Christ and His Church Are One

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting this week in our premier see, Baltimore.  I thought you might want to see a copy of my opening address to my brother bishops — my first as conference President.

Here is an excerpt:

You and I believe with all our heart and soul that Christ and His Church are one.

That truth has been passed on to us from our predecessors, the apostles, especially St. Paul, who learned that equation on the Road to Damascus, who teaches so tenderly that the Church is the bride of Christ, that the Church is the body of Christ, that Christ and His Church are one.

That truth has been defended by bishops before us, sometimes and yet even today, at the cost of “dungeon, fire, and sword.”

That truth — that He, Christ, and she, His Church, are one — moistens our eyes and puts a lump in our throat as we whisper with De Lubac, “For what would I ever know of Him, without her?”

Each year we return to this premier see of John Carroll to gather as brothers in service to Him and to her.  We do business, follow the agenda, vote on documents, renew priorities and hear information reports.

But, one thing we can’t help but remember, one lesson we knew before we got off the plane, train, or car, something we hardly needed to come to this venerable archdiocese to learn, is that “love for Jesus and His Church must be the passion of our lives!”


small image of PDF Icon  Click here to read the whole presidential address.


3 Responses to “Christ and His Church Are One”

  1. Archbishop

    It is funny that you posted this today. I read your address yesterday on the internet and was thinking about your words first thing when I got up.

    You made many good points and stated two “simple observations” for your brother bishops.

    Your second observation focuses on the sins of our Church. You go on to state, “Instead of running from them, or hiding them, or denying them, she may be best showing them, like He did that first Easter night.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, but the solution does not just lie in uncovering the problems of the American Catholic Church alone (while it is a start). The solution lies in addressing these issues head on with concrete action, leadership, and solutions. If we only “uncover the problems” and do nothing about them, they remain problems.

    You are in a position to do just what I am saying, bring about a renewal of the American Catholic Church. Archbishop, I live in the New York City area and have heard your words. I can tell the problems that face our Church in this country weigh on your heart. I also believe you see what many Catholics see very clearly.

    Do not be afraid!

    God choose you before the foundations of the universe to be the Cardinal of New York City! God knows what he is doing, trust him, I mean really trust him! Give your fear and weaknesses to Our Lady. She will mold you into the man God intended you to be.

    I pray for you by name daily when I pray the Rosary

    Your brother in Christ


  2. Stephen Morrison says:

    Your Holiness,
    Sir, I am greatly troubled by the recent dialogue between the Bishops and Sister Elizabeth Johnson over her book. The bishops made a statement that she refused to meet and discuss the content of her book. I know for a fact that is incorrect.
    As a Catholic, I was taught that it was a sin to bring false witness against others, as it was explained by my first grade teacher, that was lying or gossiping falsely about others. I remember that lesson from fifty plus years ago.
    And now, I find that the representative of my beloved Church and Faith has done just that. I am heartbroken and disgusted by the actions and words of the Council of Bishops. Sir, please reflect on your actions, and ask for forgiveness.
    And in your address to the Council you use the terms to describe the Church with the words “she, her”. So it confuses me that you write in this manner after you and the Council have done so much to harm and silence Sister Johnson.
    It is so hard to try to be a Catholic in these times, with all the news about abusive priests, cover ups by leaders of the Church. And now this, a spiteful and derogatory treatment of a wonderful scholar and Sister of the Faith.
    I do not expect any answer through your blog, I just hope you take the time to read it.
    Stephen P. Morrison

  3. Thomas says:

    In speaking not only with Protestants but some Catholics over the last few years, It has become apparent that their greatest misconceptions come from their lack of knowledge in the History of the origin and lineage of the Holy Bible and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers who played a tremendous part in validation of those texts that became the contents of New Testament. It is my personal opinion that every bible study group and educational program should open with a fundamental presentation of the origin and lineage of the Holy bible so students can better understand the Catholic Church did not come from the Holy Bible, the Holy Bible came was introduced to the world by the Catholic Church. In every case where one seeks higher education, regardless of the Subject, the student recognizes he or she does not know better than the teacher. We must return to that realization in matters of faith. Praise the Lord.