The apostolic nuncio to the United States told the nation’s bishops that their commitment to evangelization is the measure of their communion with Pope Francis.
Archbishop Christoph Pierre addressed the bishops during the opening session of the USCCB general assembly in Baltimore Monday morning.
Pierre told the bishops Nov. 11 that he would propose “some topics for reflection” which he hoped would inform the conference sessions. The central theme of his reflections was the commitment of the bishops to a state of constant missionary engagement.
The nuncio said that the extent to which the bishops themselves received and were able to transmit Pope Francis’ missionary and pastoral priorities, especially in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, was the barometer of their own communion with the pope.
Pierre said that adopting the missionary impulse of the pope’s own writings “and being in a permanent state of mission might represent tangible signs of communion with the Holy Father, for it would show the reception and implementation of his teaching.”
“The pope has emphasized certain themes: mercy, closeness to the people, discernment, accompaniment, a spirit of hospitality towards migrants, and dialogue with those of other cultures and religions,” Pierre said, while asking bishops to consider if these themes were reflected in their clergy and people.
“It is an interesting question to ask,” Pierre said, “because while there has been a strong emphasis on mercy by the Holy Father, at times – paradoxically – people are becoming more and more judgmental and less willing to forgive, as witnessed by the polarization gripping this nation.”
“The pastoral thrust of this pontificate must reach the American people,” the nuncio insisted, “especially as families continue to demand of dioceses and parishes the accompaniment envisioned by Amoris laetitia.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.