Pope Ordains 5 Bishops
Holy Father tells the new prelates: 'We are called to cast the nets of the Gospel into the agitated sea of this age in order to capture people for Christ.'
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Ordaining five bishops — two Vatican diplomats and three secretaries of Vatican congregations — Pope Benedict XVI said the prelates were called to help people recognize and respond to their yearning for holiness and goodness.
“Even if it seems that in much of the modern world people today want to turn their backs on God and think that faith is a thing of the past, there still exists a yearning that justice, love and peace finally would be established, that poverty and suffering would be overcome and that people would find joy,” the Pope said.
The human “yearning for what is great, for what is good” is a yearning for God that the Church must help people recognize, accept and develop, the Pope said Feb. 5 during his homily at the ordination Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The only way to lead people to God, the Pope said, is by being strong in one’s own faith, holding firmly to traditional Church teaching and remaining united with the pope and other bishops.
“A pastor shouldn’t be a reed that bends with the wind, a servant of the spirit of the times,” he said. Instead, a bishop should be “like a tree who has deep roots,” which give stability even as they allow continued growth.
Pope Benedict told the bishops that being faithful does not mean being rigid, but it does mean acknowledging that “faith has a concrete content” and that God “really did something and really said something” that true believers aren’t free to change.
All Christians, but especially bishops, are called by God to spread the true faith in the world for the salvation of souls, he said.
“We are called to cast the nets of the Gospel into the agitated sea of this age in order to capture people for Christ; to fish them out, so to speak, of the salty waters of death and out of the darkness which the light of heaven does not penetrate. You must bring them to the shore of life, to communion with Jesus Christ,” the Pope told the new bishops.
The newly ordained were: Archbishops Savio Hon Tai-Fai, from Hong Kong, the new secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Marcello Bartolucci, an Italian who is secretary of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes; Celso Morga Iruzubieta, the Spaniard who is secretary of the Congregation for Clergy; Antonio Guido Filipazzi, an Italian assigned to the Vatican Secretariat of State; and Edgar Pena Parra, a Venezuelan named nuncio to Pakistan.