Pope Cautions Against "Self-Interest", Encourages "Service" of Bishops
(12 Sep 09 - RV) "Do not you work for yourself, but lead people to God with faith,
wisdom and goodness".
Those were Pope Benedict XVI words as he presided
over a mass in St Peter’s Basilica today on the occasion of the ordination of 5 new
In an impassioned homily on such an auspicious day for these
5 new bishops Pope Benedict said in order to serve God one must be faithful , wise
Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon,
Franco Coppola, Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi, Pietro Parolin, the apostolic nuncio
to Venezuela, Msgr. Raffaello Martinelli, bishop elect of Frascati, and Giorgio Corbellini,
President of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See listened intently as the Holy
Father expressed the hope that the bishops would not seek power and prestige but strive
to lead men and women to God.
In reflecting on the identity of the bishop,
the Pope turned to early history explaining that there are 3 key features in order
to be a good servant of God.
The first he said is loyalty recognizing that
"the Church is not our church, but his Church, the Church of God":
he turned to faith and fidelity saying that Fidelity, "is not being afraid, it is
being inspired by love and by its dynamism." Faith "demands to be given: Fidelity,
the pope continued coincides with faith:
The second characteristic
that Jesus requires from the servant is caution, the Pope said; "Prudence or wisdom
indicates the primacy of truth, which becomes the decisive factor of our actions".
The first cardinal virtue of the priest as minister of Jesus
Christ, the pope added, was therefore "in being moulded by the truth that Christ
Finally, the Holy Father turned to the characteristic
of goodness. Good in the full sense, the Pope noted, " is God. He is good, good par
excellence, goodness in person."
The Pope then recalled
that the Church celebrates on September 12th the feast of the most holy "Name of Mary,"
which in Western tradition has been translated as "Star of the Sea".
night seems to be "impenetrable," said the Pope, we see the light that beamed, when
Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. "
In her goodness, he continued,
"we recognize the very human goodness of God himself."
Pope Benedict concluding
his homily with an affectionate greeting for the new bishops:
"We pray that you may become faithful servants, wise servants and good servants in
the service of God".