Saint Ambrose on the Ecclesiastical Election of a Bishop
I am in sorrow that the Church of the Lord among you is still without a bishop...
Is this the training of a confessor, is this the line of those upright fathers who, although they did not know blessed Eusebius [the previous bishop] before, setting aside their fellow citizens, approved him as soon as they saw him? And so much more did they approve him when they observed him. Rightfully did he come forth, the man whom the entire Church elected; rightfully was it believed that he, whom all had demanded, was elected by God’s judgment. You, then, should follow the example of your parents, especially since you have been much better instructed by a saintly confessor than were your fathers inasmuch as a better teacher has instructed and trained you, and you must give evidence of your moderation and accord by agreeing in your request for a bishop.
We have our Lord’s saying that ‘when two agree upon anything on earth it will be done for them concerning whatever they ask,’ as He says, ‘by my Father who is in heaven, for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ [Matt. 18:19-20]. How much more true is it that when the full congregation is gathered in the name of the Lord, and when the demand of all is one in accord, we may not in any way doubt that the Lord Jesus will there be the judge – the source of their will, the presiding officer of the ordination, the giver of grace! (Letter 63 [to the Church at Vercelli], The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 26 [Washington: The Catholic University of America, 1954], pp. 321-22)
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