After the funeral of @BishopMorlino of @MadisonDiocese

There are some good web pieces available about the funeral Mass of the late, great Extraordinary Ordinary, Bp. Robert Morlino of Madison.

One of the better is at CWR.  [UPDATE: Nothing at Fishwrap.  There is, however, a piece by Jesuit arguing that the bishops should cave in on paying for contraception.  After all, can’t we all just get along?]

His passing is an important moment in the Church in these USA.  His death and the funeral were followed all over the world.  Bp. Morlino was and still is seen as a strong, orienting beacon guiding people to the truth. His sermons, writings and interviews are like buoys, guiding people in the life-rafts around the Barque of Peter away from the rocks and back to the boat.

The naming of his successor will be a watershed in the Church in these USA.

We must now pray with redoubled efforts for the soul of the late bishop, and also for all those who will be involved in the naming of his successor.

Some people might make the grave error of thinking that that little and mostly rural and ultra-liberal diocese of Madison is some sort of ecclesiastical fly over country.   I assure you that that is mistaken thinking.

There are a couple of factors which people might remember when thinking about the open see of the late Extraordinary Ordinary.

First, Mary has placed her blessing on this state.  To the East of Madison, in central South Wisconsin, is Holy Hill, the National Shrine of Our Lady, Help of Christians.  To the West of Madison is the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  To the North is Champion, the only officially approved Marian apparition in these USA.

Second, there are a few “force multipliers” in Madison.  The greatest of these is the legacy of Bp. Morlino himself.  However, his voice and message were, I must in honesty, admit were also amplified by other force multipliers which continue even now.  For example, here in the Diocese Fr. Heilman is doing his good work, which is having a national impact.  And, well… I’m here.  If anyone thinks we’ll be quiet, think again.

Third, this is a diocese where the most important legacy of Benedict XVI is being implemented.  Benedict XVI did what he could to deal with the increasingly alarming erosion of Catholic identity through artificial or badly-conceived liturgical worship.  Much of the deeper foundation of the terrible times we are is a crisis of liturgical worship.  Madison has many, especially, young priests who are saying the TLM and saying the Novus Ordo having been shaped by learning the TLM.  The knock on effect, ripple effect, is spreading on many levels, affective, intellectual, spiritual.  This is spiritual warfare we are engaged in.  Liturgy is one of the most important activities we engage in.  Madison is where the vision of Benedict XVI has put down roots.  This vision was also the vision of the Extraordinary Ordinary.  And, remembering the motto on his episcopal arms: Visus non mentietur…The Vision Will Not Disappoint”

This is an important time for the Church in these USA.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Today, I offered my Holy Communion for Bishop Morlino’s soul and for you Fr. Z. Ouch! We have been praying for those intentions and for a new bishop for your wonderful diocese in our rosaries and other prayers too. God bless and keep you, Fr. Z.

    [Thank you!]

  2. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    Wisconsin: think of how seminal it was in deciding the direction of country in the last election. I have good reason to hope it will be so also with the Church. Even if the next Bishop of Madison does not meet the high standard of HE Morlino, his legacy will be felt for a long time to come. Why do I think so?

    I lived for a short time in Eau Claire. It was a wonderful diocese where the Parishes were still very much the main locus and focus of people’s daily lives. Once be chance, and in a different diocese, I met Cardinal Burke briefly, and told him I had just come down from Eau Claire. He asked me what Parish I was in, and I told him, St. Mary’s in Altoona. He said without missing a beat, “You have Father S. as your Pastor! You’re very lucky! He’s a very holy priest!” His knowledge of and his love of the Holiness of the Priests of his home diocese (which he had left over a decade earlier) was immediate and sincere and strong and beautiful. And it was true, the Pastor IS a very holy priest, but I was astounded to realize I had NEVER heard anyone describe a priest as personally holy, even though that’s the most important thing he can be!

    A bishop like Morlino or Burke knows this truth and so raises up Holy Priests for his diocese leaves his diocese a precious and supernaturally potent patrimony that cannot be undone in less than a lifetime. And I thank God that Morlino’s good work will anchor the center of country in sanctity for years to come.

  3. Kmom says:

    I know I’m watching. I care what happens in your diocese. Please, God, have mercy on us. Our Lady of Hope, pray for us.

  4. TonyO says:

    There is, however, a piece by Jesuit arguing that the bishops should cave in on paying for contraception.

    What a STUPID idea! After the bishops spent (wasted?) untold (and unnecessary) moral capital generally approving the basic idea of Obamacare ONLY on the basis of explicit assurances that the system would not force Catholics to renounce their faith, they were stabbed in the back by Obama and the Dems in charge of HHS in creating the contraception mandate without any health or legal basis. Then many other Catholic entities (at the fore were the Little Sisters of the Poor, Thomas Aquinas College, and (a little unusual for them) Notre Dame University), but with mostly tepid support of the bishops, spent 5 to 6 long and hard years fighting the mandate in courts, and at great cost and even greater risk, eventually succeeded. Now that the legal battle has been won, this idiot Jesuit would have us throw in the towel? What kind of dolt does it take to surrender AFTER you have the victory? The likely reason is that he dissents from infallible Church teaching on the intrinsic immorality of using contraceptives, wants contraceptives to be widely (and easily) available, and he simply rejects the moral consequences of employers willingly helping that along. To him our Catholic victory is actually a defeat for sexual license, the chief ‘sacrament’ of modernism, and for moral relativism, the liberal replacement for natural law.

    As great as the Jesuits once were, at this point (actually, at every moment over the last 50 years), the Pope needs to suppress the order. As a Jesuit himself, he ought to know better than anyone just how severe the disorder in their ranks actually is. I wonder, can a local Ordinary do a “local” suppression of the order, i.e. something that denies any member of the order to function within the diocese as a priest (other than, maybe, saying entirely private masses)?

  5. OctoberSun says:

    Does anyone know if a recording of the funeral is available to watch online?

  6. Marissa says:

    Wisconsin was also blessed with the exiled Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt movement and a very holy priest! He was in Milwaukee for 14 years.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Prayers for Bp. Morlino, the Diocese, and Fr. Z.

    Here is an article about Wisconsin’s Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help:

    “Miracles Still Reported at the Site of the First Marian Apparition in the U.S.”

    From the Shrine’s website about the Peshtigo Fire:

    “The Sisters, the children, area farmers and their families fled to the Shrine’s chapel for protection from the unprecedented fire. In defiance of the inferno, they lifted the statue of Mary and carried it around the sanctuary. When wind and fire threatened suffocation in one direction, they turned in another direction to pray.

    “Hours later, a downpour began to extinguish the raging fire. The area surrounding the Shrine’s grounds was destroyed and desolate. Though the fire charred the chapel fence, it had not harmed the chapel grounds. The only livestock to survive the fire were the cattle farmers led to the chapel. Though the chapel well was only a few feet deep, it gave the cattle outside all the water they needed to survive the fire, while many deeper wells in the area went dry.”

  8. PostCatholic says:

    “After the bishops spent (wasted?) untold (and unnecessary) moral capital generally approving the basic idea of Obamacare…”

    I find it amusing, as I think most non-Catholics would, to realize some folks still imagine that US Bishops had any “moral capital” left at that time to expend on national politics.

    In any event, I don’t envy a new bishop in Madison or elsewhere the task of broadly restoring trust in US Catholic leadership. Good luck choosing a talented successor.

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