R.I.P. Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison

From the Diocese of Madison

It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison.  Bishop Morlino died tonight, Saturday, November 24th, at approximately 9:15 pm at St. Mary Hospital in Madison at the age of 71.  Funeral plans are pending and you will be notified via email of final arrangements.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I was a seminarian for the Diocese of Madison from 2007 to 2009. Bishop Morlino always looked upon us as sons, and I saw him as a true spiritual father. Even after withdrawing from formation, I would often find myself telling friends and relatives how proud I was to have him as our bishop. I admired this great man, and am deeply saddened by his passing.

    May God grant him rest.

  2. MrsAnchor says:

    May the Souls of the Faithful Departed.. R.I.P.

    ….what a blow to my Husband and I! I had read he was at an exam & had an episode, but I thought he’d bounce back. That he’s Truely needed at this time on earth….
    I guess God has a different game plan, than most of us think

  3. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Requiem aeternam.

    it’s difficult not to see an eschatalogical dimension to his passing as he was, by many credible accounts, an exemplary bishop in this darkest of dark ages.

    I note that a social media posting gave an access code to the chapel where prayers and adoration were being held earlier this evening. I hope those have been changed as there are some committed enemies of Holy Church who are active in that neighborhood.

  4. Johann says:

    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Amen

  5. Uxixu says:

    A great bishop I hoped we would have past the mandatory retirement age. Requiescat in pace.

  6. Gab says:

    May the first words he hears be: “Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25 21-22

    We need him so much, one of the very few good Bishops left in the Church. God has other plans for him. Our loss, His gain.

    May he rest in peace.

  7. Pío Pío Pío says:

    I was alone in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament praying through the prayer requests of all the readers of this blog when I heard the news. I won’t lie, I burst into tears. This news is extremely hard to bear. The evil spirit is on the move, and news like this only confirms that the spiritual war is ratcheting up. Laics need to up their prayer and fasting, especially in Madison during this interregnum. Chances are that +Morlino’s replacement will be an opportunity for lots of penance on the part of the faithful Catholics of Madison through their persecution. I also fear for Fr. Z and his ministry. The persecutions ARE coming. May the Lord keep us all in His grace and grant us the courage to remain faithful to Him and to FIGHT.

    Mary, Queen of the clergy, protect your faithful religious, bishops, priests, and deacons under your mantle! Obtain for us many more!

    As +Sample reminded us at Baltimore, we should also pray, now more than ever: Lord Jesus, come in glory!

  8. My deepest condolences Fr. Z. I share your sorrow.

  9. ServusChristi says:

    If I’m not mistaken, I saw +Bp. Morlino on EWTN a month ago and he looked like he was in good shape so I didn’t expect this in the slightest. I will be praying for his soul that he may experience the beatific vision soon. In addition to that, I’ll be praying for the diocese that it gets a worthy shepherd and hope that Bishops all over the world will follow his example.

  10. Unwilling says:

    Deus in adiutorium nostrum intende!

    Tunc dicit illis Jesus: Omnes vos scandalum patiemini in me in ista nocte. Scriptum est enim: Percutiam pastorem, et dispergentur oves gregis. Postquam autem resurrexero, præcedam vos in Galilæam.

    Domine, ad adjuvandum nos festina!

  11. Terribly tragic heartbreaking news. The Church has lost a great man, one of the very few good bishops we had left standing up for good in these ominous times. May Bishop Morlino do more good from his new place in eternity than he achieved on earth.
    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    My deepest condolences to you Father Z and his priests and flock, and all who are left grieving.

    I wonder how this kind of evil could have come about so suddenly.

  12. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    Lord, let your light shine again on your Church and fill it’s ranks with holy men like Bishop Morlino. Do not leave us alone in the dark.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Prayers for Bishop Morlino, a good shepherd, and his Diocese. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

    I know this is a blow to many, and a loss. But what if Bishop Morlino had died in a car accident years ago, or had died as a baby? The Lord preserved him.for many years, and his heart was in His keeping every day.

    Now we should pray for his soul, and that he has joined the glorious ranks of the bishop saints in Heaven or the faithful of Purgatory. And we should pray for his.prayers. But folks should not lose heart, even if things get bad.

    It does no honor to a beloved shepherd if the flock immediately panics and runs. Pray hard instead. Then, no matter what happens, you will be guided by the Good Shepherd.

  15. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Also, let us remember that he passed away on the eve of Christ the King, or of Stir Up Sunday in the EF calendar. Surely that is an honorable time to go!

  16. Andreas says:

    Deepest heartfelt condolences, Father Z. I never had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Morlino, but from what you have written so oft about him here, it is certain that we have all lost someone indeed quite extraordinary.

  17. dippydon says:

    Please pray for all in the Diocese of Madison and Father Z to be prepared for what is undoubtedly coming from rome.

  18. The Egyptian says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord. RIP.
    While we pray for the repose of his soul also pray for his successor, one like Morlino does not often come our way. Look out for yourself Fr Z, I pray you do not have to go into hiding like another good priest and a bishop. Sadly I fear a new appointment by Francis that will do his damnedest to undo all the good done by the extraordinary ordinary. If you must flee try to keep in touch somehow, I am in real fear for you and others like you
    God Bless

  19. Elizabeth D says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him, o Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.


    At the solemn requiem Mass for the deceased priests and bishops I was completely certain (though there was no homily, or even because there was no homily and it was clearly and purely to pray to God) of his hope that his successor would some day do the same work of mercy and charity toward him.

    Bishop Morlino was very good. This extended to having some regrets and sorrow for mistakes he had made in years past so I know he died looking to God’s mercy and I have no fears for him. He’s left an amazing legacy and a healthy diocese.

    Long live Christ our King and God, Amen!

  20. Amerikaner says:

    Heartbreaking news.

    Prayed for the repose of his soul and will continue to do so.

    May he intercede for the diocese and the Church at large.

  21. acardnal says:

    Bishop Morlino was a faithful and orthodox priest whom many liberals in the diocese disliked . . . especially the many liberal “catholics” here. Seminary vocations surged under this faithful servant from 6 to 33! That tells you a lot! HERE is an article from 2015. FYI, the $30M seminary fund that he started is FULLY funded! May he RIP.

  22. moconnor says:

    May he rest in Christ’s eternal peace. It is discouraging to lose such a faithful bishop. We can ill afford to do so, but I trust that God will provide.

  23. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I can’t believe this untimely passing of Bishop Morlino, a great high priest. Perhaps Our Lord and the Blessed Mother needed him in heaven to help the Church from above.

  24. pbnelson says:

    My deepest condolences. Our pastor prayed for him before our EF mass, early this morning.

  25. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    I will attempt to receive a plenary indulgence and apply it to his soul every day this week. He may not need it – but he was a bishop.


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

    Is it o.k. to ask questions here about his death, though?

    Bishop Morlino was probably the most, or one of the most, outspoken against homosexuality among all of the U.S. bishops.

    Wasn’t he one of the first to rebuke evil with these accurate words: “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest..More than anything else, we as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out sin from our own lives and run toward holiness. We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors — myself included — that they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness. We must do this always with loving respect for individuals but with a clear understanding that true love can never exist without truth.”?

    Maybe God did call him last night. But, at the same time, there is a Gaystapo in America at the present time, and they appear to have the support and aid of multiple law enforcement entities. They operate in secrecy and apparently have means to harm in secret as well.

    Call me crazy all you want – but, one should be reminded of the words of Archbishop Vigano. He appeared to have been aware of dangers going on in secret as well.

  26. Sandy says:

    I just prayed for him and asked his intercession for the healing and conversion of my family. I know you and we are sad to lose him, Father Z, but God must have had a different plan. May he now help this poor Church in her battle on earth as he prays for us from the other side of the veil.

  27. ex seaxe says:

    May flights of angels lead him into paradise.
    We are 6000 km away, but I have added Bishop Morlino to our parish ‘pious list’ for November.

  28. SanSan says:

    So very sorry to read about Bishop Molino. May this very holy Bishop rest in peace in the loving arms of our loving Father and Mother. Praying for Father Z, Father Heilman and all those who were in his flock. It is a great loss especially during this terrible time. He will be greatly missed.

  29. SanSan says:

    “May he now help this poor Church in her battle on earth as he prays for us from the other side of the veil.”


  30. APX says:

    Sadly I fear a new appointment by Francis that will do his damnedest to undo all the good done by the extraordinary ordinary

    Don’t lose heart. We recently got a new bishop who is, compared to our former bishop, friendly towards the EF, and takes reverence in the Liturgy quite serious (he replaced the former Diocesan MC with one who did much liturgical reform in his own parish, and since his instalment, I have yet to attend a Diocesan Mass that didn’t have traditional hymns, Latin polyphony, and Latin Gregorian Chant ordinaries), he also reformed sacramental catechises replacing the wishy-washy feel good sacramental prep with something solid and now requires the parents to attend the classes on Sundays so they’re catechised as well, as well as made it a requirement that First Reconciliation happens before First Communion, and without question or hesitation, have our priest faculties to administer Confirmation in the EF, which was unprecedented before.

    Pray for his successor and leave the rest to God.

  31. Pingback: R.I.P. Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison | Fr. Z’s Blog | Deaconjohn1987's Blog

  32. Byzshawn says:

    One of the greatest churchmen of our age. What a loss!
    Eternal Memory! Blessed Repose and Eternal Memory!

  33. etsiamsiomnesegonon says:

    A good man, a good priest, a good bishop and a very good personal friend since 1997. I like to think that Bishop Donovan welcomed you with Saint Peter at the Heavenly Gates. Rest In Peace bishop Bob.

  34. amulack says:

    Madison faithful had better clamor for their next bishop, like those stalwart Catholics under St. Anselm who became bishop by popular demand. Do not accept an appointment influenced by the likes of Cardinal Cupich. Demand a real Catholic shepherd as bishop Morlino was.

  35. youngcatholicgirl says:

    Requiscat in pace. I was privileged to meet Bp. Morlino briefly this past summer; my brother knew him well. My friends and I are still going to do a spiritual bouquet, now for his soul.

  36. Elizabeth D says:

    Well, there was an African diocese that didn’t accept the bishop appointed for them and it was not edifying or pretty. But I expect I will be writing to the nuncio right away about what I think the needs of our diocese are.

    I had tears running down my face all through Mass this morning at the Cathedral Parish. One thing I am really grateful for is I had an opportunity to tell Bishop Morlino how important he is to me and sincerely express my filial love for him earlier this year, on an exceedingly rare and happenstance occasion when I had his undivided attention, only another priest present. I had the thought that Bishop Morlino has time just to be a pastor now, that that’s how he would want to spend his heaven.

  37. Elizium23 says:

    Memory eternal!

    I am not sad. That is, I am fighting the tendency to feel sad or dismayed. Because I know that His Excellency has been granted the graces of a holy death, on this most auspicious solemnity, and as Christians, we have great confidence in the Blessed Hope and the Resurrection of the Body.

    I shall not canonize him out of hubris or adulation. I leave judgement to Christ alone, and I shall be praying for the eternal repose of His Excellency’s soul and his release from Purgatory.

    But thanks be to God, for his illustrious career and his tenure as Extraordinary Ordinary. He set a fine example for his spiritual sons, for the laity, and yes, for his brother bishops, in our universal call to holiness, and the purification of the Church, in these dark days.

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

  38. NBW says:

    May he rest in peace. I am so sorry to hear about his passing. He was a true bishop; he spoke the truth and was not afraid to do so. I pray for his diocese. I pray they get a good bishop who will be just as brave and truthful as Bishop Morlino was.

  39. PostCatholic says:

    I know he was a mentor and friend, and I’m sorry for your loss. May your memories be a consolation.

  40. tlawson says:

    Good God! When the numbers of true Successors of the Apostles seem like they can be counted using one set of fingers (possibly a few toes), Our Lord calls Bp. Morlino. I, too, fear for Fr. Z.’s ever so needed ministry. May he not need to go into hiding. We know Who wins in the end, thank God, but how many will be left to preach and teach the Real, Whole and True Catholic Faith?

  41. mattg says:

    So sad and unfortunate. We need great bishops like him in these troubled times. I shall say the office of the dead for him.

  42. lawoski says:

    Fr. Z-
    My heartfelt condolences to you and your diocese for the loss of such a great bishop. I know he was your leader and your friend. I will pray for Bp. Morlino, you, and your diocese.

    dippydon- I had the exact same thought. Given Rome’s current pettiness, I’m not optimistic about who will be appointed the next Ordinary.

  43. MrsMacD says:

    It really hit’s home doesn’t it? You know not the day nor the hour.

    Be of good cheer. God is taking care of you. He will not leave you orphans. Fear not little flock… Pray, hope and don’t worry.

    My heart and prayers are with you. God hold you and shelter you now.

  44. tlawson says:

    Yes, I was wondering similar thoughts. Sad to say, but with some persons in positions of authority these days – although the timid will perhaps ridicule it – questions like the ones you ask are entirely reasonable.

    Real Catholic bishops – an endangered species, with danger and evil on all sides.

  45. tlawson says:

    Yes, I was wondering similar thoughts. Sad to say, but with some persons in positions of authority these days – although the timid will perhaps ridicule it – questions like the ones you ask are entirely reasonable.

    Real Catholic bishops – an endangered species, with danger and evil on all sides.

  46. excalibur says:

    I am so saddened for the people in his diocese. I had been praying for him for some time, and had just finished doing so when I checked Twitter and saw the sad news.

    Prayers now for his soul.

    Prayers are also very much needed to see who Rome will send as replacement. I have asked The Lord for a miracle that Bishop Morlino’s replacement be a man of the same cut, the same caliber. It is time, I said to the Lord, for you to help your people in suffering, and not allow Madison to become another formless, shapeless mess. Be bold in asking!

    I know that it is thinking too much for Bishop Zuhlsdorf (don’t hate me for wishing the burden upon you, Father). But that is the type of man I pray you people of the Diocese of Madison get as successor.

    And as a side note, is this another death by doctor?

  47. GM Thobe says:

    I’m sorry for the loss for you and your diocese, and the American church. May he rest in peace.

  48. Diane says:

    I am grieving over the loss of Bishop Morlino. He was the Bishop of our daughter and her family’s diocese. What now dear Lord, what now? Who will be sent to the sheep of the Madison Diocese? I never met him myself, but my husband was blessed to sit beside the good Bishop on a 3-hour flight back to Wisconsin one day. My husband liked him so much, ever since. My condolences to you, Father Z, as I know you were very close to Bishop Morlino. May God have mercy on all of you in the Madison Diocese, and on all of us here, as well.

  49. JamesA says:

    Oh, what a blow for the Church Militant and the Diocese of Madison. So sorry for your loss, Father. May the Holy Spirit guide the choice of his successor.

    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Amen

  50. mulieribus says:

    May the Angels lead him into Paradise. So sorry for your loss Father, and for Fr Heilman and the Diocese of Madison. He died on the Feast of St John of The Cross, a grace to be sure. The Benedictines of Mary probably prayed his soul straight into Heaven. Eternal Rest grant unto him, Oh Lord.

  51. JesusFreak84 says:

    Oi, am I the only one who thinks peddling conspiracy theories before his body’s even cold is disrespectful to the Bishop? Gross…

  52. Charivari Rob says:

    Well, not “an African diocese”, but – a diocese in one country in a large & diverse continent.
    Off hand, I don’t recall if it was “bishop appointed was from a different country” or “bishop appointed was from one region/state of the country & is of ethnic group A (the 90+% majority in that region) – appointed to other region/state which is 90+% ethnic group B, when there is some baggage to the relationship”
    Not necessarily unworkable, but would need to be carefully handled.

  53. Alaskamama says:

    I do think it is disrespectful to turn medical tests into an occasion of murder. I do not think it is disrespectful to seek the truth or to suggest a full investigation into his “medical” treatment. While we are at it, let’s get an investigator looking into the deaths of the 2 US nuncios and the 2 dubia cardinals. There is evil afoot.
    Last week’s reading from the book of Daniel: “Those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
    Too many Catholics think sticking their head in the sand counts for holiness.

  54. Grabski says:

    I pray for his soul. RiP

    And I pray for the people of Madison. I can only imagine the bishop who will be sent to “accompany” them

  55. Michael says:

    A true shepherd of the Church! May God rest his soul!

    Fr.Z, are you able to comment if the Bishop received the last rites? (Penance, apostolic pardon, Viaticum)

  56. RosaryRose says:

    God rest his soul! Praying for his soul, for you & for the Diocese. There is a tradional Catholic thought that when our loved one gets to Heaven they send us blessings. I will be praying for his soul that he may soon be in Heaven, sending blessings, and that they bring you comfort and strength. He will be part of the Communion of Saints helping us Church Militant fight the good fight! Fear not! God is with us. Christ has already won.

  57. poohbear says:

    My condolences to you, Fr Z, and to all the faithful of the diocese and all who knew him. This is a great loss for the Church. May he rest in peace.

  58. hwriggles4 says:

    My condolences to the faithful in the Madison Diocese. This passing reminded me of the sudden passing of Bishop McFadden (Harrisburg) and Bishop Keating (Arlington). Keating had a heart attack in Rome during his ad lima visit in 1999, and McFadden was admitted to a hospital the morning he died. I am sure Keating would have liked Morlino.

    Just from observation the last several months, I have noticed several vacant sees in the United States. Some due to death and others due to resignations. I am wondering if Rome and the Papal Nuncio are acting slow on new bishop appointments until something gets worked out pertaining to the sex abuse scandals. Further retirements are pending due to age (Auxiliary Bishop Higgins from the Archdiocese for the Military Services turned 75 recently, and another auxiliary from there was appointed an auxiliary bishop for Rockville Center) and a few years ago, Rome was looking to add some auxiliary bishops to a few dioceses.

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