Bishop: New Vatican constitution gives value to Catholic bishops’ conferences


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St. Peter’s Basilica, pictured on March 19, 2013. / Mazur/ Vatican Metropolis, Might 10, 2022 / 09:05 am (CNA). In a speech to dicastery leaders on Monday, a bishop stated that the new Vatican structure provides value to Catholic bishops’ conferences and their potential to foster communion between bishops and the pope.The preamble of Praedicate evangelium, Bishop Marco Mellino stated, affirms that bishops’ conferences “are presently some of the vital methods of expressing and serving ecclesial communion within the totally different regions along with the Roman Pontiff.”Mellino, who is the secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, stated the constitution’s intention is “that of valuing the episcopal conferences ... of their potential for implementing the communion of the bishops amongst themselves and with the Roman Pontiff.”He went on to say that this works to the extent that each of the bishops’ conferences “is a legitimate instrument which contributes, in a manifold and fruitful approach, to the belief of the collegial affection among the members of the identical episcopate and offers for the widespread good of the actual Churches.”Mellino’s speech was revealed on Might 9 in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. It included reflections on the position of laity, synodality, and the Roman Curia’s orientation toward service, as outlined within the apostolic structure Praedicate evangelium.The new Vatican constitution, whose title means “Preach the Gospel,” was revealed on March 19 after nine years in production by the pope’s Council of Cardinals.It replaces Pastor bonus, the apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1988, and later modified by popes Benedict and Francis.Praedicate evangelium will take impact on June 5, the Solemnity of Pentecost. In the constitution, Mellino stated, bishops’ conferences “aren't thought-about intermediate hierarchical buildings, however fairly our bodies of subsidiarity, which do not intrude with the Petrine office or the governance of specific Churches.”“They categorical and foster the train of ‘co-responsibility in the communio’ for the pastoral profit and common good of the particular Churches via the joint exercise of certain features proper to them,” he stated.The bishop also drew consideration to using the word “jointly” in Church regulation about bishops’ conferences.In canon regulation, canon 447 says “a conference of bishops, a permanent institution, is a gaggle of bishops of some nation or sure territory who collectively train certain pastoral features for the Christian trustworthy of their territory so as to promote the larger good which the Church presents to humanity.”The word “jointly” is used “to be able to avoid the concept in episcopal conferences is exercised the collegial energy of the bishops, which could be exercised by them solely when the entire School is convoked,” he stated.“Furthermore, by making reference to the joint train of solely ‘some pastoral features’ and never all, the canon seeks to guard the duty that by divine proper the bishops have for the Church entrusted to their care and to not affect the right power that they've within the exercise of their pastoral ministry.”