Speaking at the ordination of five Bishops, Pope Benedict stated that the bishop should lead people to Jesus Christ without seeking power, prestige or esteem.

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Faith,Wisdom, Goodness

“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 Bishops.

These are the three characteristics that crystallize the soul of a good bishop, who fulfils his mandate by serving God and his will.

Pope Benedict XVI recalled how above all the consecrated should “heal man’s inner wound, his distance from God.” Without seeking power, prestige or esteem, the bishop should lead “men to Jesus Christ and thus towards the living God,” introducing them “to truth and freedom.”

“The loyalty of the servant – insisted the Pope – consists precisely in the fact that he does not try to adapt the faith to the fashions of the time.” Only Christ has the words of eternal life”.

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”:

Then 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 shows us”:

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.”