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Tomorrow sees the re-convening of bishops in Rome to consider marriage, divorce and sexuality. Last year’s meeting brought bitter disagreements out into the open and the rows have continued to simmer ever since
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Cardinal Vincent Nichols told bishops to reject power and prestige during a ceremony to ordain the new Bishop of Brentwood, Alan Williams on Tuesday.
Echoing Pope Francis, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster said that bishops should be servants of their congregations and slaves to the Word of God.
Outlining bishops’ three priorities – which he said were prayer, servanthood and the Word of God – Cardinal Nichols told the congregation at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Helen on Tuesday: “In a bishop, said Pope Francis, there can be 'no psychology of princes'. He is always to be a servant.”
He called on bishops to be voices “of the truth of our faith in the public arenas of our society”.
During the Mass he also thanked the outgoing Bishop of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon, for his 34 years of service in the diocese. The Bishop-emeritus, who was co-consecrator at the new bishop’s ordination along with the Bishop of Menevia, Tom Burns, tendered his resignation three years ago, aged 75.
“May the years ahead be both peaceful and prayerful, for you deserve the peace and we need the prayers,” Cardinal Nichols said.
Bishop Williams is a Marist priest and was formerly Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Above: Bishop Alan Wiliams. Photo: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk