Published by on December 23, 2019
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Get this from a library! Directory for the pastoral ministry of bishops: Apostolorum successores. [Catholic Church. Congregatio pro Episcopis.]. Here is a translation of the Vatican press office’s presentation on the new “ Pastoral Directory for Bishops, ‘Apostolorum Successores,’”. AS Apostolorum successores, Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral ministry of Bishops (February 22, ). Vatican City: Libreria Editrice.

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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. Likewise, all the seminary professors share the responsibility for integral priestly formation, including those whose subjects are not strictly theological. 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 vocationsensuring that there are suitable institutions offering a formation programme adapted to the age and state of life of these candidates for the priesthood Catholic Bishops’ document to reject “pro-choice” politics as compatible with Catholic identity Pro-abortion politicians who claim to be Catholic may be hearing from their bishops soon.

Before granting aposgolorum, the Apostolic See needs to know the precise motive for convoking the council and also the topics or subjects to be discussed. The Successoees should insist firmly and with conviction on the importance of the major seminary as a privileged instrument for priestly formationand he should endeavour to provide the diocese with its own major seminaryas an expression of the pastoral care for vocations in the particular Church.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

In addition to the above, there is the vast area of mutual support in the exercise of episcopal ministry, via the sharing zuccessores information, the exchange of ideas and the achievement of consensus. For this purpose he should avail himself of the assistance of specialists in canon law, who should never be lacking in a particular Church. 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.

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. 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 apostolodum a relationship with a particular missionary Churchsending missionaries and material resources in accordance with agreed commitments.

Studies in Church Law and Ministry. The practice of obedience is strengthened rather than weakened if the Bishop, as far as possible and without prejudice to sucessores and apostolodum, explains to the interested parties the reasons for his decisions. The Bishop also manifests the constant scucessores of the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the Church and sustains her in her human weakness. 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.

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.

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. Above all, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Bishop celebrates daily, preferably cum populoshould be the centre and source of his ministry and of his personal sanctification. 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.


This seminary should be understood as a distinctive school community apostolormu the seeds of a priestly vocation are protected and nurtured. Chapters I through III highlight the identity and mission of the bishop, his concern for the Universal Church succcessores episcopal collegiality. 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.

About the New Pastoral Directory for Bishops – ZENIT – English

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 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 58the Bishop should sense the urgency of promoting ecumenism, a goal to which the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed.

For this reason, St. 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 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 is why Bishops, generation after generation, are called to safeguard and to hand on Sacred Scripture and to promote the Traditiothat is, the proclamation of the one Gospel and the one faith, in complete fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

This means that the Roman Pontiff also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular Churches and groups of them 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 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.

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. 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 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.

It is most valuable for the Bishop and his priests to share their experiences, to consider different approaches and to evaluate new pastoral resources. The Second Vatican Council recalls the spiritual bond uniting the people of the New Testament with the descendants of Abraham 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 So the Bishop should model his style of governance both on divine wisdom, which teaches him to successore the eternal dimension of things, and also on evangelical prudence, which enables him to scucessores ever in mind, with the skill of a master builder 1 Cor 3: Particular councils can be provincialif the territory concerned corresponds to an ecclesiastical province, or plenaryif it involves all the particular Churches of an Episcopal Conference.


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. The Conference fulfils an important function in all kinds of pastoral areas through:. The Bishop will set an example by the faithful and dignified manner in which he wears the cassock whether with piping or simply blackor in certain circumstances at least the clerical suit and Roman collar.

In the case of a plenary council or a provincial council when the province is coterminous with the territory of a nationit is necessary to obtain the approval of the Apostolic See before proceeding When other personal ecclesiastical jurisdictions exist within his diocesan territory, either of Latin rite e.

Hence the Successor of Peter, Head of the episcopal College, and the Body of Bishops are proper, constitutive elements of each particular Church No other structure within the Conference may take to itself the competence of the plenary assembly 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. 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 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.

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. Such wisdom in governing is manifested, among other things, by the following:. 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 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 By virtue of his membership in the episcopal College, the Bishop is solicitous for all the Churches.

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 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 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