I. Theological Principles
“As all the members of the human body, though they are many, form one body, so also are the faithful in Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12). Also, in the building up of Christ’s body there is engaged a diversity of members and function. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, give his different gifts for the welfare of the Church (cf. 1 Cor. 12:1-11).” (LG. 7)
“Though they differ essentially and not only In degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless ordered one to another; each in its own proper way shares in the priesthood of Christ.” (LG 10)
“By diving institution holy Church is ordered and governed with a wonderful diversity. For just as in one body we have many members, yet all the members have not the same function, so we many, are one body in Christ, but severally members one of another.” (Rom. 12:4-5)” (LG 32)
“By divine institution holy Church is ordered and governed with a wonderful diversity. For just as one body we have many members, yet all the members have no the same function, so we the many, are one boy in Christ, but severally members one of another.” (Rom. 12:4-5)” (LG 32)
II. Synodal Guidelines
1) Not mandatory but highly desirable
“It is highly desirable that in every diocese a special pastoral council be established, presided over by the bishop himself, in which clergy, religious and laity specially chosen for the purpose will participate. It will be the function of this council to investigate and consider matters relating to pastoral activity and to formulate practical conclusions concerning them,” (CD 27; ES I, 16); Ministerial Priesthood, Part 2, II; CCL II, c 326)
1) “To investigate and consider matters relating to pastoral activity and to formulate practical conclusions concerning them,” (CD, 27) “so that the life and activity of the People of God may be brought into greater conformity with the Gospel” (ES, I, 16)
2) Coordinate, direct and support systematically the varied pastoral activities in the diocese for better efficiency.
3) Encourage and promote special studies and research as solid up-to-date basis for pastoral planning and action
4) Formulate and evaluate yearly a Pastoral Plan for the Diocese availing itself of all data and surveys, including those of the synod, and the help of all diocesan bodies.
1) The pastoral Council is made up of clergy, religious and laity, especially chosen by the bishop. (CD, 27; CCL, II, c. 329, 1 & 2)
2) Laymen should from a majority in the membership.
3) Representation in the membership should reflect the following:
a) Various areas of the diocese;
b) Various social and economic conditions;
c) Various kinds of apostolate already existing and needed in the diocese, whether individual or group apostolate;
d) Various Councils, Commissions and Bodies in the diocese involved in pastoral activities for purpose of integration and coordination and wise use of resources;
e) Special charisma and talents.
4) Membership in the Pastoral Council shall be by appointment by the bishop after consulting with the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Council of the Laity.
V. Officers and Tenure of Office
1) Aside from the diocesan bishop to whom belongs the sole right of heading the Pastoral Council (CD, 27; CCL, II, c. 329,
1), the Pastoral Council shall elect the following officers:
a) The secretary of the Pastoral Council;
b) The treasurer of the Council;
c) Chairmen of committees that the Pastoral Council may find necessary for the attainment of its work;
d) Executive Director of the executive committee of the Pastoral Council who shall be ex-officio the President of the Diocesan Council of the Laity;
e) and Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Executive Committee who shall ex-officio to be the diocesan director of the Apostolate of the Laity.
2) These officers shall office for three years, renewable at the discretion of the bishop and his adviser, taking into consideration at the availability of the officers and members and the needs of the diocese.
To attain this aim efficiently, the Pastoral Council must procure available data as basis for the pastoral program; have a clear idea of the specific activities of each and all religious Sisters and religious organization ion the diocese; study available and needed resources and prepare a Pastoral Plan using the guidelines and proposal of the Diocesan Synod.
VIII. Cessation of the Pastoral Council
When the Episcopal see becomes vacant the Pastoral council automatically lapses. In its place the Diocesan Council of the Laity takes care of the pastoral activities in the diocese. (CCL, II, c. 328, 2)