Bishops Should Be Like the Angels, Says Pope
Ordains 5 Italians and 1 Pole to Episcopacy
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Bishops must be "angels" for others, explained Benedict XVI on Saturday, during the ordination Mass for six more successors to the apostles.
In a crowded St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope performed his first episcopal ordinations since his election to the See of Peter.
He ordained five Italians and one Pole.
Noting the liturgical feast of the archangels, the Holy Father told the new prelates that in the early Church, bishops were considered to be like angels, because their service recalls that offered by the celestial creatures.
"Angels speak to man about what his true being is, about what is very often covered and buried in his life. They call to him to go within himself."
During the chanting of the Litany of the Saints, all kneel as those to be consecrated bishops prostrate themselves in a sign of humility and total surrender.
The Holy Father affirmed that bishops, in particular, "must be men of God, must live a life oriented toward God."
"The bishop," he said, "must be a man of prayer, one who intercedes to God for men. The more he does this, the more he understands those entrusted to him and can become an angel for them -- God’s messenger, who helps them to find their true nature […] and to live the idea that God has of them."
The transmission of Apostolic Succession, the Laying of Hands. The Pope lays his hands on those to be consecrated bishops, transmitting to them the succession which each bishop can trace, all the way back to the Apostles, the sign and symbol of the preservation of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, once for all delivered to the Saints and the transmission of the fullness of the Christian ministerial priesthood.
All bishops present also lay hands of those to be newly consecrated.
Benedict XVI ordained Monsignor Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, his assistant secretary who had the same role for Pope John Paul II. Archbishop Mokrzycki, 46, is coadjutor of the Latin-rite Archdiocese of Lviv, in Ukraine.
The other newly-ordained prelates are Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, 64, new president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Archbishop Tommaso Caputo, 56, apostolic nuncio to Malta and Libya; Archbishop Francesco Brugnaro, 64, of the Archdiocese of Camerino-San Severino Marche, Italy; Bishop Sergio Pagano, 58, new prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives; and Bishop Vincenzo di Mauro, 55, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope's secretary of state, and Cardinal Marian Jaworski, the 81-year-old Latin-rite archbishop of Lviv, co-consecrated the new bishops.