Archbishop echoes message of Pope Francis in address to legal community

Marilyn Odendahl
October 10, 2013
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Speaking to members of the legal community, Indianapolis Archbishop William Tobin pointed to the growing polarization among people, and he called for everyone to take a more gentle tone, respect the beliefs of others and work to build a “culture of encounter.”

Tobin spoke at a dinner following the annual Red Mass Oct. 9. The audience included judges and attorneys from central Indiana.

“If dialogue means anything,” the archbishop said, “it means not only that we take another seriously but it means that we revere the other as a fellow human being with gifts and talents from God. … When we respect difference of opinion and dialogue, we respect and revere the differences that provide variety and give texture to this great country of our made so by others having welcomed our forefathers and foremothers.”

The St. Thomas More Society of Indianapolis and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis co-hosted the Red Mass and dinner.

Marion Superior Judge Gerald Zore was presented with the 2013 Man for All Seasons Award. U.S. Trustee Nancy Gargula presented the award, telling Zore he was an inspiration and thanking him for sharing his “faith, time and talent in our community everyday.”

Held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in downtown Indianapolis, the Mass included the traditional processional of the judiciary. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller led the line of judges from the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals, the Marion County courts and other central Indiana jurisdictions.

Priests, dressed in red vestments as a symbol of St. Thomas More’s martyrdom, concelebrated the Mass with Tobin.

Giving the homily, deacon and Greenwood attorney David Henn reminded the assembled attorneys and judges they should work for peace and justice.

Clients will come before the bench and bar, he said, seeking to resolve whatever obstacle is hindering their own pursuit of happiness. Sometimes in their pursuit, the clients will become angry and see only their own self-interests. Attorneys and judges must guide them to a better path, he said.

“We are charged as ministers of the law to lead those who come before the bench and bar to seek peace and justice,” Henn said.

Tobin addressed the legal community, most of them members of the St. Thomas More Society, on the same day he celebrated the third anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.

He pointed to Pope Francis’ call for a “culture of encounter” where people recognize everyone is redeemed by the Blood of Christ and they fulfill their duty of doing good.

“I am grateful to have the image of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, as a model of his simplicity, of his transparency but also his work to bridge the forces that can divide us,” Tobin said. “I hope to be able to promote, here in Indianapolis, a culture of encounter and I am counting on the members of the St. Thomas More Society to help me. When necessary, tell me when I’m wrong and to help us work together to carry forward this great city in this great state.”



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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

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