(By Patricia Zapor, Catholic News Service) — Acknowledging that families come with complications, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminded his fellow bishops Nov. 10 that their role is to accompany their family of the church through their fears and concerns.
“Evangelizing means witnessing to our hope in Jesus,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, in opening the USCCB’s annual fall general assembly in Baltimore. It was his first address as conference president…
…”We all strive to be faithful pastors, so we know what this looks like,” he said. “Think of the home visits we’ve all done in parishes. When I’d come to someone’s home, I wouldn’t start by telling them how I’d rearrange their furniture. In the same way, I wouldn’t begin by giving them a list of rules to follow.
“Instead, I’d first spend time with them, trying to appreciate the good that I saw in their hearts. I’d acknowledge that, like them, I was in the process of conversion toward greater holiness,” the archbishop said. “I would then invite them to follow Christ and I’d offer to accompany them as we, together, follow the Gospel invitation to turn from sin and journey along the way. Such an approach isn’t in opposition to church teachings; it’s an affirmation of them.”