By CHRISTOPHER GUNTY, Special To the Bulletin | Published March 18, 2010
Noting that American society places a high importance on relationships, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory kicked off the John Carroll Lecture Series with a talk on the connections between bishops and their priests.
“(W)hen bishops and priests are in right relationships, the People of God are better attended and more faithfully served by a clergy that is spiritually and professionally healthy and focused on the mission of the Sacrament of Orders which takes the care of souls as our primary concern and the ultimate source of our holiness and spiritual goal,” the archbishop said.
The John Carroll Lectures at the Baltimore Basilica this year addresses the theme of the Year for Priests declared by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Gregory focused on three kinds of connections priests have: “Father – Brother – Friend: Bishop-Priest Relationships.”
He noted that in the father-son relationship, they can call on a great example: the perfect paternal-filial relationship between Jesus and his Father.
As brothers, priests can confide in and challenge each other. As friends, bishops and priests are able to collaborate out of mutual love and respect that strengthens the bonds between them.
Upcoming John Carroll Lectures at the basilica will feature Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., April 18, on “The American Priest and the Social Gospel,” and Father Michael Roach of St. Bartholomew Church in Manchester, N.H., May 16, for “On the Whole, An Independent Lot: The Catholic Clergy of Baltimore.”