Bishop must mirror Jesus, says archbishop Collins

  • January 15, 2010

TORONTO - Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins says being a bishop means being a good spiritual father and shepherd of the community.

Collins is entering his third year as archbishop of Canada’s largest archdiocese.

“As a successor of the Apostles, a bishop represents Jesus in the community of the disciples. At his ordination, as the prayer of the consecration is being prayed by the bishop who ordains him, two deacons hold the Book of the Gospels over his head, to signify that his ministry as bishop radiates outward from the Gospel of Jesus which he is ordained to proclaim,” he told The Register in an e-mail.

A bishop “needs to be close to Jesus in prayer and he needs the virtue of prudence, that is, good judgment,” he added. Another quality needed is the spirit of humility “because a bishop is called to make a lot of decisions, he has the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes and needs to learn from them,” Collins said.

In the 21st century, bishops play an important role.

“Leadership is always necessary to the life of a community. We all exercise leadership in various ways, but a bishop is certainly called to lead the church,” Collins said.

“As we face the constant challenges and opportunities for evangelization in the coming century, we need holy and effective bishops. For inspiration, we can look to the saintly bishops who led the church in the past.”

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