In an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost—the new leader of the Vatican's Dicastery for Bishops—explained his ideas on what a bishop should do. He highlighted the value of fostering a relationship with Christ, spreading the beauty of the religion, being reasonable with social media, and having a broad perspective.
Chicago-born Archbishop Outlines Key Elements of a Bishop's Role
In the article shared in Catholic News Agency, according to Prevost, bishops should concentrate on sharing their personal relationship with the Lord and teaching others about him. He went on to say, "This comes first: to communicate the beauty of the faith, the beauty and joy of knowing Jesus," adding that it needs living and sharing this experience.
Prevost, who was born in Chicago in 1955, first served as a missionary priest in Peru before serving as prior general of the Augustinians from Rome for more than ten years. He also serves as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He underlined the need for a bishop to be a pastor who can establish personal relationships with community members, mainly priests, and act as both a father and a brother. He emphasized the value of maintaining this closeness while excluding anyone.
In addition, Prevost said that a bishop needed to be "Catholic" in the sense of having a broader perspective on the Church and the world, as well as understanding the Church's universality and looking beyond his diocese.
According to CBCP News, he also pointed out the importance of exercising caution when using social media sites like Twitter because they may foster dissent and controversy. While social media presents communication opportunities, he pointed out that it also carries threats and can weaken the Church's unity.
Bishops must be able to listen to others, ask for counsel, and retain their spiritual and psychological maturity, according to Prevost. He emphasized that power should be used to assist and support priests in their roles as pastors and educators.
Prevost stressed the importance of listening to one another and realizing that debates shouldn't be limited to political goals regarding the Synod on Synodality. Instead, attention should be paid to receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit and appreciating the charisms, gifts, and ministries the Church offers.
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Archbishop Prevost Advocates for Unity and Inclusivity in Church Leadership
In an interview with the Vatican News, archbishop Prevost recently emphasized the value of inclusivity and unity in the Catholic Church's leadership, especially in times of heightened conflict. The importance of participation, communion, and mission in the work of the Synod, the Church's highest governing body, was stressed by him.
Prevost praised how the selection of new bishops is growing and becoming more inclusive with involvement from different community members, strengthening the Church's leadership. The Pope's choice to name three women to the Dicastery for Bishops, the Vatican division in charge of choosing bishops, represents a significant step in this field.
The Archbishop applauded this choice, praising these women's enrichment and significant contributions. While women's appointment signals progress toward greater diversity and representation in the Church's leadership, Prevost's message, which promotes inclusivity and unity, highlights the need for ongoing discussion and collaboration within the ecclesial community.
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