We Are Church Intl.

official questionnaire for the choice of candidates for the episcopate. (2001)


The following is a free translation into English of a document written in German in an impersonal and highly formal style

Simon Bryden-Brook
Friday 14 September 2001

This is the official questionnaire for the choice of candidates for the episcopate.




Indicate what the nature of your relationship with the candidate is and how long you have known him.


1 Personal Details
Appearance, health, resilience, family circumstances especially any indications of hereditary disease.


2 Personal Qualities
Creative (speculative in the German) and practical intellectual ability; temperament and character; interior balance; whether he possesses balanced judgement; sense of responsibility.


3 Personal (human in the German), Christian and Clerical (priestly in the German) 
Possession of and evidence of personal, Christian and clerical virtues (prudence, justice, uprightness, sincerity,[fortitude and temperance are missing from the German although the translation of this list is a highly sensitive matter and the meaning of the terms debatable], objectivity, faith, hope, charity, obedience,humility, piety, daily celebration of the Eucharist and divine office, devotion to our Lady).


4 Behaviour
Morals; attitude towards others and when carrying out priestly duties; ability to from friendly relationships, relationship with civil authorities (respect for and independence of).


5 Education and Spiritual Ability
General education; any specialist expertise and continuing education in ecclesiastical disciplines; knowledge of and feeling for the problems of our times; knowledge of other languages; and publications, books or articles, of significance.


6 Orthodoxy
Committed and faithful adherence to the teaching and teaching office of the Church, in particular his stance on the Holy See's documents on priesthood, the ordination of women, marriage and the family, sexuality (especially the transmission of life in accordance with the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae and the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio) and social justice. Fidelity to authentic Church tradition and commitment to true renewal as called for by Vatican II and subsequent papal instruction.


7 Discipline
Loyalty to and obedience to the Holy Father, the Holy See, and the Hierarchy; respect for and acceptance of clerical celibacy as called for by the teaching office of the Church; fidelity to and acceptance of general and specific norms as to liturgical celebration and clerical attire.


8 Pastoral Ability and Experience
Ability, experience and successes achieved in pastoral service, proclamation of the Gospel and catechises; preaching and instruction (preparation, competence in public speaking); sacramental and liturgical pastoral work (particularly in the celebration of the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist); pastoral activity in promoting ministry; commitment to mission; ecumenical attitude; development of the lay apostolate (family, young people, promotion and defence of human rights, the world of work, of culture and of the media); humanitarian activity and social activity with particular attention to the poor and those in need.


9 Leadership Qualities
Fatherliness (paternalism?!) willingness and capacity for initiative; aptitude and leadership and dialogue; the ability to motivate and affirm colleagues; abilities in respect of analysis, planning, decision-taking, and execution; ability to inform and to be involved in (literally to accompany, which may not be the same thing!) collaborative projects; a feeling for the role of and collaboration with religious and laity (men and women) and for a just distribution of responsibility; concern for the problems of the universal and the local church.


10 Administrative Abilities
Respect for and correct use of the goods of the Church; administrative skill and competence; impartiality and a detachment from worldly goods; willingness to call in experts for technical advice as appropriate.


11 Public Reputation
From the points of view of his fellow clergy, the people and the authorities.


12 Overall Assessment
of the personality of the candidate and his suitability for the episcopate. In the event of a positive assessment: details of whether the candidate would be more suited to be a diocesan or an assistant bishop, as well as what type of diocese he would seem to be better suited to (urban, industrial, rural, important, medium-sized or smaller diocese).


13 Additional information
Finally, the following is also requested: names, addresses and positions of others (clergy, religious men and women, laity) who because of their judgement, their independence and discretion seem dependable and also know the candidate well.