Bp. Morlino of Madsion on Pelosi, Biden and the failure of clergy

After dealing with a couple hundred e-mails and several phone calls, I am only now getting around to paying attention to the new about His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of Madison.  You might remember my entries about how this increasingly impressive successor of the Apostles  changed his mind after Summorum Pontificum, about how he celebrated a Pontifical Mass and how he stepped up to the plate big time in Wisconsin in defense of human life.

Now I get word that Bp. Morlino, having heard the abysmally stupid comments of vice-presidential candidate pro-abortion Catholic Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) on Meet The Press, comments which seemlessly extended the dreadful distortion of Catholic teaching uttered two weeks before by Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), tossed aside his prepared sermon for Sunday Mass, stuck his heals into the floor and let go.

Many blogs, I am sure, will be all over this already, but though this many simply repeat their good efforts (GO TEAM BLOGGERS!) I will also post this.

Transcribed excerpt from The Curt Jester with my emphases and comments.:

"Senator Biden does not understand the difference between articles of faith and natural law. Any human being regardless of his faith, his religious practice or having no faith. Any human being can reason the fact that human life from conception unto natural death is sacred. Biology not faith, not philosophy, not any kind of theology; Biology tells us science that at the moment of conception their exists a unique individual of the human species. It’s not a matter of what I might believe. What my faith might teach me. What other people might … Science the best science says at the moment of conception there is a unique individual of the human species. [Sen. Biden claimed that he could not vote against abortion because he said he didn’t want to impose his religious views on those who don’t share them.  But he does not have to appeal to religion.  He can ground himself in natural law and science.  Biden sas what he says so that he can marginalize his faith into the sphere of the strictly private.]  Senator Biden has an obligation to know that and he doesn’t know it. Again I believe that after the Council some theologians, probably some priests, and some bishops allowed him to be confused about this matter. It’s not pretty. The reason I bring this up is because Speaker Pelosi and Senator Biden are Catholics and there on television and they’re giving out their ideas to Catholic people and they are causing confusion. They’re suppose to believe in separation of church and state. They’re violating the separation of church and state by confusing people. [Not sure about that, but think about how some people howl about "separation" when any matter of faith is expressed in the public square.]  I have an obligation to teach. They’re stepping on the Pope’s turf and mine and they’re violating the separation of church and state confusing God’s good people[RIGHT!  BRAVO!] But why? Because they themselves were confused after the Council and I don’t blame them for that. Bishop’s allowed it, theologians did it and some priests did it and in Canada even some bishops did it." [Whew!]

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27 Responses to Bp. Morlino of Madsion on Pelosi, Biden and the failure of clergy

  1. John Polhamus says:

    “…after the Council some theologians, probably some priests, and some bishops allowed him to be confused about this matter. It’s not pretty.”

    No, it’s not pretty. Again, the insufficiency of “the Council”, and the fault does lie with “the Council” because it was precisely “the Council” and its documents that introduced the uncertainty. The buck stops there. [I think this is a rabbit hole for this thread.]

    “They’re violating the separation of church and state by confusing people.”

    I can see making that argument, since to artificially push the ideas of the church over into the sphere of the state and claim coincidence could lead to negative consequences for the church, and even an imposition on its independence, should the state adopt it as established, and see itself as its rightful representative. It’s a stretch, but possible.

    Catholic candidate or not, someone ought to forward this statement and some of the other strongest ones to Sarah Palin, and she should use them to attack Biden on these deliberate fabrications. Few things, besides his history of plagerism, are more revealing of his deep deficiency of personal character than his willingness to distort Catholic teaching for votes. As a Catholic, I support Bp. Morlino’s strength of correction, but I do not extend to either Biden or Pelosi the Bishop’s patience and understanding. They’ve had FORTY YEARS to figure out church teaching on this matter. I grant them no more time. [Yes… but that is not in any way your role in the Church. So… on this blog, don’t post statements like this.]

  2. TJM says:

    Wow, pretty strong yet refreshing words. This bishop gets it! I’m starting to notice a pattern and I hope I’m not getting
    carried away here. It would appear that those bishops who are supportive of the TLM are also the strongest in defending the Faith and
    the unborn. Now if Bishop Trautman or Cardinal Mahony comes out today with an equally spirited defense of the unborn, I will have been
    proven wrong. Tom

  3. ThomasB says:

    Enough of the “imposing views” already. By not imposing his views, he allows other views to be imposed. I’ve never found this argument the least bit persuasive.

  4. Gerard E. says:

    Smartly done by the good bishop. We must sing their praises during these moments when they defend the Faith against the Pelosis and Bidens of this nation. We may have entered a tipping point in which we experience an outbreak of orthodox statements and actions by our shepherds. If so, Hoorah.

  5. supertradmom says:

    I am thrilled at the line-up of bishops who are responding to clearly to such a public situation.

    As I understand the encyclicals from the past 125 years, there is no separation of Church and State as understood by most people, but the duty of the State to protect the Church and promote morality and the well-being of the community in concert with the Church. I am sure that the separation issue is misunderstood and that a look at DILECTISSIMA NOBIS, QUAS PRIMAS,HUMANUM GENUS, and other encyclicals would help us all. for example, in his description of the errors of the Freemasons, Pope St. Leo XII noted their desire for a separation of religion and government. “Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.”

    God bless our bishops…

  6. Cornelius says:

    A remarkably frank assessment of how we got into this mess, particularly on
    the enabling role of the hierarchy. Will truth triumph over that VII sacred cow “collegiality”?

  7. John Polhamus says:

    Careful Coenelius, don’t step in a “rabbit hole”. Though if you do you’ll join both me and Bishop Morlino there!

  8. Tina in Ashburn says:

    \”Because they themselves were confused after the Council and I don’t blame them for that. Bishops allowed it, theologians did it and some priests did it and in Canada even some bishops did it.\”

    Is Bishop Morlino maybe shifting some of the culpability of Pelosi and Biden to the problematic authority our Church has suffered? Does he recognize that the confusion over the last 40 years, incorrect teaching, permissive atmosphere of uncorrected abuses, and such might have had an effect on people such as Pelosi and Biden?

    The permissive and poisonous environment of many dioceses today bear fruit.

    God Bless Bishop Morlino.

    I don\’t know how people can judge the intent and interior of Pelosi, Biden, or anybody. If you were completely submerged in anti-Catholic propaganda your entire life, if you were never taught the Church\’s Truths, if you were brainwashed to believe your misshapen conscience was always right, how well would you do? Yes the behavior is reprehensible. WHY they do this or how much they understand what they are doing, only God knows. The behavior needs to be corrected. Scandal and confusion must be ended. But knowing what\’s in their heart is a completely different matter.

    Let\’s pay attention to what we can control – and leave to God what is His business.

    I\’ll wait for the bishops and magisterium to make statements on the Council. That\’s their job to interpret and redefine, not the laity\’s. We can ask questions and wonder but it is not our place to make authoritative judgments.

  9. Joseph says:

    Although three cheers for the bishop on some points, I don’t beleieve Mr. Biden was “allowed to be (remain) confused” vis-a-vis the church.

    It strains credulity to think that “ardent” “practicing” Catholics who are paid well to do nothing but reflect on issues and legislate on the same, are somehow viewed as intellectually challenged when it comes to things of the church. We who are not paid to do such are held to this standard, ie., that we must imform our consciences, especially when it comes to making moral decisions that affect others. In other words, how is this the fault of the church? Except in case the when the church abdicated its responsibility to stand up to such falderall as they are now doing, finally. The teaching has been there, for anyone interested to find out.

    In school, the nuns used to call this evasion of truth “rationalization.” Can we remember that term boys and girls?

    These slips of acumen when it comes to “understanding what the church actually teaches” are convenient political expediencies and nothing more, coupled with a brazenness that really is beyond the pail.

    Not everything is the fault of the council. Perhaps indirectly. Let us give these people the same chance you and I have to make deals with the devil if they choose, without the interference of a council, which is surely what is going on here. The post councilliar church HAS forgotten to use words like anathema, heretic, wolves in sheep’s clothing, corrupting, millstones, Satan, appostasy, reprobate minds, and the like.

    If it were not a bishop, I would ask ‘What is the guy smokin’?

  10. Matt Q says:

    “SAINT Pope Leo XII noted their desire for a separation of religion and government. ‘Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.’

    )(

    WHile thisAs I understand the encyclicals from the past 125 years, there is no separation of Church and State as understood by most people, but the duty of the State to protect the Church and promote morality and the well-being of the community in concert with the Church. I am sure that the separation issue is misunderstood and that a look at DILECTISSIMA NOBIS, QUAS PRIMAS,HUMANUM GENUS, and other encyclicals would help us all. for example, in his description of the errors of the Freemasons, Pope St. Leo XII noted their desire for a separation of religion and government. “Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.”

    While this was directed at Freemasonry, gist of what Leo was speaking of in effect says the United States shouldn’t exist. Our very Constitution says the power of government derives from the people… ??

    Further, while it was good of the bishops to speak against this pro-abortion mentality and is right to do so, we’ll see who stops whom from going to Communion. Round and round and round and round.

  11. EDG says:

    Wow! This bishop was riled up! This is an excellent statement, because it gets to the heart of the matter: abortion is not prohibited on the basis of some Church law, but on the basis of natural law. And this is the reason that this has nothing to do with the Church “imposing” its morality on people who are not members, since natural law is the basis of civil law (particularly US law) and thus applicable to everyone who is a human being.

    I do think he’s right that false teachers within the Church itself have confused many Catholics, and I’m glad to see that he’s brave enough to say this. It’s time for good, unambiguous, well-grounded teaching again. Biden needs to be taken in hand by his bishop and instructed (and I think his bishop will be much more willing to do it than was Pelosi’s bishop). After this, he has no excuse.

  12. Cornelius says:

    I’m not so sure that identifying when human life begins is a matter of
    natural law. Once we have determined when human life begins, how we treat that
    human life IS a matter of natural law, but it seems to me a stretch to argue
    that the determination itself is a natural law consequence. It seems much more
    to me to be a purely scientific judgment.

    The fertilized egg possesses a unique human genetic code and evinces the cell
    growth and multiplication characteristic of life. Ergo, it’s human life. Where’s the
    natural law?

  13. mpm says:

    Bishop Morlino is an excellent priest, and I thought his homily was excellent.
    Whenever he speaks to young men, he asks them if they have ever thought of becoming
    priests, and he has seen quite a bit of fruit from that, i.e., vocations.

    His example of condemning the sin and not the sinner is the proper way to act,
    especially since neither of the principals abides in his diocese. Without giving
    any reason to tag him as uncharitable, he makes the Church’s teaching know in
    a very clear way. (And also answers the unasked question by lots of progressive
    Catholics in his diocese and elsewhere: “So, then where did we get this idea?”)

    Madison is a big university town, and the U of Wisconsin is a very liberal place.

    I wish Bishop Morlino well, and ad multos annos!

  14. Jordanes says:

    Cornelius said: I’m not so sure that identifying when human life begins is a matter of natural law. Once we have determined when human life begins, how we treat that human life IS a matter of natural law, but it seems to me a stretch to argue that the determination itself is a natural law consequence. It seems much more to me to be a purely scientific judgment.

    What do the natural sciences deal in if not nature? Natural law is based on considerations of what we know about human nature, and what we know about human nature includes what science tells us about when human life begins.

  15. Margaret says:

    I’m so tired of this “not imposing my religious views” rubbish as an excuse to continue permitting abortion. I was horrendously catechised in my youth to the point that by the time I left home for college, I rejected pretty much everything the Church taught in terms of morality. Except, funny enough, about abortion. I figured even a stopped clock was right twice a day. :-) I was still pro-life, despite rejecting everything else, and thanks be to God, the good Catholics I met in the pro-life movement gradually got me to see the wisdom of the Church’s teachings in other areas, too…

    But let me tell you, during that “the only thing the Pope and I have in common is pro-life” phase (which is actually how I phrased it) if anyone had suggested to me that opposing abortion meant imposing religion, I would have laughed my head off. For me it was a matter of common sense and human rights. There are still people who feel that way now. Enough with this imposing religion garbage. And high praise to Bishop Morlino for his non-nonsense assessment of the situation.

  16. Louis E. says:

    You ARE imposing your views on those who believe in doing something if you prohibit them from doing it.You are NOT imposing your views on those who oppose it unless you REQUIRE them to do it.I don’t see any laws requiring people to have abortions,outside Communist China.

    I am as certain that common sense and human rights require affirming women’s right to abortion as you are that they require the opposite.And your interpretation of science is based on the religious belief that there IS a “moment that life begins”,and the teaching that this moment instantly confers full “right to life”.

    Fixation on the properly trifling difference between life from BIRTH to natural death,and from CONCEPTION to natural death,has the Church declaring as non-negotiables all sorts of matters related to embryology.That it can not agree to disagree about prenatal life makes things very disagreeable.

    For me,euthanasia and homosexuality are Catholicism’s clock-stopped-twice-a-day correct teachings.

  17. Joseph says:

    Louis,

    Your point is on the surface OK, accept that if the nascent life IS a life, and science tells us this is so (en-soulment is another issue) then that is a person and THAT person has rights.

    Concerning the concept of rights, in this case, competing rights, in this country, your rights end where MY nose begins, and so it is with a child in the womb, and if we are to err here, as Ronald Regan and others have said, should we not err on the side of life.

    So this is a human rights issue, not per se, a religious question solely or primarily.

    Just for the record, are you Catholic, and then again, are you suggesting that, in regards to the two issues (clock stopped) you name, you agree with the church’s position but on nothing else, (or mostly nothing) or am I reading you backwards here. Explain if possible.

    Yes, your answer will probably be providing canon fodder, but you can take it, I’ll guess.

  18. Joseph says:

    re: last post,

    accept = except (of course)

  19. Cornelius says:

    Jordanes – “What do the natural sciences deal in if not nature? Natural law is based on considerations of what we know about human nature, and what we know about human nature includes what science tells us about when human life begins.”

    But we musn’t confuse natural law i.e., the moral imperatives for human behavior written into our nature, with the physical laws of the natural world. These are two separate, though related, forms of eternal law. You are right that “natural law is based on considerations of what we know about human nature”, but determining whether we are dealing with a human person or not when confronted with a human embryo is a determination that provides a starting point for applying natural law, but not an application of natural law itself, it seems to me.

    Two empirical facts about an embryo confront us: its possession of a human genetic code and its growth. These facts are ascertainable by science, i.e., physical law.

  20. Brian says:

    “Biology tells us scientifically that at the moment of conception their exists a unique individual of the human species. “

    — That is basic biology

    “Any human being can reason the fact that human life from conception unto natural death is sacred.”

    — That is basic natural law.

    Please, this is not complicated.

  21. Louis E. says:

    Joseph,
    I am not nor have I ever been a Christian.I describe myself as a secular theist.There MUST be an Infinitely First Cause but there’s no credible evidence that it writes books or starts official fan clubs for itself.I consider Jesus an enlightened but misunderstood Jewish sage who was NOT the God he prayed to.I do happen to believe that Catholics have hit the nail on the head when it comes to homosexuality and euthanasia.
    I believe that justice forbids the possession of rights until birth.
    Brian,
    you can’t claim that a pregnant woman’s life is sacred if you demand that she be obligated to unwillingly remain pregnant.Basic natural law tells us life is sacred from BIRTH to natural death.Imputing sacredness before birth is a matter of religious faith.
    That an individual exists from conception is likewise not “basic biology” but a religiously motivated dumbing-down of biology.The prospective “individual” is less independent at conception than innumerable bacteria also in the same woman’s body,which are capable of completing their life cycles without her assistance.The process of becoming a separate individual is completed only at birth (be it natural or C-section)…until then,if its heart beats it is because hers beats,if it gets nutrition it is because she eats,if it gets air it is because she breathes.And while it is within her body these dependencies are untransferable.And her discretion as to whether it continues must be inviolable.

  22. I am not surprised by Bishop Morlino\’s comments. I am a science professor at a Protestant liberal arts college in Wisconsin. I taught a Bioethics Seminar Course for our Honor\’s program. We looked at issues such as Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) and we even met with a Bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who defended this type of research. In his comments to us, the Bioethicist said that the group that opposed ESCR most vehemently was the Catholic Church and Bishop Morlino in particular who is the Bishop of Madison, WI.

    Interestingly, most of the students in my course were Catholic and many of them kept asking why the Church would be against ESCR. The next class period I gave the class a primer in The Theology of the Body and had them read part of Evangelium Vitae as well as Humanae Vitae. And I also made an appointment for the entire class to meet with Bishop Morlino which he was thrilled to do. We had the Bishop for an hour and he let them ask him any question they wanted.

    Afterwards, on the way back to campus, we had quite the discussion on these issues and the students, for the first time ever, got to hear what the Church really teaches. I should point out that these students have told me that this was the best class they ever took in the entire Honor\’s curriculum……..they all said it made them think and really examine what it is they believe and why. In my teaching evals, the Catholic students in the class thanked me for actually teaching them what their Church teaches as they all said they had never had this information presented to them before.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that Bishop Morlino is very strong on life issues and has a background in Bioethics and is quite vocal on these issues in his diocese and in the state of Wisconsin.

  23. TJM says:

    Congratulations Professor Schwehm for exposing your students to the truth, and true diversity. Your report reflects very badly on the “Catholic” instruction these young Catholics had received heretofore. I can state that my pastor, an uber-lefty and Democrat, has never mentioned abortion from the pulpit in his 5 years tenure. I wonder why? Tom

  24. Jordanes says:

    Louis E. said: I believe that justice forbids the possession of rights until birth.

    Why? What’s so special about that line of demarcation? Why birth and not 60 seconds after birth? Is there a coating of human rights lining the birth canal that is applied as the baby is pushed through?

    you can’t claim that a pregnant woman’s life is sacred if you demand that she be obligated to unwillingly remain pregnant.

    If that’s true, then you also can’t claim that a mother’s life is sacred if you demand that she feed her baby and change its diaper even though she doesn’t want to. A human person doesn’t get or lose rights based on the changing will of another human person.

  25. Joseph says:

    Louis,

    Logically speaking, (not religiously) you can\’t have it both ways. If you say Jesus was enlightened (and this means by your definition of enlightened) this, on its face, is self contradictory. According to your beliefs, a prime mover would not create its own/His own fan club and write books, but this is the God of Jesus, so how enlightened can He be, unless you say Jesus might be right and then you must not be correct at that point. Further, all of Jesus actions stem from this belief, and to the point of controversy with his fellow Jews.

    Going a step further, Jesus was crucified precisely for the crime of blaspheming (according to the Jews – as Pilate knew nothing about such matters and was willing to let Him go.) His statements reinforce this, such as \”Before Abraham was, I Am. And \”I Am\” is the name God gives himself to when talking to Moses. There are others, such as \”he who sees the Father sees Me,\” and also, Jesus appropriating to Himself the power to forgive men\’s sins. There are quite a few more, and all of these add up to His making Himself out to be God, and the Jews were enraged by this, and properly so, unless Jesus IS who He says He is. So Jesus is a charlatan, or crazy, or who He says He is. Enlightened sage who misses it on the fan club thing, no, not by His own words and deeds. Like His self described \”zeal for My Father\’s House,\” with the accompanying attack on the money changers there. Someone enlightened would not believe the fan club stuff and certainly not behave in such fashion.

    I\’d be interested in your response.

    And how is it that the church finds itself correct on the Homosexuality issue. According to most \”like thinkers\” (not wishing to stereotype, hopefully) this is just seen as an aberration of nature, with no moral implications whatsoever. Please enlighten me here. Thanks.

  26. David Osterloh says:

    Ah Louis, an old country song comes to mind, Que up Johnny Cash, “I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down down down, and the flames went higher”

    keep digging your hole son, some day when you are old and gray, a kindly soul will decide that if the unborn have no rights, the indigent don’t either, can you say Schivo

  27. Ronald P Cuenod says:

    It is refreshing to see the Bishops and other clergy speak aloud against these politicians who call themselves Catholic, but act as something else.