Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who was installed on Wednesday as the ninth bishop of Ft. Wayne – South Bend in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, urged the congregation to “never be ashamed” and to “always be proud” to profess the Catholic faith.
Before his introductory greeting, which he gave in both English and Spanish, Bishop Rhoades led those in attendance in a Hail Mary for the victims of the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. “Let us continue to pray for the people of Haiti and let us continue to be generous in all of our relief efforts.”
Opening his homily with a reflection of the Gospel where Christ calls the apostles to follow Him, the bishop said that he too is being called to follow Christ to a new place.“Though naturally I will deeply miss my family and friends in my home diocese, I come here with excitement and enthusiasm, to promote the New Evangelization, in this wonderful diocese where I have been so warmly welcomed by Bishop D'Arcy and so many others,” he said.
Bishop Rhoades then stated his intention to begin his ministry with his episcopal motto “to proclaim the truth in charity.” His motto applies to the laity as well, despite how difficult it may appear to be, he said.
Referencing the “famous” homily on relativism that Pope Benedict XVI gave as Cardinal Ratzinger the day before his election to the pontifical office, Bishop Rhoades warned of how the current “dictatorship of relativism” denies the existence of objective truth and has lead to an increasingly secularized society.
“Never be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,” exhorted the bishop.”My brothers and sisters, we should always be proud to profess our Catholic faith, doing so with courage and without equivocation.”
Bishop Rhoades then spoke on the importance of holding to moral truths of the Church, in spite of their increasing unpopularity. “Truths, like the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death and the dignity of marriage and family life, according to God's plan.”
Bishop Rhoades will serve 160,000 Catholics in the northern Indiana diocese.