Pope Francis: bishops are primarily witnesses of the risen Christ

In an audience with bishops who have been named over the past year, Pope Francis compared the ordination of bishops to Christ’s breathing of the Holy Spirit on the apostles on Easter evening.

In an apparently complacent culture in which it “seems useful to suppress the question of what is definitive” and in which people do not consider eternity, bishops are called primarily to be witnesses to the Risen One, the Pope said on September 10. “You have been entrusted with the preaching of the reality that supports the whole edifice of the Church: Jesus is risen!”

During the audience, which took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis said that bishops are also called to be “educators, spiritual leaders, and catechists,” as well as “mystagogues” who accompany Christians and “missionaries” to those “who do not know Jesus or have always refused.”


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