Bishop of Reykjavik

Pastoral Letter, 20th of November 2022

Solemnity of Christ the King

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is common for each church to have its own title, such as St. Peter’s in Rome, Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona or Notre Dame in Paris and so on. We do not know why Marteinn Meulenberg asked the Holy See to have Christ the King as the title of the Cathedral and of our Diocese, but we are very happy with that title and consider it our privilege. We can say that we are this bride, for whom Christ – the King – “… handed himself over for… He wanted to bring her before him in glory without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish…” (cf. Eph 5,25-27).

He wanted her like this, but we can see that she is not. Because of our sins, she sometimes looks like a dirty beggar without dignity and beauty. It is so embarrassing that some have decided to leave her and never want to acknowledge her again. Indeed, if it were possible, they would want to wash off the mark of baptism from their foreheads, even though it is invisible. Christianity is becoming a risky profession more than ever before. Instead of the custom of the richest men to have their names on pews of honour in the churches, they want to erase their names from the church books. And we can only say: “… my fault, my grievous fault… Kyrie eleison! – Lord, have mercy on us!”

But hello! Wake up! Is that really all we can do? No! Not at all! For example, let’s look at St. Francis of Assisi, who heard from the crucified Jesus these words: “Francis, Francis, go and repair my church, which you see is falling apart.” So he began to repair the church of San Damiano. He succeeded, but afterwards he understood that there was something more important – and that was the universal church that needed to be repaired. And more, he finally understood that first he had to reform himself, personally, and so he became the glory of the church.

Here we are offered the realization of all this for our time. Our cathedral, Christ the King, has become old. The year 2029 will be the big anniversary of its consecration, the 100th anniversary. And one can immediately see that it needs a lot of repair. The same can be said about our Diocese, which should be celebrating its 55th anniversary in October next year. And each of us personally can also improve one self. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to start with our Cathedral getting a new roof for that occasion? And we can continue, so that on the 100th anniversary of the church, it rises like a pearl from the depths of the sea? In this way, it should be a symbol of the renewal of the church in Iceland, which is us.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we wholeheartedly support this project. Let’s take it as our daily prayer and support it with practical donations to the church’s account number, which is specifically intended for that: Íslandsbanki 0513-14-604447, kt. 680169-4629. But without exhausting ourselves, we can continue and do our best so that we ourselves can be the glory of the Church!

Virgin Mary, you who are the spotless bride of the Holy Spirit and Mother of the Church, pray for us and help us show the world the wonder of the Church. Amen.

With gratitude, and a request for intercession, your brother and bishop, David.

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