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“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own Blood.

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock.

Nevertheless, Paul’s concern and Stevens-Arroyo’s critique should both cause us to pause and reflect on what the point of ecclesiastical leadership really is.

The point is made clear in today’s Gospel from John when Jesus is remembered, according to his departing discourse, to reveal that God’s will is unity of all people. Unity amid diversity is a mark of authentic catholicity and that which ecclesiastical leaders — presbyters or bishops — are called to promote and to protect.

His advice is to return always to the Word of God, to the message of the Gospel or Good News of Christ, to follow in the footprints of the one whose name they will come to bear.

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