Beatitudes for Bishops VI

Archbishop Domenico Battaglia’s Beatitudes for Bishops were adopted by the Holy Father, who shared them last month in a homily at an episcopal ordination. The original text is here, in Italian

I think they have applications outside of the office of bishop–parish clergy, parents, and even lay ministers.

Blessed is the bishop who works for peace, who accompanies journeys of reconciliation, who sows the seed of communion in the heart of the presbytery, who accompanies a divided society along the path of reconciliation, who takes every man and woman of goodwill by the hand to build fraternity: God will recognize him as his son.

Or, outside of the presbytery, in a family, a ministry, or work group, or outside of the episcopacy, God will recognize peacemakers as daughters as well as sons.

I think working for peace is far, far different that the absence of conflict. First, conflict happens. Stuff it under a rug, it’s still in the room. Without a process of honesty and reconciliation, interpersonal warfare simmers–not even cold. Second, resolving conflict is a process. If two siblings are continually fighting, it is incumbent on a parent to open the dialogue, take the battlers by the hand, and get the air cleared, get the path to reconciliation begun. 

In ministry, it’s not much different. Conflicts happen a lot in churches. High-strung families at wedding rehearsals or at funeral planning. People who have too deep an ownership in church things and can’t let newcomers get involved. Feuds between people. And the like.

A priest friend once preached on Holy Family Sunday that holy families are not identified by a lack of conflict, but by the resolution of them. If it’s true for households, it must also work for dioceses, parishes, ministries, choirs, committees, guilds, work groups, and such.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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