Bishops as Teachers: Bishop Myers on Marriage and Cardinal Wuerl on the Church
The Catholic Church needs conversion at every level. Many Catholics do not know what their Church teaches
From the very beginning of the Church, the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops had the primary task of teaching the faithful so that they could fully live the Christian faith and give it away to others. The Church has always been blessed with good teaching Bishops, especially at critical times in her history. We are living in just such a time.
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - From the very beginning of the Church, the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops had the primary task of teaching the faithful so that they could fully live the Christian faith and give it away to others. The Church has always been blessed with good teaching Bishops, especially at critical times in her history. We are living in just such a time.
Some of the most profound teaching on the Christian Faith and way of life is found in the Apostolic Fathers. We have letters which circulated from the first few centuries written by giants like Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch. We also have sets of instructions and catechetical teaching to the early church such as the Didache (the Teaching of the Twelve).
In fact, the word encyclical means circulating letter. We now attach the word mostly to the most authoritative teaching in the letters from the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. However, it is derived from the way those letters from the early church bishops were passed to believers. They were circulated.
Throughout Church history the teaching and pastoral letters from Bishops have helped the faithful of the Church to mature in their faith, apply that faith to their daily lives and grow in their capacity to influence their age and progress in holiness. So it can be - so it must be - in our own day.
Those who read my writing know that I call attention to the wonderful Bishops we have in the Church. There are more being raised up daily by this great Pope. Today I want to pass along two great examples of teaching Bishops. I will be following up with many more.
I recommend that our readers take the time to read, study, pray through and incorporate two recent letters from two great Bishops into their lives. Though written to their own flock, these letters should be circulated as such letters were in the early Church.
The first letter is from the Most Rev. John J. Myers, the Archbishop of Newark. It is entitled "When Two Become One: A Pastoral Teaching on the Definition, Purpose and Sanctity of Marriage." Please click the live link and download this tremendous instruction.
Send it around to those whom you care about. Make it known to your priests, deacons and lay leaders. Republish it in the blogosphere. Use it in your study groups and prayer groups. In an age when marriage - and the family and society founded upon it - are under ferocious assault, the Archbishop of Newark gives one of the clearest presentations on marriage I have read in a beautifully written, readable 16 page letter!
He writes, "This pastoral reflection is offered to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark to help them form their consciences, discern their vocations and, for the married, fulfill their vows. It is also offered to other men and women of good will-of every faith-who join us in the sincere hope of seeing family life flourish in northern New Jersey and throughout our state and our nation."
"Because God loves and cares for us, He has revealed to us the nature, purposes, and meaning of marriage. This revelation is recorded in sacred Scripture and Tradition; it is safeguarded and faithfully developed by the Magisterium, the teaching office of the Church. This gives Catholics the assurance of faith in the Church's firm teaching on the nature of marriage."
"But marriage is also part of God's creative plan and can be known through reason, unaided by revelation. The truth about marriage is, in other words, part of the natural law. This pastoral letter will therefore consider marriage from the perspective of reason as well as revelation."
The second letter is written by the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC, His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl. It is a Pastoral Letter on the Church entitled "The Church, Our Spiritual Home."
This letter opens up the fullness of Catholic Ecclesiology (the theology of the Church) in an accessible, profoundly spiritual and inspiring letter format. It will change your life by helping you to comprehend the deeper meaning of living in the Church. Once again, download it and circulate it. Study it, pray over and give it away to everyone whom you truly care about.
Cardinal Wuerl is an extraordinary teacher. Here are a few "tidbits" to whet your appetite for this wonderful letter. "My purpose in writing you this letter is to reflect on what we mean by the Church, the Body of Christ. The Church is not an abstraction or a mere human institution. The new Body of Christ is made up of all the members of the family of faith who are blessed with the gifts of the Spirit and are united as one body around the Apostles and their successors, with Christ as its head."
"The answer to the question, ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Cheers Star: We Didn't Need Surveillance When We Were Kids - 'We Had God'
- Poorly prepared teachers steering nation's classrooms
- Did Pocahontas save explorer John Smith here? Native American site of Werowocomoco fascinating regardless
- No-one Can Change the Truth About Fatherhood. Love Your Father. Be a Good Father
- IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE: Divers plunge into Lake Michigan to search for 17th Century ship
- Courageous Bishop Paprocki Shows Us How To Contend for the Truth About Marriage
- Courageous Cardinal George of Chicago Defends Marriage, Calls for Public Conversion
- Archbishop Chaput Cuts Through the Double Talk About Religious Liberty
- CENSUS: Non-Hispanic whites hits all-time low of 63 percent
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?