Monday, November 24, 2008

John Paull II vs. Paul VI

TB made a comment on my last entry:

"In F.C.'s first post on this blog, he traced his claimed "Catholic Wintertime" to bishops appointed by Pope John Paul II. Seems to follow that his claimed "Catholic Wintertime in Milwaukee" would be preceded by what he'd view as sunnier times with an archbishop appointed by an earlier pope."

While there are obviously faults with bishops chosen by Paul VI, overall I would say that they were more thinking bishops. One need only compare a homily from Weakland and Dolan to get the gist of what I am saying. The former homily has depth, the latter homily is usually shallow. And Dolan is a smart guy, but he did not get where he is at by being smart. He got to where he is at by being social and following the JPII party line. There is an air of sophistication around Weakland that makes his failings that much more miserable to hear about. I held him in higher regard than that.

One last point. It was the Paul VI bishops of the 80's that addressed issues of abortion, economics, peace, etc. It is the bishops of JP II that address the issues of abortion... oh wait... that's it. And that's pretty sad. I do not think they are smart or capable enough as a whole to handle these other issues.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, November 17, 2008

Archbishop Weakland Reassigned Abusive Priests

In case anyone has not seen it, excerpts of Milwaukee's retired Archbishop Weakland's deposition about knowingly reassigning abusive priests is on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It's pretty depressing. Current Archdiocesan spokesperson Jerry Topczewski stated in response to the deposition, "Archbishop Weakland is able to comment on what he knew, but many if not all of those involved in these cases are dead." The implication I get is that things could be much worse than what Weakland stated.

A few comments. This is the first bishop's deposition that I have seen without a lawyer. In Cardinal Mahoney's deposition, his lawyer whispered in his ear before he would give any answer. Also, as SNAP stated, Weakland has been more candid in his responses than any bishop previously. With my bias that Weakland is basically a good man, I can only imagine what occurred in the rest of the country. I think we get a taste of it in the documentary, "Deliver Us From Evil," where Mahoney reassigned a priest to another municpality who had been arrested after telling the D.A.'s office that he would never be in ministry again to avoid prosecution of the priest.

A Faithful Catholic

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fr. Roy Bourgeois Facing Excommunication

I'm Sorry for the long post, but below is a letter that Fr.
Roy has sent to the CDF. It is followed by names of
addresses where support to Fr. Roy can be sent.

A Faithful Catholic

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903
November 7, 2008


I was very saddened by your letter dated October 21,
2008, giving me 30 days to recant my belief and public
statements that support the ordination of women in our
Church, or I will be excommunicated.

I have been a Catholic priest for 36 years and have a deep
love for my Church and ministry.

When I was a young man in the military, I felt God was
calling me to the priesthood. I entered Maryknoll and was
ordained in 1972.

Over the years I have met a number of women in our Church
who, like me, feel called by God to the priesthood. You,
our Church leaders at the Vatican, tell us that women
cannot be ordained.

With all due respect, I believe our Catholic Church's
teaching on this issue is wrong and does not stand up to
scrutiny. A 1976 report by the Pontifical Biblical
Commission supports the research of Scripture scholars,
canon lawyers and many faithful Catholics who have studied
and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there
is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from
the priesthood.

As people of faith, we profess that the invitation to the
ministry of priesthood comes from God. We profess that God
is the Source of life and created men and women of equal
stature and dignity. The current Catholic Church doctrine
on the ordination of women implies our loving and all-
powerful God, Creator of heaven and earth, somehow cannot
empower a woman to be a priest.

Women in our Church are telling us that God is calling
them to the priesthood. Who are we, as men, to say to
women, "Our call is valid, but yours is not." Who are we
to tamper with God's call?

Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard or
how long we may try to justify discrimination, in the end,
it is always immoral.

Hundreds of Catholic churches in the U.S. are closing
because of a shortage of priests. Yet there are hundreds
of committed and prophetic women telling us that God is
calling them to serve our Church as priests.

If we are to have a vibrant, healthy Church rooted in the
teachings of our Savior, we need the faith, wisdom,
experience, compassion and courage of women in the priesthood.

Conscience is very sacred. Conscience gives us a sense of
right and wrong and urges us to do the right thing.
Conscience is what compelled Franz Jagerstatter, a humble
Austrian farmer, husband and father of four young children,
to refuse to join Hitler's army, which led to his execution.
Conscience is what compelled Rosa Parks to say she could no
longer sit in the back of the bus.

Conscience is what compels women in our Church to say they
cannot be silent and deny their call from God to the

Conscience is what compelled my dear mother and father,
now 95, to always strive to do the right things as faithful
Catholics raising four children. And after much prayer,
reflection and discernment, it is my conscience that compels
me to do the right thing. I cannot recant my belief and
public statements that support the ordination of women in
our Church.

Working and struggling for peace and justice are an
integral part of our faith. For this reason, I speak out
against the war in Iraq. And for the last eighteen years,
I have been speaking out against the atrocities and
suffering caused by the School of the Americas (SOA).

Eight years ago, while in Rome for a conference on peace
and justice, I was invited to speak about the SOA on
Vatican Radio. During the interview, I stated that I could
not address the injustice of the SOA and remain silent
about injustice in my Church. I ended the interview by
saying, "There will never be justice in the Catholic Church
until women can be ordained." I remain committed to this
belief today.

Having an all male clergy implies that men are worthy to
be Catholic priests, but women are not.

According to USA TODAY (Feb. 28, 2008) in the United States
alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused
more than 12,000 children. Many bishops, aware of the abuse,
remained silent. These priests and bishops were not
excommunicated. Yet the women in our Church who are called
by God and are ordained to serve God's people, and the
priests and bishops who support them, are excommunicated.

Silence is the voice of complicity. Therefore, I call
on all Catholics, fellow priests, bishops, Pope Benedict XVI
and all Church leaders at the Vatican, to speak loudly on
this grave injustice of excluding women from the priesthood.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated
because of his defense of the oppressed. He said, "Let
those who have a voice, speak out for the voiceless."

Our loving God has given us a voice. Let us speak clearly
and boldly and walk in solidarity as Jesus would, with the
women in our Church who are being called by God to the

In Peace and Justice,
Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903


ACTIONS TO SUPPORT - Rev. Roy Bourgeois - 11/08

Below are addresses to write support for Fr. Roy and to
ask that he not be excommunicated. Petitions are also

Please write or fax or email to Pope Benedict XVI, and/or
the Pope's Ambassador to the U.S., the Apostolic Nuncio,
and/or the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, the group
that is moving toward excommunication of Fr. Roy Bourgeois,
and/or The leaders of the Maryknoll Order. Their
addresses are below.

Please send a cc of any message or petitions you send to:
Bill Quigley – Attorney for Fr. Roy
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118 or


Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC, USA
Telephone: (202) 333-7121
Fax: 337-4036

Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano, Europe
The Pope's email address (for English correspondence) is:
FAX from USA:

Congregation for Doctrine of Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11,
00193 Roma, Italy

Superior General, John Sivalon at
and to the three-member Maryknoll Council at and/or fax to 914-944-3600
Write to: Maryknoll Council P.O. Box 303
Maryknoll, NY 10545

Again, please send a cc of your message to
Bill Quigley – Attorney for Fr. Roy
7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 902
New Orleans, LA 70118

Monday, November 10, 2008

Abortion vs. Economy

The day of the election, Bishop John H. Ricard of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee sent Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Biden an open letter to examine his conscience before receiving communion. His impetus for sending this letter was that at one point Biden campaigned and went to Mass in his diocese. If you check out the front page of the diocese's website, one will find the letter, but nothing about the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Once again, the American bishops are showing themselves to be a one-issue episcopate that is failing to make use of a vast treasury of Catholic social teaching that could be helpful in rebuilding the economy. The bishops could find themselves an important and needed player on the national scene. They could use the economy as a stepping stone to rebuild their credibility with the American people, but instead they simply harp on an issue that concerns sexuality. And believe me, the average American could care less about what the bishops think regarding that issue.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Apostles Mary and Mary

There was a comment on my blog last week about how Jesus only chose men to be apostles, so only men may be priests. He may not know that apostle simply means one who is sent. That is why Paul was considered an apostle and in his letters we see that women also were "sent" to spread the word about Jesus.

We also have early in our tradition, Mary Magdalene, referred to as the Apostle to the Apostles. And anyone familiar with Catholic art has seen the painting of the Holy Spirit descending at Pentecost with Mary at center-stage. Two stunning examples of women carrying the torch of the Jesus movement after the resurrection.

This blogger may not be aware that in the early church, there were no seminaries and no pope and that Jesus did not appoint priests. We know from Luke's Gospel that many wealthy women traveled with him that may have gone on to become priests in light of the resurrection.

While our Catholic bishops may be heirs to the apostles, they heirs to their message. Their roles are very different. The bishops represent the overseers/episkopoi that the Apostles, both men and women, put in place in the communities that they founded. And chances are, if men and women founded these communities, they were celebrants at Mass.

A Faithful Catholic