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Pope tells bishops to be holy

Pope John Paul told 180 participants in a course of formation for bishops of English-speaking mission territories on Friday that holiness is "the urgent pastoral need of our times".

"Be holy!" the Holy Father said during the audience at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.

"In order to be vigilant guardians of the Lord's flock, pastors themselves must be nourished by intense and constant prayer, and must cultivate a deep intimacy with Christ," he said

"No activity, no matter how important, should distract you from this spiritual priority that sets the tone for the apostolic mandate received with episcopal ordination," he insisted.

"Be pastors who, by their example more than by their words, honour the Gospel and inspire in those around them the desire to know it better and to put it into practice," he concluded.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his pontificate next month, the Pope plans to publish an apostolic exhortation on the role of bishops.


New pope statement on bishop's duties set for October release (19/9/03)
Be courageous in the midst of daily difficulties (Vatican Information Service)
Pope ignores health concerns, steps up workload, plans more trips (AFP)
David Willey: A leader to the last (The Tablet)
October should be a busy month in the busiest pontificate in history (Catholic News Service)

22 Sep 2003