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What happens in episcopal ordination?

In episcopal ordination the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred upon a priest. He is ordained a successor of the apostles and enters the college of bishops. Together with the other bishops and the Pope, he is from now onresponsible for the entire Church. In particular the Church appoints him to the offices of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.

The episcopal ministry is the real pastoral ministry in the Church, for it goes back to the original witnesses to Jesus, the apostles, and continues the pastoral ministry of the apostles that was instituted by Christ. The Pope, too, is a bishop, but the first among them and the head of the college.


How important for a Catholic Christian is his bishop?

A Catholic Christian feels that he is under an obligation to his bishop; the bishop is appointed for him, too, as Christ’s representative. Moreover, the bishop, who exercises his pastoral ministry together with priests and deacons as his ordained assistants, is the visible principle and the foundation of the local Church (diocese).

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