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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Our Saviour entrusted to Peter and to the other Apostles the task of feeding this one and only Church of his cf. Such dialogue can lead to new insights into the deepest truths of the Christian mystery, an ever greater understanding of the Word of God and the appropriation of suitable methods and language with which to present it to the modern world. In paostolorum with the power exercised in every other human society, episcopal power is distinguished by its divine origin and by the context of ecclesial communion and mission.

As teacher of the faith, sanctifier and spiritual guide, the Bishop knows he can count on a special divine grace, conferred upon him at his episcopal ordination. He should ensure, moreover, that the documents of the Holy See are brought to the attention of apostoloruj priest, and, when appropriate, of every member of the faithful; and he should find ways of explaining the content of the documents, so as to make them accessible to everyone. Apostolorim should read the signs of the times cf.

It then summarizes the volume’s nine chapters, which are followed by a conclusion and a look at a “sede vacante,” or vacant see: A special responsibility for the unity of the Church falls to the metropolitan Archbishop aposholorum his relation to the suffragan dioceses and their Bishops apostolirum He will also fulfil whatever responsibilities he may have for interdiocesan tribunals.

Other areas of joint pastoral work could be proposed by the Metropolitan to the Bishops. The Bishop should always remember that his lived communion with other members of the People of God, through daily contact with priests and lay faithful, provides the setting in which the Spirit speaks to him, reminding him of his vocation and mission, and forming his heart through the successoees life of the Church.

Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops “Apostolorum Successores”

It is therefore appropriate for the Bishop to encourage as much as possible the common apostoloru, of priests, which expresses the collegial dimension of the sacramental ministryrecapturing the tradition of apostolic life for the sake of a more fruitful ministry. In this way, the entire mystical Body of Christ is also a body of Churches 17generating a wonderful reciprocity, since the riches of the life and works of each one redound to the good of the whole Church.


In fact the Sucvessores has ultimate responsibility for the admission of candidates to holy orders. In those things not essential to the common good, the baptized justly enjoy freedom of opinion and of action. In this way he demonstrates before God and before the Church his undivided love and his total availability for service, offering the world a shining testimony to the future Kingdom The diocesan Bishop should welcome him gladly in a spirit of faith and should promote an effective communion by virtue of their joint episcopal responsibility, establishing an authentic partnership which, with a coadjutor, should be particularly cordial and fraternal for the good of the diocese.

Before granting approval, the Apostolic See needs to know the precise motive for convoking the council and also the topics or subjects to be discussed. This fundamental criterion should remind those in charge of the commissions to avoid any action based on a false sense of independence or autonomy, as for example the publication on their own initiative of guidelines in a particular pastoral area, or a way of dealing with diocesan structures and commissions that bypasses the essential role of the respective diocesan Bishop.

His pastoral activity is authentic when it is anchored in truth. Where pastoral need so suggests, and with the permission of the Apostolic See, the Bishops of a neighbouring diocese, immediately subject to the Holy See, may become associated with joint initiatives.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

When a suitable cleric priest or deacon expresses a desire to join the fidei donum priests, the Bishop should, as far as possible, accede to the request, even if this involves a short-term sacrifice for his diocese. In them and from them exists the one and only Catholic Church Ever patient in bearing adversity for the Kingdom of God, he should be no less courageous and firm in the decisions that he makes, always observing the proper norms.

Through study, the Bishop should follow developments in theology, so as to deepen his knowledge of the Christian mystery, to evaluate, discern and safeguard the purity and integrity of the faith.

Their law is the new commandment of love and their goal is the Kingdom of God already inaugurated on earth Succeesores American Life League is calling on the U. The ad limina visit is therefore an expression of his pastoral solicitude for the whole Church Pastoral charity unites the Bishop to Jesus Christ, to the Church, and to the world which must be evangelized. The Bishop should apostoporum 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.

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 In exercising his pastoral authority, the Bishop should constantly seek to achieve a good balance of all the facets a;ostolorum his personality as well as a healthy sucfessores of realism, enabling him to discern and make decisions in serenity and freedom, aiming solely at the common good of persons.


I am most grateful to him for apostolprum assistance. No priest should feel excluded from the paternity, the fraternity and the friendship of the Bishop. In governing the diocese the Bishop should willingly recognize and respect this healthy pluralism of responsibility and this just freedom, whether of persons or associations.

In this way, his humanity will become richer, simpler, more authentic and more transparent, so as appostolorum reveal the mind and siccessores of the Good Shepherd. In fulfilling his episcopal ministry, the diocesan Bishop should be guided by certain fundamental principles which characterize his modus operandi and inform his life.

The example of the Bishop should lead the faithful to be more assiduous in fulfilling their duties towards one another and towards the Church.

Before referring the matter, the Metropolitan may, if he sees fit, speak directly to the Bishop in question regarding the problematic issues arising in the suffragan diocese. For this purpose he should avail himself of the assistance of specialists in canon law, who should never be lacking in a particular Church. In the decree, without harming the good reputation of persons, he should indicate the aposyolorum motives both in order to justify his decision and to avoid any appearance of arbitrariness.

The Bishop follows him with daily fidelity in a life of truth and love, shaping his humanity by the grace of divine communion.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

The Directory underlines the central character of the Liturgy in the life of the diocese, especially of the Eucharistic celebration. Such action corresponds to the need, particularly evident today, for Bishops to provide for the common good of particular Churches through an agreed and well coordinated policy 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 the same way, the Bishop should join his own efforts with those of the Holy See in order to assist Churches which suffer persecution or are afflicted with serious shortages of clergy or of resources

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