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One is not enough: Why new bishops need ‘co-consecrator’ bishops

The following is part of Angelus’ special reporting on the historic ordination of four new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Sept. 26, 2023. 

On March 26, 2001, Archbishop Charles Chaput laid hands on Father José H. Gomez and recited a prayer of consecration. At that moment, Father Gomez received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. He became an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver.

Chaput was his chief consecrator — but not his only consecrator. He was joined, according to custom, by two “principal consecrators”: Joseph Fiorenza, who was bishop (and later archbishop) of Galveston-Houston, and Javier Echevarría, who was then prelate of Opus Dei (and also a bishop). Those co-consecrators also laid hands on José Gomez, and they also recited the prayer.

Only one bishop is necessary for a valid consecration. But the Catholic Church has, from the beginning, always expressed a strong preference for at least two more bishops to take an active part in the ceremony.

Read full article on Angelus News.