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Cardinal Parolin at ordination: A Bishop gives his life for his flock | Synodal Times | 16.07.23 Cardinal Parolin at ordination: A Bishop gives his life for his flock - Vatican News Cardinal Pietro …More
Cardinal Parolin at ordination: A Bishop gives his life for his flock | Synodal Times | 16.07.23
Cardinal Parolin at ordination: A Bishop gives his life for his flock - Vatican News

Cardinal Pietro Parolin confers episcopal ordination on Msgr. Gian Luca Perici, appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi last month by Pope Francis, and in his homily notes that the bishop is to be a 'watchman' who keeps unity and hope alive among the people entrusted to him.

By Amedeo Lomonaco

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, presided over the morning Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica with the episcopal ordination of Msgr. Gian Luca Perici, appointed apostolic nuncio to Zambia and Malawi by Pope Francis on 5 June 2023. In his homily, Cardinal Parolin addressed a key question regarding the role of a bishop, recalling in particular the duties to "bring the Good News to the poor" and "bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted."

Bishop safeguards community
The bishop is a "sign of Christ", Cardinal Parolin explained, recalling words of Pope Francis during his apostolic journey to Canada: "Precisely because we are a sign of Christ, the Apostle Peter urges us to tend the flock, to guide it, not to let it go astray while busy about our own affairs. Care for it with devotion and tender love." The bishop, the Cardinal emphasized, is like "a good watchman" who scans the horizon and "warns the community of any approaching danger." A watchman who gives guidance "in listening to the Word of God, in prayer, in frequenting the sacraments, in humility and in charity, the powerful ways to overcome every obstacle and maintain fraternal cohesion and living hope."

Looking to the Good Shepherd
The bishop is called to direct his gaze towards "the heart of Jesus that shines with infinite love," to the Good Shepherd, "willing to give his life for the sheep" and "not to flee before the wolves." Cardinal Parolin added that the bishop is called to focus always to "this heart that shines and emanates charity," to this "source of mercy" that rejects no one and offers to everyone "a joyful proclamation of true liberation." The invitation that a bishop must accept is that of "integrally transforming every care of the heart and transferring it to God." The bishop is called "to show the sweetness of the yoke of Christ so as to lift the sad yoke of sin from the shoulders of the people entrusted to him."

Messengers for the Pope
Cardinal Pietro Parolin finally recalled the specific task entrusted to Archbishohp Perici: "that of sharing the word of the Pope with Churches and governments" of the countries where he is being sent. At the same time, the bishop must be "a tireless peacemaker in this world troubled by wars and cruel conflicts" and to promote the defence of the "fundamental rights of the human person, often threatened by ideologies that instrumentalize and manipulate them in the name of a humanism that, in truth, no longer has anything human about it." Finally, he encouraged him to be "an authentic bridge capable of presenting the needs, problems, hopes and fears of the individual local Churches to the universal Church, helping them be aware of the paternal care of the successor of the Apostle Peter."

Archbishop Perici entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 2001 and has served in apostolic nunciatures in Mexico, Haiti, Malta, Angola, Brazil, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.