Francis’ Call to Conscience

An American bishop gets it!

By Stephen E Blair           February 23, 2016                  America Magazine on-line

When Pope Francis delivered a strongly worded speech to the Mexican bishops during his recent visit, I felt both uncomfortable and challenged as a bishop in the United States. I heard clearly that we as bishops cannot just preach the Gospel and then remain on the sidelines while injustices prevail. As spiritual leaders of the church we must be engaged in promoting the common good more than just guiding others to do so. I realized that as a bishop I also must pick up the victim of robbers, pour oil and wine over his wounds, bandage them and bring him to the inn.

I recalled the words the Holy Father spoke in St. Matthew’s Cathedral this past September when he reminded the bishops gathered that we needed to be “lucidly aware of the battle between light and darkness being fought in this world,” and that we must “realize that the price of lasting victory is allowing ourselves to be wounded and consumed.” In other words we have to be in the midst of the fray.

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