“It is the truth of the (Church’s) teaching that maintains our right relationship with Jesus.”

Milwaukee, Wis., Jan 4, 2010 / 09:33 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jerome Listecki was installed on January 4 as the 11th  Archbishop of Milwaukee at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, filling the seat left vacant by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was appointed to New York. In his first homily, the new archbishop called on his flock to “sacrifice for the truth.”

“There are many bishops and priests more intelligent, more talented and more deserving of this position than me,” said Archbishop Listecki lightheartedly on Monday. “I say this not with a false sense of humility but merely as fact.” The prelate continued to say however, that Pope Benedict XVI, “has made his selection and I accept his decision as God’s will. Please note that I will use every ounce of my being to serve this great Archdiocese of Milwaukee.”

Drawing on the Gospel reading from John during his homily, the prelate recalled the story of Christ’s “dramatic confrontation with St. Peter,” where He asks St. Peter three times if he loves Him. The archbishop continued to explain that followers of Christ are asked the same question along with St. Peter and are given a similar calling to present the truth in love.

“The Church presents the truth in charity,” said the prelate. “It is the truth of the (Church’s) teaching that maintains our right relationship with Jesus.”

“Our teaching on the dignity of the human person embraces life from the moment of conception to natural death. It reflects the love of life entrusted to us. This sacredness which reflects the imago dei – the very image of God – it is this very life for which Christ came into the world to suffer, die and rise. Our social principles, our care for the poor, is mandated out of a love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God,” he explained.

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