CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 19, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- Among a bishop’s many missions, the one Benedict XVI focused on when speaking to a group of new prelates was the duty to be a “teacher of the faith.”
The Pope made that point today when meeting in audience with prelates who have received episcopal ordination during the past year.
“As successors of the apostles you are ‘doctors of the faith,’ authentic doctors who with the same authority of Christ, above all proclaim to the people the faith we must live and believe,” the Holy Father said.
He delivered that message in the summer papal residence in Castel Gandolfo to the 110 bishops who are participating in the “Pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter.” The event continues until Wednesday.
During these days they are participating in prayer and reflection encounters together with cardinals and bishops from around the world. In the conferences they receive explanations about the challenges and problems that bishops often face.
“You have to help the faithful entrusted to your pastoral attention rediscover the joy of the faith, the joy of being personally loved by God who gave up his only Son, Jesus for our salvation,” Benedict XVI advised the new bishops.
Revealer of the Father
“As you well know,” he added, “to believe means above all to confide in God who knows and personally loves us, and to accept the Truth that he has revealed in Christ with the confident attitude that leads us to trust in Jesus, the revealer of the Father.
“Despite our weaknesses and sins, he loves us and his love gives meaning to our lives and to that of the world.”
The Holy Father continued: “Our response to God demands we walk the interior path that leads the believer to an encounter with the Lord. This encounter is only possible if man is capable of opening his heart to God who speaks to him in the depth of his conscience.
“This requires interiority, silence, vigilance — attitudes that I invite you to personally live and also promote among your faithful, trying to organize opportune initiatives that will help them to discover the primacy of the spiritual life.”
The Pope gave each of the bishops a copy of the new Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in June. It is a summary of the Catholic faith in 598 questions and answers.
The Holy Father asked the bishops to “remain close to your priests and the catechists of your diocese.”
He also asked them to promote the Year of the Eucharist so that the sacrament “might place in the hearts of the faithful the desire to root their lives ever more in the Eucharist.”