Christus Dominus 13: Bishop and Diocese, part 3

Christus Dominus section 13 continues the chapter discussed in the past two CD posts. Bishops must be able to teach in a manner adapted to the needs of the times, that is to say, in a manner that will respond to the difficulties and questions by which people are especially burdened and troubled.”

Interesting how this is defined, not by modern teaching methods: newspaper columns, radio or tv addresses, or even blogs, but in the target audience of people who are troubled. Also note that the case listed is not those who already adhere to Catholic teaching, but those who have “difficulties” and “questions” about it. So much for tossing dissenters off the barque.

They should also guard that doctrine, teaching the faithful to defend and propagate it. In propounding this doctrine they should manifest the maternal solicitude of the Church toward all men whether they be believers or not. With a special affection they should attend upon the poor and the lower classes to whom the Lord sent them to preach the Gospel.

So much again for the big money donors some clerics like to court.

Bishops are asked not to wait for dialogue with others, but to take matters into their own hands:

Since it is the mission of the Church to converse with the human society in which it lives, it is especially the duty of bishops to seek out men and both request and promote dialogue with them. These conversations on salvation ought to be noted for clarity of speech as well as humility and mildness in order that at all times truth may be joined to charity and understanding with love. Likewise they should be noted for due prudence joined with trust, which fosters friendship and thus is capable of bringing about a union of minds.

The fostering of friendships. One thing that strikes me about this is how much we lay Catholics have gotten off track on this principle. Especially in St Blog’s, one sees dividing lines along ideological premises. We may not be bishops, but I fail to see how the principles involved do not apply to us laity in our dealings with one another. If we weren’t Catholics, one would expect the virtues of humility, mildness, charity, and love. That we are and we lack these: this is a serious problem.

And CD 13 does apply a nod to the modern media methods:

They should also strive to make use of the various media at hand nowadays for proclaiming Christian doctrine, namely, first of all, preaching and catechetical instruction which always hold the first place, then the presentation of this doctrine in schools, academies, conferences, and meetings of every kind, and finally its dissemination through public statements at times of outstanding events as well as by the press and various other media of communication, which by all means ought to be used in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.

Any thoughts?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Christus Dominus 13: Bishop and Diocese, part 3

  1. Pingback: The Elder Son Grows Up « Catholic Sensibility

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