A Special Message from the Bishop
January 12, 2018
"He [St. Francis of Assisi] taught them not only to mortify vices and to keep down the promptings of the flesh but also to control even the outward organs, of sense whereby death enters the soul. For when at that time the Emperor Otto was passing through those quarters with great stir and pomp to receive the crown of the earthly Empire, the most holy father and his companions in the said hovel were close to the road by which the Emperor [Otto IV] was passing; but he did not go out to look, nor did he allow any to do so, save one who was most steadfastly to announce to the Emperor that this glory of his would endure but for a short time." From "The First Life Saint Francis" (1229) by Thomas of Celano [
Francis of Assisi: Early Documents
(New City Press, 2001), p. 221]
There are times when the actions and statements of our leaders require response from people of faith. All too often this has proven true of the current President of the United States. This week's crude comment regarding immigrants and other nations again demands comment. His words were both inappropriate and racist. I am appalled and disappointed that the President has again spoken without regard for others. While reasonable people can disagree about policy in a democratic republic, this comment is again an issue of a lack moral leadership and personal responsibility.
"Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry. This is because an angry person doesn't produce God's righteousness. Therefore, with humility, set aside all moral filth and the growth of wickedness, and welcome the word planted deep inside you--the very word that is able to save you. You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves." James 1:19-22
I call on the people of the Diocese to offer two prayers from the Book of Common Prayer with special intention:
3. For the Human Family:
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
19. For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority:
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindfulmindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i and
The Episcopal Church in Micronesia