8 December 2009

Archbishop Bernard Longley

Having just returned from the Installation of our new Archbishop, I wanted to share with you the contents of the Apostolic Letter from HH Benedict XVI. I also note that ICN already have the Archbishop's homily, which was very good, here. It was a wonderful liturgy and, whilst it's not the first Installation of an Archbishop to which I have been invited, it was very much better than the last one. Then again, it has to be said, the last was in Valladolid and was primarily in Spanish! The BBC are covering the Installation, here. The Birmingham Post, here.

Archbishop Bernard ended his homily by asking us to continue to pray for him, and we do.

May I join my voice to the many and say welcome, Your Grace.


Bishop of Rome

Servant of the servants of God

Do hereby send our greetings and Apostolic Blessing to our venerable brother in the episcopate, Bernard Longley, who was until now titular Bishop of Zarna and auxiliary Bishop in Westminster, and who from now is translated to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Given that our venerable brother, Vincent Gerard Nichols, has been appointed Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Westminster; it falls to us as Successor of Saint Peter and Universal Father, to make suitable provision for the vacant Metropolitan See of Birmingham.

It seems proper to us that you, Bernard, taking account of your evident gifts, and their expert and pastoral exercise, are suitable to be appointed as head of this See.

As you are now relieved from the obligations and functions of Auxiliary Bishop and of the titular See of Zarna, and in deliberation with the Congregation of Bishops, we name you by our Supreme Apostolic Authority as Metropolitan Archbishop of Birmingham, with all the rights and obligations that entails.

We entrust you to make these letters known to the clergy and people of the Archdiocese and we exhort them to receive you with goodwill and fidelity.

Above all, venerable brother, we pray that the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, with His richest Gifts, be with you to assist you. With such assistance, may you so shepherd the faithful entrusted to your care that they are unceasing in prayer, in listening to the Word of God, in carrying out works of mercy and in receiving the sacraments, above all the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, which in the words of Saint John Chrysostom is the sacrament that binds us one to another in Christ.

May the Peace of Christ and the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, be always with you, together with your auxiliary bishops, and with this esteemed ecclesiastical community of Birmingham, which is most dear to us.

Given at Saint Peter’s, Rome, on the First Day of October, in the Year of Our Lord 2009, the fifth of Our Pontificate.

Benedict XVI,

Supreme Pontiff



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