From CNA. My emphases and comments.
Archbishop Wuerl calls on Catholic institutions to act in ‘practical solidarity’ with bishops
Washington D.C., May 16, 2009 / 01:12 am (CNA).- Encouraging Catholic universities and other institutions to act within the structure of the Church, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. Donald W. Wuerl has warned that those institutions which ignore legitimate instructions from the bishops weaken the Church’s "practical communion." [I think the bishops are gearing up to do something. They didn’t really do anything before the Notre Shame scandal… but they are being goaded into motion.]
Writing in a Tuesday column in the Catholic Standard, Archbishop Wuerl noted periodic media reports about Catholic institutions apparently behaving at odds with their Catholic identity. He said the incidents often prompt discussion about the unity of the Catholic Church and how Catholic institutions relate to the broader Church. [The new code word for the bishops is now "discussion" regarding Notre Dame. Watch for it it in future articles and reports.]
"Institutions that are recognized as Catholic and that exercise their ministry and activities as a part of the Church and in the name of the Church are not independent from the Church," he said. Such institutions must "live and act" within the structure of the Church, working "in solidarity" with the bishops who are responsible for preserving the unity of the Church.
He noted that contemporary Catholic thought, following Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," [NOW they are getting interesting in Ex corde Ecclesiae!] increasingly reaffirms the Catholic university as an "integral part" of the Church. The Catholic university must look to the bishops, especially the local bishop, to authenticate its claim to be "an expression of the faith and mission of the Church."
Archbishop Wuerl characterized the U.S. bishops’ 2004 document "Catholics in Political Life" as a "practical judgment" about the path that best serves the unity and teaching of the Church, with the local bishop being responsible for its application.
Though some disagree with a bishop’s application, Archbishop Wuerl said, "Communion in and with the Church obliges its members, even in practical decisions, to support the legitimate exercise of a bishop’s responsibility… Otherwise, the unity of the Church becomes a theoretical consideration and the role of the bishop, who has the responsibility of unifying, is diminished."
The archbishop cited the directive of "Catholics in Political Life" that Catholic institutions should not honor those "who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles." [This is all very round about…]
Though Archbishop Wuerl did not explicitly mention the controversy over Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama, the passage he quoted has been frequently cited in the debate.
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend John D’Arcy cited the same passage in a letter to Notre Dame’s president, saying he should have been consulted about the school’s invitation to and honoring of the U.S. president who supports permissive abortion policies.
Archbishop Wuerl said the bishops’ document was "all the more significant" because of a contemporary mindset that suggests the bishops are "just one among many voices" offering direction and guidance to Catholics and the wider community "in the name of the Church." [And not a very important voice at that. But now some bishops are really standing up and discovering their voices.]
When any Catholic institution chooses to disregard a legitimate instruction, the archbishop explained, "it weakens the Church’s practical communion and fails to recognize the authentic role of the leaders of the Church." [He says "disregard". I say "defy".]
"Public honors are different from the internal affairs of a university, such as the formulation of its budget, the advancement of faculty or the regulation of normal student activities," he continued. "Honors are a public declaration in the name of the institution. They therefore automatically [and here it is…] invoke the institution’s self identity and very mission.[This is about our identity! CATHOLIC IDENTITY. If we don’t know who we are, we can’t engage the public square.] Such action necessarily touches on the school’s relationship to the whole Church community and its leadership."
John Paul II’s "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," the archbishop said, helps to refocus on what it means to be an institution not only academically excellent and culturally engaged, [See? They are starting to get it.] but also one that is active specifically from its Catholic identity and heritage.
Archbishop Wuerl closed his column with a call for renewed attention to how institutions may meaningfully express their ecclesial communion, Catholic identity and "practical solidarity" with the bishops.
I have been hammering at this for how long now? Since before Summorum Pontificum?
This is all about our Catholic identity.
This is the battle ground.
More and more figures in the Church are starting to speak explicitly about our Catholic identity.
Thanks be to God.
Pray for them and for me, for here the hammer will fall the hardest.