Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's the Deal withe Medjugorje?

Earlier today the Catholic Herald published a story about the Medjugorje pilgrims who were in that horrific bus accident. And while I feel for the victims of the accident, I don't quite understand the fascination of the pilgrims or the Catholic Herald's implicit affirmation with these so-called apparitions of Mary.

There is just so many questions surrounding those "apparitions." First and foremost. the shrine's leading priest, Fr. Zovko, has had his faculties suspended and has suffered censure for still hearing confessions afterwards. His order says he's a priest in good standing, but that basically means that he hasn't been excommunicated, yet. The previous bishop thought it was a hoax and current bishop also thinks it's nonsense. The commission that was set up to study the matter believed it was fake and both bishops asked pilgrims to stop coming. My understanding is that no priest entering that diocese has permission to use his faculties if he is there for the purpose of bring pilgrims to Medjugorje. The current bishop, Bishop Peric, has also stated that he feels the Franciscans running the shrine have broken their vow of poverty with the wealth they have amassed from pilgrims.

A commission says it is a hoax, the bishops believe it is a hoax, and the Franciscans there are getting rich. Seems like a mess to me. Many passengers in the accident felt that God saved them. Perhaps they were just lucky and the Catholic Herald should cover the accident as such.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, July 16, 2007

Vatican To Other Churches: "We're Better Than You."

Why why do I belong to this Roman Church? I'm sure some of you are asking that exact same thing. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, overseen by Cardinal Levada (and obviously with the blessing of Pope Benedict) released a document trying to explain away a change of wording that Vatican II made about the Church of Christ "subsisting" in the Catholic Church. Previously, they had been seen as the same thing - and conservatives in the church have been trying to ease that blow to their ecclesial ego ever since.

I do believe that the Catholic Church has a richness found nowhere else, otherwise I wouldn't be Catholic. But there are other churches that have gifts we lack, but we don't then say that the Catholic Church lacks the fullness of the Church of Christ. As an example, evangelicals as a rule have a very personally dynamic relationship with Jesus as Lord that is awe-inspiring. Catholics as a general rule are more booky, and I think we have some of the best academic scholarship.

In any case, I do not see how this is helpful to ecumenical dialogue. Thankfully, I think it will be largely ignored anyway on the local level, but it is definitely the Vatican taking a step in the wrong direction. I mean, telling other Christians they don't really have a church in the technical sense. It's like I'm on a elementary school playground, but instead the people saying these things are old enough to be retired.

A Faithful Catholic

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Milwaukee Does Not Want A Home-Coming For Bruskewitz

There was a comment on one of my earlier blogs from a Lincoln native who fully supports Bishop Bruskewitz. Fabian Bruskewitz is originally from the Milwaukee Archdiocese. I checked out his blog and found myself rather disturbed. He has a Bruskewitz quote on his blog. I can't guarantee that Brusketwitz actaully said or wrote it, but it's obvious that the supports this point of view and it sounds like something Fabian would say:

"The Catholic Church teaches that all homosexual acts and any sexual abuse of minors or others are mortal sins," Bruskewitz said in the statement. "Such sins and heinous crimes should be appropriately punished by the authorities of the church and the state."
I find it particularly disturbing how gay adult sex is considered in the same breath as sexual abuse of minors, as if they were the same thing. I suppose the blogger and Bruskewitz are both saying that they would be just as disturbed by hearing that their adult sister had consenstual sex with another woman as they would be by hearing that their 6 year-old niece was raped by a 50 year-old man. It's this type of outdated poorly thought out pre-Vatican II moral theology that is making it a simple decision for young adults to leave the Catholic Church.

I must thank the blogger for one thing though. I am very grateful this day that Timothy Dolan is the Archbishop of Milwaukee

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, July 2, 2007

Archbishop Makes Catholic Schools Priority To Combat Sexual Abuse Crisis

I don't want this blog to be overly negative, but I do not understand this capital campaign at all as reported in the Catholic Herald. The Archbishop has been told time and time again about how parishes are strapped for money, so now he wants to introduce a $105,000,000 capital campaign that raises money by taking money from parishes. And if I understand his logic, he's doing it to combat the sexual abuse crisis because "We've been beaten up." Making parishes more strapped for money will bring us together. This just seems like an excuse to put forward his Catholic schools agenda. He states that the money will be for all religious ed programs, but who uses more money under the auspices of religious ed than Catholic schools. Catholic schools are huge money pits compared to your average Sunday school program.

So if you are at a parish with a school, the parish will probably get back their campaign money plus some. But if you are at a parish without a school, kiss that money good-bye. I suppose my bias is that I'm not a strong advocate of Catholic schools.

The larger issue is that the Archbishop said that he is doing this based on his "listening," but that's just a fancy catch word. Nobody told him, according to his own testimony, that they wanted money taken from all the parishes in this Archdiocese to be given to Catholic schools. Some people told him that they wanted Catholic schools strengthened, but I don't even know what that means. And there definitely no listening sessions that I'm aware of that asked the people of this Archdiocese what they wanted to do with their parish's money. I might be completely wrong, but I think this is just the Archbishop's pet project and he is using the sexual abuse crisis to get it off the ground. Not that Catholic schools is a bad thing to support, but he definitely did not ask anyone I know if we wanted to make that the number one priority in this Archdiocese. It's all very disappointing.

A Faithful Catholic