The Second Vatican Council states that to the Bishops "is fully entrusted the pastoral office, that is the habitual and daily care of their flock" (Lumen Gentium, 27). We must dwell more on these two descriptions of the care of the flock: habitual and daily. In our time assiduity and habituality are often associated with daily routine and boredom. So often we try to escape to a permanent "elsewhere". This is a temptation for Shepherds, for all pastors! The spiritual fathers must explain it well, so that we understand it and will not fall. Even in the Church, unfortunately, we are not exempt from this risk. Therefore, it is important to reiterate that the mission of the Bishop requires habituality and daily dedication. I think that in this age of meetings and conferences the decree of the Council of Trent on residency is so up-to-date: it is so up-to-date and it would be nice if the Congregation for Bishops wrote something about this. The flock need to find space in the heart of the Shepherd. If he is not firmly anchored within himself, in Christ and in his Church, he will be constantly buffeted by the waves in search of ephemeral compensation and will not offer any shelter to the flock.
This is pretty awesome. As Rorate points out, though, the jet-setting bishop thing is very much a product of the post-conciliar pandemonium. The Council itself is cited as the reason for all this trekking around, especially among the ecumenical "experts" crowd. We've mentioned events like these in posts before like the ones here.
This would be a great starting point for reforms. Since 90% of all the Vatican's ecumenical activities are utterly worthless, we should be thinking of all the money and resources that could be saved just by eliminating these conferences, seminars, etc. Let's just go the distance and ditch the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue. Anything they were doing that was worthwhile can be transferred to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Thursday, February 27, 2014