Apostolic nuncio calls on US bishops to hand on deposit of faith with holiness of life
November 12, 2013
Addressing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at its annual fall meeting in Baltimore, the apostolic nuncio to the United States challenged his listeners to “give radical witness to their faith in Jesus Christ” as the apostles did.
Quoting Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if it does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses … It is primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus -- the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity.”
“Certainly, my brothers, no one can dispute the clear fact that our present Holy Father himself, as the Supreme Teacher, is giving us, by his own witness, an example of how to live a life attuned to the values of the Gospel,” Archbishop Viganò continued. “While each of us must take into consideration our adaptability to the many different circumstances and cultures in which we live and the people whom we serve, there has to be a noticeable life style characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message.”
Quoting Blessed John Paul II, Archbishop Viganò added that “this then is my own deepest hope today for the pastors of the Church in America, as well as for all the pastors of the Church: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be more effectively guarded and taught … The sacred deposit of God's word, handed on by the Church, is the joy and strength of our people's lives. It is the only pastoral solution to the many problems of our day.”
Archbishop Viganò also quoted “profoundly prophetic” remarks made by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in 1976, two years before his election to the papacy:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.