Reception of a Bishop  
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A draft letter for Catholics to send to their Bishop, particularly a newly appointed one

Dear Bishop,

We ask that you prayerfully consider publishing a covenant with your people such as this: 

I, ______________________, appointed bishop of the diocese of ___________, in addition to pledging loyalty to Pope Benedict XVI and his successors, do also pledge loyalty to my adopted Christian family: 

  • I promise to dedicate myself to building up your faith, to acknowledge and use the resources you generously provide for the common good and well-being of the people, especially the poor of _____________. I will do this in an open spirit.
  • I promise to respect the true ownership of these resources which resides with the community of Catholic people.
  • I promise to deal with controversy with patience and pastoral concern focusing on reconciliation and understanding. I pledge to respond to your letters and address your concerns as well as I can.
  • I promise to support our priests and religious of integrity with kindness and justice giving them the help they need to the extent possible.
  • I promise to try to address past discrimination by Church authorities based on gender or sexual orientation, and carefully seek to heal those wounded by the Church.
  • I promise to discern the sensus fidelium of my people before making decisions that affect them.
  • I promise to pray for you daily and ask that you do the same for me. 

I will try to be the best bishop I can and to place the salvation of your souls and the integrity of the Church above all else. I ask God to give me the strength to be faithful to His will, and expect you to help me do this. 

Signed +_________________________________________ Date______________________

Witnesses for the People of God __________________________________

Having signed this pledge to us, we further suggest that it would be informative were you to explain how you are fulfilling these tasks in your articles in the diocesan newspaper ___________________.

Thank you for assuming the responsibilities as our spiritual leader. Be assured that you have our best wishes and prayers. We hope and pray that in addition to being a responsible administrator, you are a true pastor of souls for us.

Sincerely yours,

(signed) Catholic individual/group/organization

cc Catholic Newspaper Friends and family Secular print media. Other Catholics in your area.

This draft letter is a proposal of The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC). Circulate freely, but kindly acknowledge the source. Comments to Robert Schutzius (

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