I was looking for information about a prayer book I saw today down at the 40 Days for Life vigil site in front of Planned Parenthood when I stumbled across this on the Catholic Answers website. It’s a section of Karl Keating’s E-Letter from a few years ago. Keating was writing about a series that someone else was writing about some Catholic bishops who are known for standing up and speaking out. “Bishops with spines.” Yeah! Praise the Lord! And guess who he mentions in his letter? Our very own Bishop Robert Baker, who wasn’t our bishop here in Birmingham yet. I’ve met the bishop and I think very highly of him. And my respect and affection for him is growing all the time. I’ve quoted the section of Keating’s letter about the bishops below.
BISHOPS TO KEEP IN MIND
“The ‘National Catholic Register’ has been running a series, by Tim Drake, on “how some bishops are finding the voice to address the issues that most bishops, priests, and deacons have tended to avoid.” In other words, the series is about bishops with spines.
“Among the bishops already profiled or to be profiled are Victor Galeone of St. Augustine, FL; Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, AZ; Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO; Samuel Aquila of Fargo, ND; Robert Baker of Charleston, SC; John Myers of Newark, NJ; Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, CO; and Robert Vasa of Baker, OR.
“I know several of these bishops personally and the others by reputation. Drake has chosen to profile men who have a track record for mentioning the unmentionables, such as the five non-negotiables. But these bishops go far beyond public policy questions and tackle other topics that many American bishops shy away from, such as contraception, liturgical issues, and–yikes!–confession. They also have had far better success than most bishops in recruiting new priests. (No need to wonder why.)”
Quoted from Karl Keating’s E-Letter, July 25, 2006, URL: http://www.catholic.com/newsletters/kke_060725.asp (Emphasis added.)
I surfed over to the diocesan webpage to get a photo of Bishop Baker and I found a link to a speech he gave to the Catholic Medical Association in 2007: “The Theology of the Body and the Dignity of Women“. It’s in PDF format (you’ll need Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader), which is good, but it’s in all caps, which is not good. But I am enjoying reading the speech and wanted to share it with you. And, allow me to say it again, the more I learn about our beloved bishop, the more I admire and respect him. Thank you, Lord, for sending this marvelous man of faith to shepherd us!
Visit the webpage of the Diocese of Birmingham. Read Bishop Baker’s speech to the Catholic Medical Association in 2007. Visit Catholic Answers. Read Karl Keating’s E-Letter about the bishops with spines.