January 7-9, 2000
volume 11, no. 5

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    Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


    VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II ordained 12 new today, in St. Peter's Basilica.

    The Pontiff also sent his Christmas greetings to the Eastern Christian churches that celebrate the feast on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany. That feast, commemorating the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, is a holy day in Italy, and Vatican offices were closed.

    Pope John Paul II appeared at the window of his apartment at noon to pray the Angelus with pilgrims who had assembled in St. Peter's Square below. He used the occasion to send his greetings to the Orthodox churches, calling them "brothers in the faith." The Holy Father specifically named the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Romania, and apologized for not naming every Eastern Church. And he praised the beauty of the Byzantine liturgy, saying that it "enriches the Church of Christ."

    In the morning, the Pope ordained 12 bishops, in keeping with a Vatican tradition of episcopal ordinations on the Epiphany. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the 12 new bishops were formally introduced to the media by Cardinal Lucas Moreiva Neves, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Four of the new bishops will serve as papal representatives in the Vatican diplomatic corps; seven will have diocesan assignments; and one will continue at his current post in the Vatican. They are:

  • - Bishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish native, who will be the papal nuncio in Bolivia;
  • - Bishop George Panikulam, an Indian, who will be nuncio in Honduras;
  • - Bishop Giacomo Ottonello, an Italian, who will be nuncio in Panama;
  • - Bishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, also Italian, who will be nuncio to the African nations of Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone;
  • - Bishop Ivo Baldi of Huaraz, Peru;
  • - Bishop Gabriel Mbilingi, coadjutor bishop of Lwena, Angola;
  • - Bishop David Laurin Ricken, coadjutor bishop of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the US;
  • - Bishop Anton Cosa, apostolic administrator of Moldavia, Romania;
  • - Bishop Andra Veres, auxiliary bishop of Eger, Hungary;
  • - Bishop Peter Erdo, auxiliary bishop of Szekesfehervar, Hungary;
  • - Bishop Giuseppe Pasotto, apostolic administrator of the Caucasus; and
  • - Bishop Franco Croci, secretary of the prefecture of economic affairs for the Holy See.

        After the three-hour ceremony, the Pope left the altar with the help of the rolling platform which he had unveiled on December 29; it is a wheeled vehicle which allows him to stand and lean on its bars, so that he can salute the crowd as he walks. The Pope's infirmity was clear at the climactic point of the ritual, when-- as he imposed his hands on the heads of the men to be ordained-- his left hand shook noticeably. Pope John Paul has now ordained 290 men to the episcopate.


  • January 7-9, 2000
    volume 11, no. 4

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