The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops told his fellow bishops at the opening of the congress 'Witnesses and Servants of Hope' that 'it is not easy' to be a bishop at the dawn of the third millennium.
    "Episcopal service implies ever greater responsibility," said Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re, "which demands that the bishop be totally given to the Church, and that he infuse confidence and hope in the diocesan community entrusted to his care."
    The 200 prelates attending the congress are reflecting on the role and challenges of the bishop in the world. The congress, sponsored by the Congregation for Bishops, is being held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, a university institution of the Legionaries of Christ. It opened following the end of the Jubilee of Bishops.
    "In order to meet the exigencies of today," Archbishop Re added, "the bishop must be aware of the challenges entailed at present, and have the humble courage to address them, even if it means going against the current."
    This bishops-only congress, which follows the Synod of Bishops, is giving them a chance to reflect on the issues that will be addressed in the next general synod, scheduled for 2001 in Rome.
Zenit (available soon)
11 Oct 00

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