Mother of all churches in Rome, St John Lateran gets a new bishop

Pope Francis consecrated Bishop Monsignor Angelo De Donatis as the new auxiliary bishop of Rome.

Pope Francis traveled across Rome to celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran, the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Rome, known as the “mother and head of all the Churches of Rome and of the whole world." At the mass he celebrated during the ceremony, he ordained Bishop Angelo De Donatis as the new auxiliary bishop for the diocese of Rome.

Ordaining Bishop Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis reminded the new bishop of something he had told him earlier.

“Let your words be simple so that everyone can understand. Don’t give long homilies," the pope said. “Allow me to ask you to remember your dad and how very happy he was to have found another parish in a town nearby where the Mass was celebrated without a homily!"

“Homilies should be the transmission of God’s grace. Simple, so that everyone can understand them and everyone will want to become a better person," Pope Francis told the new bishop.

Prior to his ordination as the new bishop of Rome, Bishop De Donatis served as pastor of Saint Mark the Evangelist parish in Rome.

The Pope reminded the new Bishop that he has been chosen by the Lord. “The title of Bishop is not one of honor but of function, and therefore a Bishop should strive to serve rather than to rule." Bishops are called “to proclaim the message whether it is welcome or unwelcome; to correct error with unfailing patience and teaching and to pray and offer sacrifice for the people committed to your care and so draw every kind of grace for them from the overflowing holiness of Christ" … and especially, to “love all those whom God places in your care."

After anointing the new bishop with oil and giving him the Book of the Gospels, when the pope was about to present him with his episcopal ring, a “sign of fidelity," but first Pope Francis added, “Do not forget: Before this ring, there were the wedding bands of your parents. Defend the family!"

During his sermon, pope urged him to be patient with priests, seminarians, the poor and laypeople who come to him looking for assistance and counsel. “Many times you will need a lot of patience," the pope said, “but the kingdom of God is built that way."

“And close to the beginning of the Year of Mercy, I ask you as a brother to be merciful," the pope said. “The church and the world need so much mercy. Teach priests and seminarians the path of mercy with words, yes, but especially with your behavior."

 













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