VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- On Saturday, Benedict XVI ordained five Italian bishops in St. Peter’s Basilica, and urged them to be servants that exemplify fidelity, prudence and goodness.
The Pope had been working with three of the new prelates in the Secretariat of State, and now will be sending them as his representatives to various countries.
Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia was appointed apostolic nuncio to Lebanon in July. Archbishop Franco Coppola will represent the Pontiff in Burundi, and Archbishop Pietro Parolin will be nuncio in Venezuela.
Bishop Raffaello Martinelli, a close collaborator with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was ordained by the Pontiff to lead the Diocese of Frascati, close to Rome.
The fifth newly ordained prelate, Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, who served for some time as the vice secretary-general of the Governor’s Office for Vatican City State, was appointed in July as president of the Central Labor Office of the Holy See.
In the homily of the ordination Mass, the Holy Father underlined the role of the bishop, and all priests, as “servant.”
It is the “most profound nucleus of Jesus Christ’s mission” and the “true essence of his priesthood,” he said, to serve and “give yourselves” for God.
Benedict XVI pointed out that Christ has “made the term ‘servant’ his highest title of honor,” thereby giving us “a new image of God and of man.”
The Pope urged the bishops to be servants who exemplify three characteristics: fidelity, prudence and goodness.
Regarding the first of these, the Pontiff explained that the servant “is entrusted with a great good that does not belong to him.”
He continued: “The Church is not ‘our’ Church, but his Church, God’s Church.
“The servant must give an account of the way that he has taken care of the goods that have been entrusted to him. We do not bind men to us; we do not seek power, prestige, esteem for ourselves.
“We lead men to Jesus Christ and so to the living God.”
“Fidelity is not fear,” the Holy Father clarified, “but it is inspired by love and its dynamism.”
Speaking about the second characteristic, Benedict XVI explained, “Prudence means engaging in the pursuit of truth and acting in a way that conforms to it.”
He exhorted his listeners to become “truly reasonable men, who judge on the basis of the whole and not according to accidental details.”
“We do not let ourselves be guided by the little window of our personal cleverness,” the Pope affirmed, “but by the big window that Christ has opened up to the whole truth for us.” In this way “we look upon the world and men” and from this perspective “see what truly counts in life.”
The third characteristic that Jesus lauds in a servant, the Pontiff stated, is goodness.
He affirmed that God “is the Good, the Good par excellence, Goodness in person.”
The Holy Father continued: “In a creature — in man — being good is therefore necessarily based on a deep interior orientation to God. Goodness grows with interior unification with the living God.”
This was the second episcopal ordination celebrated by Benedict XVI, the first having taken place on Sept. 29, 2007.
The Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, also took part in the ordination, along with the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada.
— — —
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-26853?l=english