The final chapter examines the pastoral dimension of Gregory's Trinitarian doctrine and the Trinitarian shape of his pastoral theory, on which he is the seminal teacher in Eastern and Western Christianity. Drawing on his influential Oration 2 On the Priesthood and his panegyrics on such figures as Athanasius and Basil, it traces Gregory's lifelong concern for the leadership of the Church and analyzes his understanding of pastoral ministry, while also providing an excursus on the love of the poor by all Christians. After noting the intrinsic connection between pastoral ministry and the divine economy as recorded in Scripture, it analyzes the practicalities of the cure of souls—a work that Gregory memorably terms “the art of arts and the science of sciences”—which are summed up in the pastor's adaptive treatment of different spiritual conditions. It then identifies the basis of pastoral praxis in the personal experience and virtue of the priest—exemplified above all by the apostle Paul—against which abuses of the pastoral office and the examples of bad bishops are considered. It shows the central place of the Scriptures in pastoral ministry, from the priest's preparation through the spiritual study of the Bible to the central work of the ministry of the word, which is compared with broader sacramental ministry. Finally, it locates the heart of pastoral ministry in the administration of the Holy Trinity.
Keywords: pastoral ministry, priesthood, bishops, authority, cure of souls, “art of arts,” adaptive treatment, virtue, pastoral abuses, love of the poor, biblical study, sacraments, ministry of the word, divine economy, Athanasius, Basil, administration of the Trinity
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