BISHOPS MUST SET AN EXAMPLE THROUGH SANCTITY OF LIFE
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Today in Castelgandolfo the Holy Father received a group of newly consecrated bishops who are currently participating in a meeting organised by the Congregation for Bishops. For the last ten years the congregation has been inviting new bishops to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter in order to reflect on the main responsibilities of episcopal ministry. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"You are invited", the Pope told the group "to renew your profession of faith and your trusting adherence to Jesus Christ over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, showing the same impulse of love as Peter himself and strengthening your ties of communion with his Successor and with your brother bishops".
In this context Benedict XVI explained that "the bishop ... is not alone, he is part of that 'corpus episcoporum' which, joining us to Christ, has been handed down from the Apostles' time to our own". He encouraged the prelates to live every day in episcopal fraternity, working in communion with the Pope and their brother bishops, while "seeking to cultivate friendship with them and with your priests".
The Holy Father then turned his attention to the importance of bishops accepting "the charisms which the Spirit arouses for the edification of the Church", especially among the faithful. "Bishops have the task of watching and working to ensure that the baptised increase in grace, in accordance with the charisms the Holy Spirit causes to arise in their hearts and communities", he said.
"The fundamental gift you are called to cherish in the faithful entrusted to your pastoral care is that of divine filiation; in other words, the fact that everyone participates in Trinitarian communion. Baptism, which makes men and women 'children in the Son' and members of the Church, is the root and source of all other charismatic gifts. Through your ministry of sanctification, you educate the faithful to participate with increasing intensity in the priestly, prophetic and regal office of Christ, helping them to build the Church, actively and responsibly, according to the gifts they have received from God.
"We must", the Pope added, "always bear in mind the fact that the gifts of the Spirit - be they extraordinary or simple and humble - are always given freely for the edification of all. The bishop, as a visible sign of the unity of his particular Church, has the duty of unifying and harmonising the charismatic diversity of ecclesial unity, favouring reciprocity between the hierarchical and the baptismal priesthood".
The Holy Father invited bishops "to accept charisms gratefully, for the sanctification of the Church and the vitality of the apostolate. This acceptance and this gratitude ... are inseparable from discernment, which is part of the bishop's mission. Vatican Council II said as much when it gave pastoral ministry the task of judging the genuineness of charisms and their proper use, not extinguishing the Spirit but testing and retaining what is good. Therefore, it must always be clear that no charism can dispense from deferring and submitting to the pastors of the Church".
Episcopal ministry "requires the bishop to nourish his own spiritual life with care" because, as the Apostolic Exhortation "Pastores gregis" says, "he becomes a 'father' precisely because he is fully a 'son' of the Church. ... These two inseparable aspects call him to grow as son and as pastor as he follows Christ, in order that his personal sanctity may be an expression of the objective sanctity he received through episcopal consecration".
The Holy Father concluded: "The sanctity of your lives and your pastoral charity will be an example and support to your priests, ... who are also called to build the community with their gifts, charisms and the witness of their lives, so that the choral communion of the Church may bear witness to Jesus Christ, that the world may believe".
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Swiss Hall of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended an exhibition arranged by the German publisher Herder and the Vatican Publishing House. The exhibition, which has been organised for his forthcoming apostolic trip to Germany, brings together the various language editions of the works of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, some 600 volumes in all including original works and translations.
"I thank you for your efforts and commitment in seeking to make the works I have written known to the world, as I prepare for my apostolic trip to Germany. For me, that journey will also be a moment to reflect upon what, through my ministry, I can do for the world and the Church", said the Pope in his remarks. "I am moved and slightly astounded to see the amount of books I have created. My hope is that the words they contain may not just come and go, but that they help men and women to find their way".
The Holy Father also thanked the people involved in preparing his works for publication. "The author does his part and enjoys the fame, the others remain behind the scenes and work without appearing but, in the silence, all are present. I feel truly obliged, at this time, to express my thanks for all of this".
CONDOLENCES ON FERRY DISASTERPope Benedict XVI on Thursday sent a telegram of condolence to authorities in Tanzania, where a ferry sank at the weekend, killing nearly 200 people. The full text of the English-language telegram is below:
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was saddened to learn of the great loss of life in the disaster which took place at sea off the coast of your Nation. The Holy Father is praying for those who are missing and commends the souls of the departed to the benevolent mercy of our Heavenly Father. He wishes to convey his condolences to the authorities and people of Tanzania, and particularly to the relatives and friends of the deceased. Upon all who mourn their passing His Holiness fervently implores the divine gifts of consolation and hope and prays that abundant blessings of strength and peace be given to all who have been affected by this tragedy.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Pelplin,Poland, presented by Bishop Piotr Krupa, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, apostolic nuncio to Ireland, as apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic.