For over a year, I have felt the desire to gather some theologians to pray and discuss the truth regarding the human person, family and marriage. Along with so many others in our Church and society today, we are searching for a positive way to address the many challenges our culture is both facing and creating.
One does not have to be too attentive to world headlines and local news to be aware of the troubling times we live in; wars in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, Africa; violence of so many forms with school shootings, drive by shootings, domestic violence, police officers being shot, the list just goes on.
There are no simple answers to either understanding all of these realities nor to solving them, but at the heart of it all is a lack of understanding and respect for the dignity of the human person.
In addition to the already mentioned violence, we are also seeing serious threats to traditional marriage and family life.
Desiring not to remain silent in the face of these serious social challenges, I asked a group of theologians from the Wyoming Catholic College along with our Director of Pastoral Ministries, Deacon Vernon Dobelmann to spend a day with me in prayer and study.
Each of the group was given an assigned topic to research and to prepare a study paper on their findings. Joining the effort were Dr. Kevin Roberts, President of the Wyoming Catholic College, Dr. Jeremy Holmes, Dr. Elizabeth Mortensen and her husband, Dr. John Mortensen, Academic Dean of the Wyoming Catholic College.
The Second Vatican Council and our present Holy Father, Pope Francis remind us that we are not to remain separated from the world and all of its challenges. Rather, we are to be engaged with the world, bringing the light of Jesus Christ into the world, as yeast mixed with bread dough. This means that we cannot be afraid to share the Good News of our faith in a manner that heals the ills of our world, one person at a time if necessary.
Our day together this past Thursday was very fruitful. It was a real gift to set aside such quality time for serious discussion of serious societal issues, and to do so with hope in faith. It is my strong desire at this time to begin writing a pastoral letter on the topic of the dignity of the human person and the dignity and sanctity of marriage and the beauty of family life. Our Church teaching is rich, and has so much that is positive and good to say about the human person, about human sexuality, marriage and family, and the more of us that step up to live this teaching in all of its richness, we can and will begin to make a difference that serves the common good of the broader society.
Please pray for me and those who will assist in the preparation of this pastoral letter. More importantly, continue to pray for peace in each human heart, every home, community and nation.