Editorial Comments -
Although the papal nuncio addressed his call for effective use of media to the US Bishops, the duty to evangelize using all means rests on all pastors, ministry leaders as well as each individual Christian. We urge all parish leaders to heed this call and learn to evangelize more effectively and with greater frequency. Today's technology allow you to greatly extend your reach way beyond the pulpit and the weekly bulletin. ParishWorld is the single most effective communication medium any parish can use to proclaim the Good News. We have successfully transformed the parish website from a stale depository of static information to a dynamic, engaging and interesting tool for mass evangelization. If your parish is not a member of our network, we will be glad to help. Give us a call. It is easier than you think. God bless.
~Wallly Arida, Publisher & Editor in chief
"We can only imagine how Saint Paul would have used the Mass Media of today"
~ Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio in the United States
THE WAY FORWARD
By Rocco Palmo, "Whispers in the Loggia"
The following is a transcribed text of the prepared-for-delivery remarks of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio in the United States, given to the USCCB's opening session on Monday morning, November 13, 2006.
There is a “grace of office” and there is also a “grace of the place.” As we all gather here in Baltimore, the senior metropolitan See in the United States, we can feel this “grace of the place.”
In this city, some 200 years ago, the first Bishop of the United States, Bishop John Carroll – surrounded by enormous difficulties from both within the Church and beyond, laid the cornerstone of this Cathedral of the Assumption on July 7th, 1806, with great solemnity.
At 71, an age considered particularly “old” at that time, the Bishop must have certainly considered that his eyes would never look upon the completed Cathedral and, in fact, that was the case. The first American Bishop would not be conditioned by age or difficulties: the Glory of God, fidelity to the mission entrusted to him by Jesus Christ, his service to the present and future of the Church, were all at the core of his great faith, tremendous courage and creative apostolic passion.
These remarkable virtues have remained solid and firm, like the stones of this Cathedral which now has been restored by His Eminence Cardinal Keeler, and they continue to speak to the American Catholics of this day.
Cardinal James Gibbons wrote: "What the Temple of Jerusalem is to the Israelites, what Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome is to the Faithful of the Church Universal, this Cathedral is to the American Catholic."
The name – “Baltimore” brings to mind the four General Chapters of the Clergy, the first Synod of Baltimore (1791), the meeting of the American Bishops in 1810, the seven Provincial Councils and the three Plenary Councils.
These dates and events pass before your eyes with images of your predecessors, who were instruments of God for the rooting, expansion and consolidation of the Catholic Church in the United States.
We cannot forget the Baltimore Catechism – which for decades, formed the religious, moral and civil conscience of American Catholics.
Like the Bishops of the past, you face difficulties which, although different, are equally serious and challenging: particularly the loss of credibility in the Church, which comes from a lack of orthopraxy and orthodoxy in a small, but very damaging number of its ministers and its faithful.
Like those early Bishops, we must have the great humility, to put Jesus Christ at the center of our prayer, at the center of our lives and at the center of our pastoral actions.