This is generating a lot of buzz around the interwebs — Rocco described it as a “bomb drop” — and attention must be paid. It’s yesterday’s address from apostolic nuncio Archbishop Christoph Pierre to bishops gathered for their fall meeting in Baltimore.
Among other things, the archbishop pressed the bishops to ensure the American faithful were receiving “the Magisterium of Pope Francis,” noting that “the pastoral thrust of this pontificate must reach the American people, especially as families continue to demand of dioceses and parishes the accompaniment envisioned by Amoris Laetitia.”
A report from CNA:
“As often as we speak of the ‘new evangelization,’ serious reflection is necessary on the outcomes of our efforts,” Pierre said.
“Do you feel that we and our collaborators have been far-sighted and proactive in efforts at evangelization, anticipating cultural, philosophical, and political trends,” Pierre asked, “or do we find ourselves in the position of having been reactive?”
“Do pastoral priorities we have chosen truly touch the reality of the life of our people?”
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 judgemental and less willing to forgive, as witnessed by the polarization gripping this nation.”
The full address can be read here.