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New pope statement on bishop's duties set for October release

Pope John Paul II has confirmed that he will release a new apostolic exhortation on October 16, the 25th anniversary of his papal election.

Catholic World News reports that the apostolic exhortation will deal with the ministry of the diocesan bishop. It will summarise the results of the last regular meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in 2001, which discussed episcopal ministry.

Pope John Paul mentioned the Synod meeting, and the forthcoming apostolic exhortation, yesterday during a meeting with a group of newly appointed bishops. The new bishops were participating in a conference organised by the Congregation for Bishops to help them prepare for their new duties.

Meeting with the bishops at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, the Pope told them that the work of a bishop today is "particularly arduous and difficult" although always "exalting".

The Holy Father said that the problem is that so many people are "disoriented and without hope". Therefore the bishops' task is to be "witnesses of hope" with their "gaze turned toward the Cross".

Catholic World News

Congregation for Bishops
Synod members outline characteristics of bishop's ministry (19/10/01) | more stories from October 2001 Synod of Bishops

19 Sep 2003