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Episcopal Ordination in St Peter's Basilica Episcopal Ordination in St Peter's Basilica  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis: "Prayer is a Bishop's first task"

Francis conferred episcopal ordination on three members of the papal diplomatic corps on Monday in St Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis’s homily followed closely the homily proposed in the The Roman Pontifical for the Ordination of a Bishop. This text is a catechesis of the history and office of Bishop in the Catholic Church. It reminds us that:

“In the Bishop surrounded by his Priests, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, having become High Priest for ever, is present among you. For, through the ministry of the Bishop, Christ himself never fails to proclaim the Gospel and to administer the sacraments of faith to those who believe.”

Chosen for things pertaining to God

Pope Francis departed from this text after it reminds those about to be ordained that they have “been chosen by the Lord…chosen from among men and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God.” Pope Francis added that they have “not been chosen for other things; for other business; not for worldliness; not for politics.” And he asked them to “flee from the temptation of becoming princes."

Prayer is the first task of the Bishop

The Pope said that the first task to be accomplished by a bishop is that of prayer. When the first Apostles heard the complaints of the Greek widows who were being neglected, “they joined together under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and invented the diaconate.” Peter explained that thus the Apostles could occupy themselves with “prayer and the proclamation of the Word.” Pope Francis continued saying “A Bishop who does not pray does not accomplish his duty, does not fulfill his vocation.”

Regarding those who collaborate in the ministry of the Bishop, the Holy Father asked that Bishops remain close to the diocesan presbyterate. “They should be able to find their Bishop the same day or, at the latest, the day after they look for him.”

Those who received Episcopal Ordination

Msgr. Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag from the Diocese of Pelplin (Poland), born on 6 February 1968 in Więcbork (Poland), ordained a priest on 30 May 1993, appointed Titular Archbishop of Traiectum ad Mosam, and named Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua on 15 February 2018.

Msgr. Alfred Xuereb from the Diocese of Gozo (Malta), born on 14 October 1958 in Gozo (Malta), ordained a priest on 26 May 1984, appointed Titular Archbishop of Amantea and named Apostolic Nuncio to Korea and Mongolia on 26 February 2018.

Msgr. José Avelino Bettencourt from the Archdiocese of Ottawa (Canada), born on 23 May 1962 in the Azores (Portugal), ordained a priest on 29 May 1993, appointed Titular Archbishop of Aemona and named Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia and Armenia on 26 February 2018.


Photos from the Episcopal Ordination in St Peter's Basilica
19 March 2018, 18:17