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Many priests decline appointment as bishops, Vatican prefect discloses

December 02, 2011

The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops has disclosed that many priests—“more than I could have expected”—decline the opportunity to be ordained bishops.

In an interview with the Italian daily Avvenire, Cardinal Marc Ouellet said that priests who refuse episcopal appointments are usually concerned about the difficulty of the bishop’s role, particularly at a time when the Church is often under attack. The Canadian cardinal acknowledged that the task is difficult, saying that a bishop must be an effective evangelist and defender of the faith, not merely a capable administrator.

In a commentary on Cardinal Ouellet’s words, L’Espresso lists some of the more noteworthy episcopal appointments of recent months, and shows how the new appointments matched the cardinal’s criteria.


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