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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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 Through the Conference, the Bishops fulfil certain pastoral functions jointly for the faithful of their territory.

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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. For this purpose he should avail himself of the assistance of specialists in canon law, who should never be lacking in a particular Church. The Bishops are, by Divine Will, the Pastors of the Church, with the task of teaching the Gospel, of sanctifying and of being spiritual guides, in hierarchical communion with the Successor of Peter and with the other members of the Episcopal College.

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.

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. 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.

In this way, through the Roman Curia, successorees bond of unity and charity existing within the episcopal College is extended throughout the People of God They have succeasores sent out as the light of the world and the salt of the earth cf. 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. March 09, The Church is therefore also missionary. 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.

Pastoral charity unites the Bishop to Jesus Christ, to the Church, and to the world which must be evangelized.


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 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 usccessores in his diocese, and should appoint a representative competent in the field, who will coordinate and promote diocesan activities in this area The Munus Sanctificandi of the Diocesan Bishop.

These gifts and human virtues bear fruit in pastoral prudence, in wise care of souls and in good governance The Bishop should take care to send intellectually gifted priests to undertake further studies in ecclesiastical universitiesso 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.

When they die, their funerals should be celebrated by the Bishop himself, if at all possible, or else by his representative. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium proposes a number of images which illustrate the apostolorun of the Church and highlight its characteristic marks, revealing the indissoluble bond that unites the People of God with Christ.

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 apostoloru, Paul and by meeting the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

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. 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.

It concludes with some suggestions for modifying the existing canons of the Code of Canon Law in order to bring them into closer conformity with the theology of the teaching office.

Totally new, in relation to the preceding Directory, is the third chapter on the spirituality and permanent formation of the Bishop in which, after referring to the sources of episcopal spirituality, the Bishop is reminded of his path toward holiness in pastoral charity.

It is good, moreover, to call upon them for meetings or study commissions created to examine matters in which they have particular competence. 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 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.


Their suitability must be established to his satisfaction with positive arguments. 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.

About the New Pastoral Directory for Bishops – ZENIT – English

On his own initiative or at the request successoree the Conference, the Supreme Pontiff may issue a special mandate in those cases where he judges it opportune 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 successorres the Roman Pontiff 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.

Chapter 4 illustrates some essential principles that must guide the pastoral governance of the Bishop, such as:. Georgetown University Press, He should read the signs of the times cf. 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.

He may choose formally to renew the appointment of the office-holder, or to extend it for less than a full term.

He should respect and require others to respect their rights and should defend them against unjust criticism Following the example of the Good Shepherd, the entire ministry of the Bishop is focused on serving God and the flock His goal must be to grow constantly in holiness, so that he can truly say: 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.

Pastoral prudence will make the Bishop mindful of his public image and the impression that he gives through the media. The role of the Episcopal Conference has grown in importance in recent years. Hence, this Directory is closely linked to the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis with regard to its doctrinal and pastoral foundations. 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.