Cardinal Bertone: Church Needs Holy Bishops

Reflects on Fidelity, Prudence and Goodness

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Church today needs holy and credible bishops, affirmed Benedict XVI's secretary of state when he celebrated Mass today with bishops ordained in the last year.



Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone thus inaugurated the annual conference-pilgrimage sponsored by the Congregation for Bishops and the Regina Apostolorum university for newly ordained prelates.

The cardinal gave the bishops this challenge: "Christian people need to see credible witnesses and be guided by holy pastors," who plant the "love of God in everyone who has been entrusted to their care."

The secretary of state also assured the bishops of the "greeting and encouragement of Benedict XVI."

He then went on to cite some of the passages from a homily that the Pope gave last Saturday when he ordained five bishops. On that occasion, the Holy Father emphasized virtues such as fidelity, prudence and goodness.

Referring to fidelity, Cardinal Bertone affirmed that "the Church is not ours, but His, the Church of God." Consequently, the cardinal continued, a bishop cannot seek power or prestige, working for himself and not the community.

Speaking of prudence, the cardinal recalled that the Pope said this virtue is not about being astute, but rather about being committed to the truth. "[Truth], thanks to prudence, becomes the criteria for our activity," he said.

Finally, mentioning the virtue of goodness, Cardinal Bertone said it means to "cultivate a profound orientation toward God, the only one who is good, in fact, Good par excellence."

The cardinal expressed his hope that the bishops would be "holy as the Cure d'Ars was holy, that is, living your ministry according to the heart of Christ and the maternal heart of Mary."

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On ZENIT's Web page:

Translation of the Pope's homily Saturday at the ordination of five bishops: www.zenit.org/article-26853?l=english