Murcian priest Fernando Varela Sánchez, ordained bishop of Zamora




The Murcian priest Fernando Varela Sánchez, has been ordained today in the cathedral of Zamora bishop of the Diocese in a ceremony marked by health measures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and attended by 250 people, approximately, half of the allowed capacity and almost a fifth of what is usual in episcopal ordinations in the seo of Zamora.

Monsignor Valera Sánchez left his new home in Zamora on foot shortly before 11 a.m., a house attached to the episcopal palace, accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain, Bernardito Auza, and walked towards the Cathedral. Once in the atrium, the doors have been opened and he has been received by the diocesan administrator, José Francisco Matías, and the Cathedral Chapter and the dean, José Ángel Rivera, offered him the Cross of Meat so that he would venerate it with a bow , informs Ical

Once inside the temple, Fernando Valera prayed in the Santísimo chapel and stopped in the retrochoir to pray in front of the tomb of his predecessor, Gregorio Martínez. Later, it was reviewed in the chapter house to go out in procession with the rest of the bishops and priests to the altar.

During the ceremony, presided over by the apostolic nuncio, accompanied at the altar by five other bishops, the bishop-elect received the episcopal signs: the pectoral, a gift from the seminarians of Murcia; the miter, the crozier, made by a jeweler and a carpenter from Murcia and a gift from the presbytery of the Diocese of Cartagena, and the ring, gift of the formators of the Murcia seminary.

The diocesan administrator of Zamora, José Francisco Matías, who took office after the death of the previous bishop, Gregorio Martínez, on September 20, 2019, opened the ceremony with his greeting to the still-elected bishop, to whom he has dedicated a detailed description of the Diocese, for which he has claimed “presence, accompaniment, interest, concern, institutional responses and material means.”

Among the guests were the Cardinal Archbishop of Valladolid, Ricardo Blázquez; the apostolic nuncio in Spain, Bernardito Cleopas Auza; the Archbishop of Burgos, Mario Iceta, the Archbishop Emeritus of Burgos, Francisco Gil; the apostolic administrator of León, Julián López; the emeritus bishop of San Sebastián, Juan María Uriarte, who was in charge of the Diocese of Zamora between 1991 and 2000; the bishops of Salamanca, Carlos López; Segovia, César Augusto Franco; Cartagena, José Manuel Lorca; Cádiz and Ceuta, Rafael Zornoza; Bragança –Miranda (Portugal), José Manuel García; Astorga, Jesús Fernández; Osma-Soria, Abilio Martínez; Ávila, José María Gil; Guadix, Francisco Jesús Orozco, and the auxiliary bishops of Valladolid, Bilbao and Cartagena, Lui Javier Argüello, Josefa Segura and Sebastián Chico, respectively. In the end, the prelates of Burgos and Cádiz were unable to attend, according to sources from the Bishopric of Zamora.

At 12.25 pm, Fernando Valera Sánchez received a round of applause from the audience, already as the new bishop of Zamora. At 1:20 pm, the new bishop of Zamora has blessed those present and, with the song of the Salve, he approached Our Lady of Majesty to incense her image and bow. Attendees have been reminded of the need to keep safe distance and to avoid displays of affection with contact to prevent coronavirus infections.

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