The sun shone brightly for the ordination of Bishop Arthur Roche and George Stack by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, at Westminster Cathedral yesterday. The Cardinal was assisted by the Rt Rev David Konstant, Bishop of Leeds, and the Rt Rev Victor Guazzelli, Titular Bishop of Lindisfarne. Those in attendance included: The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pablo Puente, Archbishop Gregorius, the Pope's Master of Ceremonies, Bishop Piero Marini, the Anglican Bishop of London, Ambassadors, the Mayor and Mayoress of Westminster with bishops, priests and parishioners of the diocese. The occasion was the first time Mass was celebrated at the newly-ordered main altar. During the anointing ceremony, larger amounts of oil were poured onto the heads of the bishops-elect than is usual these days. Cardinal Cormac explained later that both had asked for this as they felt it emphasized the symbolism of the occasion. In his homily, Cardinal Cormac said that in our "global, runaway world", we are: "saturated with images" and often suffer from an "information overload" . He said: "We are bombarded with images that promise life, achievement, happiness. We have pictures of pop stars, celebrities of various sorts and politicians - smiling, promising us the earth. "Those are the mists, the masks. But what we truly need to see is the real image, the real icon that really smiles, the God who is father, who loves us, forgives us and is the beauty we seek." He said: The people of our world expect more from us than social involvement and secular humanism. What people expect from us is a living answer to the ultimate problems that can be so difficult to answer. They do not expect an earthly paradise of a capitalist or a socialist kind. What we witness to is the coming reality, the spiritual dimension, the experience of God and the taste of eternity." The Cardinal said: "People say today that everyone has lost a sense of sin. I am not so sure about that. I rather think the world is haunted by an almost unbearable sense of guilt - people are crushed by a sense of failure in their lives and in their families." He said: "How important it is that we show that people, whatever their condition, are loved for themselves and are forgiven, whatever their weakness." The Cardinal ended his sermon by saying that it was not a time to hide or retreat. He said: "It is a time to have courage in our ministries, to boldly take hold of the future. "We need to strike out along new paths in pastoral ministry to enable us to gather together the flock of Jesus Christ and form them in his likeness." As the new bishops processed out of the Cathedral into the Piazza, they were greeted by the congregation with loud applause.
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