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BERTONE-BISHOPS Sep-12-2012 (220 words) xxxi

Cardinal tells new bishops to expect criticism, respond with fidelity

Cardinal Bertone (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- The Gospel in effect promises Christians they will face criticism. So even the church's leaders must learn to recognize when criticism is valid and when they must carry on with courage, the pope's top collaborator told a group of new bishops.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, celebrated Mass Sept. 12 with 95 new bishops attending a seminar in Rome. The group included 17 bishops from the United States and eight from Canada; most of them had been ordained in the past year.

The cardinal's homily focused on the day's Gospel reading -- St. Luke's version of the beatitudes -- which includes Jesus telling his disciples they will be blessed when they are insulted and criticized for his sake.

"If people criticize us because we are not faithfully living our vocation and our mission, certainly we must examine ourselves and change," Cardinal Bertone said.

"But if we are criticized because we aren't living according to the criteria of the world and the fashion of the moment, we must remain firm in our fidelity to the Gospel and to the authentic teaching of the church," he said.

The annual 10-day seminar for new bishops, organized by the congregations for bishops and for Eastern churches, is designed to provide theological, spiritual and practical advice on the bishops' new responsibilities.


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