Pierre Morissette

Bishop of Baie-Comeau(CANADA)



The Bishop as Witness of Hope in the Contemporary World


A pre-synodal consultation among the faithful in Canada suggests a profile of the Bishop as witness of hope for the world.


In such a profile, the Bishop is foremost a man of Faith, unwavering in belief in God active in the world as well as in God victor over death. The Bishop is also to be a man of vision, well-versed in reading the Ďsigns of the timesí, discerning the positive elements of life in contemporary society and heralding with strength the Gospel in modes of expression suited to the understanding of todayís people.

Further the Bishop must be a man of communion, husbanding the talents of all members of Godís people, careful not to stifle legitimate differences and engendering harmony and peace among the various tendencies prevalent among Godís people. As a result, conflicts, rather than being divisive become occasions for growth. As promoter of human dignity the Bishop calls the best from all men and women through actions faithful to the Word thereby enabling the Gospel to penetrate humanities social fabric bringing healing wherever needed. And as man of compassion he is witness of hope as he embodies the goodness of Christ towards all who suffer.


The results of the consultation also indicated a perception of the Bishop as an administrator or as someone representing out-moded ideas. We are led to examine who we are both locally and universally; to review our structures and our ways of operation; to question whether our mandate to transmit the past is exercised in a manner allowing the Gospel to be properly heard and understood in the world of today.


In short, we must revisit the figure of the Bishop so that it may better exemplify the image of the Good Shepherd and of the Servant washing the feet of his disciples.