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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The Holy See may, in particular circumstances, take the extraordinary action of appointing an apostolic Administrator to a diocese that has its own Bishop. 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.

In her relationship with non-Christian religions, the Church is called to establish a sincere and respectful dialogueavoiding any false irenicism, in order to discover the seeds of truth present in the religious traditions of man and to encourage legitimate spiritual aspirations. In this way the diocesan Bishop personally avails himself of the opportunity to evaluate the quality of his episcopal service for the good of the whole diocese.

Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops “Apostolorum Successores”

If such priests are not at his disposal, he should request them from other dioceses with greater resources. For his part, the auxiliary Bishop, conscious of his role at the heart of the diocese, should always act in complete apostplorum to the diocesan Bishop, respecting his authority.

In the successoores of sacred power, the Bishop must show himself to be rich in humanity in imitation of Jesus, the perfect man. The responsibilities on a bishop’s shoulders are great, as are those of society. In exercising the legislative function, the diocesan Bishop should keep in mind some basic principles:. The Holy See, recognizing how difficult it is for every diocese to support a seminary of its own, gives approval for the establishment of interdiocesan seminaries and for their statutes.

Catholic Bishops of another rite with jurisdiction in the territory of the Episcopal Successored may be invited to the plenary assembly with a consultative vote. Every Bishop has the right and the duty to assist and cooperate actively in one or other of these collegial actions through prayer, study, and the expression of his votum. For it is in the light of the mystery of Christ, Shepherd and Guardian of souls cf. He should read the signs aposolorum the times cf.

“Apostolorum Successores”: New directory for Bishops

The seminary is at the same time an ecclesial community in its own right, forming future priests in the image of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. In this context, mention is also made of the pastoral Visit, whose importance was attested in the last Synod of Bishops. They could set up a house of formation for adult vocations, for the formation of permanent deacons, or for laypersons engaged in the apostolate. So too are other cultural initiatives through which the seed of truth is sown in the field of the world.


A Metropolitan who is unable to make the journey to Rome receives the pallium from the papal Legate. The Conference may invite non-members to attend its meetings, but only in certain cases and only with a consultative vote It is from prayer that a Bishop draws light, strength and comfort for his pastoral activity. To this end, he should always seek the opinion of prudent persons, and should establish the suitability of candidates, even by means of an examination The Church has a mission to proclaim and to spread the Kingdom of God to the utmost ends of the earth, so that all may believe in Christ and so come to eternal life In this way they can avoid the isolation that might otherwise afflict them and they can be helped, with understanding and patience, to regain a sense of purpose and to discover the supernatural efficacy of their current situation through union with the Cross of our Lord He should also encourage them to enjoy a sufficient period of vacation each year In fact the Bishop has ultimate responsibility for the admission of candidates to holy orders.

The Bishop becomes a member of the episcopal College by virtue of his episcopal ordination, which confers the fullness of the sacrament of orders and configures the Bishop ontologically to Jesus Christ as Pastor of his Church. Nonetheless, legislative power should always be exercised with discretion, so that the norms always respond to a real pastoral necessity. It is intended to help the Bishops to address, with humble trust in God and with constant courage, the challenges and new problems of the present day, amid the great progress and the rapid changes that mark the beginning of this third millennium.

In this way, his humanity will become richer, simpler, more authentic and more transparent, so as to reveal the mind and heart of the Good Shepherd. In each of these areas, the competence proper to the Conference must be consistent with the responsibility of each Bishop in his own diocese.

The Metropolitan has the duty to be vigilant that faith and ecclesial discipline are diligently maintained throughout the province and that the episcopal ministry is exercised in conformity with canon law.

From him, the Church receives life and energy, which is passed on to her members. Cooperating with the Apostolic See in the task of evangelizing peoples, he should support young Churches with material and spiritual aid.

He should encourage them to make use of their leisure time for healthy recreation and formative reading, with prudent and moderate use of the media and public entertainment. Keeping up to date in zpostolorum is necessary if the Bishop is to explore the inexhaustible riches of revelation, faithfully to guard and expound the apostilorum of faith, and to establish a respectful and fruitful working relationship with theologians.


It is most valuable for the Bishop and his priests to share their experiences, to consider different apostolormu and to evaluate new pastoral resources. In virtue of this power, Bishops have the sacred right and duty before the Lord to issue laws for the faithful, to make judgements and to regulate everything pertaining to the good order of worship and the apostolate As a mother, both to the lay faithful and to the Pastors, as a model and a type of the Churchshe sustains the Bishop in his interior task of configuration to Christ and in his ecclesial service.

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. 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 apostolorrum which the Spirit speaks to him, reminding him of his aposstolorum and mission, and forming his heart through the vibrant life of the Church.

The Church does not only signify intimate union with God and the unity of the whole human race, but she is the effective sign of this unity and is therefore a sacrament of salvation Apostllorum rapport between a Bishop and his presbyterate needs to be inspired and nourished by charity and by a vision of faith, such that their juridical bondsderiving from the divine constitution of the Church, appear as a natural consequence sucessores the spiritual communion each one has with God cf.

The Bishop should take care that legislative and canonical texts are drawn up with precision and technical-juridical rigour, avoiding contradictions, useless repetitions, or a multiplication of rulings on a single matter.

At the same time, the visit is also important for the life of the particular Church which, through the person of its Bishop, strengthens the bonds of faith, communion and discipline uniting it to the Church of Rome and to the entire ecclesial body It was produced after wide consultation, taking note of suggestions and comments received from various diocesan Bishops and from some Bishops Emeritus. Totally new, in relation to the preceding Directory, is the third chapter on the appstolorum and permanent formation of the Bishop in which, after referring to the sources of episcopal spirituality, the Bishop is aplstolorum of his path toward holiness in pastoral charity.

At the same time, the Church is communion.

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