QUALITIES OF A GOOD BISHOP

Ven. Abp.Fulton J. Sheen
 Recently the Spanish Website "INFOVATICANA" published a list of the " Seven Qualities of a Good Bishop". my grasp of Spanish is slim and relies on my knowledge of Latin and Italian. Nevertheless, I believe that I can show here a faithful Summary of that list. We are fated to "live in interesting times" as in the old Chinese curse. Some will look at certain episcopal appointments and long for better days. The list might serve to give us food for thought as well as the basis for prayer when appointments come up.

The seven qualities, which, it is suggested, should be  considered in assessing a candidate for Episcopal Ordination are:



1. Radical following of Christ:   In his life and ministry, does the Priest manifest a pastoral conversion to Jesus Christ and a conscious decision to abandon everything to follow Christ?

2. Apostolic Energy:  Does he preach the Gospel with conviction and clarity? Is he able to present the Christian proposal to those who do not believe?  Is he able to instruct and, in case of necessity, admonish those Catholics who espouse doctrines contrary to the Gospel?

3.Effectiveness and Pastoral Results: How has he run his Parish? Has he grown his Parish? Did his students flourish in their classes?

4.Liturgical Presence: How does he celebrate Mass? Does he leave the ministers and the people with a more profound experience of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ?

5. Personal Example: How many have sensed the call to the Priesthood due to his influence? is he a man capable of leading others to holiness of life through his own holiness?

6.Value of being Counter Cultural: Does he have the force of character and personality necessary to take unpopular decisions before other Priests if Catholic Doctrine requires that?

7.Theological Formation: Is he well-formed? Is he capable of "translating" the best of Theology in order to make it accessible to the people?

It is an interesting and indeed, challenging list. We should pray that these considerations are, or will become routine in the making of such appointments.  Perhaps some recent instances suggest that they were not factors in some recent appointments.


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