NOTRE DAME, IND. -- “We are a historic church. Some of that history isn’t pretty, but we believe God will guide us to where he wants us to be,” began Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif.
Soto, chairman of the U.S. bishop’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, set the tone for the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation sponsored by the bishops' conference at the University of Notre Dame May 6-8. The U.S. bishops wanted participants to share their histories, but also wanted them to talk and pray about the future of an increasingly diverse American Catholic church.
The bishops' conference has made the recognition of cultural diversity in the church one of its five priorities. Nineteen bishops were among the hand-picked group of 305 church leaders at the convocation. Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Pietro Sambi conveyed a blessing and words of encouragement from Pope Benedict XVI.