Loading
Apostolic nuncio calls US bishops to deeper Christian witness
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- At the opening of the U.S. bishops’ autumn conference, the Pope’s representative urged the diocesan shepherds to a more profound witnessing to Christ and to preserve unity amongst themselves.

This is “a call to attentiveness, watchfulness and preparedness for whatever proclaiming the Gospel may mean for us as successors of the Apostles, who were called to give radical witness to their faith in Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Carlo Vigano told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 11.

The nuncio, an Italian native, introduced his speech by saying that he would be sharing “a few reflections and observations I have since my time here in this country,” adding that “I ask you to take these thoughts into prayerful consideration. You know this comes from my admiration, respect, and loving concern for the Church in America.”

He began by referring to Paul VI, and quoting extensively from the late Pope's apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, which Pope Francis, he noted, considers “the greatest pastoral document written to date.”

Archbishop Vigano stressed Paul VI's statement that “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if it does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

He used this statement to impress upon the bishops the necessity of being witnesses to the Gospel. “Certainly, my brothers, no one can dispute the clear fact that our present Holy Father himself, as the Supreme Teacher, is giving us, by his own witness, an example of how to live a life attuned to the values of the Gospel.”

“While each of us must take into consideration our adaptability to the many different circumstances and cultures in which we live and the people whom we serve, there has to be a noticeable lifestyle characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message.”

The nuncio went on to say that the Holy Father “wants bishops in tune with their people,” saying that when they met in June, Pope Francis “made a special point of saying he wants 'pastoral' bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.”

He also quoted extensively from Blessed John Paul II, who in 1978 told the U.S. bishops that to be pastoral, the Gospel must be more effectively taught.

Archbishop Vigano concluded by reflecting on the importance of unity among the episcopate.

“I urge you, my brothers, to preserve a spirit of real unity among yourselves and, of course, with the successor of Peter, trusting in the way he sees best to live out his mission to mankind. Unity expressed in a real, prayer-filled communion of mind and heart is the only way we will remain strong and be able to face whatever the future may hold for us.”

While noting that the Church, and America as well, is characterized by diversity, he stressed, “we must take care that, for us as a Church, this diversity does not grow into division through misinterpretation or misunderstanding, and that division does not deteriorate into fragmentation.”

Having said this, he noted an article which claimed that America's political polarization “began as Americans lost confidence in their leaders.”

This, he said, was “well said, since the Catholic Church will preserve her unity and strength as long as its people have trust in their bishops. The sheep will gather together as one; they recognize and listen to the voice of their shepherd who calls out to them, walks with them, and is ready to give his life for them.”

“My brothers, let us go forward, filled with zeal and fervor of divine love. Let us be confident that the Lord will give us the wisdom and strength we need for the tremendous task before us to give genuine witness to the faithful,” he concluded.

“Let us embrace our people with a fatherly embrace, let us make them feel that they belong, that they are not orphans or strangers. And we should also ask ourselves today a question posed by Pope Francis to the Bishops of Brazil: ' … are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?' Let our response be a firm and wholehearted: 'Yes, we are!'”

Tags: Archbishop Viganò, Fall Conference

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14