Pope tells new archbishops that their ministry is to serve and pray
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Francis waves as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Being named a bishop isn't an honor, but a call to special service, Pope Francis said.
Ordaining new bishops for the first time in his pontificate, Pope Francis told them the "responsibility of a bishop is to serve rather than to dominate."
During an evening Mass Oct. 24 in St. Peter's Basilica, the pope laid hands on and ordained Archbishops Jean-Marie Speich, the new nuncio to Ghana, and Giampiero Gloder, the new president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Vatican diplomats.
The pope's homily, based largely on the ritual text for the ordination of a bishop, focused on the life and mission of the bishop, rather than on the specific tasks assigned to the two new archbishops.
Pope Francis told them that a bishop's first task is to make time for prayer. In the early Christian community, he said, the apostles appointed deacons to help care for the widows and orphans precisely because they realized their ministry would suffer if they didn't make time to pray.
"A bishop who doesn't pray is a bishop who goes only halfway," the pope said.
Pope Francis said love must also mark what a bishop does and how he relates to all those entrusted to his care and governance.
"Love with the love of a father and brother all those the Lord entrusts to you," he said. "Especially love your priests and deacons. They are your closest collaborators, those closest to you."
"Never make a priest wait," the pope said. "If he asks for an appointment, respond immediately."