Monday, February 23, 2009

Dolan Going to NY

Well, Dolan is going to NY. That is the good news AND the bad news, depending on who the new archbishop will be. Steve Avella in today's Journal Sentinel hit Dolan's theology right on the head. Weakland is a Vatican II bishop and Dolan is a John Paul II bishop. In my understanding, the former sees himself as having more autonomy and the latter is more as papal representative.

Dolan's accomplishments: He closed the seminary and did harm to the future of lay ecclesial ministry (bad). He worked significantly to balance the archdiocesan budget by major slashing of Archdiocesan jobs (good and bad). He "handled" the sexual-abuse scandal, but in the end seemed more concerned about being a "father" to his priests than a stalwart for children (mostly bad). For the most part, he has not actively tried to change the liberal aspects of the Archdiocese as long as they were willing to fly underneath the radar (good and bad). And it truth, most Catholics like him because he's jolly. I do not believe that most of those Catholics are very aware of his accomplishments.

The constant refrain of many with my train of thought is that it could have been worse, and maybe it will be...

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, February 16, 2009

Archdiocese Should Keep Great Spirit Open

Back in October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Congregation of the Great Spirit could stay open if it could fully support itself. For whatever reason, I did not comment on that situation then, but it has been in the back of my mind ever since.

The Congregation of the Great Spirit is a Native American Catholic Church. They follow the Roman rite, but have tweaked certain portions (following the scholarship of liturgists) in order to incorporate their Indian cultures (especially the Lakota and Ojibwe). This includes a co-ed drumming circle and a penitential rite with burning sage.

As the Archdiocesan spokeswoman stated, the Milwaukee Archdiocese has a policy of each parish covering the salary of the priest. That is obviously only a general guideline since they have until now covered the Great Spirit's salary dole.

While if the parish does close, the parishioners can go to another Catholic Church, I doubt they will be able to bring their drums and burning sage. They may not be welcomed anywhere. This could in effect kill the Native American Catholic community. It is reminiscent of the US bishops, as a whole, refusing to reach out to African Americans after the Civil War (this is considered the main reason for there being so few black Catholics). Oddly, enough, I wonder if the two "black" parishes in Milwaukee (All Saints & St. Martin de Porres) could not financially support a priest because of poverty, would the Archbishop close them?

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, February 9, 2009

Archbishop Dolan's Response to SNAP is Troubling

As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dolan stated that he does not have authority over priests who are in orders in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, even if they are the recipient of serious allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, I realize it was Julie Wolf, the Archdiocesan spokeswoman who said this and not Dolan. But when Dolan is not available for comment and the spokeswoman is, she is only saying what Dolan told her to say.

Dolan (Julie) stated that "he can't force them to distribute names." While that may be true, if he knows that certain priests are in town, he should be distributing their names. This is his Archdiocese and he is supposed to be watching out for his flock (laypeople included, not just priests).

I could understand if he did not know that these priests were here since they are in an order. But he (Julie) did not state that that was the case, just that his hands are tied. This is very disturbing.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gay Hater Becomes Bishop

Benedict has certainly been a roller coaster ride. With his theological background and his meeting with persons like Hans Kung, I had hoped that he would begin appointing a higher grade of bishop than John Paul II.

The Vatican announced on Saturday
that Gerhard Wagner will become auxiliary bishop of Linz, Austria. Back in 2005, Wagner stated that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment because of homosexuality in New Orleans. Maybe he didn't get the memo, but the hurricane mostly hurt poor black people. This seems like a throwback to those bishops who originally thought that AIDS was God's punishment of gay people. This kind of bishop seems completely out of tune with the Gospel message of Jesus. 1) People are not sick because of God's wrath and 2) Jesus' mission is one of healing and reconciliation. I cannot understand Benedict's motivation for appointing a priest with such blatant incompetance.

A Faithful Catholic