Cardinal: New Bishop of Plymouth will match Pope Francis’ template for a Bishop

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In his homily at the Episcopal Ordination of Mgr Mark O’Toole in Plymouth, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor spoke of his confidence that the priests and people of the Diocese of Plymouth were “receiving a bishop who will watch over the flock and imbue hope.”

The Cardinal said that Bishop Mark O’Toole “will be the kind of bishop Pope Francis” spoke of in his address to Papal Nuncios about the human and spiritual qualities needed in new bishops-to-be.

The Holy Father, in June 2013, said that candidates should be pastors who are close to the people “gentle, patient and merciful, animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord and also by simplicity and austerity of life.”

The Cardinal also highlighted how the three readings chosen by Bishop O’Toole for his Episcopal Ordination “contained in them a plea for your prayers and your support that he may become the kind of bishop that you want and that the diocese needs.”

He said that today we “pray for Bishop Mark and for his ministry in the years ahead, that it will be fruitful in ways that are beyond all our expectations.”

Bishop Mark O’Toole, the 9th Bishop of Plymouth, served as Private Secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor for six years from 2002-2008.


Bishop O’Toole succeeds Bishop Christopher Budd who served the Diocese of Plymouth as Bishop for 28 years from January 1986.

Full Text

You can download the full text of Cardinal Cormac’s Homily for the Episcopal Ordination of Mgr Mark O’Toole by using the link in the top right-hand corner of this page.

Watch Live

You can watch the Episcopal Ordination here: