Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Listecki Continues His Republican Rhetoric

On the Archdiocesan blog, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has recently posted two entries concerning the U.S. bishops Fortnight for Freedom initiative.  Basically, the bishops are trying to raise awareness about religious freedom during the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July.  When the bishops first announced this initiative, they mentioned two issues in particular: the contraception mandate and the rights of immigrants.  The bishops obviously chose these two topics so that they would not appear to be only bashing Democrats.

As can be expected from his previous comments against unions, Listecki is using the Fortnight to focus solely on abortion and contraception.  Regarding the bishops' focus on immigrant rights, Listecki is silent.  Considering that Obama just published a new immigration mandate, the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law, and Palermo Pizza's largely immigrant work force is striking and trying to form a union, it is strange that Listecki has not commented on any of these issues.

There is, of course, one strong reason he has left immigrant issues out of his statements.  He is a Republican who does not want to support any Democratic initiative even when it is supported by papal teaching.  I hope that Listecki proves me wrong, but so far his words and actions have spoken for themselves.

A Faithful Catholic

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Morlino Threatens to Keep Sacraments from the Disobedient

Madison Bishop Robert Morlino, who is known for his active conservatism, is threatening the use of formal warning and interdict.  An interdict would allow someone to still be Catholic while refusing that person the sacraments.  An initial warning from Morlino came about in response to about 40% of the parishioner of St. Mary's in Platteville, WI (or roughly 1,200 members) signing a petition for the removal for their priests.  Their priests, Fr. Faustino Ruiz and Fr. John Del Priore, are members of the Society of Christ Jesus the Priest who brought abrupt conservative changes to the parish, such as: no altar girls, no lay eucharistic ministers, and an emphasis on conservative doctrine over pastoral activity.  In addition to the petition, the many parishioners, who do not feel the priests respects their legitimate opinions and rubrics for worship, have either cut back or refused to contribute financially to the parish.  This action has resulted in the recent closing of the parish school.

To be fair, the letter, which can be seen here, was sent to parishioners on the pretext of the school closing.  Nevertheless, Morlino is using the letter to show his support of the priests and disapproval of certain parishioners. The main text does not threaten the parishioners, but there are two added pages of texts for reflection that include multiple canon law passages concerning penalties for parishioners who misbehave in the eyes of the bishop.

Although Morlino rightly states that the priests have not violated any protocols or the teachings of Vatican II according to the letter of the law, they have most definitely violated the spirit of Vatican II.  The Council pushed for the greater inclusion of lay participation in the life of the church--a participation that Morlino and his favored priests wish to restrict to the greatest possible degree.  Now that the parish has spoken with its wallet, he adds passive aggressive texts to the end of a letter to try and put them in their place.  I know the Milwaukee Archdiocese has its share of problems, but my heart really goes out to those good Catholics in Platteville.