New bishop of Lincoln will maintain tradition

From Omaha.com

A new take on tradition for incoming Lincoln bishop
By Joe Duggan
WORLD-HERALD BUREAU

LINCOLN — He’s got folk rockers Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers on his iPod.

He’s on Twitter and Facebook.

And he’s passionate about poetry, art and classical English literature.

But when it comes to Roman Catholic doctrine, Lincoln’s incoming bishop says he’s ready to carry the torch of his predecessors who have made the Lincoln Diocese one of the most traditional in the country.

“The Diocese of Lincoln has never suffered an identity crisis,” said Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of the Denver Archdiocese. “In other words, the church in Lincoln has always known who she is. People want to be a part of this because people want to know where the church stands.”

The 57-year-old native of Overland Park, Kan., will be installed Nov. 20 as the ninth bishop of Lincoln, a diocese that includes 96,000 Catholics in 135 parishes across southern Nebraska.

He will replace retired Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, 77, who led the diocese for two decades.

The diocese is known for traditional church practices, such as boy-only altar servers and distributing Communion in the form of consecrated bread, not, as a general rule, from the cup. And unlike in many other Catholic churches, women in the Lincoln Diocese are not permitted to give the Eucharist to their fellow worshippers.

Conley said he has no plans to change those practices.

Bruskewitz, who has said he strove to preserve the “undistorted” Catholic faith, also made decisions and took actions that generated controversy.

For example, in 1996, he excommunicated Catholics who belonged to a list of 10 organizations he said opposed fundamental church teachings, such as opposition to abortion, gay marriage and assisted suicide. Among the listed groups were Planned Parenthood and Call to Action, an organization seeking church reforms such as ordination of women.

The excommunications will remain in force, Conley said.

“It can have a medicinal purpose,” Conley said. “The purpose is to not cut them off, but to persuade them to come back.”

[...]

The incoming bishop said he also wants to keep and strengthen the impressive track record Lincoln has in promoting vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. With 44 men currently studying for the priesthood, the diocese has the highest ratio of seminarians to Catholics in the nation, he said.

[...]

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16 Responses to New bishop of Lincoln will maintain tradition

  1. DavidJ says:

    Thanks be to God for Bishops who have a spine!

  2. APX says:

    I think I have a case of spiritual envy.

  3. Desertfalcon says:

    Ditto, to both above!

  4. Father K says:

    In that same decree he excommunicated adherents to the SSPX

  5. dominic1955 says:

    Yes, and I think he was justified in that particular case in his diocese.

    Anyway, you would think some others would catch on. Lincoln is not perfect, but is oh so much better than many dioceses. Just the fact that no outright dissent is tolerated makes the ecclesiastical climate in Lincoln a joy to be around. That, plus if you are traditionally minded, Nebraska is a great place to be. We have two full on TLM parishes, a Carmelite convent were the TLM and Carmelite Rite is said with frequency and the FSSP seminary. In fact, there is a (minor) Ordination this Saturday at OLGS.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    Bishop Bruskewitz did not actually excommunicate anyone, but declared that they were already excommunicated “latae sententiae.”

    Since Pope Benedict lifted the declaration of excommunication (which was, again, latae sententiae) of the four SSPX bishops, I presume that would also apply by extension to those faithful who “adhere to the schism” that isn’t a schism.

  7. Vox Laudis says:

    Ad multos annos, Bishop Conley! May many more of like faith and character be raised up for the Church!

  8. Suz. from Oklah. says:

    Love him! We used to drive to Wichita to St. Anthony’s where then Monsignor Conley said the TLM every other Sunday, and there we found out that he was friends with our friend and Godfather to my youngest daughter, Mark Costello, who is the current Labor Commissioner of Oklahoma. They and our Archbishop Coakley went to the University of Kansas Pearson program that converted so many students to traditional Catholicism that they ended up closing it because many parents complained. The Pearson program needs to come back. It produced such fruit!

  9. Southern Catholic says:

    That’s fantastic, hopefully more like him are appointed bishop in the future.

  10. KAS says:

    Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz is a marvelous example of a Bishop doing his job very well!! I pray that the new Bishop will continue this and be bold and strong in leadership like his predecessor.

    God bless them both!

  11. acardnal says:

    God bless Bp. Bruskewitz for his faithfulness.

  12. NoraLee9 says:

    To where can I send the fan email? A Capalbo’s basket maybe?

  13. Will D. says:

    He’s got folk rockers Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers on his iPod.

    He’s on Twitter and Facebook.

    And he’s passionate about poetry, art and classical English literature.

    But when it comes to Roman Catholic doctrine, Lincoln’s incoming bishop says he’s ready to carry the torch of his predecessors who have made the Lincoln Diocese one of the most traditional in the country.

    “But?”!
    The implication being that someone so learned and hip could not possibly be a knuckledragging traditionalist like Bp. Bruskewitz. If only, they seem to be saying, Bp. Conley had the simple decency to be a wonderfully enlightened progressive. Perhaps he could even start handing out ordination tambourines!
    Grr. (Emphasis added.)

  14. ce58 says:

    After spending about 10 months last year in the Diocese of Lincoln, I came to love and appreciate the people, the firm grounding in tradition, and dear Bishop Bruskewitz. The Church in the Diocese is beautiful and flourishing and Bishop Conley there only makes me want to look at moving back there more… May God bless him as he begins his new assignment next week!

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    He’s a lucky man to be appointed to that diocese. He doesn’t have a big mess to clean up. And my guess is that when the HHS mandate hits, he’s also not going to have a super big mess over that either. His house is in order. Lucky man. Lucky people living in that diocese.

  16. dominic1955 says:

    One interesting thing to remember too, Lincoln gave Denver their new Archbishop (Casey) and now they give Lincoln a new bishop (Conely).