Bishops Seen As Evangelizers Par Excellence

Cardinal Bertone Reflects on Role of Prelates

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 29, 2008 (Zenit.org).- If evangelization is a mission for all Christians, it is even more so for bishops, Benedict XVI's secretary of state said at the episcopal ordination of the new secretary for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.



Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke of the role of prelates at Saturday's ordination of Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer and Bishop Ambrosio Spreafico.

Archbishop Ladaria Ferrer was named secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith earlier this month, succeeding Archbishop Angelo Amato, who was named to lead the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

Bishop Spreafico was appointed coadjutor of the Diocese of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, in Italy.

During the episcopal ordination in the papal basilica of St. John Lateran, Cardinal Bertone offered a reflection on the mission of a bishop, exercised by Christ himself and continued through the apostles and their successors.

"If evangelization is the mission of all Christians, it is even more so that of pastors of the people of God," the Pope's secretary of state affirmed. He cited a recent catechesis from Benedict XVI in which the Holy Father explained that the roots of the word bishop indicate the task of those whose "mission is from on high, who look with the heart."

With heart

"To look from on high is an image that recalls the loftiness of sacred Scripture, the food of life that the word of God offers," Cardinal Bertone said. "To look with the heart means to look at the center of the human person. Man enters with the heart into a relationship with everything that exists."

Luis Ladaria Ferrer was born in Mallorca, Spain in 1944 and joined the Society of Jesus in 1966.

He was ordained a priest in 1973. Two years later, he became a professor of dogmatic theology in Spain, and in 1984, took that same role at the Gregorian University, where he also served as vice rector.

Father Ladaria Ferrer was named a consultant for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995, and since 2004 has been the secretary of the International Theological Commission.

Ambrosio Spreafico was ordained a priest in 1975 and was a professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Urbanian University, of which he was rector on two occasions: from 1997-2003 and from 2005 to date. He is a consultor of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.