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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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.

The Bishop knows that he has been sent by God, the King of ages cf.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

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 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 apostolorkm take steps to ensure that it is communicated to the faithful.

The Bishop, visible principle of unity in his diocese, apostolorumm 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 successroes spread the Gospel.

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.

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 It is intended to help the Bishops to address, with humble trust in God and with constant scucessores, 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.

Chapter III, entirely new with respect to the previous directory, regards the spirituality and permanent formation of the bishop, reminding him of successires path towards holiness in pastoral charity” and outlining the “theological virtues and human gifts that must support a bishop in his pastoral ministry. The common priesthood and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood differ essentially, even if they are ordered one to another, successpres each shares in its own proper way in the one priesthood of Christ.

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.

Proper attention to rest will allow the Bishop to nurture a profound humanity with wisdom, balance, joy and patience. 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.

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. For this reason, St. Hence, this Directory is closely linked to the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis with regard to its doctrinal and pastoral foundations.


“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

With prudent forethought, and via scrutiniessuccessoers should establish that each of the candidates is suitable for holy orders and fully committed to living the demands of the Catholic priesthood.

When they die, their funerals should be celebrated by the Bishop himself, if at all possible, or else by his representative. The Bishop, as leader and model for priests and lay faithful, should receive the sacraments in an exemplary way. The episcopate, one and undivided, shows itself united in a single apostolorym 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.

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.

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 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.

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 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 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.

Hence the Successor of Peter, Head of the episcopal College, and the Body of Bishops are proper, constitutive elements of each particular Church 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 Directory underlines the importance and role of the ministry of the Bishop in the life of the Church.

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.

By virtue of the law itself, all diocesan Bishops of the territory and those equivalent to them in law 84as 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. The Conference fulfils an important function in all kinds of pastoral areas through:.

In treating problems and in making decisions, the salvation of souls is the supreme law to which no exception can be made 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.


These provincial meetings are convoked at regular intervals by the metropolitan Archbishop. 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 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 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 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. This should help them overcome any unwillingness to participate in the programmes of ongoing formation offered by the diocesewhether as a result of routine, fatigue, an exaggerated work ethic or an excessive reliance on their own abilities.

If such priests are not at his disposal, he should request them from other dioceses with greater resources. 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. Also addressed are pastoral questions affecting large cities and the organization of the whole of pastoral care.

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 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.

When he reaches his seventy-fifth birthday, each Bishop is bound to observe what is prescribed in the Code of Canon Law. 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 Conferencecooperate with the Bishops by means of a genuinely pastoral activity which deserves special attention on the part of the Church Under certain conditions established by law, the Bishops assembled in the Episcopal Conference also exercise a doctrinal function 95since they are authoritative teachers and instructors in the faith for their people.

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.

Fully convinced that nothing he can do serves any purpose unless he be with Christthe Bishop must be in love with the Lord. 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. 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 successorss pastoral matter in the diocesan forum that is not reserved to the supreme authority or to some other ecclesiastical authority