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Pope cautions: episcopal conference must not erode bishop's authority

Catholic World News - November 15, 2010

The national bishops’ conference exists to promote collaboration among bishops, not to replace their authority, Pope Benedict XVI said to a visiting group of bishops from Brazil on November 15.

The episcopal conference “must avoid becoming a parallel reality or substituting for the ministry of each individual bishop,” the Pope said. He added that “the counselors and structures of the episcopal conference exist to serve the bishops, not to replace them.” Stressing the duty and authority of each individual bishop within his own diocese, the Pope said that the conference should help each bishop to carry out his work more effectively.

The Pope was meeting with the last in a long series of Brazilian bishops making their ad limina visits to Rome. Brazil has the world's largest Catholic population (over 145 million) and the largest number of dioceses (268); the Brazilian bishops made their ad limina visits in 16 different groups. The Holy Father observed that he had spoken to the first visiting group of Brazilian bishops on their nation’s independence day, and was now addressing the last group on the anniversary of the proclamation of a Brazilian republic.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Nov. 17, 2010 1:38 AM ET USA

    pwrosey2737: Hear, hear!

  • Posted by: impossible - Nov. 16, 2010 2:15 PM ET USA

    The USCCB should faithfully adopt the medical ethic of "first do no harm." They should place Church teachings above and ahead of an ingrained preference for Democrat Party policies and candidates who have left them and Church teachings behind. The good Bishops need to listen carefully to the Pope's words: Stressing the duty and authority of each individual bishop within his own diocese, the Pope said that the conference should help each bishop to carry out his work more effectively.

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