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

The Church grieves the passing of Cardinal Jean-Louis Turan

July 6, 2018

Dear CADEIO members,

The Vatican announced today the death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. A peacemaker and light to the interfaith world, Cardinal Tauran will be greatly missed. Keep him, as well as his family and friends, in prayer. You may read the Vatican’s announcement below.

Vatican Release

In the peace of Christ,


Greetings! CADEIO & USCCB-SEIA News & Updates:

Greetings CADEIO members and friends,

Below you will find several newsworthy items of the past, a reminder of the upcoming deadline for the Summer Ecumenical Leadership Institute, and two very important messages from the USCCB-SEIA: one on Ramadan, and the second one regarding peace in Egypt and the Middle East.

NWCU 2018.  A little over a month ago many of us were together in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the 54th National Workshop on Christian Unity.  With a focus on advocacy and the “dialogue of action” the workshop offered a unique opportunity to give intentional thought to how Christians can and do unite to share the love of God in everyday life for the common good.  For those of you who were not there, I hope you have had the opportunity to read the texts of the talks given by Bishop Joseph Bambera, Chair of the USCCB-SEIA, and Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Chief Executive Officer Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation.  These were emailed to all CADEIO members several weeks ago.  Thank you, Bishop Bambera and Fr. Rosica, for inspiring a renewed sense of hope and enthusiasm for the ecumenical and interreligious work we do out of love for God, others, and the Church!      Mark your calendars for the April 1-4, 2019 NWCU in St. Louis, Missouri.  Feedback/suggestions are welcome for planning the 2019 workshop. Please send suggestions to skrehotj@stthom.edu.

2018 Fitzgerald Award Recipient.  Ms. Judi Longdin was named the 2018 recipient of the Fitzgerald Award! Recently retired, Judi served as the Director of the Office of Ecumenical & Interfaith Concerns at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1993 until her retirement.  Judi has also been a long-standing member of CADEIO, and among serving in many initiatives and dialogues over the years, Judi held the position of chair of the Faiths in the World Committee and taught in the Interreligious Summer Institute.  Congratulations, Judi, and thank you for your years of service!

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: A Message for Ramadan.  Fr. Al Baca, Executive Director of the USCCB-SEIA, asked me to pass along to you a letter and the document, Christians and Muslims:  From Competition to Collaboration, sent from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, to Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, in which he conveys the annual message of the PCID for Ramadan. You may access the letter and document here: Pierre to DiNardo Message for Ramadan 2018 5776-18 05182018.

USCCB-SEIA Statements on peace in Egypt and the Middle East. On the USCCB-SEIA webpage you will find the following, important statements:  “President of USCCB along with other Christian Leaders Expresses Solidarity with Patriarchs Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and sends letter of concern to Prime Minister and Mayor.”  Read letter to Patriarchs and Heads of ChurchesRead letter to Prime Mininster Netanyahu and Mayor Barkat.  BCEIA Chairman Calls for Prayers for Coptic Christians After Attacks.  “I ask Catholics and men and women of faith and good will to pray for peace in Egypt and the Middle East and for all victims of religious and political hatred. I especially ask Catholics to renew their support, love and prayers for our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ. May all continue to receive from heaven the grace to witness to what is good and noble in the human spirit, recovery for all those who have been injured, and eternal rest for those who have died.” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Diocese of Scranton, PA, Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.  Read the text of the full statement.  USCCB-SEIA

2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute.  The June 1st deadline to register for the 2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute is approaching.  If you are interested in attending and have not registered, please do so now!  Link to registration: 2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute.

Thank you for the work you do, and I hope each of you have a wonderful summer!

In the peace of Christ,

Jan Skrehot, President, CADEIO