Bishop David Kagan of the Bismarck Catholic Diocese thanked everyone in attendance for their “support for the cause of life.”
Kagan said with the passage of the abortion laws, “North Dakota is second to no other state in our nation” in valuing of all human life from conception to death.
Kagan chose to end his remarks with a 2005 quote by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
Christopher Dodson, director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, echoed much of what Pavone told the crowd.
“This is the future of North Dakota, the future of our country,” Dodson said. “It’s a violent act (abortion); a sign that we have failed as a society. We can do better.”
Dodson said he had one thing to say to pro-choice individuals who argue that the abortion laws “turn back the clock” in North Dakota.
“That clock was broke 40 years ago,” Dodson said, in reference to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
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Effective July 18, 2012, as approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the Most Rev. David Kagan, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bismarck, has been named apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Fargo due to the appointment of the Most Rev. Samuel Aquila as archbishop of the Denver Archdiocese.
In a statement concerning his interim appointment, Bishop Kagan said, “It is a sign of the high regard which our Holy Father has for the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Fargo, and for all that has been accomplished by Archbishop Aquila with the good cooperation of the clergy, religious and laity, that he has made this provision for the diocese in this time of transition and growth.”
During any “sede vacante” (vacant see), the period of time between bishops, one of two scenarios takes place. Either the pope appoints an apostolic administrator, as he did with the appointment of Bishop Kagan, or a “College of Consultors,” a committee made up of diocesan priests, elects a priest as administrator to lead a diocese until a permanent bishop is named.
The apostolic nuncio – the pope’s representative and ambassador in the United States – along with the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops will begin the search for Fargo’s new bishop and present their thoughts directly to the Holy Father, who makes the final determination. The process typically takes between eight months to a year or more.
During this interim time, Bishop Kagan has been entrusted with the authority of the diocesan bishop to teach, sanctify and lead Catholics residing within Eastern North Dakota.
Bishop Kagan was appointed to be the seventh bishop of the Bismarck Diocese on October 19, 2011, and was ordained and installed as its bishop on November 30, 2011. Prior to arriving in Bismarck, he had served in numerous pastoral capacities, including 17 years as Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill.
The Catholic faith teaches that bishops serve as successors to the 12 apostles who were called and ordained to this ministry by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. They serve as shepherds of the flock, and – like the apostles – have a special call to teach, govern, and sanctify, or make holy through prayer and sacrifice. The bishop is pastor of his diocese and maintains unity with the Holy Father, thus playing the indispensable role of unifying the various churches in the one Universal Church.
The Rev. Thomas E. Kramer, pastor at Bismarck’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit for 32 years, died at 5 p.m. Friday at St. Alexius Medical Center. He was 79.
Receptions throughout the Diocese of Bismarck will be held for outgoing Bishop Paul Zipfel, beginning November 3, 2011. The receptions, which are open to the public, will consist of a prayer service, at 7:30 p.m. local time with a reception from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. to follow.
The first reception is scheduled for the Church of St. Joseph in Williston on Thursday, November 3rd. The second reception will be Friday, November 4th at the Church of Ascension in Bismarck. Monday, November 7th, the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Minot will host the third reception and the fourth is scheduled for the Church of St. Bernard in Belfield for Tuesday, November 8th.
Bishop Zipfel was appointed Bishop of Bismarck December 31, 1996 by Pope John Paul II and installed as Bishop in February 1997. The round of receptions will provide an opportunity for not only the Catholic faithful in the diocese, but also the general public to thank Bishop Zipfel for his years of service to the diocese.
Msgr. David Kagan, Vicar General for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, was appointed Bishop Zipfel’s successor on October 15, 2011, and will be installed as Bishop of Bismarck on November 30, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of The Holy Spirit in Bismarck.
Information on the receptions will also be available in local Catholic parishes throughout the diocese.