The night before the Most Reverend Bernard Anthony Hebda’s installation as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis¹, he pronounced the Profession of Faith, which includes the Apostles’ Creed, which all Catholics must profess, and the Oath of Fidelity required for all ecclesial offices.² He placed his hand on a Bible and signed a printed copy of the two statements before all who were in attendance. The document was co-signed by official witnesses.
The contents of those statements are as follows, as taken from the Vatican website:³
PROFESSION OF FAITH
“I, the Most Reverend Bernard Anthony Hebda, with firm faith believe and profess each and everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith, namely:
“I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
“With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.
“I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.
“Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”
OATH OF FIDELITY
ON ASSUMING AN OFFICE
TO BE EXERCISED IN THE NAME OF THE CHURCH
“I, the Most Reverend Bernard Anthony Hebda, in assuming the office of Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnneapolis, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.
“With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.
“In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.
“I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.
“With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish. I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.
“So help me God, and God’s Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.”
His Excellency’s recitation was loud and clear. It was heartening for me to see and hear as a sincere Catholic. And given that Hebda is a highly educated canon lawyer, he is well acquainted with the letter of the law at the very least.⁴ Therefore there is a ray of hope that he might actually uphold true Catholic teaching, unlike the pope⁵ and some bishops I know of.⁶
Let this post serve as a persistent reminder of Hebda’s solemn profession of faith and oath of fidelity as he embarks on his new bishopric, and may God’s Holy Word rule his heart always, in Jesus’ name.
- Archbishop Hebda installed ninth archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis; The Catholic Spirit.
- Title V. The Profession of Faith (Can. 833); Code of Canon Law; the Vatican.
- Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity on Assuming an Office to be Exercised in the Name of the Church; the Vatican.
- Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda; Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “In 1996, he was appointed to work in the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome, which is responsible for the interpretation of the Church’s laws, especially the Code of Canon Law.”
- “Putting Pope Francis into Perspective: ‘Pope Francis’ – A Chronological List of Quotes and Headlines”; The Wild Voice.
- “Cardinal Kasper resorts to the ‘F’ word in addressing critics”; The Catholic World Report.
Featured image is Hebda’s coat of arms, via The Catholic Spirit.