on writing the Bishop of your diocese


How serious does a problem have to be to write the bishop of one’s diocese?

I’ve heard Fr. Groeschel talk on how to write a letter to the bishop -->be clear, be tactful, be terse and be courteous.

I’m just so tired of some things going on in the diocese I’m in, so tired and feel rather hopeless and despondent.

Any charitable, helpful comments? Thanks for listening and please pray for me.

What are some of the problems?

That would depend on what are some of the problems

Writing the letter to a bishop is the easy part.

Getting the letter passed the desk-jockies and power-mongers, the bureaucracy of gate-keepers, hell-bent on seperating the flock from their shepherd, is an entirely different story.

Go to an office store and buy one of those big red stamps that say “CONFIDENTIAL” and stamp the front of the envelope with it. It should go directly to whomever it is addressed to without being opened by anyone else. If it doesn’t, you have a very strong complaint against the bishop’s office.


…label the envelope with a return address Citta Vaticana, Roma, Italia. then…

…put that envelope inside of a larger manilla envelope with a lira or two, along with instructions to mail the original envelope to your bishop with the foreign postage mark.

For added security: asperge with holy water and incense with the thurible.

I always recommend reading through Catholics United for the Faith’s Effective Lay Witness Protocol.

If your dispute ever does warrant contacting the bishop, it should be about a specific issue. You don’t want to write a letter that is just a list of general grievances from your lifetime within the diocese. Then you come across as someone who is just ranting rather than someone who is trying to address a problem.

Um, that’s a little deceptive. Please don’t do this.

Thank you all for your replies.

I’m so grateful for these forums. They help me put things into their proper perspective.

God bless these Catholic Answer Forums and all who work to keep them going!

Please pray for me.

Ignore the negatives. Here is the proper way to address the envelope, and the opening and closing words:

Addressing a letter: Most Reverend N______ N______
Bishop of ______
Salutation: Your Excellency; Your Excellency:
Concluding a letter: Asking Your Excellency’s blessing, I am, Yours respectfully, NN.

Be simple regarding your concerns. Be brief and precise. Then ask for his advice or, in difficult cases where you feel you have no one else to turn to, request that he look into the matter/problems, and, if need be, briefly express your feelings as well.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.