Papal election can renew diocese – Bishop Darius

Bishop Vincent Darius OP

“As we rejoice in the election of Pope Francis we must remember that leaders of Church and State at all levels need the support of our prayers. Pray especially for our new pope who has taken up this challenge at the age of 76, that God will strengthen him and guide him. We pray that this joyous event may be the beginning of a great renewal in the Church in Grenada, and throughout the world". So said Bishop Vincent Darius, chief celebrant and homilist at a special Mass March 17 to celebrate the election of Pope Francis at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St George’s, Grenada. Recently elected Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and his mother Muriel were members of the congregation.

In his homily, Bishop Darius expressed his joy and excitement at the Church’s new pontiff. He said that reading the press reports it seemed as if the media wanted to elect the pope, expressing strong opinions for and against individual cardinals. Bishop Darius believed prior to the election, whoever became the pope would have to be someone for whom evangelisation was a priority.

"People have to know who Christ is,” he commented, adding that Pope Paul VI recognised this need and wrote the apostolic exhortation (On Evangelisation in the Modern World). “Pope John Paul II recognised the same need and talked about the New Evangelisation, making Christ known using new methods and new terms of expression with a new zeal, a new passion. Pope Benedict XVI established a new Dicastery, or department in the government of the Church especially for evangelisation. All three popes recognised what was happening especially in the developed countries of Europe and North America, that people are drifting away from God, a trend that is leading to chaos."

Bishop Darius spoke of the "Adopt a Cardinal" project which encouraged faithful worldwide to pray for a specific cardinal at the conclave, that the cardinal would be inspired by the Holy Spirit to vote for the man whom God wanted to lead His Church at this time.

He also explained why Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio chose the name Francis after being elected. One reason was to bring attention to living a life of simplicity, and the need to look after the poor.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis often called for training in evangelisation for Catholics. "Your coming here at such short notice," said Bishop Darius, "is a sign that you are ready to heed that call and accept the challenge to become confident evangelisers of our own people.”


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