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Bishop meets with university faculties
archived from: 2011-11-21
by: John Franko

Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical is discussed

Bishop David Zubik said a Catholic college or university is in harmony with the church in that both teach how to put what we learn about the faith into action. “And we must do everything with love,” he said.

Bishop Zubik spoke of the need for the faithful to be a loving people by focusing on Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (“God is Love”), during a series of meetings with faculty of the three Catholic post-secondary institutions within the diocese.

He met with faculty of La Roche College in McCandless Township Nov. 2, the faculty of Carlow University in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood Nov. 3, and the faculty of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood Nov. 9.

Bishop Zubik had previously met with students and members of the theology departments of the three institutions, and he wished to follow that up by meeting with the faculties.

The Holy Father’s 2005 encyclical addressed the three dimensions of love — eros, philia and agape — while stressing the need for the faithful to witness the love of God through service to others.

“If we want to be serious about our faith, we must love other people as if they are Christ and we are Christ,” the bishop said during the gathering at Duquesne.

The position of the church, the bishop noted, is that charity is not an option but a responsibility.

Charity is a virtue that must always grow with us, he added, and we cannot just focus on people we love. We must reach out to the poorest of the poor, he said.

Justice, Bishop Zubik said, involves understanding what God wants — that every person has a right to be what they were created to be. The goal of charity is a selfless giving of oneself.

Without love, the bishop said, we have nothing.

Bishop Zubik pointed out that we can witness the love of God by showing the mercy he shows us. We cannot refuse the forgiveness of others, or pass judgment on them.

“We live in a world that is unforgiving and wants to condemn,” he said. Bishop Zubik responded to a question on economic justice by pointing out that the church must do all that it can to offer additional support to government programs.

He spoke of the work of the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, which served some 70,000 people last year.

The bishop also noted his semi-annual gatherings with politicians of all parties. Partisan politics is left at the door, he said, and the important role of faith is discussed.

And just as the church cannot tell the government how to operate, he continued, the government cannot stop the church from witnessing its values. When asked about the role of caritas (love) as a prophetic witness, Bishop Zubik pointed to the work of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

“The love that we have must shock people,” he said.

The bishop related a story in which the sisters of Mother Teresa’s order attempted to treat a man who had great contempt for them.

Exasperated, they turned to Mother Teresa, who reminded them that the man was just Jesus in one of his most unflattering forms. She then went and treated the man.

Asked about how a Catholic university could push for new academic frontiers within the context of church teachings, Bishop Zubik noted the dual role of a Catholic institution is to connect with society and the church.

Academic thought and the magisterium are important, he said, but the discussion ends when the beliefs of the church are compromised.

“The truth is more important than what I think is true,” he said.

Bishop Zubik once again focused on the issue of economic justice by noting that a just economy does not promote personal advancement, it advocates a just society in a way that God intends it to be.

The bishop later said that he welcomed the opportunity to meet with the faculties and he appreciated their willingness to dialogue.

 

 

 



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