BLT still on the menu: Bishop Morlino continues to badger us lovingly with the truth Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

On August 1, 2003, Bishop Robert C. Morlino was installed as the fourth Bishop of Madison during a Mass at St. Raphael Cathedral.

During his homily at that Mass, Bishop Morlino focused on the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He called that image “one of the richest in the Gospel.”

Just as a shepherd feeds his flock, he noted that priests and bishops nourish people with spiritual food, most notably Christ himself in the Eucharist.

"To enter into that full communion, we have to listen to the word of truth and respond with a profession of faith that we are ready to be nourished by his Body and Blood in the Eucharist,” said Bishop Morlino in that 2003 homily.

Hunger for the truth

Unfortunately, he said that some people “don’t believe in objective truth in Christ” and “we find sisters and brothers not hungry for the truth. There’s nothing to hunger for — they already have it,” he said.

Bishop Morlino said that good shepherds must “invite them lovingly to hunger for the objective truth in Christ so their hunger is genuine and profound. To hunger and thirst for the Eucharist is to hunger and thirst for Christ, the one whose vision never disappoints” (a reference to Bishop Morlino’s episcopal motto from Habakkuk, “Visus non mentietur” or “The vision will not disappoint”).

Bishop Morlino summed up his message with the acronym BLT: “Badger them lovingly with the truth.” He said to priests of the diocese, “I hope we can embrace each other with love and collaborate so the BLT mission can be accomplished.”

Fulfilled his promise

In his 10 years as Bishop of Madison, Bishop Morlino has indeed fulfilled his promise. He has “badgered” people with the truth in his homilies, in his columns in the Catholic Herald, in his public talks, in his catechetical sessions with diocesan staff, and in his personal conversations. He loves to teach, and he emphasizes the full truth based on Church teachings handed down through the ages, especially through our popes.

He does indeed speak “lovingly.” He doesn’t sugar-coat Church teachings, but he does emphasize forgiveness and mercy. He has taken years to implement some policies in the diocese, giving priests and people time to adjust.

On a personal level, Bishop Morlino treats people with kindness and respect. He is a gentle shepherd, rarely raising his voice. When he does raise it — to make a point — people realize he means business!

Pray for the bishop

As Bishop Morlino celebrates his 10th anniversary, I encourage people of the Diocese of Madison to continue to pray for him. It is not an easy time to be a shepherd of the Church. I also urge people to listen to him and read what he writes in its entirety. Don’t take his words out of context, please.

Let us pray that Bishop Morlino will continue to badger us lovingly with the truth in the years ahead as we all grow in our love of Christ and his Church.