Washington (Agenzia Fides) - Admitting that people’s faith in God “has been shaken” by the pandemic and related economic turmoil, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez called on his fellow bishops to take the news of the Resurrection and the triumph of life over death directly to people to help them navigate the crises. "At the heart of their fears are fundamental questions about divine providence and the goodness of God", said Archbishop Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), yesterday Nov. 16 during an online address on the first day of bishops’ annual fall general Assembly. "This is far more than a public health emergency", he said. "Everywhere we see spreading the fear of illness and death".
The Assembly took place entirely online for the first time because of the pandemic. "Brothers, in this time of death, we hold the word of life. We come in the name of the God whose love is stronger than death", he said. The times, with their social unrest and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, "call for heroic Christianity", he explained. "We need to continue to form and empower missionary disciples, as Pope Francis calls us to do".
Citing the example of Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus and who was beatified Oct. 31 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, Archbishop Gomez suggested the bishops confront modern-day injustices "by living the Gospel". He recalled how for the priest, "love was not an abstraction or cause" because he knew the faces of "the widow and the orphan, the father with no job, the prisoner on death row", some realities that the American people live.
Archbishop Gomez also pointed to the USCCB’s strategic plan the bishops were set to approve during the assembly as a path forward for ministry. Titled "Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope", it sets the mission for the bishops "to continue to bring healing and hope to the people of our time".
The Archbishop paused a moment to remember the children and adults within the church who are victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse. also recalled the children and adults who have been victims of sexual abuse by the clergy within the Church. He also expressed "deep sorrow" and offered prayers that the victim-survivors "might find healing and hope". "Let us renew our commitment today to protecting children and vulnerable adults and to eliminate this scourge of abuse from the Church", he reiterated. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2020)