VATICAN - The Pope recalled "the unique contribution of all Religious, men and women, active and contemplative, to the mission of the Church, and their role as protagonists of evangelization"
The Pope focused in particular on the responsibilities of bishops and the clergy, religious men and women, noting that among his many duties the bishop, as pastor and father, should so "unite and mould his flock into one family that all, conscious of their duties, will wish to live and act as one in charity". Speaking of relations with the priests, diocesans and religious, the Holy Father exhorted the Bishops to be supportive towards them, and to "be attentive to their needs and aspirations, showing solicitude for their spiritual, intellectual and material well-being. They, as sons and staff are called in turn to respect your co-workers, are called in turn to respect your authority, working cheerfully, humbly and with complete dedication to the good of the Church, but always under your direction ...Moreover, the witness of the reciprocal love and service between you and your priests, without regard for caste or
In particular, Benedict XVI expressed particular appreciation of the many Women religious of the Church in India "they offer countless prayers and perform innumerable good works, often hidden, but nevertheless of great value to the up-building of God's Kingdom", asking the bishops to " encourage them in their vocation, and to invite young women to consider a similar life of fulfillment through love of God and service to others". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 18/06/2011)
The full text of the Holy Father's speech, in English