Bp. Morlino’s letter to dissident parishoners

Bp MorlinoI posted a while about about the people in the Diocese of Madison who are giving a group of priests and Bishop Morlino a hard time.  The article I posted mentioned a letter written by Bp. Morlino to the parishes.

It is online.  WOW.

Bp Morlino’s letter to Platteville Catholic parishes

He outlines what has happened, writes about letters sent to him and to the Nuncio in Washington, demanding the removal of the priests.   He explains the situation.

Here is an excerpt.

It grieves me to acknowledge that the reputation of three happy, holy, and hardworking priests has been seriously tarnished by rumor, gossip, and calumny (lying with the intent to damage another’s good name) by some within the parish community. Such conduct is gravely sinful, since some parishioners have been driven by fear, anger, or both, to distance themselves from their priests and even the Sacraments. This situation must cease, and charity must prevail on the part of all.

Furthermore, activities such as protest-letter-writing seminars, leafleting of motor vehicles, doorto- door canvassing for signatures on a petition, etc (that is, exerting organized political pressure on people, where the end justifies any means) is an appropriate tactic in a political campaign, but not in the communion of faith which is the Catholic Church. Groups such as “Call to Action” and “Voice of the Faithful” regularly employ such tactics against legitimate authority in the Church. Because these groups dissent from basic tenets of Catholic Doctrine and Discipline, they are not recognized as Catholic in the Diocese of Madison, much less are they able to exercise legitimate authority. It is my hope that these clarifications will prove helpful.

Please give these priests time and open hearts. I assure you of their good will and pastoral concern for all of you, and I ask you to join me in praying for them in their sacred ministry.

The bishop then tackles point by point some objections raised by the liberals against this group of priests.

Since we are in an octave of days when you can gain indulgences for the Poor Souls, here is one of the points dealt with by Bp. Morlino.

6. Allegation: Lack of support for families suffering loss of a loved one with inappropriate comments at a funeral

– Response: I have known the priests to be quite supportive and attentive to grieving families. As for the comments about hell and purgatory, it is natural for the Last Things to be discussed at the time of a funeral. While it would be gravely wrong for a priest to declare that the deceased is in or deserves hell, there is no indication that this has ever been done by the priests of the Society. At the time of a loved one’s death, it is very important for priests and deacons to remind the faithful to pray for the departed and to have Masses offered for them in order to help make satisfaction for the temporal punishment due them for their sins (purgatory). If a soul is in heaven it can do no harm. If the soul is in purgatory, it can do great good.

Please pray for Bishop Morlino and these good priests.

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81 Responses to Bp. Morlino’s letter to dissident parishoners

  1. So these priests are catching hell because they are preaching about hell (and purgatory)? That’s like denouncing a roadblock that keeps people from driving over a cliff.

  2. Father S. says:

    The letter from Bishop Morlino is really quite fine!

  3. Dave N. says:

    Although we don’t see the complainers’ original petition, based on the allegations reproduced in the bishop’s letter it seems that we have here a prime negative object lesson of how NOT to complain to a bishop (no matter what the topic): general whinyness and bad theology will score you no points–nor should they.

  4. wmeyer says:

    Wow, indeed!! A most excellent response.

  5. mdillon says:

    WOW…reading all these awful things about those priests from Society of Jesus Christ the Priest MAKES ME WANT TO JOIN THEIR ORDER. Seeing the petty and sophomoric accusations against these GODLY men makes me realize who is really behind this smear campaign: the evil one…and all those who assist him are in his minyons.

    It is good to see a bishop with some gumption.

  6. Scott W. says:

    Wow. I posted the letter in full at my blog. It’s a veritable Lexington Shot-Heard-Round-the-World.

  7. pattif says:

    Not for the first time, I wish that some US bishops would polish up their bilocation skills.

  8. Del says:

    Read the whole letter at the link! The dissenters even sent letters to the Papal Nuncio, urging him to force Bp. Morlino to remove the Society priests from their parish!

    The dissenters in the Madison’s diocese genuinely believe that if they withhold enough money from their schools and parishes to force financial catastrophe, then Bishop Morlino’s “superiors” will punish him for being a failure as a bishop.

    Bishop Morlino is a gentle man. He is not the bully that they accuse him of being. He’s no coward, either, and he will not be bullied by this. He has an army of faithful Catholics who love him (as WDTPRS readers can easily imagine). He has swelling numbers of seminarians as well…. a telling measure of episcopal success, since we can’t count the number of souls entering heaven so easily.

    My son is a college seminarian for our diocese, and he looks on Bishop Morlino as a second father.
    We are so very blest to have him as our pastor!

  9. ivan_the_mad says:

    Your Excellency – Huzzah!!! Great response as well to the allegation of reduced donations.

  10. Will D. says:

    Wow. What a fine letter from Bp. Morlino! Courteous, but forceful. As near as I could tell, there were only two items in the list where the petitioners had a point — one of the priests mentioned came off as a bit brusque — but the rest boiled down to the well-worn complaints about “the spirit of Vatican II,” and the popular misconception that the Church is a democracy.

  11. TJerome says:

    I read Bishop Morlino’s letter in its entirety. It was excellent and addressed each point in a rational and caring way. Obviously there are many people who signed the petition who are still suffering from the “Spirit of Vatican II Disease” for which orthodoxy is the only known cure. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go half cocked when complaining to the bishop about your parish priests. You ought to have theology and Church practice on your side. These folks sound clueless.

  12. Maggie says:

    pray for the Bishop. He is an excellent shepherd and teacher (and a large part of why I became Catholic) and is under near-constant attack from dissentors in the diocese. You can sign up to pray a monthly rosary for his health, intentions, and ministry here:

  13. Jayna says:

    First, we need more bishops like this and second, we need more priests like this.

  14. Scott W. says:

    I particularly liked when the bishop welcomed the petitioners to provide him with evidence. Asking progressives for evidence to support their allegations is like asking a vampire if he’d like a garlic sandwich.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Excellent letter, and God bless this Bishop.

  16. youngcatholicstl says:

    I read the addedum in full, and I particularly like the fact that the Bishop cites Vatican II documents as a defense to parishoners withholding donations.

  17. contrarian says:

    These priests sound awesome.

  18. RichR says:

    Sometimes the New Evangelization means a re-catechesis of a malformed laity – and that comes only by breaking down false structures and ideas. Young priests are more and more willing to correct past aberrations, but when you have a bishop like this it really galvanizes the priests in the diocese. What support on the Ordinary’s part!

    May his vocations to the priesthood soar!

  19. Andrew says:

    I like this Bishop’s Coat of Arms that says: “visus non mentietur” (the vision will not disappoint) – taken from the words of the prophet Habakkuk.

  20. albizzi says:

    Now I understand why a lot of gutless priests never dare to address the issues of Hell and Purgatory at the pulpit (and elsewhere): It is because THEY ARE AFRAID TO FRIGHTEN THEIR PARISHENERS UP TO PUSH THEM GOING TO COMPLAIN TO THE BISHOP.
    Before, I always thought that Hell and Purgatory no longer existed since the council.
    (Don’t take offence of my irony)

  21. Bryan Boyle says:

    Now, this is a bishop who knows how to lead from the front.

  22. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    The punishment of Interdict is woefully underused. I would have like to have seen it imposed on the campus of Notre Dame a ways back, and I’d like to see it used in Platteville now.

  23. Paulus says:

    I see the Bishop recommends studying the Holy Father’s 2005 Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia. What excellent advice!

  24. Scott W. says:

    From the letter:

    “7. Allegation: Insisting on an open flame candle at a nursing home that prohibits open flames

    – Response: To my knowledge, this was an isolated incident, which was immediately resolved between Fr. Pascual and nursing home management, and in fact Mass is now regularly offered by the priests at the nursing homes.”

    Wow. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel for grievances, eh?

  25. Magpie says:

    Great letter which could serve as a template for other bishops.

  26. BaldBassSingingLatin says:

    I am a parishioner in Sauk City, where these priests started their time in Wisconsin. I could not be more proud of them and what they are doing by living such holy lives every hour of every day. It was a big “to-do” when they came here as well but just like those shenanigans, this Platteville nonsense too will pass. In the meantime, feel free to donate to their cause at St. Mary’s! My family and I just did!

    God Bless Bishop Morlino and our exceptional priests.

  27. Syte says:

    Anybody wishing to support our great Bishop Morlino can do it two ways:
    - Sign up to pray a regular monthly rosary for Bishop Morlino at RosaryForTheBishop.org.
    - Sign your name in support of Bishop Morlino at SupportBishopMorlino.com

  28. simo says:

    Just one item which plainly illustrates the insignificance of these few dissenters: Following the 2008 Call to Action letter in the State Journal, with its 36 signatures, completely full of non-sense about Bishop Morlino, within three days folks had written a response, garnered over 800 singnatures and submitted it to the State Journal for the next Sunday’s publication. The link is below. Funny how three dissenters get featured and the hundreds of folks listed below don’t even get mentioned. Who’s out of touch again? http://www.supportbishopmorlino.com/img/letter.pdf

  29. frjim4321 says:

    Dear Fellow Posters:

    Is there a canonist in the house? If so, can he/she remind us of the right of the faithful to petition their bishop or nuncio? It is clearly NOT sinful in any way for the faithfiul to do that which is their right.
    Of course gossip and calumny are sins, however this ordinary seems to be missing the distinction between the righful appeal to authority which appears to be the rule here and gossip/calumny wihich is the exception.

  30. Traductora says:

    I loved Bp Morlino’s letter – and I wish I lived in one of these parishes. It sounds like these priests were doing everything right.

    Is this one of the new Spanish orders? The “brusqueness” may have been because of the accent, and also because the Spanish still believe in Heaven and Hell and maybe thought that this was an important point. I guess these parishioners aren’t concerned with their eternal future. Maybe they should be.

  31. TJerome says:

    frjim4321, the bishop’s letter acknowledges the right of the faithful to approach the bishop with their concerns. You might want to actually read the Bishop’s letter before commenting again.

  32. TJerome says:

    frjim4321,

    Here I saved you the trouble:

    October 28, 2010
    Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude
    Dear Members of Christ’s Faithful of St. Mary and St. Augustine Parishes:
    I am in receipt of your October 8, 2010 letter and petition. I am grateful that you have
    approached me with your concern, and I certainly recognize and respect your right to do so
    (Code of Canon Law, c. 212, §§2-3).

  33. Pardon me for being a “crab”…well, anyway…this just reveals the “rotten fruit” of the “spirit of Vatican II”…not the authentic “hermeneutic of continuity” but the revolution, rebellion and downright apostasy (dare I say it?) of priests and bishops who allowed it (Religious included here).
    These laity are only doing what they have been taught by the numskulls who were in positions of authority; and now the chickens have come home to roost.
    Bishop Morlino is a heroic prelate and needs our prayers and support, as well as this community of priests who are committed to authentic Catholic doctrine, practice and life.
    Amongst all the ‘grievances’ I do not see any moral impropriety, sexual misconduct, child abuse nor financial irregularities…
    and so they should just “put a sock in it” and choke on it and get over it.
    How pastoral is that??? Hmmm??

  34. Dean says:

    Reminds me of the assistant pastor in the parish of my youth.
    This ex-Marine decided to do a 10-week series of homilies on the Ten Commandments. After the first two weeks with a lot of cringing in the pews, Fr. Jack was requested (ordered) to “change the subject”.
    We need more Bp. Morlinos to stand up with upstanding priests.

  35. JayneK says:

    Apparently a school supported by these priests is feeling a financial pinch due to all this fuss to the point they are wondering whether they will be able to finish the school year. There is a page with donation information for anyone so inclined:
    http://stmaryplatteville.org/wp/?page_id=2

  36. Tantum Ergo says:

    Bishop Morlino is a model of Christ: Gentle, but with a backbone of chrome steel.

  37. Warren says:

    Those faithless Galatians, er… Plattevillains. Is it my imagination – a bishop speaking with the authority of an Apostle?

    God bless Bishop Morlino and his faithful priests and laity! May the contumacious bunch repent and support their priests.

  38. A. Semi Narian says:

    It pains me to see the people of a parish act like this.
    I sincerely hope that after the Bishop’s clear and decisive response, all of these allegations will be put to rest.
    Bishop Morlino is a good example of a true shepherd: guide the sheep, fight back the wolves.
    God bless him.

  39. Del says:

    Bishop Morlino addressed a large gathering of faithful Catholic men tonight…. the Knights of Divine Mercy.
    http://www.knightsofdivinemercy.com/

    His Excellency mentioned that Fr. Z had blogged on the article in the Wisconsin State Journal, about the financial crisis in the school caused by an organized withholding of donations in protest against the Society priests.

    According to Bishop Morlino, within ONE HOUR of Fr. Z’s post, donations of over $1000 came through the website from Fr. Z’s readers, from as far away as Ireland.

    You are all going to be in some sermons this weekend! His Excellency said that “negativity is a disease,” and healthy Catholics are coming forward to ease the afflicted. He is very grateful for your generosity, and for your witness.

    And please pray for Bishop Morlino and the Society priests… they must minister to those afflicted with negativity, and they must also stop the illness from spreading.

  40. Konichiwa says:

    God bless Bp Morlino, the priests of that order, and especially those who are persecuted in that diocese for what is good. They are in my prayers.

  41. pelerin says:

    Is this a new thing – parishioners complaining to their Bishop about their Pastors because they don’t like various things he does? When the major changes came in years ago I never heard of anyone writing to their Bishop – we accepted them albeit very reluctantly. But then we did not have the Internet then from which we can find out that we are not alone.

    I have just learnt that my Pastor has been asked to change the name of his blog to his own name and not use the name of our Parish, as some parishioners have complained to our Bishop that he does not reflect their views. Obediently he has done so with so far not a comment. Saying the black and doing the red has obviously been too much for some people. What a pity we don’t have a Bishop Morlino.

  42. Scott W. says:

    According to Bishop Morlino, within ONE HOUR of Fr. Z’s post, donations of over $1000 came through the website from Fr. Z’s readers, from as far away as Ireland.

    I sent mine snail mail and I’ll bet a few others did as well. Keep us updated please.

  43. Daniel Latinus says:

    Is this a new thing – parishioners complaining to their Bishop about their Pastors because they don’t like various things he does? When the major changes came in years ago I never heard of anyone writing to their Bishop – we accepted them albeit very reluctantly. But then we did not have the Internet then from which we can find out that we are not alone.

    Back during “The Changes”, there were a lot of people wrote complaints to their pastors, bishops, and even the Vatican. Generally, the pastors either ignored or publically ridiculed the people who complained. The Bishops generally sent the complaints back to the pastor, who then either ignored or publically attacked the people who complained. Otherwise, the bishops usually either ignored or supported their underlings. When people complained to Rome, the relevant offices took forever to even examine the correspondence, and when action was taken, the complaint was forwarded to the bishop, with a note to “deal with this”, and a note was sent to the complainant to “obey your bishop”. The bishop then either ignored the complaint, or attacked the complainant. And in every instance where the petitioner “went over someone’s head”, the pastor or prelate in question was extremely annoyed, and often vented this annoyance on the petitioner.

    A lot of people who had been through this ringer ended up in the traditionalist movement.

    This is why good bishops, like Bp. Morlino, are so important. And those committed to an authentic reform of the Church have their work cut out for them. God bless and keep them.

  44. apagano says:

    It might also be nice to send an email to the priests showing support. smparish@mhtc.net

  45. Scott W. says:

    Is this a new thing – parishioners complaining to their Bishop about their Pastors because they don’t like various things he does?

    I don’t envy the bishop’s office one bit because I’ll bet they have always gotten tons of mails from the whole spectrum from the over-scrupulous to the dissident with an axe to grind. I’ll bet this is part of the reason why the name of the diocesan exorcist isn’t generally made known publically–too many cranks would be drawn like a magnet. At any rate I’m all for politely-worded and evidentially-supported communication with the bishop. Especially when those doing it keep to the spirit of the concept of subsidiarity. This is why Morlina says, “While I am available to all of the faithful of the Diocese of Madison, it is always best to resolve concerns with one’s Pastor(s) personally and locally. Not only does this give due respect to the priests, who have given their lives to serve you, but it is usually more efficient. I urge you to speak openly with these priests about your concerns; and I am confident that you will be treated with dignity and respect.”

    If the pastor’s response doesn’t satisfy you, then go to the bishop. If the bishop doesn’t satisfy you, write the nuncio. Of course the higher up the chain you go, the tighter your documentation and evidence should be. From the letter it seems the guys that Morlino addresses went straight to the top with typical progressivist vagueness and (especially considering point 7 of the addendum) came out looking petty and vindictive.

  46. MaryMaria says:

    May God richly bless Bishop Morlino!!!!! What a fantastic response! Having had the distinct PLEASURE of residing in a parish serviced by SJCP (for far too short a time) I decided to check something out….sure enough…..this parish went from one daily Mass a week to 2 and somedays 3…they went from 2 weekend Masses to 4 and while I didn’t check the schedule for this I can guarantee they have the opportunity to attend the Sacrament of Penance, probably daily. There in lies the reason for all the gritchin’…..NO EXCUSES…NO MORE…. Oh that this group of priests would of had the support of the diocese here….alas I am left trying to figure out if/when the sacrament of Penance is celebrated in our parish!!!! We truly went from FEAST to FAMINE….when they were allowed to leave.

  47. RichR says:

    Here’s an interesting comment by a parishioner who is against the changes these priests introduced (or, I might say, re-introduced). This commentor publicly stated this on the Wisconsin State Journal, so I am not out of place posting it:

    The “cult-like” atmosphere at St. Mary’s in Platteville continues as priests from SJCP show people how to be holy. In many ways it reminds many of the Jim Jones family and the expectation of mindlessly doing what you’re told to do.

    Refugees from the oppressive “our way, or no way” doctrine now worship at other area Catholic churches who welcome them. Displaced deacons and lay people are also to be found there. Many others have given up and stopped attending church altogether.

    People still attending/supporting St. Mary’s are expected to give $11,000 per week. What is actually given averages $5,000 per week. (These numbers are quoted from the church bulletin.) Parishners may play by SJCP hard-line rules of worship, but show their dissatisfaction by choosing not to pay to pray. There’s also the other point … those who left took their $$ with them. But, who cares as they aren’t real Catholics anyway.

    If you attend St. Mary’s or happen to be visiting, here are some of the new rules for “holiness”:

    -No unncessary talking in church

    -No laughter in church (that’s no problem)

    -No joyous or appreciative clapping

    -No hugging …
    this is now considered un-Christian as pointed out by the priest to a mother hugging her sons good-bye on the first day of school at St. Mary’s.

    -No shorts …
    a local doctor who is also a church usher was recently chastized for wearing dress shorts as he brought the money collection to the altar.

    -No communion … if you have stained hands.
    This means no auto mechanics, farmers, tool makers, etc. Also true if you are using a cane and only hold out one hand to receive.

    -No women on the altar.
    They and pedophiles are now on the same level.

    -No strapless gowns at weddings.
    These are not holy. (Did I mention the number of weddings are down at St. Mary’s)

    Also, as there is a daily mass offered in Latin, you might want to bring a book of translation. Or, just do as we do … mumble along. Did Jesus speak Latin???

    Welcome to the New and Improved St. Mary’s of Platteville.

  48. RichR says:

    Compare with this quote by the great Dietrich von Hildebrand, whom Pius XII described as “The 20th Century Doctor of the Church.”:

    The basic error of most of the innovations is to imagine that the new liturgy brings the holy sacrifice of the mass nearer to the faithful, that shorn of its old rituals the mass now enters into the substance of our lives. For the question is whether we better meet Christ in the mass by soaring up to Him, or by dragging Him down into our own pedestrian, workaday world. The innovators would replace holy intimacy with Christ by an unbecoming familiarity. The new liturgy actually threatens to frustrate the confrontation with Christ, for it discourages reverence in the face of mystery, precludes awe, and all but extinguishes a sense of sacredness. What really matters, surely, is not whether the faithful feel at home at mass, but whether they are drawn out of their ordinary lives into the world of Christ-whether their attitude is the response of ultimate reverence: whether they are imbued with the reality of Christ.

  49. irishgirl says:

    I tried to post this on the blog entry, but it wouldn’t post….
    Bravo to Bishop Morlino, and to the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest!
    Now that’s a Bishop with backbone!

  50. pelerin says:

    - No unnecessary talking in church
    Silent respect for both the Blessed Sacrament and those praying used to be the norm. It is strange that before and after an EF there is always complete silence whereas before and after the NO
    especially on a Sunday conversations are common in the pews yet it is the same church and the same Pastor.
    - No shorts
    Surely this is just common decency. Would anyone turn up to see the Queen in shorts?
    -No Communion with stained hands
    Again surely this goes without saying.
    -No women on the altar
    Its rubbish to say this equates women to pedophiles
    -No strapless gowns at weddings
    Again this should be the norm. I would not have dreamed of wearing a strapless gown when I married. I am always amazed when I see pictures of brides with bare shoulders.
    And as for did Jesus speak Latin – what a ridiculous question. Does the history of the Church count for nothing?
    This sounds like a great parish – like mine.

  51. TJerome says:

    Interesting question about Jesus speaking Latin. Since Palestine was occupied by the Romans he was at least familiar with it!!!

    The “commentary” published by one of the dissenters in the Wisconsin State Journal is “exhibit a” as to why these priests are sorely needed in this parish: to return it to Catholicity. The dissenters there were obviously trained by the “numskulls who were in positions of authority” noted by our good Nazareth Priest.

  52. TJerome says:

    frjim4321, have you read the Bishop’s letter yet?

  53. moon1234 says:

    “Did Jesus Speak Latin”

    Jesus, being God, I am sure can/could speak ALL languages. He most likely does not need to SPEAK to be heard and understood.

  54. Tina in Ashburn says:

    That God may heap abundant blessings on Bishop Morlino!! And I hope the good priests will be comforted too.

    Can we please have these priests at OUR parish? To be given the option to kneel for Holy Communion with a prie-dieu has long been a desire of mine, at all the nearby parishes. And these few dissidents disdain such a thing. sheesh.

    Its an understatement to say its a ‘challenge’ to go from a wildly liberal to orthodox parish. Nearly impossible to undo over 40 years of brainwashing… It DOES take an extraordinary personality to achieve something like this. One priest told me once, that the first step must be to teach the people to pray, and enkindle a desire to pray. Otherwise good teaching falls on deaf ears and hard hearts.

  55. Will D. says:

    Also, as there is a daily mass offered in Latin, you might want to bring a book of translation. Or, just do as we do … mumble along. Did Jesus speak Latin???

    Fair enough. Let’s start celebrating the Mass in Aramaic. Problem solved.

    On a more serious note, from the parish calendar it’s clear that daily Mass is offered twice, in Latin at 0630 and in English at 0815. So the parishioners have a choice, for crying out loud.

  56. robtbrown says:

    Did Jesus speak Latin???

    Did He speak English?

  57. TJerome says:

    robtbrown, that’s a good one.

  58. catholicmidwest says:

    Just in case anyone from the diocese of Madison sees this:

    Bishop Morlino, You Rock! Hi From the Diocese of Kalamazoo. We love you.

  59. catholicmidwest says:

    Actually, it’s likely Christ did know some Latin. The language of the Roman Empire was the lingua franca in most of the world during his life time, and Israel was part of the Roman Empire at that time.

    English, of course, is now the lingua franca in much of the world in just the same way. People from all over the world know at least some English, if only to ask for Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. It’s the business language of the world.

    And as pointed out by Robtbrown, Christ could not have known English.
    =) Because it didn’t yet exist. =)

  60. catholicmidwest says:

    For those not aware of British history, all of Great Britain (including England) was tribal in the year 33AD, speaking a large number of regional languages, some of whom would eventually become the forerunners of the English language. Some languages were lost.

    It was not long after the resurrection that the Roman Conquest of Britain commenced and Latin became common in parts of southern Britain too, becoming the lingua franca for military, governmental and commercial interests until the Romans left rather abruptly in 410AD.

  61. catholicmidwest says:

    The Mass was certainly being said in Latin within 50 years of the Resurrection because at least one apostle, PETER, was living in Rome and converting Romans by that time, while saying Mass. He is buried in Rome, you know. Underneath St. Peters. =) [Catholics are supposed to know that. ]

    So it beats modern English being in line for liturgical use by about ….hmmmm…..1900 years??? Something like that. People need to get over their fussiness about everything having to be in their flavor of English. Stuck-up xenophobes they are.

  62. Joe in Canada says:

    by and large I sympathize with the priests and the Bishop. I would like to know a bit more about the situation behind point 5 in the Bishop’s addendum regarding home visits with Communion. Of course there has been abuse of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, but if say the reception of Holy Communion by shut-ins has been reduced from once a week (first week of the month from Father, the other weeks with an EMHC) to once a week (first week of the month only, from Father) then I have mixed feelings.
    I would also though encourage the priests to prepare the people for these changes, necessary as they might be. Care for souls can also involve strategy, and patience with a certain generation.

  63. TJerome says:

    catholicmidwest, actually I believe according to liturgical scholars, the Mass was likely said in Greek the first 200 years or so following the Resurrection, even in Rome. That is why in the Latin Mass , the Greek Kyrie was retained as a tie to that older tradition. By the way, I generally always attend Mass celebrated in Latin, both OF and EF. John XXIII as you probably know said “Latin is the language which joins the Church of today.” Unfortunately his wise words went unheeded, hence, the balkanization of parishes into individual languages for each Mass.

  64. catholicmidwest says:

    If so, TJerome, that’s fine. English is still, far and away, a latecomer to the liturgical scene.

  65. TJerome says:

    catholicmidwest, agreed.

  66. mike cliffson says:

    “Whoso gives up mother,father . ../…. will get 100 for 1 WITH PERSECUTION”
    They’ve got the persecution, if not in the form of bullets like Iraq, Sudan……..
    If the Bishop has put himself on the line, so will he.
    Anyone noticed? : This Sunday’s readings aren’t half apropo
    Maccabean-era laddies’ got it right…../..”.Ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by him; whereas for you there can be no resurrection, no new life.’
    And St Paul:” …./…pray that we may be preserved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for faith is not given to everyone. …./..”

  67. PostCatholic says:

    I wonder if the problem isn’t so much the substance of the changes but the method of their implementation? Either something about how the new clergy went about things must have been pretty ham-fisted, or something about how the so much of the laity perceived those changes must have been unusualy inflexible. Or perhaps both. I don’t know which and will reserve judgment.

    I’d like to speak now in general terms and not about this situation, with which I’m not well acquainted. To purify something is to remove some elements thought undesirable. Change upsets people, and some amount of loss is inevitable is the result of most change. Minimizing that contraction and helping people understand the value change to expansion is, I think, one duty of a good leader. Substitute shepherd for leader, if you like.

    The upside gamble of reordering the practices of your faith community is that by making a smaller but purer church, that its new identity will be attractive and it will again grow. The downside is that you simply wind up a smaller and but purer church. I’d suggest how one goes about creating change, even valid and necessary and urgent change, ought to recognize human emotional fragility. I can understand how for Catholics unwashed hands at communion, or shorts in Church might seem like something that needs to be dealt with post haste. The question is, how?

    Consider: if cell phones ringing in church are a problem (they seem to be everywhere in every denomination) one might say “please preserve the sacredness of our gathering by taking a moment now before worship begins to silence your cell phones” or one might be interrupted and then yell “Shut that thing off!” I’ve seen both approaches. Both seems to silence cell phones pretty quickly; but the latter tends to create a lot of unhelpful conversation.

  68. kribensis says:

    This is a very good example of how a correct concrete response to a pastoral dispute is probably the best kind of catechesis. This bishop has just succeeded in teaching thousands and far beyond his diocese. He’s doing his job.

  69. slater says:

    Thank you, Bishop Morlino.

    The liberals who level these calumnies can’t define what “Pre-Vatican II” means. It is the same “code words” they use to demean priests who actually believe, teach, and practice what the Church expects priests to do, according to their promises they make at ordination. They also use code words like “rigid,” and “doctrinaire”.

    The Age of Aquarius is over.

    St. Thomas More would be proud of these fine priests. Martin Luther would be proud of the dissenters.

  70. Luvadoxi says:

    All good but I’m wondering what’s wrong with a mother hugging her children before school? Was this done during mass?then I can understand the priests objection. Can someone clarify this so we don’t think this priest was just being mean?

  71. catholicmidwest says:

    “just being mean?”

    Is saying the Mass mean? Is expecting that people act like they’re in public in the Mass mean? Is expecting that people don’t have to fall all over each other mean?

    I’m a parent. If a parent doesn’t bother to make sure their kids know they’re loved outside of Mass, then grabbing them and slobbering over them in public isn’t going to do the trick either. Kids aren’t stupid. They know a sham when they see one. You want kids to know they’re loved? LISTEN to them and PARENT them outside of Mass on a DAILY BASIS. And then GET THEM to Mass and TEACH them to behave and understand what they’re looking at.

  72. Del says:

    To Joe in Canada:
    “by and large I sympathize with the priests and the Bishop. I would like to know a bit more about the situation behind point 5 in the Bishop’s addendum regarding home visits with Communion.”

    These priests are willing and capable to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes.

    The incident in question went like this: An elderly parishioner was accustomed to receiving the Eucharist at home daily, delivered by her daughter who was an EMHC.

    The priests of the Society (who do not use EMHC’s, PERIOD — unless a genuine “extraordinary” need exists) generously volunteered to bring the Blessed Sacrament to mother every day. The daughter REFUSED to let the priests visit, insisting she had a RIGHT to bring the Sacrament to her mother.

    This is why the Bishop’s response seems to be a bit of a non-sequitur. The allegation says “reduced visits to the homebound,” but His Excellency responded to the real issue, which was the assertion that EMHC’s have a “right” to handle the Blessed Sacrament as they see fit.

  73. Del says:

    To Luvadoxi:
    “All good but I’m wondering what’s wrong with a mother hugging her children before school? Was this done during mass?then I can understand the priests objection. Can someone clarify this so we don’t think this priest was just being mean?”

    One can easily imagine that these priests would discourage a hugging-fest at the Sign of Peace during Mass. But no one can imagine discouraging a mother from hugging her child good-bye before school.

    Alas…. RichR was quoting an anonymous poster from the online comments of the Wisconsin State Journal. We cannot ask the person what she meant, or what was the context, or how much she was exaggerating her point for effect. Her insisting that someone said “hugging is un-christian” indicates that she is not afraid to use hyperbole.

  74. Pius says:

    Interestingly, the part about receiving the host with clean hands comes from the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1973. In the letter, En Reponse, the Congregation said: “Care must also be taken that the communicants have clean hands and that there comportment is becoming and in keeping with the practices of the different peoples.”

    Sounds to me like these priests are just trying to do what the Church has asked them to do.

  75. Luvadoxi says:

    Del I appreciate your response. Catholicmidwest, you totally didn’t read or understand my question. I’m 100percent behind these priests. Either there was a highest during Mass or the priest overreacted, just from what it sounds like. I was simply wanting clarification from someone who was there. Please think before you post something so uncharitable. An apology would be nice. ..

  76. Luvadoxi says:

    I meant hugfest. Crazy iPhone!Sorry

  77. KristenB says:

    Bravo, Bp. Morlino and the priests of the parishes!
    You are all in my prayers!

  78. Luvadoxi says:

    Catholicmidwest–sorry if I was a little touchy. You did misread my post but I think this Internet medium causes us all to react rashly at times. God bless.

  79. Anna Barrie says:

    The Society of Jesus Christ the Priest used to be in my diocese (which is located in an East Coast state). They left a couple of years ago. I cannot say if they were asked to leave or chose to leave. What I can say is that they were all fine priests, quite loyal to the Magesterium, and unafraid to speak their minds, this final characteristic being a common Spanish trait I believe. In my area, they were loved by some and reviled by others, you can easily surmise the reason. At least where they are, they are receiving the whole hearted, public support of their bishop. How foolish must a diocese be to allow a number of faithful priests to leave, especially when this same diocese has a growing Hispanic population and these priests are fluent in Spanish? Need I mention that vocations in my particular diocese are practically non-existent? And that every year, one to three Catholic schools are closed? Ugh – my frustration knows no bounds.

  80. Scott W. says:

    All good but I’m wondering what’s wrong with a mother hugging her children before school?

    I doubt this happened.

  81. slater says:

    The liberals showed their cards in their correspondence to Bishop Morlino. Liberals think that you can change the (unchangeable) teachings of the Church. BTW, sorry, schismatics, but you can’t.

    A tactic they employ, which Bishop Morlino discloses, is that they write letters to the Nuncio, and presumably other dicasteries.

    Message to orthodox Catholics: spread the word to write to your Bishop, as well as to the Congregation for Divine Worship, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Congregation for Relgious when you and your fellow observant Catholics notice liberal liturgical abuses, heresy and dissent from the pulpit, and dissent at “Catholic” high schools and universities.

    It is your right and responsibility to do so.