The relationship between bishop and priest works both ways from the point of view that: “by reason of the gift of the Holy Spirit which is given to priests in Holy Orders, bishops regard them as necessary helpers and counsellors in the ministry and in their role of teaching, sanctifying and nourishing the People of God.” Also due to the communion that exists, bishops should ‘regard priests as their brothers and friends’. When we take into consideration that Vatican II, due to its pastoral rather than canonical nature, deals with ideas connected to all areas of the Church for the first time in writing, it is interesting to see the relationship described as we have just seen. N.7 speaks as well about the responsibility of the bishops in relation to the sanctity and to the continual formation of their priests. They should, it says, “gladly listen to their priests, indeed consult them and engage in dialogue with them in those matters which concern the necessities of pastoral work and welfare of the diocese.” This is fulfilled through the Council of Priests which has regular meetings with the bishop.
Along with this we are called to remember that: Priests, never losing sight of the fullness of the priesthood which the bishops enjoy, must respect in them the authority of Christ, the Supreme Shepherd. They must therefore stand by their bishops in sincere charity and obedience. This priestly obedience, imbued with a spirit of cooperation is based on the very sharing in the episcopal ministry which is conferred on priests both through the Sacrament of Orders and the canonical mission. Some people focus on one of the promises priests take and forget that there are two more. Celibacy is the one we are usually asked about. Obedience is the second and is mentioned here and the third one is …?