The Bishop and Spiritual Fatherhood
The Bishop's Page
By Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila
I would like to focus on the great theme of spiritual fatherhood. The fathers of the Church, especially St. Ignatius of Antioch, the Documents of Vatican II, Pastores Dabo Vobis, and especially Pastores Gregis
all speak of spiritual fatherhood. The documents do so most especially for bishops. Bishops are to know their priests as sons, brothers, and friends (LG 28). The bishop, ‘acting as father, brother and friend to all…will stand beside everyone as the living image of Christ’ (PG 4). Priests are to ‘exercise the most excellent and necessary office of father and teacher among the People of God’ (PO 9).
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