Fr. Z Responds to Attack on Bishop Morlino

October 14, 2008

View clear copy of letter here

From Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s Blog:

And now for a public attack on a Catholic bishop on the part of dissidents in the Diocese of Madison.


Some members of Call To Action and others took out an ad in the local newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal attacking Bp. Morlino.

If there was ever a case for interdiction, it is membership in Call To Action.

You might remember that H.E. Most Reverend Robert Morlino has made very strong gestures in support of Summorum Pontificum, even changing his own mind about this matter, and also very strong pro-life stands against bad legislation.  He spoke clearly about the Speak Pelosi Sen. Biden gaffs on Meet The Press.

As a matter of fact, I am sure this attack on Bp. Morlino is probably coming mostly from pro-abortion Catholics.  They are probably trying to goad him into some strong statement of rebuttal so that they can whine all the more loudly and sneer at him about how mean and narrow he is.  Boo hoo.

Bishops such as Bp. Morlino are standing up and the lefties are very displeased.

Let’s have a look at the newspaper article with my emphases and comments.

Madison-area Catholics decry Morlino’s leadership in open letter


SAT., OCT 11, 2008 – 10:30 PM

A group of Madison-area Catholics says in an open letter [In a newspaper.  Cowards.] to Bishop Robert Morlino that he is ignoring the input of clergy and lay people, causing some parishioners to stop attending Mass and hurting the morale of priests. [Gratis asseritur gratis negatur.  I just don’t buy that.  If people are not going to Mass because Bp. Morlino has been strongly pro-life (and that is really what this is about, bet on it, then there problems go deeper than the bishop.]

The letter writers point to priests banding together for fear of retribution if they dissent, [Should they be dissenting?  Should they?] pursuit of a new cathedral despite opposition, the firing of an openly gay music director, the hiring of priests who ban female altar servers and the alleged alienation of Catholics who disagree with church doctrine as examples of problems in the diocese.

“We need more compassion not dismissal,” the letter says.  [What a weasle word, “compassion”.  If someone does something you don’t agree with, just say he lacks “compassion”.  What about compassion towards those who want to adhere to the Church’s teachings about the beginning of life? About the authority of the Church to define liturgical laws?  About the traditional expressions of worship?  What about compassion for people who have been shoved to the back of the progressivists bus and forced for decades to go drink at separate liturgical water fountains?]

The letter, which appears as a paid advertisement in the Business section of today’s Wisconsin State Journal, is the latest flare-up in an increasingly vigorous debate over Morlino’s leadership of 270,000 Catholics in the 11-county Madison diocese.

In a statement, the diocese said Morlino is sorry that “certain groups, who claim to be Catholic, would assume postures which clearly are not in accord with the teachings of the church.”

James Green of Madison, one of the organizers of the effort, said the advertisement cost about $3,500 and was paid for by more than 40 people, 36 of whom are listed by name. Seven others are remaining anonymous because they work for the church, Green said.

Many of the contributors are members of the Madison branch of Call to Action (CTA), a national organization of Catholics whose positions on issues such as women’s ordination and priest celibacy are at odds with church hierarchy. The Catholic Media Coalition, a group loyal to church teachings, describes CTA as the leading organization of liberal, dissenting Catholics.

Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Catholic Diocese, said CTA members gave Morlino a copy of the letter Friday.

The diocese statement said Morlino hopes and prays that members of the group “return to full acceptance of the faith” that comes from the apostles.

“It also very much saddens the bishop when groups, such as Call to Action, resort to the use of the mass media to address internal family problems within the church,” the statement said.  [Let’s, however, not think that the “problems” are well-founded on both sides.  One side is wrong (the dissenters) and the other is right.]

Priests start group

Asked for evidence of poor morale among priests, several of the letter signers mentioned the Association of Madison Priests. The group was formed by priests to support each other and to provide a unified voice on issues in which they differ with Morlino, according to people familiar with the group.

“They feel the need to protect each other,” [They wouldn’t if they were on the right side of things.] said Joan Weiss of Prairie du Sac, a CTA leader. [May I wonder out loud what this woman could possibly have to say about what priests think?] “They’re concerned about retaliation if they speak out in opposition in any way.”

Weiss and others said the priest group began shortly after Morlino required all priests to play a taped message prior to the 2006 general election in which he spoke against stem cell research, the death penalty and same-sex marriage. Priests were told they could face serious consequences if they expressed disagreement.  [This is really it, isn’t it?  These priests oppose the Church’s teachings.  Why would there not be consequences for these guys?]

A priest who is a leader of the association confirmed the group’s existence Saturday but said the group did not want to go public at this time[Cowards.]

Another priest who is involved but not a leader said about 50 of the 135 or so active and retired priests in the diocese formed the group “to promote sociality among priests and to formulate a response to some of the diocesan policies as expressed by the bishop.”  [They formed to pressure the bishop not to be true to the Church’s teachings and to justify their own dissent.]

The priest said Morlino has tried to squelch the group. “The bishop right from the beginning said he saw no reason for such a group and has tried to torpedo it without success,” he said.

The State Journal agreed to give both priests anonymity because they said they didn’t want to anger Morlino. A bishop can reassign priests to smaller parishes or take action that affects their pay and pension.  [It is entirely true that a bishop can make a priest’s life very bad indeed.  But the problem comes from… over what issues?  If the priest is demonstrably trying to be loyal to the Church’s teaching and the bishop is not, that is a different siuation.  The issues and the motives have to be explored.  I am not an adherent of “the bishop right or …. right”.  Bishops need to be accountable too.  They are not untouchable.  But for me, dissent is a dealbreaker.]

King, the diocese spokesman, said Morlino has had conversations with the group’s leaders. At this point, Morlino views the group “neither negatively nor positively, but in a more exploratory way,” King said.

King strongly disagrees that priest morale is a problem. “I know a lot of priests, both traditional priests and those who may be a little more progressive, and they all seem to have pretty good morale.”  [Right.  This must be the case.  The other side of the coin has to be examined as well.]

Independent voice

There are 195 archdioceses and dioceses in the U.S., and each one is required to have a priest council. This group advises the bishop on governance, but the group generally is not open to all priests and the agenda usually is set by the bishop, the council’s president[Which would be abhorent to anyone who thinks that the Church should be “democratic”, run like a city council.]

A priest association is much different, said Vic Doucette of the National Federation of Priests Councils in Chicago. Priest associations crop up independently, and their members set the agenda.

“It’s fairly rare,” Doucette said. “I know of not even a dozen or so in the country.”

In Milwaukee, a priest alliance formed about seven years ago to give members brotherly support and an independent voice, said the Rev. Dave Cooper, a founder.

The Milwaukee group’s 126 members have a good relationship with the church’s hierarchy but take opposing stands at times, Cooper said. In 2006, the priest alliance opposed a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage despite the church’s strong support of it. [Again… dissenters.   Wouldn’t you like to see a priest group spring up that wasn’t a dissenting group?  I think the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy might be something like this.  And I believe none of its membership cower in the shadows like frightened little girly men.]

Cooper said he has attended one meeting of the Madison group but declined to comment more specifically.

“Some of the issues they’re dealing with are different than ours,” he said. “I really can’t address that without getting into trouble or making accusations.”

Critics of Morlino’s five-year tenure contend he rules through intimidation and fear and focuses too much on homosexuality and abortion to the detriment of other issues[I have warned about being alert to “code language”.  When you hear Catholics express “concern” that perhaps we don’t have a nuanced enough balance of abortion with, say, “the full spectrum” of other issues, that is when your alarm bells need to sound.]

You don’t hear him talking about the poor. [See?] You don’t hear him saying much about the war,” [Why should he talk about the war?   Let’s have a guess at the age of Sr. Heimann, shall we?  Do you suppose she became a liberated sister around 1968?  ]  said Sister Mary Francis Heimann of Madison, a Catholic nun and one of the letter signers.

Another letter signer, Jim Beyers, who attends St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, said he wants Morlino to respect priests in the diocese.

“He treats them like children. He’s punitive toward them,” Beyers said.

Others say Morlino inspires them with his approach and his teaching[For every three negative comments, the writer tosses in a handful of dirt from the other side.]

We just love him,” said Ron Faust of Cross Plains. “I like that he tells the truth and doesn’t back away from it. I think there are more Catholics who support him, by far, but the unhappy speak the loudest.”

Morlino has riled some Catholics from the start. [Good.] Early on, he seemed to suggest in a public comment that Madison lacks public morality. [! I wonder…. is he right?  We are talking about a city with one of the most liberal schools in the country.]  (He has since said he was merely pointing out that there are few common starting points for discussions about moral reasoning in such a diverse city.)  [Note the stress on “diversity”, as if the bishop is in favor of a heterogeneous society.]

Other actions, such as his service on an advisory board for a controversial Army training institute, have led some Catholics to question whether Morlino is a good fit for a diocese with many progressive Catholics.  [Oooooo….. ARRRRMMMYYYY……   baaad…   Progressivist Catholics should never have to be challenged with such a shocking idea such as, well, that the military isn’t automatically evil.]

Selection of bishops

[And now the dinosaur liberals are trotted out.]

A larger issue is whether there are any bishops other than “conservative” ones to choose from, said the Rev. Richard McBrien, a [dissenting] theology professor at the University of Notre Dame who often clashes with the Catholic Church.  [Remember his association with Call To Action?  I’ll post the photo again, just to remind you of the stellar example he gives.]

“Under Pope John Paul II, the motive was clear: Replace all progressive bishops who were formed by Vatican II with conservative bishops, and thereby change the face of the U.S. hierarchy,” McBrien said. “The plan has been successful.”  [Not successful enough.  McBrien still has a job at Notre Dame.]

Before 1980, bishops were appointed because they excelled at pastoral care as priests, McBrien said[What a slimey thing to say.  The implication is that men today aren’t chosen because they are “pastoral”.  BTW… many times here I have written about the false dicotomy so dear to the liberals.  They oppose “pastoral” and a whole range of qualities such as “faithful” “liturgically reverent”, etc.  The idea is that if you are faithful to the Church’s teachings and laws… you are unwilling to dissent or bend or break the law of the regula fidei, you are therefore not “pastoral”.   The worst examples of this crap come from people who don’t have a clear sense that the word isn’t really pronounced “pastoreal”.] That pattern was replaced with one in which bishops were appointed “who were uncritically loyal to the Holy See and had absolutely clean records on such issues as contraception, priestly celibacy and the ordination of women. Bishop Morlino fits the pattern.”

This theory — that bishops are no more than “yes men” for the Pope — is “absurd,” said Jimmy Akin, director of apologetics and evangelization for Catholic Answers in El Cajon, Calif., and a leading Catholic author.

“There is no way that the Holy See can make all of the local pastoral decisions affecting the billion-plus Catholics in the world,” he said. “Those decisions are made by the bishops.”  [Also involved with the liberals’ distorted vision is that there should be a radical subsidiarity, that the Holy See shouldn’t have a clear role in any “local Church”, which should have even greater automony.  Bishops should be chosen locally.  Parish leaders who preside should be chosen by the community because they best exemplify the community at that moment.  Blah blah.]

Terms such as “progressive” and “conservative” are drawn from politics and not useful in this discussion, Akin said. [Well… they are… sort of useful.  Especially when so many of the progressivists line up nearly perfectly with certain political parties.] “The question is not whether bishops — or any other Catholics — are progressive or conservative, but whether they are faithful to the teachings passed down from Christ and the apostles.”  [True enough.]

Morlino’s fans are just as passionate as his detractors.  [A final handful of dirt from the newspaper.]

Huan Hoang of Madison said he was “a sleeper” Catholic until two years ago when he heard a Morlino homily.

“He awakened my faith,” Hoang said. “He needs to know that he’s leading us to Jesus Christ, and at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that’s important.”

I am of various minds about this article and the ad.

If I were Bishop Morlino, I would be sorely tempted to write back to them, through the paper, a letter something like this:

Dear People of God (as you like to be called),

Forgive me for not taking your counsel to me seriously. Or don’t forgive me. A newspaper ad? And you want to tell me how to act in a financially responsible way? The phone is cheaper. I tend to take counsel more seriously when those offering it are not engaged in a publicity stunt.

For your information, there’s a priest shortage in the Church and in this diocese. If I want to invite priests who are members of Religious Orders or or Institutes of consecrated life to staff parishes in the diocese, I will.  It is my choice to make the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass more available to the faithful in this diocese who want it. Furthermore, females do not traditionally serve at the altar in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass… or in the Ordinary Form if you will recall.

If some Catholics in the diocese feel better off in the Anglican Communion or in Protestant denominations, I would have thought you’d welcome their choice to join them. I certainly do, especially if their sense of Roman Catholic worship is so impoverished that they prefer Protestant worship to it. Perhaps now they and you will understand that many Catholics in this diocese have been forced for four decades to accept the scores of liturgical abuses and just plain bad taste that parish directors of liturgy, along with complicit priests, have heaped upon them.

You appeal to the “positive spirit of the Second Vatican Council.” I wish you would read the Council documents, beginning with the one on the Sacred Liturgy.

Your servant in Christ,


But I am not a bishop and this fantasy letter is a merely one example of why I should never be one… nor will ever be.

Just in case you have forgotten, here is a reminder of what sort of liturgy these Call To Action disserters want.  Remember this video from the May 2008 Call To Action meeting in San Jose, CA?

Yes, the operative word is “said.”  We “presided.”  [The Royal We might surprise at first, but given the source and the spirit of levity, you can make a quick adjustment and embrace it as entirely appropriate.]

Via skype this morning, I had an interesting tale from a priest about an encounter after saying Holy Mass… er um… sorry… presiding at community…

I share it here, with my emphases and comments as a good counterpoint to the lunacy of the ad and article above:

Worse yet, We had a woman assault us after We presided.

She’s not a bad person, a daily communicant in fact.  She taught in the parochial school for 30 years before retiring two years ago.  Her husband has taught at _ for nearly 40 years.  They both are sincere Catholics.

Well, she’s gone to school and is a certified “spiritual director.”  One of her directees is a female bishop.  So, You can already guess what’s coming next.

Just why can’t women be ordained?  Don’t give me all of the answers that  I’ve heard so many times.  Here’s a woman who God has called to the priesthood and to a bishop and she would be wonderful for the Catholic Church.  And, think of all the women who, if they could be ordained, could bring the Eucharist to places where it’s not possible now, given the priest shortage.”

We were in no mood to play that game, so We asked: “If you sincerely believe what you do, why do you remain in the Church?”  [That is the question that must be put to them every time.]

Her answer: “We have the true Eucharist.”  [With its consequences.]

Our retort: “If the Church is so corrupt that its teaching is errant, how could it possibly have the true Eucharist?  Would it not be more honest of you to become an Episcopalian which teaches the truth as you see it and would, ipso facto, have the true Eucharist that the Holy, Roman, Catholic Church has forsaken because its wedded to outdated patriarchy?  Were not the reformers like Luther far more honest than people are today who want to make the Church in their image and likeness?  Think about it: maybe God is calling you to protest…to be a Protestant…by joining the Episcopalian Church where you can have female priests, homosexual and lesbian priests, divorced priests, and lesbian bishops who have children.”

She was not happy with us but We are beyond wasting Our time on this feces.

As you can tell, dear readers, I am in a bit of a mood.

I applaud Bishop Morlino, therefore, all the more loudly for what he has been doing.   If some lefty-dissenters don’t like him …. well… tough.

Wake up and smell the incense.


The Devolution of Man (Part 5) … The Heart of the Matter

October 14, 2008

“Barabbas! Give us Barabbas! We want our sodomy and abortion!”

In a previous post I inserted a piece from “Blessed Bucky” who is brilliantly rebutting many of the unsubstantiated attacks on Bishop Morlino in a recent Wisconin State Journal article and open letter from disgruntled Call To Action (Catholics?).

The piece below begins by quoting one of the comments to the article, and then BB gives the rebuttal. Besides pointing out that the attacks to Bishop Morlino are vague, BB gets to the heart of the matter … there would be no outcry if there were no issues of sodomy and abortion on the table. BB is only saying what we all are thinking … and saying it well.

Also, I must applaud the following insight: Those who reject the truth but can’t attack it, always try to put together arguments regarding the ‘way’ he taught it, blah, blah, blah.” Priests who are trying to teach what the Church teaches are receiving the same bullying tactics from the liberals in their own parishes. Please pray for them.

Original (all too familiar) quote receiving rebuttal:

Reading these comments and the open letter, one must be saddened with people not listening to each other. The critique of the bishop’s leadership style and methods is very different from critique of his legitimacy and theology. One tradition theology example may help – if an individual speaks “truth”, but does so with the effect or intent of destruction or evil, then the individual has sinned.

To justify bullying, dismissal, and patronage (replacing qualified individuals by others less qualified, but attached personally – as the bishop has done since day one) by appealing to “truth” is also simply sinful. I do not presume to speak ad hominen about the bishop, but about his style of leadership.

The bishop was not made a good leader by his ordination. He was not made compassionate or caring by the laying on of hands. These are human traits and skills which should commend someone to office, but in this case, must be learned. He has not.

Thank you for your post. The problem with it is, as usual, vagueness. Please be more specific with concrete examples of:

1) His speaking truth “with the … intent of destruction.”

2) “bullying”

3) “Patronage” (and speaking of qualifications, the most important qualification for any employer is trust in the person they have hired. I would think this would be especially true for a solid Bishop today, particularly in Madison. Morlino would want people that share his zeal for the faith and the mission of the Church at this particular time in this particular place. They need to “GET IT,” and be people of complete fidelity to the Church, the sacramental life, and daily prayer.)

4) And please make the case how any of your examples are “simply sinful,” recalling, in particular, that false accusation and rash judgement are clearly sinful (and you can look those up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

5) Please give specific examples of Bishop Morlino lacking “compassion” or “caring.”

In my view he has been far too indulgent with many of his priests. He has not disciplined one of them, that I am aware. His predecessor used to reassign them all the time, and often out of punishment! Bishop Morlino has not done this to even one despite all of these accusations of his being such a big meanie, and even after their “anonymously” attacking him (their father!) in the secular press. This is clearly “grave matter” and if it was done with sufficient knowledge and freedom, a “mortal sin.”

Since it is true that he has been very indulgent and patient with his priests, I can only conclude that he is being attacked for other reasons, and it is most likely because of his clear, unambiguous and CHARITABLE teaching of the Apostolic Faith. Some don’t like it. This happens all the time when clergy like Bishop Morlino speak the truth. Those who reject the truth but can’t attack it, always try to put together arguments regarding the “way” he taught it, blah, blah, blah. I have never heard Bishop Morlino teach tough truths without compassion, charity and mercy for those struggling with certain sins.

And my own suspicion on all of this, is that this big hoopla comes down to the fact that he upholds the truth of marriage here in Sodom. But, of course, this is only a personal suspicion. I look forward to your excellent examples which will prove me wrong, and clearly illustrate a gravity legitimizing a group of the “faithful” attacking their spiritual father in the secular paper (which regularly demonstrates enmity with the Church on a host of subjects) who they profess, as Catholics, to be the “vicar of Christ” in their diocese (That is, if they accept the teachings of Vatican II). They have demonstrated a lack of charity for the Church, their bishop, and Christ himself. Being members of Call to Action, they are also big time raging heretics on many issues. This is another reason we know this is not about the “HOW” truth is taught, or the (“methods of leadership”) but about the “WHAT” truth is taught.

And speaking of “bullying” and attempted intimidation, is this not clearly what what this letter is attempting to do with Bishop Morlino?: Solicit the enemies of the Church to help them SHUT HIM UP when it comes to the truths of the faith? (“Barabbas! Give us Barabbas! We want our sodomy and abortion!”). We are all very fortunate that this in not going to happen because Bishop Morlino happens to be a man who keeps his eyes on Jesus Christ remembering his own judgement before him following the moment of death.

This letter submitted to the pro-sodomy, pro-abortion WSJ is the only “bullying” and intimidation tactic I’ve seen in this whole mess. But as I said before, this is the same old story, a regular “forging” process of the saints.






More Love From Bishop’s Faithful Flock

October 14, 2008

By Laura Zimmerman:


My point-by-point rebuttal to the letter submitted by CTA, and a smidge of background following:


*Plans for a new cathedral have already been put on hold, at Bishop Morlino’s wise direction, with the present economic situation mentioned in his reasoning.  However, because the very definition of a cathedral is that it houses the cathedra, or the Bishop’s chair, makes it inappropriate to “name” a parish church as a cathedral.  A new one must be built.


*The ministry and mission of the Bishop does not in any way mandate that he be “in communion with his clergy and people”–rather, the opposite.  He is to lead us, to shepherd us, and to guide us in the truth of the Church’s teachings, which Bishop Morlino does consistently and lovingly.  We are to be in communion with him, assuming that he is rightly in communion with the Church….which he is.  While people can actively promote, teach and speak truth, the Truth Of Our Faith came from God, and is given to us in Scripture.  No amount of “vision and progress” can make something man-made more true than God’s word.  Sometimes, people’s feelings get hurt when truth is spoken.  It happens to my children all the time.


*The dismissal of an employee who openly lives a lifestyle in direct defiance and opposition to the teachings of the church is not only appropriate and legal, but should be expected.  An employee who was openly engaged in stealing, in murder, in overtly lying, in refusing to honor God–all of which go against the Ten Commandments–or in any other serious sin would be expected to be terminated.  It follows to reason that anyone openly engaged in adultery would be as well.  Since the act of homosexual sex is partly defined as adultery, then termination is called for.  I would assume that a heterosexual couple who chose to cohabitate without the benefit of marriage (and flaunted it before their fellow parishioners) would also have to withstand such scrutiny, provided they could not prove that they were living together as brother and sister.  It seems reasonable that if this “couple” did not provide such proof, then the firing was justified.  It is perfectly reasonable in this day and age–and certainly in the atmosphere of Dane County–to assume that a couple choosing to live together is doing so with the intent that they be in a physical relationship.  It is not difficult to prove otherwise: get a roommate to act as a chaperone, or get a separate home.  Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to maintain a loving relationship exclusive of a sexual relationship.


*People generally “have no say” within organizations which are not run as a democracy.  The Catholic Church has never been a democracy, and it never will be.  That being said, having grown up in Sauk City at St. Aloysius Church (and school, if that matters), I can absolutely say first hand that this is a parish long used to rather liberal leadership, where the whims and desires of the parishioners were taken into account, often times in deference to the teachings of the Church, as a general rule (causing many faithful Catholics to flee to the hills and find authentic leadership and teaching elsewhere).  This is a group of people who, pardon me for saying so, for two decades were used to having their way, much like spoiled children.  It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that when priests come in who insist on teaching what is actually the truth of our faith, there will be those who will pitch veritable temper fits when their cries for “fairness” are not heeded.  Loving parents discipline their children according to what is good and right for the child, if they are doing things right, rather than by what the child wants or feels is fair at the time.  Msgr. Holmes began a good work when he was assigned at St. Aloysius; imagine the outcry if he had not been a buffer between what was and what is!


The pastoral and liturgical differences brought in by the good priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest are foreign, of course, because–three of them are from Spain!  There are cultural differences to overcome; this should come as no surprise either.  The decision to remove girls from the roster of alter servers is something that also should have been expected.  This practice was instituted at a time in that parish when the interest in serving was dwindling, and it became “necessary” to allow girls to sign up.  Interest has grown tremendously since then.  In addition, with the interest in vocations skyrocketing in our diocese in the past five years, thanks to careful guidance and leadership by Bishop Morlino and Msgr. Bartylla, boys should absolutely be given preference in this ministry, which gives them the chance to become comfortable and familiar with priests, and the altar, its surroundings, the inner workings of the Mass, and the desire to serve Jesus at His Table.  After all, boys are the ones who will eventually be ordained.  There are many parishes within the diocese in which girls are not permitted to serve at Mass, and yet a small faction from St. Aloysius seems intent upon making this an issue exclusive to their parish.


*PLENTY of liberal priests, nuns and laypeople are “ministering to the alienated Catholics of these parishes.”  There is, sadly, no shortage of these types in sight.  And take into consideration all those who LEAVE parishes where this is the case!  Our family, for one, drives 35 minutes to attend Mass at the Cathedral Parish, where we know we are being fed the truth of the faith (and there are others from our area who do this as well).  We don’t want Scripture or the Catechism watered down, for us or for our children.  For years, we wondered who would minister to us!  How many people turned away from the Church because of a lack of reverence by a priest or servers or “Eucharistic ministers” at Mass, or because no one would bring them the Eucharist when they were shut in, or because a priest would not take the time to hear a good confession?  How many have gone further and further from the buildings where they attended Mass as a child because the truth was being watered down until it was no longer recognizable?  Or because the sacraments were being treated as optional?  Those who turn away from the truth are being ministered to–but not coddled, which seems to be what they might prefer.  The truth cannot change from what it is just because someone refuses to accept it or come to understand it.  If that were so, the Church could not have remained so very solid for two thousand years.


*The Church is always “reaching out to people to embrace their legitimate hopes, dreams and differences.”  There are ministries across the board for this to happen, from the Elizabeth Ministry to Catholic Charities to St. Vincent de Paul to the Multicultural Center, to marriage and family ministries, etc., etc., etc.  What this group fails to understand is that the ministries offered by the Catholic Church must remain faithful to the teachings of the Church.  It is not up to individual laypeople, deacons, priests, bishops–or even, God bless him, the pope himself–to turn away from the foundational teachings of the Church.  As our bishop so lovingly explained to us in his talk at the Diocesan Family Picnic, the things mandated by God as the truth of our faith are not open to interpretation or change at the whims of mankind.  The tenets of our faith will–and must–remain just that.


I am not as “schooled” in apologetics as some, but in the last 8 years I have passionately sought the truth of our beautiful faith.  I did not learn it as a child, likely because of the atmosphere in the church where I was raised.  We were not taught the Catechism from day one–not even in the “parochial school“.  Sacraments were milestones, but nothing more.  Sunday Mass was for those who were not involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities, or who didn’t care to watch football on TV.  We were expected to appear respectable, but we were not held accountable.  We were not taught the value of modesty.  Confession was only done once a year, and that was at the communal penance services at some point during LentThe Rosary was a neat necklace that some people hung from their rearview mirrors.  We screwed around in our CCD classes and yet managed to be confirmed, though we knew practically nothing about the Catechism.


I can understand the mentality of the CTA folks–they’re being shaken by the reality of God’s truth after coming out of some fantasy where the will of the people is what goes.  I definitely disagree with them, but I can see where they’re coming from.  They have been so sadly misguided for so long that it is truly pitiable, and we must absolutely engage in fervent prayer not just for them–and for those whom they malign–but also for those who are weak enough in their faith formation to be swayed by them.


THANK GOD for Bishop Morlino who consistently guides us lovingly in the truth.  Those of us who have either been raised in it or who have been blessed to finally find the truth are even further blessed every time we hear him speak–to the point that at times it is such a relief that it’s overwhelming.  THANK GOD for being able to hear his homilies and talks whether you’re at Mass with him or sitting in your living room at the computer.  I would strongly encourage those of you who don’t regularly hear him to listen to his homilies online, at either the diocesan website or the Cathedral Parish website.  And THANK GOD for the dozens of good priests that we do have to assist the bishop in his ministry to us, and for the young men brave enough to enter the ministry of the priesthood.  We are so humbled by all of you, and we love you all so dearly!


Remember: Christ did not come to teach the truth gently.  He often showed anger, He was stern, He was rigid, and He managed to do this all in love…and He met a very violent death which shook the heavens and the earth and converted the Roman soldier on the spot.  Love is not always gentle, especially when discipline and correction must be employed.  When we are wrong, may God give us the grace to hear our priests lovingly correct us in the truth.


In Him,

Laura Zimmerman