Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - "I am very happy. I pledge to take care of the Church of Nepal as a true shepherd, trying to follow the example of Saint Paul," said Mgr Paul Simick yesterday, after he was ordained as the new apostolic vicar to Nepal in the presence of about a hundred Catholic priests who operate inside and outside the country.
Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Protestant religious leaders were present at the ceremony along with at least 3,000 lay people, as well as diplomats and representatives of various religious organisations.
"I asked him to work with the poor and backward people of the country and proclaim the word of God to bring His word wherever appropriate," said the principal consecrator, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nepal and India, Mgr Salvatore Pennacchio.
In his address, the nuncio also thanked Mgr Simick's predecessor, Mgr Anthony Sharma, for his contribution to the Catholic Church and the country.
"I am very happy. I thank God that he chose me for such a great responsibility," Mgr Paul Simick said at the end of the Mass.
"I pledge to take care of the Church of Nepal as a true shepherd and through my work I shall try to follow the example of Saint Paul. I am here to serve God's Word and follow His will. Please, pray for me! I shall follow the guidance of Pope Francis and bring God's word throughout the country."
"I think that other religious groups can create a mutual cooperation to build peace and solidarity. I shall be happy to work with them for a good cause," he told the leaders and representatives of other religious groups.
He also thanked all participants, diplomats, politicians and those who contributed to the organisation of the ceremony.
For the first time in the country's history, Nepal Television, Nepal's only state-wide TV network, broadcast the ceremony live.