 14.
(107) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 63.
(108) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 67, 64.
(109) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 68.
(111) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 972.
(112) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 53-58.
(113) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5.
(114) Cf. ibid.
(115) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 15-17.
(116) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 21.
(117) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 9; cf. ibid. 42.
(118) Ibid., 13.
(119) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 14.
(120) Cf. SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, Epist. II, 2, 3.
(121) Cf. ORIGEN, Is. Hom. IV, 1.
(122) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(123) SAINT BERNARD, De Consideratione, 1, 8.
(124) Cf. SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, Regula Pastoralis, II, 4.
(125) Cf. SAINT AUGUSTINE, Epist. I, 22.
(126) Cf. SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, Epist. VII, 5.
(127) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 10; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 19.
(128) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 21.
(129) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 20.
(130) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 17.
(131) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 20.
(132) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 276 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 11.
(133) Cf. ibid., 13.
(134) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 24-27; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 13, 16, 28.
(135) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 3.
(136) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 25.
(137) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 76; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 24.
(138) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 756 § 2.
(139) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 395 § 2.
(140) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 7.
(141) Cf. Pontificale Romanum, De Ordinatione Episcopi, 35.
(142) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(143) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 30, 33; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 2-3; Code of Canon Law, cc. 208, 211, 216, 225 §§ 1-2.
(144) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 20.
(145) What is stated here regarding the diocesan Bishop also applies to those who, by law, are treated as equivalent to the Bishop and preside over circumscriptions similar to a diocese: cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 368, 370-371.
(146) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 42-43.
(147) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 212 §§ 2-3.
(148) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 30.
(149) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 27; Code of Canon Law, cc. 131 § 1, 381 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 43.
(150) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 27.
(151) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 391 § 1.
(152) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 43.
(153) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 27.
(154) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, XI.
(155) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1752.
(156) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 24; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 42.
(157) Cf. SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, Epist. II, 18.
(158) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 208, 204 § 1.
(159) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 10, 44.
(160) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 460; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods, Appendix.
(161) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 381 § 1.
(162) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 135 § 2.
(163) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1446.
(164) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 135 § 3, 391.
(165) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1717.
(166) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1339-1340.
(167) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1341, 1718.
(168) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1721.
(169) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1720.
(170) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 136.
(171) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 136, 13 § 2:2°.
(172) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 138.
(173) Cf. ibid.
(174) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 139 § 1.
(175) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 139 § 2.
(176) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 50.
(177) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 51, 220. Regarding recourse against the decisions of the Bishop, cf. especially cc. 1734, 1737.
(178) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 221 § 1.
(179) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 57.
(180) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 87, 88, 90.
(181) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 406 §§ 1-2.
(182) Cf. ibid.
(183) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 403 § 3.
(184) Cf. ibid.
(185) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 403 § 2.
(186) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 401 § 1.
(187) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 2, 7; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 28; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 15; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 47.
(188) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 7; Code of Canon Law, c. 384.
(189) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 28; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 10; Code of Canon Law, c. 384; SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Ultimis Temporibus, Pars altera, II, 1.
(190) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 14-15.
(191) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 28; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 47.
(192) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 15.
(193) Cf. ibid.
(194) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 396; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 46.
(195) Cf. ibid.
(196) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 149 §§ 1-2, 521 § 3.
(197) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 521.
(198) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 29.
(199) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 285.
(200) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 28; Code of Canon Law, c. 275 § 1.
(201) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 280.
(202) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 30; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 74, 81; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 49; Circular Letter The Priest and the Third Christian Millennium: Teacher of the Word, Minister of the Sacraments and Leader of the Community, 79.
(203) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 8; Code of Canon Law, c. 275 § 1; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 29.
(204) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 8; Code of Canon Law, c. 278; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 31; SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Ultimis Temporibus, Pars altera, II, 2; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 66.
(205) Code of Canon Law, c. 281 § 1; cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 20-21.
(206) Code of Canon Law, c. 281 § 2.
(207) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1274, 538 § 3.
(208) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 284.
(209) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Letter to the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, 8 September 1982.
(210) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 283 § 2.
(211) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 74.
(212) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 83.
(213) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 81.
(214) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 47.
(215) Cf. SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Ultimis Temporibus, Pars altera, I, 4d.
(216) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 292.
(217) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1339-1340, 190, 192-193.
(218) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1333, 290; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church De delictis gravioribus.
(219) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, 35.
(220) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 277 §§ 2-3.
(221) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 279 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 76; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 87-89.
(222) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 71, 76-77.
(223) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, III.
(224) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 48.
(225) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 4; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 60-61.
(226) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 237 §§ 1-2.
(227) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 65.
(228) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 235.
(229) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 234 § 1.
(230) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 63.
(231) Cf. ibid.
(232) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 234 § 2.
(233) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 3; Code of Canon Law, c. 233 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 64; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 14 July 1976; Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, 19.
(234) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, 39.
(235) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 220.
(236) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 241 § 3; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Circular Letter Ci permettiamo (1986), Instruction Con la presente istruzione (1996).
(237) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 65-66.
(238) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1052 §§ 1, 3.
(239) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 18; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, 82-85.
(240) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 66; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 48; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION Directives concerning the Preparation of Seminary Educators (1993), 73-75.
(241) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, 40-41.
(242) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 259 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 67.
(243) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 259 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 66.
(244) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 242, 243.
(245) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 245.
(246) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 252; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 51-56.
(247) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 258, 1032; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 57-59.
(248) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 10.
(249) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 10; Code of Canon Law, c. 257.
(250) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 15; Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 2-3; Decree on the Up-to-date Renewal of Religious Life Perfectae Caritatis, 24; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5; Code of Canon Law, c. 385. Regarding vocations to the consecrated life, cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 64; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 39-41; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 54.
(251) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 15; Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 2; Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 38; Code of Canon Law, c. 233 § 1.
(252) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 233 § 1.
(253) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 29.
(254) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 49.
(255) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 16.
(256) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 517 §§ 1-2, 519; PAUL VI, Motu Proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, V, 22, 10; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, 11.
(257) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 278.
(258) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Decree Quidam Episcopi (1982), IV; Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, 7, 11.
(259) Regarding the remuneration due to a deacon, cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 281 and CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, 15-20.
(260) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, 12.
(261) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 288, 285 §§ 3-4.
(262) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1031 § 2.
(263) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 236; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons.
(264) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, chapters 3-4.
(265) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 49; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 50.
(266) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 31.
(267) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 44; cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 207 § 2, 574 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Post- Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 29.
(268) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 48.
(269) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 50.
(270) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 50.
(271) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; Code of Canon Law, c. 679.
(272) Cf. SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Ultimis Temporibus, Pars altera, II, 2.
(273) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 392, 756 § 2, 772 § 1, 835.
(274) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 50.
(275) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 586, 732; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 48.
(276) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 35-37.
(277) Code of Canon Law, c. 679; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 76.
(278) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 76.
(279) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 823, 824, 826, 827; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on Some Aspects of the Use of the Instruments of Social Communication in Promoting the Doctrine of the Faith, 8 § 2, 16 § 6, 17 § 4, 18; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 46; CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE, Instruction Starting Afresh from Christ, 32.
(280) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 806 § 1.
(281) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 45; cf. Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; Code of Canon Law, cc. 591, 732.
(282) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; Code of Canon Law, cc. 678, 738 § 2.
(283) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 54; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 49.
(284) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; Code of Canon Law, cc. 678, 738 § 2.
(285) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 609, 612, 801, 1215 § 3. Regarding the houses of societies of apostolic life, cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 733 § 1.
(286) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 616 § 1.
(287) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 521, 681.
(288) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 682, 738 § 2.
(289) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 35; Code of Canon Law, c. 673; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 32-49.
(290) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 681 § 1, 682 § 2, 616, 733; PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DECREES OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Responsum of 25 June 1979, I.
(291) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 49.
(292) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 52.
(293) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 680.
(294) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 40; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 59.
(295) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 607 §§ 1-3.
(296) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 713 § 2.
(297) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 604 § 1.
(298) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 19; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6; Code of Canon Law, cc. 567 § 1, 630 § 3; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 58.
(299) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 62.
(300) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 628 § 2, 637.
(301) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 603 §§ 1-2.
(302) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 12; Decree on the Up-to-date Renewal of Religious Life Perfectae Caritatis, 19.
(303) Code of Canon Law, c. 605; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 62.
(304) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 579, 594, 732.
(305) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 30, 33; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 2-3; Code of Canon Law, cc. 204 § 1, 208.
(306) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 37.
(307) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 26; Code of Canon Law, c. 212 § 3.
(308) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 227.
(309) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 40.
(310) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 90.
(311) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 16ff.; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 14; Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 71; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 51; Code of Canon Law, cc. 225-227.
(312) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 32.
(313) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 31.
(314) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 15.
(315) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 16; Code of Canon Law, c. 225.
(316) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 31; Code of Canon Law, c. 225 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 34; Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 71; PAUL VI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 20.
(317) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 38, 40, 43.
(318) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 42.
(319) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 227.
(320) CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Doctrinal Note on some Questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, 4; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, 73.
(321) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 37; Christifideles Laici, 44; PAUL VI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 20.
(322) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 39.
(323) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 33; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 10.
(324) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 28; Code of Canon Law, c. 230.
(325) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 228, 229 § 3, 317 § 3, 463 § 1:5°, 483, 494, 537, 759, 776, 784, 785, 1282, 1421 § 2, 1424, 1428 § 2, 1435, etc.
(326) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 301.
(327) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 35.
(328) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 44.
(329) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 766, 777. It must be remembered that laypersons may not preach a homily. The diocesan Bishop cannot dispense from this norm.
(330) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.
(331) According to the Responsum of the PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS dated 1 June 1988, the extraordinary minister of the Eucharist must not administer Communion when there is an ordained minister present who is able to do so. Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Dominicae Coenae.
(332) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1112.
(333) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 861; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo Baptismi parvulorum, Praenotanda, 16-17.
(334) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo exequiarum, Praenotanda, 19.
(335) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 230 § 3, 517 § 2, 943.
(336) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 23.
(337) On the meaning of lay supply, its relation with the sacrament of orders and the correct interpretation of some provisions in the Code of Canon Law, cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY (et al.), Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio.
(338) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 23; cf. Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 29-33; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Circular Letter The Priest and the Third Christian Millennium: Teacher of the Word, Minister of the Sacraments and Leader of the Community.
(339) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 23.
(340) Cf. ibid.
(341) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 330; PAUL VI, Motu Proprio Ministeria quaedam, III, VII, XII.
(342) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 29.
(343) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 18, 19; Code of Canon Law, cc. 215, 299 § 3, 305, 314; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 29, 31; Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 72.
(344) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 394 § 1.
(345) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 31.
(346) Regarding criteria of ecclesiality for guaranteeing the authenticity of new charisms and the proper exercise of the right of association in the Church, cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 12 and JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 30.
(347) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 19-20, 24-25.
(348) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 217-218, 329; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 57.
(349) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 4, 28-32; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 17, 60, 62; Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 42-45; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 51.
(350) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 10; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 10, 28-29.
(351) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25.
(352) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25; Code of Canon Law, c. 753; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 29.
(353) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 31.
(354) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 5, 21; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 4.
(355) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 771 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 71.
(356) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam Totius, 16; Code of Canon Law, cc. 386 § 1, 768 § 1, 888; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 31.
(357) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 12; Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 33; Code of Canon Law, cc. 747 § 2, 768 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 29.
(358) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 30-31.
(359) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10.
(360) Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS, Pastoral Instruction Communio et progressio, 106.
(361) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 386 § 1, 756 § 2, 889; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 29, 44.
(362) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 757.
(363) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 764.
(364) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 758, 767 § 1; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 26 June 1987; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY (et al.), Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, artt. 2-3.
(365) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 229 § 3.
(366) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 764.
(367) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 772 § 1.
(368) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 52, 78; Code of Canon Law, c. 767 § 2.
(369) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 770.
(370) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 771.
(371) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 8; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Donum Veritatis, 40.
(372) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 116; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Donum Veritatis, 6, 40; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 29.
(373) For catechesis in general, cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, General Directory for Catechesis; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, 30, 63.
(374) For the different forms of catechesis, cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, 5, 23, 30, 63; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1697, 2688.
(375) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 775 § 1, 777.
(376) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 780; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, 63; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, General Directory for Catechesis, 233-252, 265-267, 272-275.
(377) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 755 §§ 1-2.
(378) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, 4; Apostolic Letter Laetamur Magnopere.
(379) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 64-66; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 14; Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 14; Code of Canon Law, cc. 206, 788, 851:1°; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo initiationis christianae adultorum.
(380) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, General Directory for Catechesis, 55.
(381) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 226 § 2, 774.
(382) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 40, 49-62.
(383) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 222 § 2 (for the faithful in general), 287 § 1 (for clerics), 673 (for religious), 225 (for the laity).
(384) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, VI; Code of Canon Law, c. 747 § 2.
(385) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 1-2; Code of Canon Law, c. 804 § 1.
(386) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 802 § 2.
(387) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 5; Code of Canon Law, c. 802 § 1.
(388) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 806 § 1.
(389) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 9.
(390) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 804 § 2.
(391) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 10.
(392) For a complete account of the discipline regarding Catholic universities, cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
(393) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 10; Code of Canon Law, c. 809.
(394) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 810 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 13.
(395) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 812, 833:7°; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 4 § 3.
(396) For a complete account of ecclesiastical universities, cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana.
(397) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 815, 816.
(398) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 810 § 1, 818. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, 12, 13, 74; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Norms of Application, artt. 10, 22.
(399) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, 12.
(400) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 818, 833:7°; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, 27 § 1; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity.
(401) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 819, 833:7°; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, 12, 25, 27 §§ 1-2, 28; Norms of Application, art. 19.
(402) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 52; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2493-2494.
(403) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 37; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 30; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis novae.
(404) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Means of Social Communication Inter Mirifica, 13; Code of Canon Law, cc. 747 § 1, 822 § 1.
(405) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 772 § 2, 831 § 2.
(406) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 30; CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION, Guide to the Training of Future Priests concerning the Instruments of Social Communication.
(407) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 747 § 1.
(408) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on Some Aspects of the Use of the Instruments of Social Communication in Promoting the Doctrine of the Faith, 15.
(409) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 822 § 2.
(410) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 823 § 1.
(411) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 823, 825-828.
(412) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on Some Aspects of the Use of the Instruments of Social Communication in Promoting the Doctrine of the Faith, 2.
(413) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 823 § 1.
(414) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 830 § 1.
(415) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 21, 26; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 15; Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10, 41; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 32.
(416) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 41; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 33.
(417) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 388.
(418) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 37.
(419) Regarding the ceremonies to be observed in the celebrations at which the Bishop presides cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum.
(420) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 389; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 34.
(421) Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 12.
(422) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 882, 884 § 1.
(423) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 882; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 38.
(424) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 26; Code of Canon Law, cc. 879, 884; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1313; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo Confirmationis, Praenotanda.
(425) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1015 § 2.
(426) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22, 26; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 15; Code of Canon Law, c. 835 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 35.
(427) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 28; Code of Canon Law, c. 838; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125.
(428) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 838 §§ 1, 4; 841.
(429) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 230 §§ 2-3. Regarding the service of women at the altar, the Bishop should keep in mind the response of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts of 11 July 1992 together with the added Note of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
(430) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 943.
(431) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 944 § 2.
(432) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1248 § 2.
(433) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 905 § 2.
(434) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 995; PAUL VI, Apostolic Constitution Indulgentiarum Doctrina; APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY, Enchiridion indulgentiarum.
(435) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 45-46.
(436) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14.
(437) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1144.
(438) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112-121; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1157.
(439) Concerning the fundamental principles of liturgical inculturation, cf. CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Instruction Varietates legitimae (1994).
(440) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 838 § 3.
(441) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 37-40; JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 52-54.
(442) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 106; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1167; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 36.
(443) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 102, 106; Code of Canon Law, c. 1247.
(444) Cf. SACRA CONGREGATIO RITUUM, Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium, 19.
(445) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 26-27.
(446) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 38.
(447) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 32.
(448) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 932 § 1.
(449) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 99-100.
(450) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 37.
(451) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction Pastoralis actio (1980).
(452) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 891.
(453) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 961-962, 978 § 2, 986 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Misericordia Dei, 2, 4:2°a; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 39.
(454) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 914.
(455) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1063; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 66.
(456) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo Benedictionum, 3 May 1984. Regarding exorcisms, cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1172 and CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Inde ab aliquot annis (1985).
(457) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 40.
(458) Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2655.
(459) CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 288; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 40.
(460) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 826 § 3; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, 108.
(461) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
(462) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1674.
(463) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1206; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Rituale Romanum, Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae et altaris.
(464) Code of Canon Law, c. 1210.
(465) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Document Concerts in Churches (1987).
(466) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 41; Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 42-54; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 34.
(467) Cf. Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, 288-310, 314-317; Code of Canon Law, c. 1236.
(468) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 858, 964.
(469) JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Misericordia Dei, 9; cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Authentic Interpretation of 7 July 1998.
(470) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1220 § 2.
(471) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 122-124; Code of Canon Law, cc. 1188, 1220 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Duodecimum Saeculum, IV; Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, 318.
(472) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 27; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 42-43.
(473) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 11.
(474) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 28; Code of Canon Law, c. 381 § 1.
(475) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 27.
(476) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16.
(477) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 24, 27; Code of Canon Law, cc. 131 § 1, 146; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 43.
(478) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 43.
(479) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 127 §§ 1-3; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44.
(480) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 395 §§ 1-3.
(481) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 395 § 4.
(482) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 33-34.
(483) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16.
(484) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 4.
(485) SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 17.
(486) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 33; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3, 19, 24; Code of Canon Law, cc. 215, 216, 223.
(487) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 17.
(488) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 90; Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 30.
(489) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 32; Code of Canon Law, 204 § 1, 208; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44.
(490) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 45; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44.
(491) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 10.
(492) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 45.
(493) JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 45; cf. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44.
(494) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44.
(495) Regarding the discipline of diocesan Synods, cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 460-468 and CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods.
(496) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 44; Homily of 3 October 1992, in “L’Osservatore Romano”, English edition, 14 October 1992, pp. 7-8.
(497) JOHN PAUL II, Homily of 3 October 1992, in “L’Osservatore Romano”, English edition, 14 October 1992, p. 7.
(498) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 463.
(499) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods, II, 6.
(500) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 461 § 1.
(501) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 462 § 1.
(502) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 461 § 2.
(503) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 462 § 2.
(504) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 468 § 1.
(505) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods, IV, 7.
(506) Cf. ibid.
(507) Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 1169-1176.
(508) Code of Canon Law, c. 465.
(509) CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods, IV, 4.
(510) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 466.
(511) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 467; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction on Diocesan Synods, V, 5.
(512) Code of Canon Law, c. 469.
(513) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 45.
(514) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 157, 470.
(515) Code of Canon Law, c. 473 § 1.
(516) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 473 § 2.
(517) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 473 § 4.
(518) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 473 §§ 2-3.
(519) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 27; Code of Canon Law, c. 475 § 1.
(520) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 65.
(521) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 23, 27; Code of Canon Law, c. 476.
(522) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 478 §§ 1-2.
(523) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 480.
(524) Code of Canon Law, c. 482 § 1.
(525) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 482.
(526) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 483, 484.
(527) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 483 § 2.
(528) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 391 § 2.
(529) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1420 § 4, 1421 § 3.
(530) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1420 § 1.
(531) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1430, 1432.
(532) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1435.
(533) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1421 § 2.
(534) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1423.
(535) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 27.
(536) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 519, 536.
(537) Code of Canon Law, c. 495 § 1; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 45.
(538) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 28; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 46.
(539) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 495 § 1.
(540) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 495 § 1, 498.
(541) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 500 §§ 1, 3.
(542) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 500 § 2.
(543) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 500 § 2. Canon law establishes that the presbyteral council must be consulted on the following particular questions: cc. 461 (convocation of a diocesan Synod), 515 § 2 (establishment, suppression and alteration of parishes), 1215 § 2 (building churches), 1222 § 2 (reduction of a Church to secular use), 1263 (taxes), but the Bishop must also consult the presbyteral council in all other cases of major importance.
(544) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 500 § 2.
(545) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 127 § 2:2°.
(546) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 499.
(547) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 496.
(548) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 501 § 3.
(549) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 501 § 2.
(550) Code of Canon Law, c. 502 § 1.
(551) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 494 §§ 1-2, 1277, 1292 § 1.
(552) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 272, 485, 1018 § 1:2°.
(553) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 382 § 3, 404 §§ 1, 3; 413 § 2, 421 § 1, 422, 430 § 2, 833:4°.
(554) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 502 § 3.
(555) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 127, 502 § 2; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 5 July 1985.
(556) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 512 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 45.
(557) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 27; Code of Canon Law, c. 511.
(558) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 513 § 1.
(559) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 512 § 2.
(560) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 512 § 1.
(561) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 514 § 1.
(562) Cf. ibid.
(563) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 511.
(564) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 513 § 2.
(565) Code of Canon Law, c. 503.
(566) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 509 § 2, 478 § 2.
(567) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 504.
(568) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 505-506.
(569) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 507 § 1, 509 § 1; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 20 May 1989.
(570) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 509 § 1.
(571) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 508 § 1.
(572) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 508 § 2.
(573) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1276 § 2.
(574) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1276 § 1.
(575) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 392 § 2, 1281 §§ 1-2, 1292 §§ 1-2.
(576) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1300, 1301.
(577) JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 45.
(578) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1277 and also the following canons: 494 §§ 1-2, 1263, 1281 § 2, 1287 § 1, 1292, 1295, 1304, 1305, 1310 § 2.
(579) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 500 § 2.
(580) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1284 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 20.
(581) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1284 § 2:2°,3°.
(582) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1286:1°.
(583) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1290.
(584) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1299 § 2.
(585) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1277.
(586) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1292 § 1, 1297.
(587) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1220 § 2.
(588) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1283:2°.
(589) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1274 § 1.
(590) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1274 §§ 3-4.
(591) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1274 § 5.
(592) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 222 § 1, 1261 § 2; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 45.
(593) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1262, 1265 § 2.
(594) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1262, 1263.
(595) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1266.
(596) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 531.
(597) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 20-21; Code of Canon Law, cc. 1264:2°, 952; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY, Decree Mos iugiter (1991).
(598) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 492.
(599) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 537, 1280.
(600) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1277, 1292.
(601) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 494.
(602) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 59.
(603) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 42.
(604) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, 5.
(605) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 16; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 9; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 8; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 73.
(606) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 29; PAUL VI, Motu Proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, V, 22, 9.
(607) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, 29.
(608) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 8.
(609) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 8.
(610) JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 50.
(611) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Volunteers, 5 December 2001.
(612) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree Christus Dominus, 6; Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis, 21; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 45.
(613) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 52.
(614) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 66.
(615) Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage.
(616) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 37.
(617) Cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Guidelines The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.
(618) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 70, 72, 73-76.
(619) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 79-84.
(620) CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Annus internationalis on Eucharistic Communion for the faithful who are divorced and remarried; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Declaration on Canon 915.
(621) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 53.
(622) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, 10; Code of Canon Law, c. 813; JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, General Norms, art. 6 §§ 1-2.
(623) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 12; Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 30, 71.
(624) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 70.
(625) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 71.
(626) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 18; Code of Canon Law, c. 771 § 1.
(627) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 72.
(628) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis 10.
(629) For the various aspects of ecumenical pastoral activity, cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY, Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism.
(630) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 5-12; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 28; Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes 15; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 65.
(631) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 4, 7, 12, 24; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 27; Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 90.
(632) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1124, 1125; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 78.
(633) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 8; Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 24-29; Code of Canon Law, cc. 844, 933, 1124-1129, 1183 § 3.
(634) Regarding joint dialogue with other religions and the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, cf. PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE and the CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Instruction Dialogue and Proclamation; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 68.
(635) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, 5-12; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 28; Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 15.
(636) The Bishop will not fail, moreover, to discern whether his participation in demonstrations or marches, even if requested, might not risk ambiguous interpretation or exploitation.
(637) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 374 § 1, 515 § 1; JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 45.
(638) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 23; Code of Canon Law, cc. 518, 813.
(639) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 516 § 1.
(640) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 528, 529 § 1, 530.
(641) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 536 § 1.
(642) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 537.
(643) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 535 § 1, 895, 1121 § 1, 1182.
(644) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 548.
(645) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 533 § 3.
(646) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 519.
(647) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 533 § 1, 280.
(648) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY (et al.), Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, 4.
(649) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 536.
(650) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 301.
(651) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 28; Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 30; Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 42; Code of Canon Law, c. 515 § 1.
(652) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 31; Code of Canon Law, cc. 151, 521, 524.
(653) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 31; Code of Canon Law, c. 522.
(654) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1748.
(655) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 538 §§ 1, 3.
(656) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1740, 1741:2°.
(657) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 192-195, 1740-1747 (for removal), 190-191 (for transfer), 1748-1752 (for forced transfer).
(658) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 30.
(659) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 32.
(660) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 515 § 2.
(661) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1215.
(662) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 517 § 1.
(663) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 517 § 2.
(664) Cf. ibid.; CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY (et al.), Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, 4.
(665) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 516 § 2.
(666) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1223, 1225.
(667) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter Redemptioris Missio, 51.
(668) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 222 § 1, 1261 § 2.
(669) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1266.
(670) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1263.
(671) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 374 § 2.
(672) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 553, 554 § 2, 555.
(673) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 29; Code of Canon Law, c. 555.
(674) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 553 § 2, 554.
(675) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 554 § 3.
(676) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 555 §§ 1, 4.
(677) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 27; Code of Canon Law, c. 476.
(678) Code of Canon Law, c. 396 § 1.
(679) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 23.
(680) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 46.
(681) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 397 § 1, 259 § 2 (concerning the frequency of visits to the seminary), 305 § 1 (on visits to associations), 683 § 1 (on visits to works entrusted to religious), 806 (concerning visits to Catholic schools).
(682) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 397 § 2, 615, 628 § 2, 637, 683.
(683) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 555 § 4.
(684) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 46.
(685) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 770.
(686) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 46.
(687) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 398.
(688) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 401 § 1, 411.
(689) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 401 § 2.
(690) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 402 § 1.
(691) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis, 59.
(692) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 763.
(693) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 886 § 2.
(694) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 967 § 1, 1355 § 2.
(695) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1012, 1013, 1015.
(696) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1108 § 1.
(697) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 402 § 1.
(698) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1227.
(699) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 934 § 1:2°.
(700) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 707 § 1.
(701) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 402 § 2, 707 § 2.
(702) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Norms In vita ecclesiae (1988), 5.
(703) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 1242, 1241 § 1.
(704) Code of Canon Law, c. 336.
(705) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 339.
(706) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 337 § 2.
(707) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 346 § 1; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATIVE TEXTS, Responsum of 2 July 1991.
(708) Cf. CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Norms In vita ecclesiae (1988), 2.
(709) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 377 § 2.
(710) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1370 § 2.
(711) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1405 § 3:1°.
(712) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1405 § 1:3°.
(713) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1558 § 2.
(714) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 17; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 13 May 1999, 11.
(715) Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, 17; Post-Synodal Apostolic Exortation Pastores Gregis, 59; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS AND CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 13 May 1999; CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, 7 June 2003.
(716) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 416.
(717) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 417.
(718) Cf. ibid.
(719) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 418 § 1.
(720) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 418 § 2.
(721) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 409 § 1, 404 § 1.
(722) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 409 § 2.
(723) Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 26.
(724) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 419.
(725) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 426.
(726) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 421 § 1, 502 § 3.
(727) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 419.
(728) Cf. Code of Canon Law, cc. 421 § 1, 502 § 2.
(729) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 422.
(730) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 502 § 1.
(731) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 423 §§ 1-2.
(732) Cf. ibid.
(733) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 167 § 1.
(734) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 174.
(735) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 176.
(736) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 425 § 2.
(737) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 427 § 1.
(738) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 525.
(739) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 520 § 1.
(740) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 552.
(741) Cf. n. 31 of this Directory.
(742) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 427 § 2.
(743) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 429.
(744) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 428 § 1.
(745) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 428 § 2.
(746) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 490 § 2.
(747) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1018.
(748) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 272.
(749) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 312 § 1:3°.
(750) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 1420 § 5.
(751) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 462 § 1.
(752) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 428 § 2.
(753) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 485.
(754) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 509 § 1.
(755) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 189.
(756) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 430.
(757) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 430 § 2.
(758) Cf. Code of Canon Law, c. 419.
(759) Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 1157-1165; concerning the celebration of the funeral, 821-828.
(760) Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 1166.
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