Pope to New Bishop: Preach Simple Homilies and Defend the Family

In giving episcopal ring, told Rome’s new auxiliary: ‘Do not forget that, before this ring, there was that of your parents. Defend the family’

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On Monday, the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis ordained to the episcopate Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, of the clergy of Rome, who was appointed auxiliary bishop of Rome on 14 September.

The homily pronounced by the Holy Father during the Mass was essentially the ritual homily for the ordination of bishops from the Italian edition of the Pontificale Romanum. However, Francis added some phrases dedicated in particular to the proclamation of the Word, the welcome of the poor and vulnerable, and mercy.

“Announcing the Word at every opportunity and also at less opportune moments; admonish … but always kindly, exhort with magnanimity and doctrine. May your words be simple, so that everyone can understand, rather than long homilies. … Remember your father, how happy he was to find nearby another parish where Mass was celebrated without a homily! May your homilies be the transmission of God’s grace: simple, that everyone may understand, and so that all wish to become better.»

“With your heart, love like a father and a brother all those whom God entrusts to you; as I have said, first and foremost the priests, deacons and seminarians; but also the poor, the vulnerable, and those who are in need of welcome and help. Exhort the faithful to cooperate in apostolic efforts and listen to them willingly and with patience. Often you will need a lot of patience … but the Kingdom of God is built in this way.»

“As we near the Year of Mercy, I ask you as a brother to be merciful. The Church and the world are in need of great mercy. Teach priests and seminarians the path of mercy. With words, but most of all through your attitude. The Father’s mercy always receives, there is always room in His heart, He never turns anyone away. He waits, and waits. … I wish you great mercy.»

During the rite of consigning the episcopal ring, the Pope also added: “Do not forget that, before this ring, there was that of your parents. Defend the family.»

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