Holy Mother Church has a new shepherd:
Mgr Charles J. Scicluna was this morning ordained auxiliary bishop at a ceremony in a St John’s co-Cathedral filled to overflowing with members of his family, visiting archbishops and bishops and representatives from across the Maltese diocese, among other dignitaries.
The 53-year-old newly ordained Titular Bishop of San Leone, is now entrusted with leadership responsibilities in the Curia and in the diocesan pastoral ministry. He has become a member of the Maltese Episcopal Conference alongside Archbishop Paul Cremona and Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech.
Renowned for his policy of zero tolerance towards the Church sexual abuse cases, Mgr Scicluna acted as the Vatican’s promoter of justice and chief prosecutor in the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church over the past decade.The Ordination began with the Bishops putting aside their mitres, standing near the principal ordaining Bishop, with hands joined, facing the people and inviting them to pray.
The Bishop-elect knelt alongside other members of the congregation and the litany was sung. The principle ordaining Bishop stood at his chair and, wearing his mitre, placed his hands on a kneeling Scicluna, surrounded by a number of priests, without saying a word. The Book of Gospels was placed on the Bishop-elect’s head while the Prayer of Ordination was read out.
The anointing of the head followed with the principal ordaining Bishop putting a linen tunic on his lap and, taking the Holy chrism from one of the priests, anointed the head of the newly-ordained Bishop, who knelt before him and prayed.
The ring was placed on Mgr Scicluna’s ring finger and a standing ovation and round of applause followed.
While many will keenly feel his absence at the CDF, he has promised that he will continue his work, adding to it his new authority. Moreover, he offered these words of advice:
On Friday’s discussion programme Xarabank, presenter Peppi Azzopardi put Mgr Scicluna on the spot by asking him for his opinion over the child sex abuse scandals which saw two priests sentenced to jail for a total of 11 years, and his personal stand on the compensation requested by the victims from the Church for psychological damages.
“It is the Church’s role to help the victims by offering them psychological help – which also costs money – but that is what money is for after all, for use when it’s needed. However, regarding monetary compensation, the victims should seek that privately from the abusers,” he said.
It is meet and just. The Legion raised money on the "holiness" of Maciel, and that indicates where the responsibility lies--whether physical abuse or mental abuse grounded in MM's own methodology.