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Pope ordains 12 Bishops as Vatican marks Epiphany

VATICAN, Jan 6, 03 ( -- Pope John Paul II ordained 12 new bishops on Monday, January 6, as the Vatican observed the feast of the Epiphany.

The ordination of bishops by the Roman Pontiff is a Vatican tradition for the Epiphany celebration. This year, the 12 new bishops include four members of the Vatican diplomatic corps, two officials of the Roman Curia, and six diocesan bishops.

Although he showed the signs of fatigue after the busy schedule of the Christmas season, Pope John Paul celebrated the entire ceremony, which last from 9 in the morning almost until noon. In his short homily for the occasion, the Pope reflected on the mystery of the Epiphany as it pertains to the vocation of bishops.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, presented the candidates for episcopal ordination, who knelt before the Holy Father, one at a time, to receive his blessing. Then the open book of the Gospel was held above their heads, and the Pontiff recited the prayer of ordination. The new bishops then were anointed with chrism, and received the symbols of their new office: the miter and cross.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Pope embraced each of the newly ordained bishops.


7 Jan 2003