It is the Christ-given obligation of every Catholic bishop, and the priests and deacons who share in his ministry, to teach, sanctify, and govern all people under their spiritual care. Regarding teaching, the letters of Saint Paul, as well as the writings of early Christian theologians, abundantly attest to the duty of the Apostles and their appointed successors to ensure that false doctrine never infects their flocks.
The episcopal duty to teach was not a charism or gift of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues, performing miracles, or healing the infirm. Teaching correct doctrine might be aided by the Holy Spirit, but it was first a mandate from the Lord Himself. To not teach, to teach incompletely, or to teach falsely, was for the shepherd to ignore, neglect, or scatter the sheep entrusted to his care and protection.
Saint - Cyril - Bishop - Jerusalem - Century
Saint, Cyril, the Bishop of Jerusalem in the late fourth century, was a model teacher of right doctrine. He did not just teach teachers what to teach. He did not deputize or delegate others to teach on his behalf. He was the local Father, and, concerned for Christian formation in the household of faith, he personally taught the faith. How do we know this? Two reasons: First, because a holy woman named Egeria went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the 380s.
She documented her travels in a journal identifying the bishop, known to be Cyril, as the catechist in the domed mausoleum covering the tomb of Christ (part of today’s church of the Holy Sepulchre). Second, we know of Bishop Cyril’s talks because many of them were dutifully recorded and preserved, presumably because of their high caliber. The talks are rich, early testimony to the perennial, consistent doctrines of the Catholic Church.
Egeria - Cyril - Lent
Egeria states that Cyril taught about Lent and...
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