This is picked up from Te Deum. It is a fine story about a fine bishop, an old friend of mine from many years ago, His Excellency Most Reverend Alex Sample, Bishop of Marquette, Michigan.
Keep in mind before you read that bishops can’t simply do what they want and where they want. When they go to another diocese, they really need to be in harmony with the local diocesan bishop.
That said, I believe you may be familiar with the writings and doings of the Auxilliary Bishop of Detroit, H.E. Most Rev. Thomas Gumbleton… columnist of the ultra-dissenting National Catholic Reporter.
Some background: Bp. Gumbleton was invited to speak in Marquette by a group called Marquette Citizens for Peace and Justice. Because of Bp. Gumbleton’s well-known positions on homosexuality and women "priests", Bp. Sample asked Bp. Gumbleton not to come. Apparently they did not come to an agreement.
Read this folks on the site of the Diocese of Marquette! My emphases and comments:
Statement of Bishop Alexander K. Sample In Response to Bishop Thomas Gumbleton’s Public Appearance in the Diocese of Marquette
“I attempted to handle this matter in a private, respectful and fraternal manner with Bishop Gumbleton. It is unfortunate that what should have remained a private matter between two bishops of the Catholic Church has been made available for public consumption.
I want to first of all say that my decision to ask Bishop Gumbleton not to come to Marquette had absolutely nothing to do with the group who invited him to speak, Marquette Citizens for Peace and Justice, nor with the topic of his publicized speech, since the Church is a strong advocate of peace and justice. I am sorry for the negative impact this has had on those planning this event.
There is a common courtesy usually observed between bishops whereby when one bishop wishes to enter into another bishop’s diocese to minister or make a public speech or appearance, he informs the local bishop ahead of time and seeks his approval. Only on October 9 did I receive any communication from Bishop Gumbleton, after this situation had already become public. [It is possible that there are simple oversights, etc. People forget to do things, etc. However… there are reasons for the protocol and courtesy. Perpend.]
As the Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, I am the chief shepherd and teacher of the Catholic faithful of the Upper Peninsula entrusted to my pastoral care. As such I am charged with the grave responsibility to keep clearly before my people the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. [And this is what makes Bp. Sample an outstanding example….] Given Bishop Gumbleton’s very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood, it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful to me in fulfilling my responsibility.
I realize that these were not the topics upon which Bishop Gumbleton was planning to speak. However, I was concerned about his well-known and public stature and position on these issues and my inability to keep these matters from coming up in discussion. In order that no one becomes confused, everyone under my pastoral care must receive clear teaching on these important doctrines. [Therefore, the Bishop was trying to avoid possible scandal and confusion among the people.]
I offer my prayers for Bishop Gumbleton and for all those who have been negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.”
Very often in the public debates about various Catholic politicians or candidates we find a bishop who will stand up and say that because of the risk of scandal for the faithful, Sen. So-and-So cannot do X,Y,Z in this diocese." This is also the case when even a bishop goes off the rails.
WDTPRS sends warm kudos to Bp. Sample.