Dear Professor George,
I want to express in the strongest possible terms my profound appreciation for the enormous outpouring of solidarity and love that you and your colleagues have exhibited in your remarkable letter of support for the Church of God in Christ. I was honored that such a distinguished collection of Catholic intellectuals would stand in unity with their black brothers and sisters in defense of life, family, and justice for the poor. The list of signers on your letter of support represents some of the most important scholars in the world. It is not often that the “high-octane wing of the low church” finds itself in dialogue with such illustrious men and women of ideas. Our shared commitment on these issues points to our essential commonality in the ultimate sphere of significance in life: faith in the One, True God. He is the ground of our agreement on issues of fundamental importance.
If I may address you personally, Robby, you have over the years been a faithful source of philosophical guidance and friendship for the Black Church. Of special note is your support for our efforts to protect the rights of the unborn, address challenges in the area of biomedical ethics, and defend the Christian understanding of marriage. Your scholarship has had a profound impact upon the best minds of the Black Church. This influence is increasingly spreading throughout black ecclesiastical circles beyond the realm of the Church of God in Christ. Indeed, your impact is felt internationally.
Furthermore, you have constantly served to connect the Black Church to other sources of moral and intellectual support within the Catholic Church. This growing collaboration between our communities provides invaluable reinforcement of our ethical positions in a world increasingly hostile to faith and moral goodness. Our joint efforts have the potential to bear significant fruit that will benefit the poor and disadvantaged in our society.
Please convey my personal thanks to all who joined the letter of support from Catholic scholars to the Church of God in Christ. I thank God for the extraordinary and courageous witness that all of you bear in academia and in our public life. I must also applaud the Witherspoon Institute’s collaboration with the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies. The reach of this work into the lives of the next generation provides hope for our future.
I would like to extend an invitation to you and your colleagues to be my guests at the West Angeles Cathedral whenever you are in the Los Angeles area. Robby, we would be deeply honored if you yourself would to join us as my personal guest at the annual convocation of the Church of God in Christ in St. Louis, November 12, 2017.
May God continue to bless our fellowship in serving Christ.
Bishop Charles E. Blake
Church of God in Christ