Letter from Bishop Joseph Bambera, Chairman of Bishop’s Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, USCCB

September 10, 2018

Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3020 • FAX 202-541-3183 EMAIL: SEIAMAIL@USCCB.ORG WWW.USCCB.ORG

Dear friends and colleagues of CADEIO,

As bishop chair of the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I write this note to you to support and encourage you during these deeply challenging days.

The Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO) is an important piece in communicating the ecumenical and interreligious vision of the Catholic Church. The longstanding relationship between the USCCB and CADEIO has been one of the main reasons why the ecumenical and interreligious work of the United States has been so successful. The flow of information and conversation between CADEIO and SEIA helps the Church organize her energies in implementing the greater message of the Second Vatican Council especially to those not of the Catholic family.

The Church is passing through a time of intense purification. The grave sins and omissions of the Church’s leadership have brought us to a moment that has embarrassed and weakened the Church and her mission. Reform is needed and will come. Healing will be ongoing. I cannot predict that all this will happen quickly, but I believe it will happen leaving us with a Church more conformed to the person of Jesus Christ and more faithful to Him.

In the meantime, your work continues. The ecumenical and interreligious vision of the Church remains clear and as Pope St. John Paul II wrote, is irrevocable, ecumenical activity belonging to the Church’s very essence. Amid the present upheaval, the ecumenical and interreligious stance of the Church remains unchanged. Stay confident in your work.

Ask our ecumenical and interreligious partners to remember us in prayer. Remember that the present trials also touch on the life and mission of our partners. Please recognize this in your work with our partners.

As I close this note I wish to thank Jan Skrehot, who with the CADEIO executive committee ensures the link of information and communication between yourselves and the Bishops’ Conference. Stay strong in your witness. Know that you and your work are appreciated by me as bishop chair, by Fr. Al Baca, and the Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

Let us keep each other in fervent prayer before the Lord. Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera Bishop of Scranton

Chairman, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs United States Conference of Catholic Bishops