Phoenix, Ariz., Dec 21, 2003 / 22:00 pm
The lives of priests and bishops entail great risk for they are placed in the middle of the most important struggles of human life, said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the new bishop of the Diocese of Pheonix, in his first meeting with the priests of the diocese Dec. 19.
“It is not safe in worldly terms to be called by Christ to close communion with him and to be sent out in His name,” he said. “It is a great privilege; it is an undeserved honor; it is a blessing beyond all blessings; but it also entails great risk.
“It is not safe to make Christ the center of our life. He places us who are priests and bishops in the middle of the most important struggles of human life. … He arms us for battle against the evil one, giving us not the power of guns or smart bombs but the power of his mercy and the example of his humility,” he continued.
He recognized the challenges priests and bishops face in the shadow of scandals, “harsh criticism, ridicule and close scrutiny.”