Saturday, May 13, 2006

The bishop speaks

Bishop Howard Hubbard was the keynote speaker last month at the Diocese of Rochester's Pastoral Planning Leaders Day at Keuka College. The Catholic Courier, the newspaper of the Rochester diocese reported:
KEUKA PARK -- U.S. Catholics have been rocked by the priest sexual-abuse scandal and face such additional challenges as the closing and reconfiguration of parishes; declining attendance; a priest shortage; and the growing influence of secularism.

Even so, Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard said the present era should be considered one "of rejuvenation and joy."

"By now you may wonder, 'What is that man smoking?'" Bishop Hubbard quipped, but went on to cite the Last Supper as a source for his optimism. Jesus, he noted, chose that occasion to celebrate the first Mass even though he knew he was worshipping with one man who had sold him out (Judas), another who would deny him (Peter), and that the rest would eventually run away. Since that day, Bishop Hubbard said, the Catholic faith has weathered many other crises throughout its 2,000-year history.

"The resurrection of Jesus far surpasses anything that can defeat us," he stated.

The bishop also addressed issues of particular concern to us here at Albany Catholic:
He also called for Catholic social-justice action in the tradition of Bishop Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Bishop Hubbard, who chairs the New York State Catholic Conference's Public Policy Committee, said it is imperative to develop greater Catholic involvement in important issues. Gov. George Pataki the state Legislature feel free to disregard the Catholic conference's pleas because they consider the state's bishops "generals without armies. ... They know it won't hurt them at the polls," he said.

The rest of the article is here. Have we told you lately how lucky we are to have him as our bishop?