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A bishop needs a 'restless heart,' Pope says in ordaining two prelates

January 06, 2012

A Catholic bishop should be “a man of restless heart,” Pope Benedict XVI said on January 6, as he ordained two priests as archbishops.

As the Vatican observed the feast of the Epiphany, the Pontiff ordained Msgr. Charles Brown and Msgr. Marek Solczynski. Both new archbishops will be taking important posts in the Vatican diplomatic service. Archbishop Brown, a native of New York who has worked for years at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be the apostolic nuncio in Ireland—an assignment that has taken on new sensitivity in light of recent tensions between the Irish government and the Holy See. Archbishop Solczynski will be nuncio to Georgia and Armenia.

In his homily, the Pope observed that the Magi were curious men: scientists who were determined to unlock the secret of the star that guided them toward Bethlehem. Bishops, too, should be “not satisfied with the ordinary things of this world, but inwardly driven by his heart's unrest to draw ever closer to God,” the Pope said. He went on to point out that the Magi were probably ridiculed for their quest, yet had the humility and courage to continue. Again, he said, bishops should imitate them, and “be filled with the courage of humility, not asking what prevailing opinion says about him, but following the criterion of God's truth and taking his stand accordingly.”

While the Magi were guided by a star, the Pope continued, Christians today are guided by “the true supernova that leads us on.” The bishop must be guided by his faith in Christ.

Later in the day, at his Angelus audience, the Pope returned to the themes of unswerving faith and the need for unswerving faith. At that midday audience—at which he announced a consistory for the appointment of 22 new cardinals–the Pope emphasized that firm Christian leadership is essential at a time when “Western civilization seems to have lost its way, it is sailing blind.”

Before concluding his Angelus audience, the Pope sent a message of greetings to those Catholics of the Eastern churches who, still observing the Julian calendar, will celebrate Christmas on January 7.


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