Beatitudes for bishops; a model for today’s pastor

Catholic Outlook

At the beginning of an Italian bishops’ conference plenary session, Pope Francis gave each a copy of a text called “The Beatitudes of the Bishop”.

Originally written by the archbishop of Naples for his homily when ordaining three bishops last month, the eight “beatitudes of the bishop” loosely correspond with those spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

They provide encouragement and pastoral guidance relevant not just to the Italian conference but to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops.

The beatitudes offer a portrait of how a pastor should be in the 21st century, in a world where there is so much poverty, injustice, conflict, suffering and human fragility.

They are a call to serve, TO work for justice, peace and reconciliation, to find goodness and to work to build fraternity.

They also highlight temptations bishops face.

The Bishop’s Beatitudes

  • Blessed is the Bishop who participates in poverty and the sharing of his lifestyle, because by his testimony he is constructing the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who is not afraid to mark his face with tears until they reflect the sorrows of his people and the difficulties of his priests, finding in embrace with those who suffer the consolation of God.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who considers his ministry a service and not a power, making meekness his strength, and giving everyone the right of citizenship in his heart to inhabit the land promised to the meek.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who does not close himself in government buildings, who does not become a bureaucrat more attentive to statistics than to faces, to procedure than to stories, who tries to fight at the side of men for the dream of the justice of God, so that the Lord, met in the silence of daily prayer, will be his nourishment.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who has a heart for the misery of the world, who is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the mud of the human soul to find the gold of God, who is not scandalized by others’ sin and fragility, because he is aware of his own misery, so that the gaze of the Risen Lord will be for him the seal of infinite pardon.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who drives away duplicity of the heart, who avoids any ambiguous dynamic, who dreams of good even in the midst of evil, so that he will be able to rejoice in the face of God, finding its reflection in every puddle of the city of men.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who works for peace, who accompanies the paths of reconciliation, who sows the seed of communion in the heart of the presbytery, who accompanies a divided society on the path of reconciliation, who takes every man and every woman of goodwill by the hand to build fraternity: God will recognize him as his son.
  • Blessed is the Bishop who is not afraid to go against the tide for the Gospel, making his face “resolute” like that of Christ on his way to Jerusalem, without letting himself be held back by misunderstandings and obstacles because he knows that the Kingdom of God advances in the contradiction of the world.


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News category: World.

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