VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Celebrating the feast of St. Joseph,
Pope Francis ordained three new bishops who will serve as papal nuncios, or ambassadors.
The new bishops are: Archbishop Jose Bettencourt, a priest
of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and former head of diplomatic protocol for the
Vatican; Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, a Maltese who was general secretary of the Vatican
Secretariat for the Economy and had served as assistant personal secretary to
Pope Benedict XVI; and Archbishop Waldemar Sommertag, a career Vatican diplomat
Archbishop Bettencourt will be nuncio to Georgia and
Armenia; Archbishop Xuereb will take up posts as the nuncio to South Korea and
to Mongolia; and Archbishop Sommertag will serve as nuncio to Nicaragua.
As is his practice, Pope Francis read the ritual homily for
the ordination of bishops during the Mass March 19, but he added a few comments.
Reading the homily's reminder that a bishop is chosen to
minister to men and women in the things related to God, the pope said they were
not chosen for other tasks, "not for business, not for worldly affairs,
not for politics."
After the reminder that bishops are called to take the
position of the least and to serve, Pope Francis urged them to "flee from
the temptation to be princes."
"Pray and offer sacrifice," the ritual homily
urges new bishops. "Prayer is the first task of the bishop," the pope
said, noting how when the widows of the early Christian community went
to the apostles to complain that they were not being cared for, the
the order of deacons to oversee the community's charity.
St. Peter explained to the deacons, "you do this, this,
and this, and we will pray and proclaim the word," the pope said. "A
bishop who does not pray, does not fulfill his obligations. He does not live
out his vocation."
And, after reading the homily's exhortation that bishops
show special care for their priests, the pope added, "be close to priests,
please. May they be able to meet the bishop the same day they ask (for a
meeting) or at most a day later."