Thursday, June 21, 2007

Silver Jubilee of Episcopal Ordination for Ivan Cardinal Dias

Here's the text of the message of the Holy Father to the former Archbishop of Bombay on this occasion (Via Fides. Full text not yet on website.)
VATICAN - Message from the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to Cardinal Ivan Dias for Silver Jubilee of his ordination as a Bishop

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI sent a personal message to His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a Bishop. Here is the message:

To our Venerable Brother
IVAN Cardinal DIAS
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples

It is truly honourable and right Venerable Brother to address to you our thoughts and honour you with our praise on the most happy occasion of the silver jubilee of your Episcopate.
The Lord has filled you with abundant and varied gifts that you with grateful heart and awareness have assiduously developed and willingly spent at the service of the Kingdom of God. And you became a priest in your native archdiocese of Bombay where you immediately began to carry out your priestly ministry. Only a short time later you went to Rome for more demanding studies.
Having completed them in the year 1964 you were called to the diplomatic service of the Apostolic See. Your first task was to prepare the visit to Bombay which Pope Paul VI made on the occasion of an International Eucharistic Congress. Later you diligently served as secretary at Apostolic Nunciature in various different countries.
Recalled to Rome in 1973, for about ten years you served with zeal in the Secretariat of State. After carefully considering your gifts, your love and your faithful service to the Church, my Predecessor of venerable memory John Paul II, in 1982 thought it opportune to promote you to more important duties appointing you Pro-Nuncio Apostolic in Ghana, Togo and Benin, with the dignity of titular Archbishop of Rusubisir.
Lastly you were in charge of the Apostolic Nunciature in South Korea and later in Albania, where you helped actively to restore the Catholic faith and there in 1993 you welcomed the Supreme Pontiff with great joy and emotion.
After diligently fulfilling the tasks entrusted to you, you were appointed Archbishop of Bombay and in the year 2001, to the great joy of your people, you were included among the Cardinals of the Catholic Church. An attentive and faithful Shepherd you nourished your flock with sound doctrine while promoting New Evangelisation.
Therefore, confirming the trust placed in you and never disappointed, having been by divine will raised to the duties of the Petrine ministry, last year I called you back to Rome and made you Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples .
Who could recall all the tasks you have undertaken for the good of the universal Church and the progress of your own homeland?
Recognising in all this not so much your own merits but rather the grace of Christ and with heartfelt gratitude to Him for these twenty five years of your ministry as a Bishop, with all your heart you may say with the Psalmist: "This is the day made by the Lord; let us exult and rejoice” (Ps 118,24).
Rest assured that on 19 June I will remember you in my prayers and through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta I will invoke upon you many gifts and the sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Venerable Brother, receive this testimony of fraternal charity and esteem and my Apostolic Blessing, as a pledge of abundant heavenly favours, which I impart most affectionately upon you and all those who are united with you in love.
From the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, 19 May 2007, the third year of my Pontificate.
Benedict PP. XVI
(Agenzia Fides 20/6/2007; righe 46, parole 589)

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