Bp. Robert Morlino of Madison get it

I have written to you before about His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin.  

You might remember that Bishop Morlino had a change of view on the older form of Mass after Summorum Pontificum was released.

You might remember how he celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the older rite with the help of members of the Institute of Christ the King.

It seems that Bishop Morlino is paying attention to the Holy Father, understanding the message in Pope Benedict’s examples, documents and sermons, and is getting on board.

Now I receive this from a reader:

I found a wonderful homily by Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Madison, WI diocese on the Feast of Corpus Christi.  He talks about the reverence we should have when receiving the Eucharist.  He talks to the congregation about how he set up 6 kneelers in the front of the church for the Mass and invites the people to receive Communion while kneeling and on the tongue.

Bishop Morlino – Corpus Christi Communion (VIDEO)  
Bishop Morlino – Corpus Christi Homily (VIDEO)  

Please share this.  It is part of the Pope’s Plan.

I notice on the website of the diocese they have prominently displayed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel!

What is this all about?  You will recall that for his Mass in Rome at St. John Lateran on Corpus Christi Pope Benedict had a kneeler placed before him and he gave Communion to those who approached kneeling and only on the tongue.  Check here and here to refresh your memory.  He has also taken the sort of stand a Catholic bishop ought to take in the public square about the dignity of human life.

The Pope is teaching by example.  And he isn’t just teaching liturgists or priests or even bloggers.  He is teaching bishops.  His way of celebrating Mass, with the Crucifix front and center, even celebrating ad orientem, giving Communion on the tongue to people kneeling, is an example to be followed.

Establishing a personal parish in Rome for the older forms of Mass and the sacraments was an example to be followed.

It sounds like Bishop Morlino gets it and he gets big WDTPRS kudos from us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Geoffrey says:

    I had just come across this last night on the New Liturgical Movement website. I was so shocked and amazed. Deo gratias!

  2. Come, Holy Spirit, (continue) to fill the hearts of Thy faithful …

    Deo gratias.

  3. Ben says:

    Bishop Morlino has also adopted the altar format of the Holy Father (with large altar crucifix facing the celebrant, surrounded on both sides by the candlesticks) and has stated publicly at Mass that he “simply wants to do what Benedict XVI does.”

    In addition, the number of seminarians in the Diocese of Madison has jumped from five to over thirty in just a few years. Coincidence?

  4. Jayna says:

    Kudos, indeed. I wish more bishops would get on the bandwagon and override some of the more ridiculous liturgical “reforms” that have wormed their way into individual parishes. For example, when I mentioned to one of the higher-ups in my parish that we should use the bells at the elevation at Sunday masses, I was told that most people in the parish didn’t really see that event at the “source and summit,” so the bells shouldn’t be (and aren’t) used. There again, I’ve also been completely shot down on any returns to more traditional elements because, and I was completely unaware of this, I’m in an apparently “well-known progressive parish and changes like that just wouldn’t be accepted by parishioners.”

  5. Allan says:

    Oremus. Let us hope that our bishop Brom “gets it”. Oremus, oremus oremus.

  6. John Enright says:

    The Holy Spirit obviously continue to inspire all of us, bishops included.

  7. Margaret says:

    The good bishop doesn’t just “get it” with regards to liturgy, I’d say he also has a healthy dose of the virtue of humility. May God grant him many years in ministry, and may he be an instrument to lead many, many souls to holiness.

  8. Richard says:

    This bishop’s pastoral approach (in the REAL sense – by leading the people to Christ, not to themselves) will bear true fruit in years to come. I bet this soon will be one of the dioceses in the country at whose seminary doors men will line up.

  9. Scott W. says:

    Dear Lord, more like him please.

  10. Ben: In addition, the number of seminarians in the Diocese of Madison has jumped from five to over thirty in just a few years. Coincidence?

    Nope, it appears (from the examples I know) to be the general rule: Orthodox bishop, lots of vocations. Unfortunately, the converse also holds … Heterodox bishop, vocations in the tank.

  11. mpm says:

    In a televised interview from a couple of years ago,
    Bishop Morlino spoke of his desire to challenge young
    men to be priests. Both in Madison and in his prior
    diocese, he enjoys talking to them about it, and asking
    them to think about whether they might have a vocation.

  12. David says:

    Thank you, Bishop Morlino!
    As you are a close friend of Bishop Bruskewitz, this should not surprise me…

  13. Carol says:

    Thank you for posting this news. I appreciate coming to your website to learn of the important things that are happening. Prayers for Bishop Morlino, who is demonstrating the grace of God. I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation at my parish a couple of years ago, he is a wonderful speaker.
    This made my day. I will definitely send him a note of thanks and encouragement.
    Thank you Fr JF

  14. Larry says:

    WOW! Bravo Bishop Morlino and thank you for saying what needs to be said. “If I am with the Holy Fther I can’t go wrong.” This humility needs to be spoon fed to priests and bishops around the world. Thanks for posting this Fr. Z

  15. “If I am with the Holy Father I can’t go wrong.”

    Is it not almost beyond comprehension that the Church has reached the point that such a statement by a bishop seems worthy of remark? Many of us remember a time when we could not have imagined any other attitude on the part of our bishops. (Innocent though we may have been, the point being not the reality but the perception among Catholics then).

  16. I notice on the website of the diocese they have prominently displayed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel!

    Again, what does it say about the state of the Church that this seems worthy of comment? With an exclamation point, yet.

    Like there are lots of serious Catholics who don’t say the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of each daily Rosary? If not when they kneel in thanksgiving after Mass.

  17. Maureen says:

    There are lots of serious Catholics who don’t say it. Before it was written, there were plenty of serious Catholics who didn’t say it, too. :)

    And while I acknowledge your greater point, there have certainly been plenty of times when a bishop being plain vanilla orthodox was worthy of comment. Let us all thank God we didn’t live during the high tide of Arianism, or the times when it was pope vs emperor with bishops on both sides, or the times when antipopes had clout and armies.

Comments are closed.