Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2013 / 09:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the opening of the U.S. bishops’ autumn conference, the Vatican’s ambassador addressed the assembly, urging the bishops 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 life style 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.”
Pope Francis’ ambassador to the U.S. went on to say that the Bishop of Rome “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 (Read More)