Carlos: Authority of Roman Catholic bishops

THE Diocese of Bacolod from among its clergy has already produced four bishops in the persons of Bishop Antonio Fortich, D.D.; Bishop Vicente Salgado, D.D.; Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, D.D.; and now Bishop-Elect Louie Galbines. The diocese also produced Bishop Pabillo from Victorias.

It is a great joy for us to have them and a great message of maturity in faith.

We are once again lucky to experience once more an episcopal ordination prior to the installation of the bishop. In the past, we have experienced the episcopal ordinations of Bishop Fortich, Salgado and Alminaza at the San Sebastian Cathedral.

This year, once again, we will be showered with graces that we have once again offered a pastor from our priests. With Bishops Gregorio, Navarra and Buzon, we have experienced only their installations as bishops of Bacolod.

The Canon Law of the Catholic Church speaks that “Bishops succeed the Apostles through the Holy Spirit who is given to them. They are constituted pastors in the Church, to be the teachers of doctrine, the priests if Sacred Worship and the ministers of Governance.”

By consecration as bishops, they shall carry with them the office of sanctifying, teaching, and ruling in hierarchical communion with the Head of the College of Bishops and its members.

Only and only the Supreme Pontiff is the one who can freely appoint a bishop. The law further states that at least every three years, the Bishops of an Ecclesiastical Province or Conference, should send a list of priests worthy of the Episcopal office.

What are the qualifications for one to be a bishop?

The essential requirement is for the priest to have a strong faith, good morals, piety, and zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues.

He must be at least 35 years old and of good esteem and ordained priest for at least five years.

Academically, he should hold at least a Licentiate degree in Sacred Scripture, Theology or Canon Law, from an institute of Higher Studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least well versed in these disciplines. These are the requirements that would make one a suitable bishop as per Canon 378.

The Office of the Bishop has its powers, where we as faithful should give due respect. This authority has been handed down from the authority given by Jesus Christ to his apostles.

The authority of the Diocesan Bishop includes but not limited to the following:

-Governs with executive, legislative and judicial power the Diocese entrusted to him by the Holy See in accordance with the law.

-He defends the rights of the Priests and ensures that they fulfill their obligations.

-He must in a very special way foster vocations to the various ministries and consecrated life.

-He is to teach and illustrate to the faithful truths of faith which are to be believed and applied.

-He is bounded to give an example of holiness, charity, humility and simplicity of life; He is to say Mass for the people entrusted to him on each Sunday and each holy day of obligation.

-He presides at the Eucharistic Celebration in the Cathedral.

-He fosters discipline and presses for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws. In all juridical transactions, the bishop is the person.

-He fosters various forms of apostolate in his diocese.

-He is bound by law of personal residence in his diocese.

-He is bound to make pastoral visits in the parishes of his diocese with due diligence.

-He has to visit and see the Supreme Pontiff every five years.

So, to Bishop-Elect Mons. Louie Galbines, our congratulations and may God be always with us.

***

St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, Pope St. John Paul II, Mons. John Liu and John Su, Fr. Cornelio and Fr. Loreto, OAR; Manoy Bill and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
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