“If the Church is meant to be a foundation of unity for humanity, we bishops are meant to be that for the Church,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has told the United States bishops during their spring retreat. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets every three years for a private retreat, called a “special assembly”, and invited Archbishop Fisher to preach on the topics of episcopal fraternity and communion in a fractured and secularised world.
The USCCB faces significant challenges as US society becomes more divided over race, gender and a host of other issues, with polarisation on abortion reaching fever pitch in the wake of a leaked US Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v Wade, and the exclusion of Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Holy Communion.
Archbishop Fisher said he was warmly received by the US bishops and had a “wonderful week”.
While the divisions over key issues are real, the US bishops enjoyed each other’s company during the retreat. Archbishop Fisher commended them for courageously facing up to their situation.
“It is important they recognise those openly, don’t try to paper over the cracks and pretend consensus when it’s not there,” he said.
“But I didn’t sense that this was so deep that it was going to be paralysing for them.”
The 300 bishops in attendance were from diverse backgrounds and traditions of piety: Irish and other Europeans, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Hispanic and African-American communities and Native Americans.
United in Faith: Archbishop Fisher addresses US Bishops (By Adam Wesselinoff, The Catholic Weekly)