(Vatican Radio) Following a tradition begun during the Pontificate of Blessed John Paul II, four men were ordained Bishops during the Mass of the Epiphany this Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica: Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Fortunatus Nwachukwu, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua; Georg Ganswein, Personal Secretary to Pope Benedict XVI and Prefect of the Papal Household; Nicolas Thevenin, also Apostolic Nuncio in the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See, all four of whom are raised to the dignity of Archbishop. After the singing of the Veni Creator – the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, presented the elect, who were questioned by the Holy Father about their willingness to accept and discharge the duties of the office they were being asked to undertake. Listen:
In his homily, Pope Benedict reflected on the way the characters of the Wise Men can teach us something of the character of the ideal bishop. “These men who set out towards the unknown were,” said Pope Benedict, “in any event, men with a restless heart - men driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world. They were filled with expectation,” he said, “not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater.” The Holy Father went on to speak of the challenges that face a bishop today, and the virtues he needs to face those challenges. He spoke of the humility of faith, of sharing the faith of the Church of every age, which will constantly be in conflict with the prevailing wisdom of those who cling to what seems certain. He said, “Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking, even in our own day.”
“[T]he courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today,” said Pope Benedict. “[A Bishop] must be courageous.”
The Pope concluded with promises of prayers from all the faithful for the new bishops, that the Lord may always grant them the courage and humility of faith, asking Mary, who showed to the Wise Men the new King of the world, as a loving mother, to show Jesus Christ also to the new bishops, and to help them to be guides along the way which leads to Him.