Christine is practicing to receive a sacrament. What is the office of the bishop and the papal council of Nicaea?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the Catholic Church, there is a hierarchy that exists and the bishop is in charge of diocese, which is a group of church parishes in a geographical area. The Council at Nicea established uniformity within the Catholic Church.

Bishops oversee the governing of these parishes as well as the overseeing of teaching and sanctifying the faithful of these parishes. Therefore, whenever a parish (church) in the diocese schedules the reception of a sacrament by initiates, the bishop comes to this parish to direct and oversee the ceremony. For example, if youths are receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop comes for the ceremony that is part of a Sunday Mass. It is, then, the bishop's sanctifying role to question the candidates about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which are confirmed upon them with his anointing of them. These seven gifts are 

  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Counsel
  4. Fortitude
  5. Knowledge
  6. Piety
  7. Fear of the Lord

With these gifts, confirmation equips these recipients proclaim the gospel.

It “gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ” (Catechism, para. 1303). In fact, a Vatican II document pointed out that Catholics who have been confirmed are “more strictly obliged to spread the faith by word and deed” (Lumen gentium, para. 11).