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Development and Peace

Role of Bishop & Council of Priests

The Role of Bishop

The bishop makes Christ's mission present and enduring in the Church. He undertakes Christ's role as teacher, priest, and shepherd. (LG21)

As shepherd, a bishop exercises his authority in a spirit of service, considering it as a vocation to serve the whole Church; so that it is all the more obvious that he is in truth the servant of God and the servant of the servants of God after the example of the high priest. (CD 16)

It is the bishop's responsibility to teach the word of God with authority and bear witness to it, to faithfully guard and to authentically interpret it (LG 24-25). He is to preside over Christian worship in the person of Christ and dispense the mysteries of God (LG 26). It is his role to gather together the particular churches of the diocese (LG 27). He is to choose and direct their helpers in the sacred ministry (LG 28-29). And it is his role to pass judgment on the goodness and orderly exercise of charisms (LG 12).

Since he bears the office of teacher, priest and shepherd, the bishop needs the collaboration of the whole community, not only of priests and deacons, but also of the laity. Lay people are called to take part in the common apostolate in the Church and to cooperate with their pastors under the authority of the bishop. Without this cooperation, the bishops hierarchical apostolate is for the most part unable to achieve its full effect (AA10).

(LG) - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) the Documents of Vatican II

(CD) - Decree on the Bishopâs Pastoral Office in the Church (Christus Dominus) the Documents of Vatican II

(AA) - Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) the Documents of Vatican II 


Council of Priests

In each diocese there is a council of priests who represent the Îpresbyterium and who serve as the Bishop's senate. The council's role is to assist the Bishop in the governance of the diocese, so that the pastoral welfare of the people of God entrusted to the Bishop may be most effectively promoted.

About half of the members of the council are elected by the priests themselves, some are members by reason of the office they hold, and some are appointed by the Bishop.

The diocesan bishop convenes the council of priests, presides over it and determines the matters to be discussed in consultation with the members. (Code of Canon Law #495-501)

Diocese of Saskatoon In Video