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Recognizing Our Bishops As The Modern Day Apostles

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the 12 Apostles. Also known as Nathaniel, he was one of the twelve men chosen by Christ to lead His Church. Tradition has it that St. Bartholomew preached the Faith in Arabia and was martyred in Armenia.

The Church teaches that our modern day bishops are the successors to the Apostles. Just like the original twelve, they have been chosen to shepherd the flock of Catholics in the world. All too often we lose sight of this fact and criticize our bishops for being too liberal, too conservative, too timid or too forceful. While there may be cases where that is true, it’s important to respect these men for the role that they fulfill. They have a difficult and thankless job, but without them we would be like “sheep without a shepherd”.

In honor of St. Bartholomew, let’s strive to pray for our bishops and avoid useless criticism whenever possible. As was stated by St Ignatius of Antioch in the 1st century:

“Let a man respect his bishop. For whoever is sent by the Master to run His house, we ought to receive him as we would receive the Master Himself.”

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