“In this appointment, we sense the Holy Father’s great respect and love for the Church among the Croats and the entire Croatian nation,” noted Archbishop Barišić
Split (IKA) — Msgr. Martin Vidović, whom the Holy Father appointed as the apostolic nuncio in Belarus and the titular archbishop of Nona [Nin] was ordained a bishop during the celebration of the Eucharist on the Feast of Christ the King, November 21, at the Concathedral of St. Peter in Split. The principal consecrator was the secretary of state of the Holy See, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the principal co-consecrators were the archbishop of Sarajevo, Cardinal Vinko Puljić, and the archbishop of Split-Makarska, Marin Barišić, who were joined by the president of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanić of Zagreb, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Nikola Eterović; the apostolic nuncio in Croatia, Archbishop Francisco-Javier Lozano; archbishops and bishops of the Church among the Croats, and many apostolic nuncios and guests from other countries. The celebration was attended by high government officials, Premier Ivo Sanader, Parliamentary Speaker Vladimir Šeks, ministers, the Croatian ambassador to the Holy See, Dr. Emilio Marin; pastors, county executives, mayors, representatives of cultural institutions, and representatives of the civil and military authorities.
In words of greeting at the beginning of the celebration of the Eucharist, Archbishop Barišić said that in this appointment, we sense the Holy Father’s great respect and love for the Church among the Croatis and the entire Croatian nation. Speaking about Msgr. Vidović, Archbishop Barišić said that having served for many years in the close proximity of the Holy Father, the Holy Father had recognized him as worthy and deserving of higher confidence and office in the Church. Archbishop Barišić told Msgr. Vidović: “In the spirit of your motto, ‘Faith, hope and love,’ be a herald of the Kingdom of God, a witness and advocate of ecumenicism among brother Christians and a man of dialogue in today’s pluralistic world.”
During the sermon, Cardinal Sodano spoke of the office of bishop and said to Msgr. Vidović that now he shall have to perform his office in Belarus where he will find a Church that was sorely tried by communistic persecutions, and which now is rising up to a new life under the leadership of Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, the archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev and other worthy pastors. In this country, which is three times larger than Croatia and has a population of ten million inhabitants, over a million Catholics make up a young and unselfish Church that is open to their Orthodox brothers and all people of goodwill, explained Cardinal Sodano. Cardinal Sodano delivered the beginning and end of his sermon in the Croatian language, and the rest was read by a high official of the Secretariat of State to His Holiness, Msgr. Petar Rajić. The newly ordained Archbishop Vidović expressed his gratitude at the end of the celebration, thanking God and all who during the 51 years of his life had contributed in various ways to his becoming a bishop.
Msgr. Vidović was born in Vidonje near Metković on July 15, 1953 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1989 by Pope John Paul II in Rome. He completed his philosophical-theological studies in Rome and then specialized in liturgy and canon law. He participated in the preparations for all the Pope’s visits to the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The newly appointed archbishop also served as a journalist and editor in the Croatian section of Radio Vatican from 1983 to 1994. Since 1994, he has been an official of the Secretariat of State to His Holiness, while at the same time performing the duties of the secretary of the Apostolic Nunciate in Bosnia and Herzegovina until 1999.