Bishops must be loving shepherds, pope tells archbishops


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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bishops are called to watch over their faithful not like "a prison guard," but with the same love and concern that God watches over the world, Pope Benedict XVI said June 29 during his homily on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

During the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, 34 archbishops from 20 countries knelt before Pope Benedict and received a pallium, a woolen band worn around their shoulders as a sign of their authority and their responsibility as shepherds. North American prelates receiving their palliums included: Archbishops Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit; George J. Lucas of Omaha, Neb.; Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis; Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans; J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, British Columbia; Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Quebec; and Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England.

Orthodox representatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople participated in the Mass. The patriarch sends a delegation to the Vatican each year on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Vatican's patrons, and the pope sends a delegation to Turkey each year for the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the patriarchate.