A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Challenges for the bishop

He was a native of the city, a priest of the Diocese, and well thought of by the bishop and others, so it was no surprise that he was picked to be the new bishop upon his mentor’s death.

But he had enemies, who accused him of many things – not the least of which was heresy. He was forced to leave town more than once.

In the end, he ended up on the right side of the many theological and political controversies that were buffeting the Church. Indeed, his writings on theological and liturgical matters would become widely read and treasured.

One of the interesting pastoral problems he faced was an influx of pilgrims that would come into his diocese, more and more every year, especially during the week before Easter.

The reasons for this were twofold:

First of all, his diocese (and hometown) was Jerusalem.

Second, the open practice of Christianity had just been legalized a few decades before by the Emperor Constantine.

Some say that it was Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem during the middle decades of the fourth century, who shaped the celebrations for Holy Week at Jerusalem’s holy sites (e.g., the procession with palms) and that returning pilgrims spread these practices throughout Christendom.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop of the Holy City, great writer of Catecheses, and Doctor of the Church, is said to have died on this very day in the year 386.

(from an earlier post)