Bishop Paul S. Loverde, of Arlington Virginia,recognizes with Pope Benedict XVI that in recent years Catholics have often been poorly catechized. So in his diocesan newspaper this week he explains his recent decision “to have all of the diocese’s catechists and teachers of religious education make a public Profession of Faith” — a decision which the usual suspects at the Washington Post have predictably denigrated.
“There are few rules in the church so important as a catechist,” he writes. “Our Lord and Savior told the apostles, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time’ (Matthew 28:18-20). And for two millennia, the Church has striven to provide the Light of Truth, both to those in communion with the Church Christ founded and all of humanity whom He desires to be members of His Church. The Deposit of Faith must be passed on to each and every Catholic so that all may be converted and come to accept the salvation Christ wills for us. But what is the Deposit of Faith?
“As your bishop,” he continues, “I am the chief catechist of the diocese. I am responsible for the total catechetical mission of our local church, and I take this privileged duty seriously: making certain that you have every opportunity to encounter and know the Truth, so that with a fully informed conscience you can live the life Christ calls us to and be with Him forever; pointing out the essential connection between worship and witness, between faith and charity, which is faith in action; and ensuring that you all have access to the sacraments.”
Bishop Loverde is simply insuring that all of those receiving catechesis from the Catholic Church in the Arlington Diocese are actually receiving unadulterated Catholic teaching. Would the Washington Post allow a pro-lifer to write its editorials or to report on Joe Biden’s campaign? Of course not. Bishop Loverde is taking a prudential step to protect his flock from confusion, error, and sin, and he should be commended for it.
Another step in the right direction appears at the other end of the country, from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland. In his diocesan newspaper he supports Humanae Vitae with a practical introduction to Natural Family Planning.
“While the leadership of faith communities throughout the country has rightly kept the focus on religious liberty and freedom of conscience,” he writes, “nonetheless, the HHS mandate has put the Church’s teaching on responsible parenthood and the legitimate regulation of birth front and center.”
Archbishop Cordileone offers a model for other dioceses in this very helpful and crucial effort. “We are sometimes even mocked for our belief by those who do not understand it, and, likely, don’t want to, despite the fact that the physical practice of NFP is thoroughly based on science. We will, then, seize this opportunity in The Catholic Voice by publishing a series of articles, beginning with this issue, about the multi-faceted reality of Natural Family Planning and the Church’s teaching on responsible parenthood, authored by people with expertise in these respective areas pertaining to this teaching of the Church.”
Bravo, Bishop Loverde, and Bravo, Archbishop Cordileone. Ad multos annos!
This article, Bravo Bishops! is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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