New nuncio to Benin, Togo consecrated a bishop

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Gibraltar, Apr 27, 2021 / 17:19 pm (CNA).

The episcopal consecration of Archbishop Mark Miles, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to Benin and Togo earlier this year, was held in Gibraltar on Sunday.

The consecrator at the April 25 Mass was Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, with Archbishop Arthur Roche and Bishop Carmel Zammit as co-consecrators.

Archbishop Miles, 53, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Gibraltar in 1996. He has served in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps since 2003. He has been as an English language interpreter for Pope Francis, and has recently been the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States. He has served as papal representative in Ecuador and Hungary and in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State.

He was appointed apostolic nuncio to Benin Feb. 5, and to Togo March 2.

In his homily, Cardinal Parolin encouraged the new bishop to fulfill his new role with a generous and compassionate heart.

“You will not be like the hired hand, who flees before dangers because he is unconcerned for the flock,” he said, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle. “Nor will you turn into a mere functionary, who puts in his time and then feels free to pursue his own interests and activities.”

“Instead, you will be a shepherd in the image of the Good Shepherd, ready to lay down your life for the sheep.”

He encouraged Archbishop Miles impartially to conduct actions of reconciliation, dialogue, and mediation. This will permit all parties to view the Church as “a just judge who honestly seeks to defend and safeguard justice and peace only,” the cardinal added.

“In this way, in your new mission as Apostolic Nuncio in Benin and Togo, you will more easily lead those you encounter to value the Holy See’s voice and to recognise that it acts exclusively on behalf of the dignity of every human being and for the building of a world in which sentiments of solidarity and fraternal cooperation prevail,” he said.

“By your impartiality and your steadfast commitment to justice and peace, you will also point beyond yourself to the one who inspires your every action and words, namely Jesus, the source of all our joy and the rock of our salvation.”

At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Miles alluded to Gibraltar’s upcoming referendum on abortion, saying he hopes “that the sentiments which underpin [Gibraltarians’] generosity, care and concern toward the vulnerable, will continue to be expressed to all stages of human life in our community.”

The archbishop will fly to Benin May 3 to take up his new post.


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