Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - "It is Christ who, in the ministry of the Bishop, continues to preach the gospel of salvation and to sanctify the faithful through the sacraments of faith; it is Christ who, in the fatherhood of the Bishop, allows with new members of his Body to grow, which is the Church; it is Christ who, in the wisdom and prudence of the Bishop, leads the People of God in this earthly pilgrimage toward eternal happiness". This is what was emphasized by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, during the solemn Eucharistic concelebration which he presided yesterday morning, Sunday, May 22, in the Cathedral of Bogotà, for the episcopal ordination of the Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Gaitán, rev. Raúl Alfonso Carrillo Martínez, and the Apostolic Vicar of San Andrés y Providencia, Rev. Jaime Uriel Sanabria Arias (see Fides 19/05/2016).
At the beginning of his homily, the Cardinal expressed his joy "to be among you today", on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, where "we contemplate and worship the unity and divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit", and in which "we also recognize the model of the Church, called to live according to the example of the Trinitarian life". Bringing the greetings and blessings of Pope Francis, Cardinal Filoni emphasized the reasons for his visit to Colombia: the participation at the XII National Missionary Congress. He also said, "with this visit, I also wish to express the gratitude of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples for the pastoral work of all those who, in one way or another, are involved in evangelization as missionaries: priests , men and women religious, lay people and catechists, who dedicate themselves to the proclamation of the Gospel in these mission territories, both in Colombia and abroad".
Recalling then the other reason for his visit, the episcopal ordination of two Apostolic Vicars, Cardinal Filoni invited the faithful of both Vicariates to welcome them "with joy and gratitude", "to be close to them" and "to support them in their task". Therefore, to the two new Bishops, he entrusted these particular communities, "so that they reach the maturity of authentic diocesan Churches", urging them to be "fathers and teachers in the midst of their people", and "authentic men of God, in charity , humility and simplicity of life".
The Cardinal finally asked to pay "particular attention" towards priests and seminarians, men and women religious and catechists, and continued: "Established by the Father as breadwinners, be in the midst of your communities like the shepherds who know their sheep, and recognize them, distinguishing themselves in charity and zeal towards all, especially towards the poorest. In the Church, authority is at the service of others". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 23/05/2016)