Good morning everybody, happy feast of St. Blase. In a few hours I’ll be with the other bishops of Michigan and we’ll have our audience with the Holy Father. When that’s done I will have a report to make to you about that, to tell you how that went.
But already this morning what I’d like to mention to you is that we bishops of Ohio and Michigan had the chance this morning to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass at the altar built over the tomb of Blessed John Paul II . And my particular prayer this morning was that I would, and all of us would be, like Blessed John Paul really courageous shepherds of the Church in the face of the challenges that confront all of us, not just bishops but the whole people of God today. Not least are the threats to our own religious liberty.
Pope John Paul was a great advocate of the dignity of the human person, and the right of the Church to speak the truth. In the face of the administration’s edict demanding that we violate our consciences — and in fact violate the moral law — so that we should have to pay for abortifications, unjust sterilizations, and contraception, we all need courage. And I prayed at Mass this morning for the intercession of Blessed John Paul so that all of us would have the courage to stand up for the truth. Not just because it’s our right and we need to be vindicated — but because we’re patriotic and our country needs our voice, our witness to the truth for us to survive as a free and just nation.
So please keep praying for me. You’re all in my prayers, and I look forward to writing later today after our audience with the Pope.