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Encourage all true apostolic works, Pope tells new bishops

Catholic World News - September 15, 2011

Meeting on September 15 with a group of about 100 newly ordained bishops, Pope Benedict XVI reminded them that the key to pastoral ministry is “not extinguishing the Spirit but testing and retaining what is good.”

The Congregation for Bishops has held annual meetings for new bishops, inviting them for a series of discussions on their new responsibilities and for a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter. The group traveled to Castelgandolfo for a meeting with the Holy Father.

This pilgrimage, the Pontiff told them, should be an important reminder that a bishop “is not alone,” but is part of the worldwide body of bishops in communion with the Pope. The corpus episcoporum, he reminded them, “has been handed down from the Apostles' time to our own.”

In his remarks to the new bishops, the Pope concentrated on the task of encouraging the many different forms of apostolic work they will find within their dioceses. The bishop, he said, “has the duty of unifying and harmonizing the charismatic diversity of ecclesial unity.” He should support all good works, the Pope said. At the same time he should keep in mind that “no charism can dispense from deferring and submitting to the pastors of the Church.” Pope Benedict exhorted the new bishops to cultivate their own lives of prayer, setting a standard for their priests and their lay flocks.

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