The Catholic Spirit: ‘A theology of encounter’ – Pastoral approach praised

(May 23, 2016 – The Catholic Spirit – Bob Zyzkowski)

Those who direct ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis like what they see as they’ve observed Archbishop Bernard Hebda over the 11 months he has served in Minnesota.


Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Church in the state, said the MCC staff “is very excited about serving in the vineyard” with Archbishop Hebda, who will assume the role of its board president.

“Already, Archbishop Hebda has shown us both a spirit of constructive engagement and what Pope Francis calls a ‘theology of encounter,’” Adkins said. “These qualities are essential for modeling faithful citizenship, as well as seizing the evangelical opportunities present within the public arena.

“Even more importantly, we hope Archbishop Hebda will continue to radiate joy in proposing the truths of the Gospel, even when they are unpopular. The proclamation of the joy of the Gospel will magnify the deeper reality that God
has created us out of love,” he said. “The Catholic Church holds and reveals that love, offering through her doctrine a message of true happiness.”

He added: “Such witness will undoubtedly inspire missionary disciples who help renew political life, and who understand, as Pope Francis reminds us, that ‘a good Catholic meddles in politics’ because it is ‘one of the highest forms of charity.’”

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