The function of a bishop is to celebrate the eucharist. All other functions presently owned by bishops can be carried out by the laity. It is the same for priests. But priests can only celebrate the eucharist if they are given permission to by their diocesan bishop. This is because a priest "vicariously" presides at the eucharist on behalf of the bishop. A local priest's mass is always the bishop's mass.
Therefore, the primary pastoral duty of a bishop is to care for the priests in his diocese. The priest is related to the bishop organically in the same way that all Christians are organically related to Christ. The metaphor of the vine applies to the connection between priest and bishop as much as it applies to the connection between Christians and Christ. Christians are part of the body of Christ and priests are part of the body of their bishop.
Jesus stated over and over again that he cared for those who were part of his body above all else. A bishop should care for his priests above all else. For a bishop to cut off one of his priests should be as rare as the True Vine shedding one of its branches.
If a bishop is served by priests throughout his jurisdiction then his duty of care towards the laity of the diocese should, in most circumstances, be carried out through his priests. Along with the teaching task of the bishop, pastoral care of the laity is at a distance, once removed. But the pastoral care of the priesthood must be the direct responsibility of the bishop because there are no "vicars" between the bishop and his priests.
Therefore, I stick by my statement the other day that bishops should be chosen by priests and priests should be chosen by the laity and endorsed by the diocesan bishop. For the laity to insist on an equal interest in the bishop with the priesthood is unfair as this gives the laity two provisions for pastoral care and denies priests real pastoral care due to the conflict of interest the present understanding of the episcopacy seems to always give rise to.
Of course, priests may choose their bishops unwisely but bad bishops are sometimes elected in provinces where the laity are part of the electoral college. In any case, the proof is in the pudding and I have not come across any province where the priesthood is, on the whole, as close to their bishops as in Scotland. Now, Scottish people often claim they are superior to everyone else, but, in reality, they are not. It is my opinion that if it can work in Scotland it can work anywhere, but only if we copy that other Scottish tradition of keeping their bishops' feet planted firmly on the ground.