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30 September-27 October 2001

"The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World"

The Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops is only a working instrument for journalistic use and the translations from the original are not official.

English Edition


23 - 16.10.2001



Friday, Saturday and Monday 12th, 13th and 15th October 2001, the discussions in the Working Groups continued. There were 223 Fathers present at the Third Session, 222 at the Fourth, 223 at the Fifth, 126 at the Sixth, 216 at the Seventh and 176 at the Eighth.

The first phase of the debate of the Working Groups (with the discussion on the principal points that need to be deepened, emerging from the Report after the discussion) concluded with the approval of the Reports by the Working Groups, that the Relators of the Working Groups will present during the Nineteenth General Congregation this morning and the Twentieth General Congregation this afternoon, 16th October 2001.


Today, Tuesday 16th October 2001, in remembrance of St. Edvige, duchess of Poland, religious and of St. Margherite Mara Alacoque, vergin, of the Visitation, in the presence of the Holy Father, the Nineteenth General Congregation began at 09.00 a.m., with the prayer of the Third Hour, for the reading in the Hall of the Reports by the Working Groups. The President Delegate on duty was His Em. Card. Bernard AGRE, Archbishop of Abidjan.

At the beginning of this General Congregation the President Delegate on duty read an address in the name of the Presidents Delegate on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the election of John Paul II, which occurs today. Afterwards, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, His Em. Card. Jan Pieter SCHOTTE, C.I.C.M. read a communication, which follows below.

At the end of the Nineteenth General Congregation, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops recalled the norms concerning the procedures to be followed in the Working Groups for the composition of the Propositions.

This General Congregation concluded at 12.30 with the prayer Angelus Domini; 237 Fathers were present.


Below is the address by the President Delegate on Duty to the Holy Father on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of His election, which occurs today:

Most Holy Father,

Of all the horizons in the world, the love of the risen Christ gathers us in Peter’s house. It is the occasion for us to live in brotherly newfoundness in joy, prayer and the exchange around our

onthological identity of bishops and in the right thread of our collegial meeting in the heart of many challenges in the new third millennium.

It is also the occasion, very Holy Father to congratulate you and to wish you, in the name of the entire Church, a happy anniversary, the twenty-third year of your pontifical election. Our deep respect, and our filial and brotherly affection invite us to celebrate, with you the particularities and the glories of the Good Shepherd who shines in your loved and admired person.

"I know my own and my own know me" (Jn 10:14) and "In grassy meadows he lets me lie" (cf. Ps 23:2). Isn’t this your programme, your style of life?

Henceforth, planet Earth has many faces, innumerable cultures make up your parish, your pastoral domain. Above all pilgrim of hope, artist of dialogue and of peace, you invite all your contemporaries to have the experience of God in work and serenity.

The density of your nourishing and various words represent the future of a prestigious sum being at the same time theological, philosophical, social, political and spiritual.

In one’s pilgrimage with you in the heart of man and the world, your people will not die of hunger: one will walk in green pastures.

After the jubilations of the year 2000, instead of and in looking retrospectively, your prophetic words come back to us. Duc in altum!

With you, very Holy Father, under the image of the face of Christ, of love, contemplation, Jesus the luck and the force of all humanity, with joy and solidarity, we throw a net for fish which we hope will be a good catch, in the beneficence of the Church and the world.

Happy anniversary, very Holy Father. Ad multos et faustissimos annos!

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Today, 16th October 2001, is the twenty-third anniversary of the election of His Holiness John Paul II.

His Most Eminent President Delegate brought words of congratulations and communion on behalf of all us to the Holy Father.

I would like to point out the difference between our Synod calendar and the Vatican calendar: today it is a holiday in the Vatican City. Our Hall is a bit extra territorial, but I am far from stirring up controversies over the calendar! However, I wish to convey this suggestion also to you: we feel this feast in the depth of our heart and we intend to celebrate it in a very special way, that is to say today we wish to con-celebrate with the Holy Father, certainly to act with him syn-odly.

[00314-02.03] [nnnnn] [Original text: Latin]


The fruit of the discussions of the Working Groups are the Reports written as a summary of the majority and minority opinions, that clearly express the converging and eventually the contrasting opinions. These Reports, which are to receive the approval of the members of the Working Group, gather together the suggestions and reflections of the group’s members, thus becoming a faithful mirror of the opinions of the majority and minority alike. The importance of the Reports lies in the fact that they express, in the clearest and most detailed possible way, the opinions of the Synod Fathers involved in the Working Groups. They contain in embryonic form the elements for reaching a general consensus of the Synod. Taken together, the Reports represent in some way the first synthesis of Synod Work.

The following Reports by the Working Groups , prepared by the Relators of the Working Groups following the order of presentation of the requests to intervene, were presented this morning during the Nineteenth General Congregation:

The summaries of the Reports by the Working Groups presented in the Nineteenth General Congregation of theis morning are published below:

REPORT BY THE ITALICUS A WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Giuseppe COSTANZO, Archbishop of Syracuse (Italy)

The Fathers have focused on the Synod theme and confronted on the need for their pastoral service to have access to and nurture hope of which our troubled and disoriented world is thirsty. This broad and stimulating reflection focused on the following themes:

The Bishops is "Doctor veritatis: and "magister fidei:. First of all he is responsible for proclaiming and bearing witness, proclamation and witness of hope for the world, in particular for the poor. Hence his commitment of holiness, which he builds day after day "inside" the joy and fatigue of the pastoral ministry, in praying intimacy with his Lord, always faithful to the Gospel, also when situations are difficult, courageous defender of the Truth.

In communion with his diocese community, in particular with his priests for whom he wants to be a vigilant father, a safe guide and fraternal friend, he proclaims the Gospel of hope, facing the inevitable difficulties both for building communion and missionary commitment. He commits himself, in particular, for the vocational pastoral work, in a mutual inter-exchange of formative responsibility with the families, parishes, and the seminary to ensure the seminarians have that integral formation, which can mould a holy priest, aware of his own dignity and responsibility as minister and witness of the Gospel in the current world.

He increases the value of communion with his brothers the Bishops and lives in full , visible and active communion with the Supreme Pontiff. This communion, founded on the faith, is expressed in unconditioned availability, in ready obedience and courage for the defence of the Pope - the visible bond of unity - before everybody and always.

He is aware of the pastoral and communion strength of the parish, as a community of faith, of prayer and of love, a home which welcomes everybody and does the utmost for everybody. He commits himself so that all charisms present in it may be recognized with joy and promoted with diligence, and so that the Good News may be proclaimed to everybody without any distinction.

Only the Bishop who authentically lives the spirit of poverty, is a witness of Christ sent by the Father to proclaim to the poor the joyful message, is capable of imitating his Lord in compassion towards the great poverty of today and of being the "voice" of the poor who also denounces the causes of poverty, in primis sin.

Aware that culture is privileged ground where faith meets man, the Bishop feels the responsibility of inculturing the Gospel and determining the ways this can be done with creativity and prudence.

[00309-02.03] [cm001] [Original text: Italian]

REPORT BY THE ANGLICUS B WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Vernon James WEISGERBER, Archbishop of Winnipeg (Canada)

The Bishop’s teaching role is most important in the contemporary world and he thereby becomes a witness of hope. Beginning in his cathedral the bishop’s preaching is followed up by a rich programme of formation touching all levels of his collaborators. Special emphasis must be paced on continuous formation.

Faced with the ambiguous fabric of today's society, the bishop is called to bring judicious discernment on doctrinal and moral questions, not only as a service to his diocesan people but also for the salvation of the world.

While the Bishop finds the roots of his holiness in his ordination, it is a gift that he must appropriate through his ministry, which in turn is enriched by communion with the clergy and laity of his diocese, with the Bishops of his Episcopal Conference, with Peter and the entire College of bishops.

Relations with his priests must be transparent; they are to be in his prayers and he must have their care and well being high on his agenda. The bishop must also reach out to the religious priests in his diocese and integrate them into the diocesan presbyterate. Finally the relationship with the clergy must motivate the Bishop to ensure that all priests have financial security.

The Bishop stands between the Tradition of the past and the exigencies of the on-going life of the Church. He must always prepare those who will continue the Lord' s work. As such fostering vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life is basic to the Bishop's mandate. This leads to careful attention to family life, the cradle for vocations; providing seminaries organized to favour strong spirituality, excellence in academic studies and expert training in pastoral skills. Equipping his diocese for the future leads the bishop to also promote programmes for lay-formation.

In a world seen as a global viIlage the bishop is easily perceived as a mere official of a very numerous international Church. The health and integrity of the Church requires that distinctions not be blurred. The status of the Eastern Churches is to be properly depicted: they are not rites; they have rites. Episcopal Conferences are places where communion is fostered and enriched; they are also vehicles that bring about healthy international exchanges.

The Bishop’s role in his diocese is strengthened when the offices of the Roman Curia show in the communications and in their actions that they understand the variety of local conditions. Otherwise they risk becoming obstacles to communion. To assist in this mutual understanding of the Church, the Synod itself requires attention. It should be adapted so that continuity and follow up are ensured.

With regard to metropolitan provinces, it is observed that they are beneficial in certain situations but that in many areas of the world, demographic realities favour groupings engendered by regions or Episcopal Conferences.

Certainly the Communion that is to identify the Church is deficient if it does not include the people of God organized in parish structures. Here the Bishop assists by his on going interest, by fostering pastoral planning and by sustaining his clergy as they implement such plans.

Officers of the Diocesan Curia must be well formed particularly in respect to human relations and openness to the poor. Organizational models borrowed from business may be efficient, but at the cost of respect for persons. Modern technology is helpful, but can also be alienating.

The bishop is called to follow Jesus who was poor. Poverty is a value of the heart, but it is also visible. Accessibility, especially to the poor is vital; siding with the poor,especially with government, makes the bishop a friend of the poor. House, car, dress, friends, commitment of time are all relevant in this regard.

A great challenge is urbanization, the great number of cultures and religions gathered in one place. This can be a challenge, but also a great opportunity. All must not only be tolerated, but embraced as a richness. The youth, in particular, provide a great means both of understanding and shaping the new culture.

[00310-02.04] [CM002] [Original text: English]

REPORT BY THE GERMANICUS WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Alois KOTHGASSER, S.D.B., Bishop of Innsbruck (Austria)

The theological foundation of the office of the bishop: The episcopal office is rooted in the participation in the life of the trinitarian God and became concrete in the historic design of the salvation and the Son made flesh and in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The bishop is the successor of the true apostolic witness of the Resurrection of Christ and in the invitation of the Holy Spirit. For this to be witness and to give testimony they are at the center of episcopal service. In this way they become "Icons of Christ", of the Prophet, of the Priest and of the Good Shepherd in their gifts: docendi, sanctificandi et regendi.

Munus sanctificandi: Spiritual life of the bishop is a part of the munus sanctificandi. In a secularized world the bishop constantly provokes the sense of the sacred.

The bishop is he who is the inspiration of a full priestly life: The bishop must be father and friend of the priests. He must collaborate with the priests in a certain way, so that he can find in this the expression of unity in the Order.

Solicitude for the vocations of the priest: To promote the growth of priests, it is important above all to create a favorable climate of celibate priestly and religious vocations. Above all a clear theology of the priest is required, especially in the places of formation. In the proclamation and in the teaching one clearly sees the specific vocation of the priest and his constitutional importance for the Church (differently to other ecclesial vocations). The pastoral vocation starts with pastoral work on matrimony and the family. The joy in the service which the priests manifest, acts like a magnet of attraction on young people. The bishop must however preoccupy himself in order that the service of priests becomes much appreciated by the parishioners.

Communion and Solidarity: Solidarity must be defined theologically on communion. A commission must deepen the theme "Communion and Solidarity". The relations of the episcopal conferences and the patriarchal synods with the Pope may be underlined in a more effective way with a bettering of the true structures of the synod of Bishops (not dealing with new structures, but of the bettering of those that already exist). The bishops in an ecclesial province must be more intensely convinced in the nomination of new bishops, in the sense of collegiality.

Witnesses of hope for the world: The bishop needs hope while announcing the continuous presence of the Risen Lord in the Church and in the world.

The task of the bishop for the promotion of the unity of Christians: The formatio permanens of the bishops must also hug the ecumenical aspect. From this must come the manifestation of a renewed invitation to ecumenic dialogue with the non-Catholic Eastern Churches.

[00311-02.04] [cm003] [Original text: German]

REPORT BY THE ANGLICUS A WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Orlando B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato, President of the Episcopal Conference (Philippines)

1. On Promoting Affective Collegiality - Affective Collegiality is the internal fraternal communion of charity that exists in and among bishops and between local churches. It is a deep, abiding, and joyful sense of communion of mind and heart. It is to be promoted by visits between Bishops, consultations, co-responsibility , mutual trust, and charity.

On Episcopal Conferences - Our group asks if the Episcopal conferences can exercise any collegial act, even if analogously and partial.

On the Roman Curia - We believe that a relationship of co-responsibility, consultation, mutual trust and charity should exist between the Roman Curia and Episcopal Conferences.

On Eastern Churches - We hope for greater understanding and recognition of the role and structures on the part of Western Catholics. This will contribute to ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox Churches.

2. On the Bishop as Teacher of Faith Today - The Bishop's role is to announce to our world the hope who is Jesus. While doctrine is necessary, in the ultimate analysis what draws people to deeper faith and hope in Jesus is the depth of the bishop's faith, his witnessing to Jesus. Today the Bishop faces many challenges to faith. Pastoral and social problems abound, ranging from a loss of the sense of the sacred to poverty and war. A new evangelization with new fervor, new methods, and new language is needed. The Bishop must speak, simply, convincingly, and courageously.

3. On the Bishop as Teacher of the Spiritual Life - The Bishop has to follow Jesus. He must be a man of prayer, filled with the Holy Spirit. His holy ordination configures him to Christ, Head and Shepherd. Like Christ the Supreme Pastor, the bishop must be chaste and poor. His poverty of spirit, simplicity, austerity, generosity to the poor, place him on their side in their struggle for justice and a better life. He grows in holiness through his ministry, Aware of his limitations, weaknesses, and sinfulness he asks for forgiveness from God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He promotes the holiness of the People of God and is alert to signs of heroic holiness in the lay faithful. We need local saints to guide us in our hope.

4. Relationships with Priests - In a special way, the Bishop should develop the bond of charity with priests in special difficulties. He deepens this bond through sacramental celebrations with his priests, through mutual prayer and acts of kindness, by his availability to the priests, by word and example. We thank the Lord for the thousands of zealous and committed priests in the world- As for his Brother Bishops who also need assistance, we suggest that a Commission of Bishops in the Episcopal Conference be set up for that purpose.

5. Forming the Parish as the Central Place for Developing Christian Life - With the Bishop, the parish expresses hierarchical unity with the entire particular Church. A parish should be a community of faith and love on mission. New ecclesial movements are helping to renew parishes. A new dynamism for the catechetical and school apostolates would give impetus to parish renewal, In Africa, Asia, and South America, the growth of Basic Ecclesial Communities (small Christian communities) have revitalized parishes. The parish should give special attention to women and youth. Already women and youth are active in various apostolates. The rights of women have to be safeguarded and promoted. They should have a wider role in decision making. While the Blessed Mother is a model of all disciples, she is particularly linked to women because in her we see the model of women in her great receptivity of God and her collaboration in the redemption of all.

6. Inculturation in a situation or Pluralism - Special care should be provided for the sub-culture of the poor in the Fourth World, the poor in large cities in both developed and developing countries. We suggest a study on the impact of urbanization on the family and Church life. We also ask that the Roman Curia in collaboration and consultation with Episcopal Conferences resolve issues on liturgical celebration and liturgical inculturation. We emphasize dialogue with Islam in order to build peace and tolerance. We appeal for religious freedom throughout the world. Regarding various ethnic groups, the tools of social communication could help form values of respect and harmony. Finally, Bishops should promote ecumenical dialogue through fraternal contacts, the holding of the Week Prayer for Christian Unity. He should encourage a dialogue of life with peoples of various cultures. All these would be most helpful in promoting hope in a world of violence and division.

[00316-02.04] [cm004] [Original text: English]

REPORT BY THE GALLICUS B WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Gilles CAZABON, O.M.I., Bishop of Saint-Jérôme (Canada)

The person of Jesus and his message are in the centre of the teaching ministry of the Bishop. This teaching must be given in such a way that he can be understood and welcome in the present culture. Since the way to proclaim the gospel is of great importance. This must be done with enthusiasm and respect of freedom.

Two poles structure the spiritual life of the Bishop: his intimacy with Christ to whom he is configured and his pastoral ministry in the midst of his people. This spiritual life is nourished by listening to the Word of God, celebrating the mysteries of faith and pastoral charity which mark his whole ministry.

Fraternal communion which unites the priests to their bishop is rooted in the grace of the ordination and their common mission. This is also of great importance. In fact, all the necessary means to make it more efficient and develop the essential attitudes (trust, proximity, fraternity) have been taken. The need for all priests (human, spiritual and financial) must be considered with great attention. Lastly, the Bishop must also recognize the charism and the specific ministry of the deacons and the lay faithful who also collaborate on their part with the ministry.

The priests themselves and the family are important actors in the awakening of vocations, initiatives which must be done by a diocesan commission for vocations. Cooperation among the Churches is done in the sharing with the priests, the Churches which have some in large numbers coming to the assistance of the others. In forming the priests, it is necessary to have a competent team to which one must add the lay faithful and who will benefit from the trust of the Bishop. One will be careful about the call to celibacy and chastity and that these are well integrated into life.

Affective collegiality is of great value, but shows the need for just as much attention as effective collegiality which already finds ways of exercise in exchanges among the Churches. The Synod of Bishops must also become a better instrument of effective collegiality cum Petro et sub Petro. Ecumenical dialogue can only benefit from strengthening the synodal institution which gathers around the successor of Peter the Bishops as Shepherds of a portion of the people of God and, for this reason, a member of the episcopal college.

If it can be pertinent to question oneself on the collegiality experienced in the ecclesiastic provinces, our cross-roads is surprised not to find any question referring to the episcopal conferences apart from several interventions in the Hall explicitly reported. The cross-roads restates its conviction that the episcopal conferences play an indispensable role in the Church as an instrument of collegiality.

The parish remains the basic unity of ecclesial life. In many western countries, it is affected today by important pastoral re-developments. In this context, one must imagine new ways of collaboration of the lay faithful involved in pastoral work of priests. In other parts of the world, the parish is considered like a community of basic communities. Everywhere it must count on the indispensable ministry of the priest and the participation of everybody in the spirit of co-responsibility. In certain environments, new movements or associations of lay faithful develop along side the parish,. This creates some tension.

The diocesan curia, instrument of pastoral charity of the Bishop in the governing plan of the diocese, makes more and more use of the service of competent lay faithful.

The councils, where the Bishop receives advice from priests and lay faithful must be increased in importance, and one must more and more harmonise the collegiality of bishops and internal ‘synodality’ in the local Church. Lastly, one cannot think of the diocesan curia without thinking of the Roman curia which also touches us in daily matters. Both benefit from periodically assessing themselves in order to better respond to the needs of the Christian people.

The commitment of the Bishop in favour of justice and peace must be without ambiguity, this is both at local and international level. Often, it is not a matter of an isolated action, but a concerted one with brother bishops or in partnership with the civil authorities and the non governmental organizations. Inspired by Jesus, the Bishop must, both in words and action, commit himself in favour of justice and peace.

The Gospel always comes to us from elsewhere. It is received, assimilated and re-expressed in the culture of the people who receive it. Nowadays, cultures evolve rapidly whence the need to be open to new expressions of faith, notably at liturgical level. In the context of contemporary megalopolitan centres, a Christian is called to evangelize paying special attention to his way of living the Gospel being inspired by the saints who have marked the life of the Church.

[00312-02.03] [cm005] [Original text: French]

REPORT BY THE GALLICUS C WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Pierre MORISSETTE, Bishop of Baie-Comeau (Canada)

The exercise of munus docendi requires a dual attention: on the one hand, what must be said (quid) and the other, the manner in which it is said (quomodo). In all cases, it is necessary to put Christ, His person and His message, at the center of our education. In the proclamation of the Gospel, care the attitudes: humility, witness of life and dialogue must be given to.

The episcopal ordination and the pastoral ministry are the two sources of the spirituality of the bishop. Configured to Christ, the bishop’s main virtue is pastoral charity. Far from being an individualist, his spirituality is one of communion which favors co-responsibility. Rooted in listening to God and men, the bishop conserves the Word of God in his heart and discerns with admiration the presence of God in the contemporary world. This contemplation of the work of God in the world leads him to gather his people to give grace in the celebration of the Eucharist. This spirituality has several pillars: the celebration of the sacraments, meditation and the proclamation of the Gospel, prayer and oration, retreat and spiritual guidance, popular piety through which he is edified by the Christian life of his faithful.

To strengthen the bonds with his priests, the bishop first of all has to develop towards them an attitude of trust, compassion, and mercy. Friend, brother and father for his priests, he knows how to inspire them, on mission near them and making the truth with them. He will also be able to find the concrete media to develop a true proximity and support them: opportunities for availability and welcome to pray and to rest with them, visits, development of a setting for financial support, pastoral cooperation in the setting of the presbyterial council.

The pastoral work of vocations is the work of the whole Church. It commits the priests, the families, the movements, the parishes, the small seminaries, where they exist, and diocesan service of vocations. As for the formation of seminarians, it requires competent formation experts to work with the bishop, and adequate financing, which implies solidarity between Churches. Realized in close contact with the local Churches, this involves several elements: intellectual, doctrinal and pastoral formation; the formation for fraternal life and co-responsibility and the formation of an affective life in the spirit of the Gospel.

Among all the aspects which regard the question of collegiality, we can look at the following questions. In the first place, the exercise of the Petrian ministry could count more on the Synod of Bishops. Its way of working could be reviewed and it appears important to us to study this question, inspired by the way of work of the Council Assembly.

On the other hand, several interventions of the Synod Fathers in the Hall bring up the relations between the episcopal conferences and the Roman Curia. Concerns where expressed and, if these problems exist, one must face them. We could even benefit from delving into this subject during this Synodal Assembly. Finally, for a fruitful exercise of their functions, it is important that the representatives of the Holy See know well the culture of the countries that receive them and practice consultation, when it exists, contributes to construct mutual comprehension and confidence.

Very few of the Synod Fathers made a reference to the ecclesiastical provinces as a means of achieving collegiality. If such a setting appears occasionally fruitful, it has often lost today its importance to the profit of new ecclesial groups, notably on the national plan, in the setting of the Episcopal Conference, or the regional plan, in the smaller assemblies of bishops. Often at these levels today cooperation of the Churches and collegiality, affective and effective, are organized.

The parishes are an important part of Christian life. In order to take good care, it is important to give value to pastoral visits and take a step in favor of parish councils capable of ensuring co-responsibility. The parishes and their movements represent complementary realities. The bishop must harmonize the two realities in respecting the specificity of each.

Few Synod Fathers show preoccupation for the diocesan curia. Apart from what is foreseen by universal law, the organization of the diocesan curia will be always a function of the local situations and means. It is important however to assure the greatest transparency in the temporal management of the diocese and to choose with great care the diocesan bursar.

To follow Christ, His true treasure, the Bishop is called to divest himself of his wealth and to choose poverty. Not only must he live in poverty, but he must fight against poverty and to become the voice of those without a voice and organize solidarity. Sharing between the Churches must be promoted.

If evangelization requires an audacious effort of inculturation, it also sometimes requires contesting and a break with the dominant culture. Today, the dominant culture, coming from the West, enthused by the powerful means of diffusion, may disfigure the image of God in man. This culture confronts today another culture with hegemonic pretensions, the Arab-Islamic culture. Whence the importance of inter-cultural dialogue and Catholic cultural centers capable of promoting this dialogue. Finally, because of their charisms and their competence, religious men and religious women are available to work on the front line in their task of encounter between faith and culture.

[00317-02.09] [cm006] [Original text: French]

REPORT BY THE HISPANICUS B WORKING GROUP: H.E. Most Rev. Ramón Ovidio PÉREZ MORALES, Archbishop of Los Teques (Venezuela)

1. The Bishop, as teacher of faith and doctor of Truth.

The Trinity (family, community) is the fundamental mystery (truth), centre and basic reference in the Christian faith. God who is love revealed himself to us and saved us for Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, through the action of the Holy Spirit. The following emerge as basic magisterial requirements: offer, first of all, the Scriptures; to proclaim the ‘kerigma’, not as a simple set of notions, but as a joyful proclamation of Jesus Christ dead and risen; to explain the faith as an act of trust in love, the principle and dynamism of the creative and salvific plan of God; to always offer solid doctrinal grounds in view of which the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which needs to spread, forms a precious instrument; to insist on the consistence between faith and life.

2. The Bishop, as disciple and teacher in spiritual life.

The Bishop is called to sanctity, which is: succession of Christ as servant, search for the fullness of Christian life, perfection of love. One must place this call in the context of the universal vocation of all Christians. Bishop Saint Augustine used to say to his faithful: "I am a Christian with you and I am a Bishop for you", and also the one of episcopal "amoris officium". People must understand that the Bishop has his time of prayer (the Pope is a living example). The bishop must promote and animate pastoral care and a pedagogy of sanctity; sanctity is a priority for the people of God. The Bishop must be a teacher of spirituality; he must show his condition as first Liturgist of the local Church in many ways, especially through the celebration of the sacraments. He must translate this sanctity into deep pastoral charity (love).

3. The relationship of the Bishop with the priests, deacons and persons of consecrated life.

The Bishop, father and brother of his priests and deacons, must look for forms and take initiatives to get closer to them in a friendly way; he must be fond of them and, in this light, a correct them with affection, be interested in their life, increase their value in an opportune way, so that they like the faithful in general, may realise this. He must take care of their permanent formation. Elderly and sick priests require very careful and delicate attention. Special dedication is needed for young priests (especially in the first years) in the various aspects of personal and pastoral life. Priests are part of the college of Priests in the sacramental communion and are organically inserted into diocesan pastoral care. It is the duty of the Bishop, as father and shepherd of the particular Church, to co-ordinate the charisms of consecrated life, whose presence and evangelizing action is so important; along these lines, contemplative life deserves special appreciation.

4. The Bishop, as promoter of vocational pastoral work.

It is the duty of the Bishop in particular to promote pastoral work of vocations, starting from the universal vocation towards sanctity and evangelization - based on Baptism - and taking into account that every pastoral work has a vocational dimension; the meeting with the living Christ is the driving force of every vocation. Looking after the family like a vocational nursery, cultivating small communities and apostolic movements also in this sense. The Bishop must organise organic pastoral work which is open to all vocations (ministerial, consecrated, committed lay faithful). It is necessary to dedicate special attention to pastoral work of childhood and to university pastoral work. What has been underlined is the influence of priestly models, teachers of spirit, generous pastors, who are available and happy about their vocation.

5. Collegiality and communion among Bishops and with the Successor of Peter.

The mystery of Trinitarian communion enlightens the communion experienced in the episcopal College. They manifest our gratitude to the Pope and to his collaborators for the solicitude towards the universal Church. The responsibility of the Bishops in relation to the universal Church counts as one of his forms of expression: promoting the faith and common tradition, collaboration under co-responsibility in the fields of missionary activity, of inculturation of the Gospel and of cultural dialogue, in the human promotion as in the defence of peace and justice at international level. As regards the episcopal Conferences what was underlined was the need to have closer relations - not only functional ones - among its members.

6. Collaboration in the ecclesiastic province regarding Evangelization.

On this aspect what was noticed was the opportunity to strengthen the Provinces and ecclesiastic regions, and some positive experiences were examined on this matter.

7. The Bishop, as animator of life in the parish.

The historical experience shows the resistance and solidity of the parish structure also during periods of great difficulty, including persecutions. However, the parish is not everything (think of the "new Aeropagi") and it is necessary to renew this, taking into account the town planning process and the need to take care of specific environments (for instance the university one). The parish has been valued as a meeting place with Christ and defined as: "the community of communities and movements". One must look for adequate placing of movements in pastoral work as a whole.

8. The Diocesan Curia, the expression of pastoral charity and governing instrument of the Bishop.

The Diocesan Curia must be organised (according to the possibilities of every local Church) like a set or organisations and pastoral services corresponding to the different dimensions or tasks of evangelization which undertakes to co-ordinate.

9. The Bishop, as Witness of the beatitude of poverty.

Jesus invites us, as his disciples, to live poverty as a source of freedom and sign of ultimate realities. We must be signs of hope through our poverty, following Christ who was poor and at the service of the poor. One must carry out social pastoral work with its three charity dimensions: the care dimension, the promotion dimension and the one related to structural changes. Social doctrine of the Church forms a precious instrument in this sense.

10. The Bishop before the challenge of religious, ethic and cultural pluralism.

The aim of the "new Evangelization" is evangelization of culture (which implies inculturation of the Gospel) in his broader sense. In the meeting between faith and culture, the Bishop must make an effort to be careful about ethic and cultural changes, following closely the cultural operators (intellectual, etc.), taking care of the formation of politicians accompanying the migration processes.

[00318-02.03] [cm007] [Original text: Spanish]

The presentation in the Hall of the Reports by the Working Groups will continue in the Twentieth General Congregation of this afternoon.



This afternoon the Twentieth General Congregation will take place, for the conclusion of the lecture in the Hall of the Reports by the Working Groups.

The works by the Working Groups will continue during the following days, for the draft and the approval by every Working Group of the projects for the texts of the Propositions (the formulae of Synodal consensus regarding certain subjects deemed important by the Synodal Fathers, suggestions offered to the Holy Father as the fruit of the Synodal Work).

The Working Groups will meet according to the Calendar of Synodal Works, published in Bulletin No. 2.

The Twenty-first General Congregation, for the presentation of the Draft of the Message, will take place Friday morning 19th October 2001.

The Twenty-second General Congregation, for the presentation of the Integrated List of Propositions, will take place Monday morning 22nd October 2001.


The first briefing for the Language Groups with the Press Officers accompanied by a Synod Father for each language, will take place Wednesday 17th October 2001 at 13:10 (in the locations and with the Press Officers indicated in Bulletin no. 2). Here below is the list of the Synod Fathers for each language group:

Italian Language Group:

  • H.E. Most Rev. Angelo MASSAFRA, O.F.M., Archbishop of Shkodrë, President of the Episcopal Conference (Albania)

English Language Group:

  • H.E. Most Rev. Leonardo LEGASPI, O.P., Archbishop of Caceres (Philippines)

French Language Group:

  • H.E. Most Rev. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA, Archbishop of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, President of the "Symposium des Conferences Episcopales d'Afrique and de Madagascar" (S.C.E.A.M.)

Spanish Language Group:

  • H.E. Most Rev. Jesús E. CATALÁ, Bishop of Alcalá de Henares (Spain)

German Language Group:

  • H.E. Most Rev. Ludwig SCHICK, Titular Bishop of Auzia and Auxiliary Bishop of Fulda (Germany)

We would like to remind the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) to request the access permit (restricted) from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The eleventh information pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Twenty-first General Congregation of Friday morning, 19th October 2001.

The list for registration to the pool is available to the editors at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Holy See Press Office (at the entrance, on the right).

We would like to recall that the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are kindly requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications to participate in the information pool for the Synod Hall.

We would also like to remind the participants in the Information Pool that they are kindly requested to be at the Press Area at 8:30 a.m., outside the entrance of the Paul VI Hall, when they will be called by name to enter the Synod Hall, always accompanied respectively by an officer of the Holy See Press Office and from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The next Bulletin No. 24 of this afternoon Tuesday October 16th 2001 will be available for the accredited journalists tomorrow Wednesday October 17th 2001, at the opening of the Holy See Press Office.


  • Tuesday, October 16th [Vatican Holiday]: 9 - 16
  • Wednesday, October 17th 2001: 9 - 16
    Briefings with the Synod Fathers
  • Thursday, October 18th 2001: 9 - 15
  • Friday, October 19th 2001: 9 - 15
  • Saturday, October 20th 2001: 9 - 14 and 17 - 19
    Meeting of the Holy Father with the Families [17.30-19.30]

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- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - X Ordinary General Assembly - 2001
  [English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

- Index Holy See Press Office
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