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Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor: Appointment of new Bishop of Plymouth will please Francis

Bishop Mark O'Toole (Mazur)

Rt Rev Mark O’Toole has been ordained as Bishop of Plymouth today in an ordination ceremony at Plymouth Cathedral. During the service, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster, gave a homily in which he said the appointment would please Pope Francis.

“I was very interested to read of Pope Francis’s words to papal nuncios about the kind of bishops-to-be that they should choose,'” said Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

“He said, ‘Be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people, fathers and brothers, that they are gentle, patient and merciful, animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord and also by simplicity and austerity of life.’ And he goes on, ‘Above all, the bishop must watch over the flock, to keep watch, to imbue hope, that they have the sun and light in their hearts to lovingly support the plans God has for his people.’

“My dear friends, it is with great confidence that today I commend Bishop Mark to you who I know will be the kind of bishop Pope Francis is speaking of. He comes to a great diocese with a great tradition. You may be confident that you are receiving a bishop who, indeed, will watch over the flock and imbue hope, that you will have the sun and light in your hearts to lovingly support the plan God has for His people.”

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor implored Bishop O’Toole to lead the people of Plymouth “to that mature faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, because it is only in Him that we discern what is true and what is false, what is the purpose of our living, the One who gives hope and meaning to our lives.”

During the homily Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor also paid tribute to cardinal-elect, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who was in attendance at the ordination ceremony, saying he was “delighted” at the appointment.