Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, offered words of encouragement to Bishop-elect David Waller Photo: Catholic Church England and Wales

«A Shepherd Leads from Within»: Cardinal Fernández on Bishop Waller’s Ordination

The presence of Cardinal Fernández as the principal consecrating bishop underscores the special relationship between the Ordinariates created under Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith

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(ZENIT News / London, 06.25.2024).- In a significant ceremony on June 22 at Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, offered words of encouragement to Bishop-elect David Waller. Emphasizing the importance of internal guidance, Cardinal Fernández set the tone for Waller’s new role as the bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, offered words of encouragement to Bishop-elect David Waller

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, established in 2011 under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, serves as a unique ecclesiastical structure for former Anglicans who have embraced full communion with the Catholic Church. Since its inception, it has grown to encompass approximately fifty communities across Great Britain. David Waller, a former Anglican minister, becomes the first bishop of this Ordinariate.

The presence of Cardinal Fernández as the principal consecrating bishop underscores the special relationship between the Ordinariates created under Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. Assisting in the consecration were Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, Bishop Stephen Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in the U.S. and Canada, and Bishop Anthony Randazzo, Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

In his homily, Cardinal Fernández highlighted the Ordinariate’s role in preserving the «legitimate prestige and the worthy patrimony of piety and usage proper to the Anglican Communion,» a sentiment originally expressed by Pope St. Paul VI. He emphasized that the Ordinariate’s English heritage is not only a treasure but also a gift to be shared with the wider Church.

«The Church is enriched by this process,» Cardinal Fernández remarked, noting that the Ordinariate integrates valuable elements from the Anglican tradition into the fullness of Catholic communion. He underscored the Ordinariate’s collaboration with local dioceses, which fosters unity and spiritual growth, and praised the ongoing partnerships between Ordinariate priests and diocesan clergy throughout Great Britain.

Drawing inspiration from a homily by St. John Henry Newman, where Newman spoke of unwavering dedication to Christ regardless of life’s challenges, Cardinal Fernández encouraged Bishop Waller to find inspiration in the lives of English saints. He stressed that their example should guide Waller in caring for his flock with love and devotion.

Cardinal Fernández concluded by emphasizing Pope Francis’s call to proclaim God’s love, as revealed through the open arms of Christ, active in our lives today. He assured Bishop Waller that the Holy Spirit’s fire would empower him for his mission, filling him with fervor and true joy in love.

Cardinal Fernández later shared photos of the ordination on his social media, capturing the momentous occasion.

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