Friar Martin KMETEC, the Archbishop of the metropolitan see of Smyrna (Izmir in Turkey) and Friar Dominique MATHIEU, recently nominated as Archbishop of Teheran-Isfahan of the Latin Rite (Iran) were received by Cardinal Leonard SANDRI, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Eastern Churches, and Sub secretary Don Flavio PACE on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Palazzo dei Convertendi in the via della Conciliazione to make their profession of faith and to swear their faithfulness to the Roman Pontiff, following the prescriptions of canon law.
The brief rite, in the presence of the Vicar of the Order, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, of the Assistant General for FIMP, Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, and of the Procurator of the Order, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, was celebrated in a spirit of joy and simplicity.
The two confreres, after pronouncing the ritual formula before the crucifix swore their oath, placing their hand upon the book of the Gospels. At the end of the ceremony, the Cardinal gave them their pectoral crosses and their purple zucchettos, gifts of the General Curia.
Later that day, there was a solemn vespers preceded by the proclamation of the Te Deum in the splendid surroundings of the Basilica of Santi Apostoli. Cardinal Sandri presided at the prayer service at which Cardinal Mauro GAMBETTI (OFM Conv) was also present as well as the friars of that friary and others from local friaries.
After the veneration of the relic of the Apostles, the Vicar General greeted those present, reminding them that in these months five friars were chosen by the Holy See to be bishops in various parts of the world. They are brothers who continue to live their Franciscan Minority in the service of the Church, and who will always at home in the Order wherever they are. The Cardinal, in a short homily, explained that these two Friar Bishops will represent the Order: reminding us of St. Francis who turned toward the East, and how our presence among Christians there is so important, as is interreligious dialog.
The feast continued in the refectory where the Guardian Friar Francesco CELESTINO welcomed all of the friars for a fraternal supper, reminding the Brother Bishops that they will always be most welcome in the friary.
Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, Procurator General