|Vatican Secrets - Selection of Bishops
Catholics for Ministry
March 16, 2011
Here is a document hardly ever seen by ordinary Australian Catholics. It is a copy of the Questionnaire sent out to a very select group of people seeking confidential advice about possibly candidates for the episcopate in Australia. We suggest you read the document first and then see the commentary by Paul Collins that follows it.
QUESTIONNAIRE for EPISCOPAL CANDIDATES
A - This questionnaire is "SUB SECRETO PONTIFICIO": it must be returned to the Apostolic Nunciature with your answer.
B - Please state how long you have known the candidate and in what way you have come to know him.
Appearance, health, application to work. Family's condition. Any predisposition to hereditary illnesses?
2- HUMAN QUALITIES
Intellectual abilities Temperament and character. Balance and Soundness of judgment. Sense of responsibility.
3- CHRISTIAN & PRIESTLY VIRTUES
Prudence, Fairness, spirit of faith and charity. Piety: daily celebration of the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours. Marian devotion.
Moral integrity. How does he relate to people and to public authorities in the exercise of his priestly ministry?
5- CULTURAL FORMATION
Is he competent and up to date in Theology and other Ecclesiastical Sciences? General cultural attainment. Foreign languages. Works published.
Doctrinal orientation. Loyalty to the Doctrine and Magisterium of the Church. In particular: the attitude of the candidate to the Documents of the Holy See on the Ministerial Priesthood, on the Priestly Ordination of Women, on marriage, on sexual Ethics and on Social Justice. Fidelity to the genuine Tradition of the Church and commitment to the authentic renewal promoted by Vatican 11, and adherence to the "Statement of Conclusions, 1998".
Devotedness to the Holy Father, the Holy See and the Episcopal Hierarchy. Support for Priestly Celibacy and general and particular Laws of the Church. In particular: as to Liturgical and Clerical Discipline.
8- PASTORAL EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDES
Evangelization and Catechesis: preaching and teaching. Aptitude for public speaking. Readiness to administer the Sacraments. Promotion of Vocations. Interest in the Missions and Ecumenical activities. Formation of lay people in the Family and Social fields of apostolate: of young people, of workers, defenders of human rights?
9- QUALITIES OF LEADERSHIP
Does he have a capacity for leadership: for dialogue, for evoking and accepting collaboration, for analysis and programming, for making decisions and ensuring that they are carried through? Does he appreciate the role and collaboration of religious and lay people ( men and women )? Is he able to delegate and share responsibility? Has he shown an interest in the problems of the Universal as well as the local Church?
10- ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY
Does he exercise due care of the Church's property? Ability in administration. Sense of justice. Readiness to enlist the help of those experienced in such affairs?
11- PUBLIC IMAGE Has he gained the respect of his fellow clergy? Of the people and of the public authorities?
12- GENERAL OVERVIEW
Give a comprehensive judgment on the personality of the candidate and of his suitability for the episcopate. Indicate, if affirmative, whether he is particularly suited for appointment to a residential See, or as an Auxiliary Bishop. Or for work in an urban, rural, industrial or in other social context.
Please suggest the names of persons (ecclesiastic, religious, or lay) who can provide pertinent and useful information about the candidate. Please give names and addresses.
I- a. Full name of the candidate.
b. Date and place of birth.
c.Names of parents.
d. Was he born in lawful wedlock?
2- a. Condition of his family: religious, moral, civil, economic; bodily and mental health.
3- a. In what Seminaries and other Institutes has he studied?
b. What were the results?
c. What academic grades did he achieve?
--4- a. Is-he the-author of any publications? b. If possible, indicate titles and editions.
5- a. Does he speak, or in any way know, foreign languages?
6- a. Date and place of priestly ordination.
b. Diocese or Religious Institute for which he was ordained.
c. Diocese in which he was born.
d. Diocese to which he now belongs.
e. Diocese of actual residence.
f. If a Religious, indicate the province for which he was professed and the date of profession.
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