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Bishops at World Synod insist church needs strong teachers

In an age marked by skepticism, fear and confusion, the Catholic Church needs strong teachers on a universal level and in dioceses, according to members of the Synod of Bishops.

Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels was one of several bishops on Monday to urge colleagues to be strong teachers of the faith, but he also called for greater Vatican recognition of the authority of bishops on the local level and within the synod.

"We need both a strong pope and a strong episcopal college," he said. "We have nothing to gain by promoting one to the detriment of the other."

The local bishop "is not simply a moderator who passes on teaching", the cardinal said; he must announce the truth and make sure it is accepted.