Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi, M.Sp.S.

Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi, M.Sp.S. (Missionaries of the Holy Spirit)
Bishop of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico

Tepic is the capital of the Mexican state of Nayarit, in central Mexico on the Pacific coast, some 150 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit is an order founded in Mexico City in 1914 by Venerable Félix de Jesús Rougier, with some 400 priests and religious and 57 parishes in 7 countries: Mexico, United States, Italy, Costa Rica, Spain, Chile and Colombia.

Their spirituality emphasizes the cross and Christ as priest and victim.

Their mission: “The only one who sanctifies is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as his missionaries, our first task is to work with him in the sanctification of all, helping each person to perform their particular mission.

“With the Church, we concern ourselves to know and understand the world we live in: its history, its culture, its aspirations. We want to make our own the hopes and the joys, sorrows and anxieties of the men and women of today, especially the poor, and with all to struggle to build a world more just and human, where we can live as sons and brothers according to the plan of God.”

Bishop Watty Urquidi is 70, born 16 July 1938 in San Diego, California, of Mexican parents, moves with his family to Mexico City in 1951. At 13 enters the apostolic school of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, in Tlalpan, Mexico City, at 18 enters the novitiate of the congregation, drops the American and keeps his Mexican citizenship.

1962-4 taught at the minor seminary of the diocese of Alajuela, Costa Rica and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. 1968 ordained a priest in Mexico City. 1971 parish priest at San Marcos, Mexicaltzingo, Mexico City and superior of the Community of the Holy Spirit. 1974-80 vice-superior, Province of Mexico of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.

1980 appointed auxiliary bishop of Mexico City, under Cardinal Ernesto Corripio (archbishop 1977-94). 1989 appointed first bishop of new diocese of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, on the American border. 2008 appointed bishop of Tepic.

For the Mexican Bishops Conference (CEM): 1980-1983 President of the Commission for Religious. 1983-1988, 1994-2000 President of the Commission for the Institutes of Consecrated Life. 2004-2006 President of the Commission for the Laity.

Bios: Catholic-hierarchy Tepic diocesan website

As bishop of Nuevo Laredo from 1989-2008, Watty Urquidi was noted for his committed concern for the rights of migrants and outspokenness against violence in his border diocese from drug trafficking and organized crime.

On 13 January 2008 celebrating Mass with other bishops of border dioceses for the Day of the Migrant in Laredo, Texas he homilized: "The church is a family without borders." By virtue of baptism, "we have a gift to serve the needy, the poorest. Unfortunately there are more today than at any other time."

He participated in the preparation of the pastoral letter on immigration “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope; A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States ” (January 2003).

Horacio Garza Garza, Mexican Congressman from Nuevo Laredo, was an assassination target in February 2007. Watty Urquidi characterized the attempt on Garza’s life as an aggression against the community… The bishop called for an end to unlawful detentions, kidnappings and wanton killings, adding that these aggressions “are an attack on humanity and God.”

Watty Urquidi asked for a Christmas 2007 truce from drug violence:
Bishop Watty is urging drug lords and other criminals in Nuevo Laredo to stop kidnapping and killing, at least during the holy Christmas season, a traditional time of peace and family. "It's grotesque the way violence is unleashed with kidnappings at the national and local levels. It must stop… Depriving someone of life is a reprehensible act. These people live with material goods that make them lose their conscience.”

Their actions are inhumane, the Catholic leader said, and they should seek forgiveness from He who would save their souls. It would be best to stop all criminal activity, Watty added, but at least during the time of Jesus' birth, there should be a truce. Watty described those who live a criminal life as slaves, but he added that they can leave that life behind to start “a life that's satisfying, free and healthy.”

State police have stepped up their patrols and are prepared to take quick action against those who commit crimes during this Christmas season, officials said. Bishop Watty said he can't verify whether the government is meeting its obligation to defend the safety of its citizens, but he said he recognizes that additional forces have been brought to Tamaulipas with the hope of quelling the violence that has marked criminal activity all along the border.

"The more than 5,000 members of the Army and law enforcement can help us live with more tranquility," Watty said. "We hope they can do more, and we have faith that their strategies will help bring peace to our cities and streets."

The bishop said it's urgent to eradicate the evil that his sifted through those groups of men, and sometimes women, who are embedded in violence. He also said that members of the media bear some responsibility for fomenting fear among the public when they provide gruesome reports on criminal activities. The Catholic faithful must continue to put its faith in God and the church, and prayer is needed to release the hatred that so often rests deep in the hearts of criminals, Watty said.
from the Laredo Morning Times 17 December 2007

Experience with conflict resolution: in 1980, according to milenio.com , he mediated a dispute between members of the Church of the Candelaria in Mexico City and the Dominicans.

Participated in a round-table discussion on “The Continental Mission, participation and integration of the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities” at the 2008 Second Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities in Bogota.

Watty Urquidi takes an interest in voter participation. In November 2007 he encouraged the faithful of Nuevo Laredo to vote, “We cannot permit absenteeism to defeat responsible participation, because that degrades and weakens democratic processes. Let us rise from our comfort and our inertia, and indifference and fulfill our civic duty at the polls.”

In April 2009 he sheepishly confessed to the press of Nayarit that he forgot to change his voting registration from Nuevo Laredo to Tepic and was looking to make sure he could register to vote on July 5.

Bishop Watty Urquidi would bring to the visitation the experience of having been himself in a religious order from age 13. He was attending the MSpS apostolic school in the same Tlalpan borough of Mexico City, in the same 1950s, where Father Maciel was behaving inappropriately in the Legionary apostolic school.

He has himself formed and taught young religious seminarians and himself is a member of a Mexican religious order founded in the first half of the 20th century, but one with a more placid record of recruitment and service than the Legionaries.

With five terms within the last 30 years as President of the Mexican Episcopal Commissions on religious life, he could scarcely have wider experience of consecrated life in Mexico.

According to ciperchile.cl, he is independent of the pro-Legionary Mexican clergy and bishops. Mexico City Cardinal Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera (from 1995) is prominent among them.

No comments:

Post a Comment