Today in Rome, Pope Francis announced at noon (5 a.m. in southern Missouri) that The Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, has been named the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The diocese has been Vacant since the installation of The Most Reverend James V. Johnston as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph on November 4, 2015. Read more
We, the Catholic bishops of Missouri, write to express our solidarity with all those terrorized by ISIS and other violent extremists who falsely invoke the name of God to justify their bloody attacks on innocent people. Our concern especially goes out to the French people as they cope in the aftermath of the November 13 terrorist attacks and to the many Syrians also terrorized by ISIS who are fleeing their country for the safety of new lands. Read more
September 15, 2015
It is with faith and trust in the grace and love of Jesus Christ and in God’s providential designs, that I accept the appointment of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to be the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. I am very humbled and honored by the Holy Father’s appointment to be your next bishop. Pope Francis is known for surprises and he certainly gave me one several days ago when I was informed by the apostolic nuncio of his decision. I will do my best to live up to the trust that he has placed in me and be the best bishop I can for you.
I pledge to serve you with generosity, kindness, and charity. I will strive to be a good shepherd to you so that we can, together, live the truth in love and be effective witnesses to the Gospel of salvation and the beauty of our Catholic Faith. I look forward to working with our priests and deacons, our consecrated women and men religious, and with all of our wonderful lay women and men. Every one of us has an important place and mission within the Church, which comes through our baptism. I am eager to join all of you in putting our focus and passion on loving Jesus, serving Jesus, and sharing Jesus.
September 15, 2015
This morning in Rome, Pope Francis announced that he has appointed me to be the next bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. I have accepted his appointment, trusting in the love of Jesus Christ and God’s mysterious providence. In doing so, I cannot deny my sadness at the prospect of departing the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. These 7 ½ years as your bishop have been some of the happiest of my life. I love all of you and will always love this great diocese.
My installation in Kansas City is set for November 4, 2015. I will serve as the diocesan administrator here, until that date, after which a diocesan administrator will be elected by the diocesan college of consultors.
Statement from the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., on the Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. HodgesBy: Bishop James V. Johnston Jr.
June 26, 2015
It is said that Abraham Lincoln once asked rhetorically, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? Four, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.” Today, the Supreme Court, in essence, determined to call a tail a leg when it determined that the union of two persons of the same sex can be defined as “marriage.” But, to follow the sound logic of Lincoln and basic common sense, calling it a marriage does not make it so. Marriage is more than simply two people in a loving commitment. An essential part of marriage is the physical union that, when entered by a man and woman, has the potential to bring a new life into the world. Two persons of the same sex cannot become the biological mother and father of a child who is the natural fruit of their union. That is biology, not bigotry. It is also much more, in that it forms the basis for a healthy, stable culture for raising children to become integrated adults and citizens.
Just as in 1973, when the Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the Constitution, today they have “discovered” something else overlooked since 1789: a Federal Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Just as Roe v. Wade was not the final word, neither will today’s decision be the end of the matter. Roe created, and continues to create, a crisis of conscience for doctors and other medical professionals who, as a matter of faith, cannot participate in abortions. What Roe did to the medical profession, today’s decision does to the rest of us. By redefining marriage, the Supreme Court has ensured that there will be church-state conflict for generations to come.
Even prior to today, we have seen in case after case how laws passed under the guise of protecting same-sex attracted persons have been used to discriminate against people of faith, and this will only intensify. This Supreme Court opinion is an outstanding example of what both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have called the “dictatorship of relativism.”
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
Re: Mercy Healthcare, Springfield
We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and God. We believe that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” and strive to follow the Bible’s counsel: “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, …” (Hebrews 13:8-9). Read more
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Freedom
A Statement of Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. to Catholics and All Persons of Good Will,
in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
The Springfield City Council is currently scheduled to vote on amending the City’s non-discrimination ordinance at its October 13 meeting. I am taking this opportunity for reflection, in light of the Gospel and human reason, on the issues involved and hope that this statement will assist Catholics and others of good will in forming their conscience on these matters. I also write with the hope and intention of reaching out with respect and honesty to those in the community who describe themselves as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered). Read more
The Supreme Court decisions [June 26] were deeply disappointing. Laws that reflect the truth about marriage as a union between one man and one woman should be upheld, as these ultimately protect children and their rights to be conceived and raised by their mother and father. Today’s decisions further imperil true marriage, family, and the nation’s common good. It will be important that states and communities across the nation strive to preserve true marriage as much as possible.
Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is accepting donations to fill two box trucks with needed supplies for the tornado-devastated region of Moore, OK. One box truck is located on the parking lot of Hobby Lobby, 1535 E. Battlefield, in Springfield. Another truck is located in Joplin at the Wal-Mart on Rangeline Road.
Catholic Charities is accepting only new items, including shovels, tools, work gloves, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, diapers, wipes, and canned food items. Plastic storage containers are greatly needed. Many survivors also need binders and file folders for holding insurance and FEMA paperwork. Read more