The Bishop of Madison, Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino (aka The Extraordinary Ordinary) has issued a letter to the faithful entrusted to his care.
Remember that when reading these letters from bishops, even while we around the world are able to read them and even as the bishops know that, these bishops uniformly address themselves to the faithful their own diocese. Because of this, I, personally, pay attention to what these bishops say they are going to do, practically and concretely with and for their flocks.
In Bishop Morlino’s letter to the faithful of Madison, I saw a three things that are especially striking.
First, he calls for “more hatred”.
If you’ll permit me, what the Church needs now is more hatred! As I have said previously, St. Thomas Aquinas said that hatred of wickedness actually belongs to the virtue of charity. As the Book of Proverbs says “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness (Prov. 8:7).” It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin.
Then he goes on to underscores what so obviously lies at the core of this crisis, namely, the influence of homosexuality, not just pedophilia, but homosexuality.
There must be no room left, no refuge for sin – either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual – almost exclusively homosexual – acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further.
There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia – this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more.
Before anyone freaks out, Bp. Morlino also clear says that homosexual inclinations are not, in themselves, sinful, but rather, as the Church teaches, disordered. He emphasizes hatred of sin but love for the sinner. “[While hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible mercy.”
Watch the libs in the local press ignore that point while they pile on attacks on him … as is their cliché wont.
Lastly, he makes a concrete declaration about reparation, which I’ve been bashing on about for a while.
Finally, I ask you all to join me and the entire clergy of the Diocese of Madison in making public and private acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all the sins of sexual depravity committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy. I will be offering a public Mass of reparation on Friday, September 14, the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, at Holy Name Heights and I ask all pastors to do the same in their own parishes. In addition, I ask that all priests, clergy, religious, and diocesan employees join me in observing the upcoming Autumn Ember Days (Sep. 19, 21, and 22) as days of fasting and abstinence in reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy and I invite all the faithful to do the same. Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.
His reference to the Ember Days is great. The Ember days, still in the traditional liturgical calendar, are days of penance, a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, four times a year, in general at the time of the change of the seasons. Old mnemonic rhymes place them close to the Feast of St. Lucy in December, during Lent, after Pentecost, and near the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. For example, “Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy”, or else “Fasting days and Emberings be / Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie.”
What most people today don’t know is that in the booklet that convey’s the official liturgical calendar for the newer, post-Conciliar Novus Ordo, and in the GIRM, the Ember Days are mentioned for local churches. I wrote about Novus Ordo Ember Days HERE.