Bp. Morlino on marriage, sex craziness, the election, and “eschatological awareness”

ad orientem direction drawingHis Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison and Extraordinary Ordinary, has a column in the recent number of the diocesan newspaper which connect three topics that you might not be immediately inclined to connect.

Eschatology (theology of the Last Things), all sorts of confusion about marriage, Holy Mass ad orientem.


Crunched down, God made us for a reason.  Many of you who studied the Baltimore Catechism can recite it immediately.

If we lose sight of our proper end, or goal, then we start to screw up other things.  For example, two people (or more, I guess) of the same sex might get a notion that they can get married, or that it is okay to have sexual relations with such a person.  They go dreadfully wrong and lost on bad paths.  To recover our sense of direction, we need to contemplate again the Last Things.  One way to do this is through the recovery of ad orientem worship!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JabbaPapa says:

    Another example of the hard left-wing “Liberal”-“Progressive” lobbying “work” by Clintonista Americanists, from Wikileaks, and their attempts to try and conjure up a particular political narrative around the Pope’s visit to the US :


    PICO and Black Lives Matter are of course two more Soros-funded wrecking balls.

  2. scotus says:

    The newspaper says, “This column is the Bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.” What on earth can he mean? Surely he doesn’t mean that his intention is that nobody beyond the diocese reads the article.

  3. un-ionized says:

    scotus, i believe he means that he does not have jurisdiction over the faithful in other places and doesn’t want to step on the toes of his brother bishops, not necessarily because they don’t agree with him but because they might express something in a different way for their flocks.

  4. scotus says:

    un-ionized, That sounds like a reasonable explanation. Maybe ‘intention’ is a less obvious way of saying ‘jurisdiction’. However, it’s a pity a bishop has to say such a thing.

  5. scotus says:

    On a more important point, the good Bishop says, “One tendency for those who lack a proper perspective vis a vis eschatology is to be completely wrapped up in improving things in this world.” That is something which all levels of the Church might consider, and I do mean all.

  6. scotus says:

    On a more important point, the good Bishop says, “One tendency for those who lack a proper perspective vis a vis eschatology is to be completely wrapped up in improving things in this world.” That is something which all levels of the Church might consider, and I do mean all.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    His comments about the eschatological meaning of the sacrament of marriage is great! Kudos!

    With regard to turning the priest’s back to the people, I respectfully disagree. [We all know that that is a mischaracterization of ad orientem worship.]

    But his comments seem kindly and nicely stated.

  8. Norah says:

    I couldn’t access the article. The link took me to the front page of the Catholic Herald.

  9. pannw says:

    Norah, there should be arrows on the right of the page. If you click on it you should be taken to the following pages. I think the article is the third click.

  10. Vincent says:

    Father, you missed something: The bishop is essentially saying “save the liturgy, save the world (and save souls)”! [Is it likely that I “missed” that? But I am glad that you brought it up. This is an important way to approach liturgical reform.]

    And how true it all is. Very readable too, almost like a tutorial/seminar rather than written like a lecture. There’s a narrative to modern history which speaks of the “long defeat” which the Church has beem suffering for some time now. We need a miracle to come out of it now, and how we don’t deserve one. I’ll be honest, it scares me, in particular what we will have to go through in order for a miracle to occur…

  11. Guido03 says:

    This is a fantastic article and an especially good one to share during the election season. I hope that the make it available as a PDF on their website.

    On a side note, my family and I were crushed to learn that our one ad orientem Mass in our county – celebrated as such only once a week on a weekday – has been cancelled. Our bishop essentially told the priest that it is not allowed in his diocese. (he gave reasons but they were spurious – and there were NO complaints). I’m praying that we can get Father to celebrate the EF on later afternoons outside of the regular Mass schedule but I feel as if I can’t really push it too soon as this just happened.

  12. Dad of Six says:

    I dunno frjim4321…I think I’d rather turn my back to people rather than to Jesus.

    But I’m not a priest so maybe you know better.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Good bishop, good article….when one forgets who one is and where one is going, one begins to create false gods…to me, it is all a question of humility.

  14. Giuseppe says:

    Jesuit educated:Scranton Prep.

    1) birthplace & early childhood of Joe Biden.
    2) home of Hillary Clinton’s dad, summer home of the Rodhams, Christening and burial place for her family.
    3) First diocese given to the future John Cardinal O’Connor of NYC.

  15. q7swallows says:

    It took great courage for a bishop to print such a piece with all that is going on — from every angle — all around him. And I, for one, am grateful that the Lord did allow that ‘eschatological manna’ to rain down on those of us who live outside of the bishop’s official jurisdiction and despite his original intention — through you, Fr. Z.

    Thank you, Bishop Morino, for your excellent reminder about the Last Things and the importance of us ALL focusing on the Lord instead of ourselves and our little agendas!

  16. PTK_70 says:

    @frjim4321….Let’s think of it as facing *with* the people: versus CUM populo. (But in the ordinary form this would only happen for a discreet period of time. Surely not more than 15-20 minutes during the course of a 60 minute Mass?)

  17. pray4truth says:

    Dear frjim4321,
    Thank you for being a priest! Without you, we have no Eucharist. You and all priests are in our daily prayers and sacrifices and we love you!
    I respectfully BEG you to follow Fr. Z’s advice … why?! Because you are a PRIEST! Besides everything Fr. Z has written, here are a couple more writings that may be helpful:
    1. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/08/hes-not-turning-his-back-to-the-people
    2. http://www.stspeterandpaulbasilica.com/files/catechesis/BasilicaHandout_AdOrientem.pdf
    Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. From the lowliest of them all.

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