What counts most in the pastoral profile of a bishop: natural gifts, spiritual virtues, or the capability to govern a diocese?
R. – The Congregation for Bishops, unlike the Congregation for Saints, deals with the pastoral profiles of candidates who are not yet perfect, but of men on the way of perfection. What certainly counts in a priest proposed for the episcopate are the theological and cardinal virtues, the so-called principal human virtues. Above all, what is most important for this office is prudence.
Wow. I like the priority, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see it expressed publicly. Cardinal Ouellet tries to dispel the negativity associated with it:
This should not be understood as reticence or timidity, but as balance between action and reflection while exercising a responsibility that requires great dedication and courage.
Image, right is from All Saints Church, Lindfield, West Sussex. Christopher Whall, artist. Prudence is often depicted as a woman or an angel and often holds a mirror and/or a book.