Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pope trying to save souls by denying annulments

On January 29th, Pope Benedict spoke to the members of the Roman Rota, the church panel with the highest authority in marriage law cases. Although I sympathize with some of his claims that the Church should attempt to aid couples in salvaging legitimate marriages, I think he goes too far in stating: "In the church, the aim of judicial activity is the salvation of souls." If a man or woman is in what the Church considers a legitimate marriage, falls in love with someone else, divorces their original spouse and marries the other person, am I too assume they are probably going to hell because they cannot get an annulment. Or worse yet, let's say that the Church allows the remarried person to receive communion, are they going to hell?

I can think of some extreme cases where I might say yes, but overall, I think not. Is divorce a grave evil that plagues are society... yes. Is preventing the remarried from receiving communion saving marriages and souls... no, not the last time I checked. This is an issue that the Vatican needs to seriously address with an eye for actually saving souls, by bringing people back to the Church.

A Faithful Catholic

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Church is NEVER Wrong... unless it is...

Milwaukee Archbishop Listecki has been on the defense lately. A couple of weeks ago, Listecki was criticized by a police chief in his previous diocese for a having a sexual abuse policy that asks victims to first tell the diocese, instead of the police. The reason for this criticism resolves around a priest who is accused of assaulting a married woman during a counseling session. She first went to the diocese, which did nothing. Then she went to the police, who arrested the priest, who is now facing charges of sexual assault.

For the first week of this news, Listecki ignored it. No comment. Maybe he thought it would go away. Last week he sent out an e-mail to church workers defending his action, but was silent to the press. Yesterday, he finally defended his actions to press, stating that it was a case of "he said, she said" and no further action was needed. He also stated that in his previous diocese, all allegations against minors are reported to the police.

There is a lot wrong here. First, you should tell all victims to go straight to the police. And if they come to you, call the police. Even if you think the allegation is complete nonsense, call the police. Getting the picture... call the police. Not calling the police makes it look like you are not taking the allegations seriously. Scratch that, he did not take the allegation seriously. That is why he did nothing. He stated that he did nothing because since it was "he said, she said," who was he to play judge and jury. He forgot to mention that by doing nothing, he did play judge and jury! His doing nothing was a statement that the priest is probably innocent and he let this possible sex offender continue to serve the community.

There is something that Listecki could do to improve the situation. APOLOGIZE. Bishops are wrong sometimes. Do not be arrogant, because that is exactly how Listecki looks right now.

A Faithful Catholic

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Moderation Now in Place

FYI, I have changed my settings that I will view all the comments before they are published. I will still publish all comments that disagree with me, provided they are not overly offensive. The reason I am doing this is because I am getting a lot of spammers. Sorry for the inconvenience.

A Faithful Catholic (who hates spam)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unrest at All Saints

I often feel uncomfortable pointing out the specific failings of a specific parish or priest, but sometimes they make themselves a little too obvious. A current example of this would be the situation with Fr. Carl Diederichs at All Saints Catholic Church in Milwaukee. In their January 24, 2010 bulletin, there was an entire page dedicated to the Parish Council's problem with the Archdiocese's (and specifically Listecki's) decision not to renew Diederichs for a second term at All Saints. Priests in the Archdiocese normally serve a parish for two separate six year terms, but for a variety of reasons, the Archdiocese can chose not to renew the term. This page or "letter" is supposedly based on a unanimous vote by the Parish Council and the trustees to have Fr. Diederichs stay. Call me a cynic, but a unanimous vote seems rather unlikely. It is also telling that this "letter" ran the same Sunday as Archbishop Listecki's visit to their parish. That is BOLD, to say the least. It seems clear that Fr. Diederichs would like this information as public as possible.

I am often critical of the Archdiocese, but I think they are definitely making the right decision in not renewing Diederichs's second term. Diederich's has a good reputation as a priest committed to social justice, but he has also built a reputation as 1) a poor fiscal manager at a parish that recently had a huge renovation and needs better fiscal management, and as 2) someone who is not a team player and has created a lot of disgruntled parishioners. If this "letter" from the Parish Council was unanimous, it is likely that after being at the parish for over five years, individuals disagreeing with Diederichs no longer felt comfortable serving on Parish Council. This second paragraph is speculation based on some interviews on my part. Also, though the letter is (supposedly) from the Parish Council, it is only taking up a page in the bulletin with the pastor's permission.

A Faithful Catholic