The following comes from Bishop Vasa’s blog on the Santa Rosa diocese website in mid-July.
In response to questions posed by a student journalist at Cardinal Newman High School, I began a dialogue to address a vision of what this Diocese can become. In coming weeks I hope to share some of these thoughts with readers, as a context for our future and our direction.
The global Church is the primary instrument for the promotion of the message and teachings of Christ. As such, Catholics are called to believe that the message of Jesus is truly “good news” in every sense – good for humankind, both spiritually and temporally. As bishop, I can speak from confidence and strength in ensuring that those Catholic teachings are taught and consistently presented throughout the entire diocese.
To that end, I seek to employ a strong catechetical model — one that starts with getting to know the faith. One of my favorite books is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Through the years I have gone through it several times, and each time I highlight different aspects, different quotes. Sometimes I scribble in the margins, as different things strike me at different times. In my view, it is critical for our Catholic faith to remain in tune and in touch with this particular book which is fully consistent with the Scriptures, fully consistent with the Church traditions, fully consistent with Church practice with respect to the liturgy.
The role of the bishop is to be the conservator and the promoter of that faith. So, my entire focus is to make sure that all the institutions that have some relationship with me, are as fully as possible consistent with this book and with what the Church herself teaches. This is not because I am a “rigorist,” although I do not reject that claim. The reality is that I believe this book contains a truth which is good for humankind, and is consistent with who we are as people and creatures of God. It would be a disservice to water this faith down in any way, out of fear that someone might not really understand or appreciate it….
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