Why we get the bishops we get
Here’s what is purported to be the official Vatican questionnaire for qualifying bishops:
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 be 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.