Friday, June 3, 2011

Redemptionis Sacramentum - Part 5

1. The Diocesan Bishop, High Priest of his Flock

[19.] The diocesan Bishop, the first steward of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to him, is the moderator, promoter and guardian of her whole liturgical life.[39] For “the Bishop, endowed with the fullness of the Sacrament of Order, is ‘the steward of the grace of the high Priesthood’,[40] especially in the Eucharist which he either himself offers or causes to be offered,[41] by which the Church continually lives and grows”.[42]

[20.] Indeed, the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church is found whenever the rites of Mass are celebrated, especially in the Cathedral Church, “with the full and active participation of the entire holy People of God, joined in one act of prayer, at one altar at which the Bishop presides”, surrounded by his presbyterate with the Deacons and ministers.[43] Furthermore, “every lawful celebration of the Eucharist is directed by the Bishop, to whom is entrusted the office of presenting the worship of the Christian religion to the Divine Majesty and ordering it according to the precepts of the Lord and the laws of the Church, further specified by his own particular judgement for the Diocese”.[44]

[21.] It pertains to the diocesan Bishop, then, “within the limits of his competence, to set forth liturgical norms in his Diocese, by which all are bound”.[45] Still, the Bishop must take care not to allow the removal of that liberty foreseen by the norms of the liturgical books so that the celebration may be adapted in an intelligent manner to the Church building, or to the group of the faithful who are present, or to particular pastoral circumstances in such a way that the universal sacred rite is truly accommodated to human understanding.[46]

[22.] The Bishop governs the particular Church entrusted to him,[47] and it is his task to regulate, to direct, to encourage, and sometimes also to reprove;[48] this is a sacred task that he has received through episcopal Ordination,[49] which he fulfills in order to build up his flock in truth and holiness.[50] He should elucidate the inherent meaning of the rites and the liturgical texts, and nourish the spirit of the Liturgy in the Priests, Deacons and lay faithful[51] so that they are all led to the active and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist,[52] and in like manner he should take care to ensure that the whole body of the Church is able to grow in the same understanding, in the unity of charity, in the diocese, in the nation and in the world.[53]

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