Catholic League: Attack On Bishop Morlino Is Scurrilous ACTION ITEM!

From the Catholic League:

Attack On Bishop Morlino Is Scurrilous

October 30, 2017

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on recent attacks on Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison (Wisconsin):

Catholics in the Diocese of Madison are very fortunate to have such a brilliant and courageous leader in Bishop Robert Morlino. He is currently under attack by dissident Catholics, ex-Catholics, and those who never were Catholic, for merely upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The uproar is wholly unjustified, and is indeed scurrilous. It was occasioned when the vicar general of the Diocese of Madison, James Bartylla, recently told his priests how to handle funeral rites for persons known publicly to have been involved in a homosexual relationship. His remarks were not meant as “official diocesan policy,” though they certainly had the backing of the bishop.

One would think from the reaction by DignityUSA, an organization that has long been in open defiance of the Church’s teachings on sexuality, and Faithful America, a left-wing group frequently at war with the bishops, that Bartylla had condemned homosexuals, barring them from a Catholic burial. That is a lie. He did nothing of the sort.

The vicar general’s comments were entirely measured. To begin with, he was not talking about the burial of homosexuals, per se; rather, he was addressing those instances where a homosexual was involved in a public union with his partner. What should a priest do when confronted by the family of the deceased about a person who was in such a relationship? Bartylla instructed them to “think through the issue thoroughly and prudently.”

The micro issue involved in this matter is the funeral rites for homosexuals known to be engaged in a public relationship. The macro issue is scandal.

Citing canon law, Bartylla said that “ecclesiastical funeral rites may be denied for manifest sinners in which public scandal of the faithful can’t be avoided….” Scandal, as defined by the Catechism, is “a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.” In other words, causing scandal—inviting others to believe that it is morally acceptable to engage in sinful behavior—is the big issue.

The Catholic Herald offered a cogent statement on this subject two years ago. “Canon law makes it clear that funerals should be refused to manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful.”

In 2014, Pope Francis illuminated the macro issue involved when he excommunicated members of the Mafia: their public profile made them “manifest sinners,” thus offering “public scandal to the faithful.” The central concern for the pope had nothing to do with crime—never mind public declarations of homosexuality—it had to do with sending the wrong signal to the faithful by acquiescing in the deeds of “manifest sinners.”

I know Bishop Morlino as a kind person who holds no animus against any person or group of persons. He deserves our support. Shame on those agenda-ridden activists who are out to smear him.

Let Bishop Morlino know of your support:

Fr. Z kudos to the Catholic League.

May I suggest that, while words are welcome, deeds are doubly so.  Perhaps along with your words of support, you might add a donation to the Diocese, especially for the support of priestly vocations.  HERE  – NB: Look for St. Joseph Fund


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I just fired off a supportive email to His Excellency, Father. You are so blessed to have such an extraordinary Ordinary in Madison. May the Lord send us many more such bishops ! Holy Church is in dire need of them.

  2. Ave Crux says:

    Can someone who’s knowledgeable in how to do so set up a petition in SUPPORT of Bishop Morlino?

    I think it would be a powerful public statement and that we’d outnumber those asking for his removal, especially important if their petition actually gets sent to Pope Francis.

  3. Pingback: TVESDAY CATHOLICA EDITION – Big Pulpit

  4. WarriorSpirit says:

    Just sent my letter in support of Bishop Morlino also.

    Your Excellency –

    I am writing to express my support to you and your Office regarding the letter that was unfortunately made public concerning funerals for homosexuals.

    I am not of your Diocese, but I am not ashamed to let you know that I truly wish I were. Never have I known a Diocese that is so truly dedicated to its parishioners. I applaud your’s and your priests’ enormous work ethics in giving the leadership so needed by Catholics in today’s world. I am also very sorry that you are having to deal with the current misunderstood directive for funeral rites of those suffering from same-sex attraction.

    I admit that I am not always as generous in my feelings toward those carrying this heavy cross, but reading your updated response opened my eyes to just how UNChrist-like my feelings have been. This is just one of so many directions we Catholics in today’s environment need, and I thank you for helping me see the error of my own ways.

    Like so many, I struggle daily with just the bare minimum of abilities at following Christ. So, it is through Church Leaders such as yourself, that we learn.

    I pray this unnecessary problem will soon be alleviated – but maybe it was so ordered to happen, just so many could see true Christ-like leadership among Christ’s flock.

    Thank you for being so open to all and for never failing to show and teach us the right paths to follow.

    Should you ever wish to move the Diocese of Madison southward, please consider landing in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.

    Faithfully and appreciatively,

    Jxxxxx Xxxxxxx
    (aka Joe B Bazooka on Facebook – it’s a Marine Corps thing)

  5. Elizium23 says:

    Two errors in the quoted text:

    Bartylla is wrong: ecclesiastical funerals MUST (not may) be denied to such manifest sinners.

    Donohue is wrong: Pope Francis did not excommunicate the Mafia. He said something in an off-the-cuff speech, with no decree and no publication in AAS. No decree, no excommunication.

  6. dallenl says:

    Unfortunately the policy regarding persons manifestly in opposition to the church’s teachings, is not uniformly applied. The case of Sen. Ted Kennedy stands out. As long as those in power refuse to bit the bullet and preach the truth of the faith, we will be faced with such nonsense.

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