The Ideal Bishop
Aquinas's Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles
In his commentary, Aquinas identifies the episcopacy as a state of perfection wherein the prelate ought both to enjoy profound, mystical intimacy with Christ and to love and serve others by leading them to that same intimacy. In so doing, the prelate promotes ecclesial unity and secures his own salvation. Episcopal teaching, governing, and liturgical duties constitute the bishop's fundamental mission which is established and empowered by the act of episcopal consecration received by the bishop elect. Aquinas grounds the efficacy of the bishop's pastoral work on the quality of his interior life. Thus construed the episcopal office demands profound holiness, erudition, and pastoral skill. This work of Thomistic ressourcement substantively benefits the contemporary Church in her project of bringing the perennial truth of the Gospel more efficaciously to all, particularly with respect to the exercise of the episcopal office.
About the Author
"Michael Sirilla, in his discerning and insightful reading of Aquinas's commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles, offers a theologically relevant and spiritually stimulating account of the office of the Bishop within the Church.. . . . Bishops will find this book challenging, but more so, they will find it engaging and heartening. Priests, seminarians and laity alike will not only discover what a bishop is ordained to be, but also why it is so important for them to pray for their bishop, and why they need to support and strengthen him as he shepherds them into the heavenly pasture of Christ's eternal kingdom. -"—Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., Member of the International Theological Commission
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