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Official Portrait

Welcoming Bishop
Michael C. Barber, SJ

California a large
influence in Barber
family history

Journey to Oakland

Decree appointing
Bishop Barber

Your new bishop,
my brother, Michael,
'did time' at
San Quentin

Welcome to this
local church

Homily for the
ordination of the fifth
bishop of Oakland

Reflection: Lessons remembered, and
lived: Be merciful
and pure of heart

Getting around

'A ministry
of service,
of availability and
of vulnerability'

Bishop, and a
naval officer

A pair of
Navy chaplains

Bishop Barber's
photo album

A lifetime of
spiritual influences
formed Bishop
Barber's path

First classroom visit:
St. Agnes School,
fourth grade

Sister Mary Jude,
a teacher who made
a difference

A hello in their
native language

Why people
came out

Description of
Bishop Barber's
personal coat of arms, episcopal symbols

Parts of a bishop's
coat of arms

high school boys paths intersect
during careers

Bishops of the
Diocese of Oakland

Bishop selection
process is thorough,
strictly confidential

What the Church teaches about

New focus on
Jesuits' role within
the church

What the pope
is looking for
in new bishops

What you might
not know about
Bishop Barber

The bishop at the
cathedral, 2008

By the numbers:
Michael C. Barber, SJ

In This Issue:

Rev. John Paul

placeholder July 15, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
What the Church teaches about bishops

The Catechism of the Catholic Church presents the Church's teaching on the office of bishop in its section on the sacraments and, further, in its section on the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

It appears under the heading "Episcopal ordination—fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders."

No. 1555 — "Amongst those various offices which have been exercised in the Church from the earliest times the chief place, according to the witness of tradition, is held by the function of those who, through their appointment to the dignity and responsibility of bishop, and in virtue consequently of the unbroken succession going back to the beginning, are regarded as transmitters of the apostolic line" ("Lumen Gentium," "Light of the Nations," No. 20)

No. 1556 — To fulfill their exalted mission, "the Apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit, which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration" ("Lumen Gentium," No. 21; cf. Acts 1:8, 24; Jn 20:22-23; 1 Tm 4:14; 2 Tm 1:6-7).

No. 1557 — The Second Vatican Council "teaches … that the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by episcopal consecration, that fullness namely which, both in the liturgical tradition of the Church and the language of the Fathers of the Church, is called the high priesthood, the acme [summa] of the sacred ministry" ("Lumen Gentium," No. 21, Sec. 2).

No. 1558 — "Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling. … In fact, … by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative ("in Eius persona agant")("act in His person") ("Lumen Gentium," No. 21).

"By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors" ("Christus Dominus," "Christ the Lord," No. 2, Sec. 2).

No. 1559 — "One is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of the sacramental consecration and by the hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college" ("Lumen Gentium, No. 22).

The character and collegial nature of the episcopal order are evidenced among other ways by the Church's ancient practice which calls for several bishops to participate in the consecration of a new bishop (cf. "Lumen Gentium," No. 22).

In our day, the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom.

— "The Criterion," Indianapolis, Indiana

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