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Episcopal Ordinations Conferred by Pope Francis

News Bishops Called to ‘lofty ecclesial responsibility’

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At 5 o’clock this afternoon the Holy Father Francis presided over Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica, during which he conferred Episcopal Ordination on Priests: Monsignor Michael Czerny, S.J., Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, of the Society of Jesus, born on July 18, 1946 in Brno (Czech Republic), ordained priest on June 9, 1973, elected Titular Archbishop of Benevento; Monsignor Paolo Borgia, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy), born on March 18, 1966 in Manfredonia (Italy), ordained priest on April 10, 1999, elected Titular Archbishop of Milazzo and appointed Apostolic Nuncio on September 3, 2019; Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Malta (Malta), born on August 20, 1965 in Sliema (Malta), ordained priest on July 5, 1991, elected Titular Archbishop of Skalholt and appointed Apostolic Nuncio on September 3, 2019; Monsignor Paolo Rudelli, of the clergy of the Diocese of Bergamo (Italy), born on July 16, 1970 in Gazzaniga (Italy), ordained priest  on June 10, 1995, elected Titular Archbishop of Mesembria and appointed Apostolic Nuncio on September 3, 2019.

The Homily delivered by the Pope in the course of the Eucharistic Celebration was, in essence, the Homily provided in the Ritual for the Ordination of Bishops, to which, however, he added some considerations.

Here is a translation of the text.

* * *

The Holy Father’s Homily

 Brothers and Sons,

Let us reflect a bit on what a lofty ecclesial responsibility these brothers of ours have been promoted. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent by the Father to redeem men, in turn, sent Twelve Apostles into the world so that, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, they should proclaim the Gospel to all peoples, gathering them under one pastor, to sanctify them and lead them to salvation.

In order to perpetuate this ministry from generation to generation, added to the Twelve were collaborators, transmitting to them with the imposition of hands, the gift of the Spirit received from Christ, which conferred the fullness of the Sacrament of Ordination. Thus, through the uninterrupted succession of Bishops in the living Tradition of the Church, this primary ministry was preserved and the Saviour’s work continues and develops down to our times. In the Bishop, surrounded by his priests, is present in your midst the Lord Himself, High Priest forever.

In fact, it is Christ who, in the ministry of the Bishop, continues to preach the Gospel of salvation and to sanctify believers, through the Sacraments of the faith. It is Christ who, in the paternity of the Bishop, increases new members in His Body, which is the Church. It is Christ who, in the wisdom and prudence of the Bishop, guides the People of God on the earthly pilgrimage to eternal happiness.

Therefore, welcome these brothers of ours with joy and gratitude, who, with the imposition of the hands, we Bishops associate today to the Episcopal College.

As for you, dearest brothers, elected by the Lord, reflect that you have been chosen among men and for men; you have been constituted not for yourselves, but for the things of God. “Episcopate” in fact is the name of a service, not of an honor, because it is for the Bishop to serve rather than dominate, in keeping with the Master’s commandment: Let the greatest among you become as the littlest. And let he who governs be as he who serves.”

Proclaim the Word on every occasion: opportune or inopportune. Proclaim the true Word, not tedious speeches that no one understands. Proclaim the Word of God. Remember that, according to Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, the two main tasks of the Bishop are prayer and the proclamation of the Word (Cf. 6:4) then all the other administrative [tasks].  However, these two things are the columns. Through prayer and the offering of the Sacrifice for your people, draw from the fullness of Christ’s holiness the manifold richness of divine grace.

In the Church entrusted to you, be faithful custodians and dispensers of Christ’s mysteries; placed by the Father at the head of His family always follow the example of the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and is known by them and for them did not hesitate to give His life. Be close to your people. The three close ways of the Bishop <are>: closeness to God in prayer — this is the first task –; closeness to the priests in the Presbyterial College; and closeness to the people. Do not forget that you were taken, chosen from the flock. Don’t forget your roots, those that have transmitted the faith to you, who gave you your identity. Don’t disown the People of God.

Love with the love of a father and of a brother all those that God entrusts to you. First of all, the priests and the deacons, your collaborators in the ministry; but also love the poor, the defenseless and all those in need of hospitality and help. Exhort the faithful to cooperate in the apostolic commitment and listen to them willingly.

And have lively attention for all those that don’t belong to the one sheepfold of Christ, because they have also been entrusted to you in the Lord. Remember that in the Catholic Church, gathered in the bond of charity, you are united to the College of Bishops — this is the fourth closeness — and you must bear in you the solicitude of all the Churches, generously helping those that are in greatest need of aid. Guard this gift that you will receive today by the imposition of hands of all of us Bishops.

Watch lovingly over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit puts you to govern the Church of God. Keep watch in the Name of the Father, whose image you render present; in the Name of Jesus Christ, His Son, by whom you have been constituted teachers, priests and pastors; and in the Name of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Church and sustains our weakness with His power.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
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