Saturday, July 4, 2015

Charges Put Minnesota Archdiocese Insurance Claims at Risk

The Associated Press reported at Insurance Journal.
"Lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are warning that criminal charges against the corporation could jeopardize insurance coverage that’s being counted on to pay some claims of victims of clergy abuse.

"Archdiocese insurers were already questioning whether they were liable to cover abuse claims.

"Now the insurers’ case is stronger because the charges allege the archdiocese knew about problems and didn’t protect kids, University of Minnesota law professor Christopher Soper told Minnesota Public Radio News. Most insurance policies don’t cover intentional or criminal acts, he said. ..."
The Archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in January of this year.
"Last November, the archdiocese sued insurance companies covering it from the 1940s through the 1980s in an effort to resolve the carriers’ obligations to cover clergy sexual abuse claims.

"Although the Twin Cities archdiocese wants insurers to contribute to a settlement of claims filed by alleged victims, many have denied claims of have reserved the right to reject claims. The coverage dispute is now part of the archdiocese’s bankruptcy proceedings."

Friday, July 3, 2015

Directional signage for the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee County

As of today, it's the law, per 2015 Wisconsin Act 51:
Section 1. 86.19 (1g) of the statutes is created to read:

86.19 (1g) (a) Subject to par. (b), the department shall erect and maintain 2 directional signs along eastbound and westbound I 94 and 4 directional signs along the exit ramps that correspond to the signs along the main roadway in Milwaukee County for the Basilica of St. Josaphat.

(b) Upon receipt of sufficient contributions from interested parties, including any county, city, village, or town, to cover the costs of fabricating, erecting, and maintaining the signs specified in par. (a), the department shall erect and maintain the signs. No state funds, other than from the receipt of contributions under this paragraph, may be expended for the fabrication, erection, or maintenance of the signs.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Green Bay diocesan clergy take to the interwebs

GREEN BAY — Like it or not, social media is here to stay. And according to Bishop David Ricken, if you want to be relevant to the current generation, you have to be in those places. That’s exactly what some priests in the Green Bay Diocese (and Bishop Ricken) are doing.

“There were enough people who had seen my homilies on my personal Facebook page, and they seemed to like to be able to read them, so I thought that would be a good thing to do with my daily homilies,” Fr. Wideman said.Fr. Brian Wideman, 39, parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Parish, Appleton, was ordained in 2014. He admits to not being much of a social media user before. Now he posts his daily and Sunday homilies on his Facebook page under the name Fr. Brian Wideman and his blog,

He said other people use social media more as an evangelizing tool, but it is not a substitute for interpersonal communication.

“Social media can be helpful, but it doesn’t ever replace the personal encounter that we have with Christ and others,” Fr. Wideman said. “So many people have their faces buried and their hands busy on their phones, so it’s almost like you have to put that out there because that’s where they are.
continue at The Compass

Bp. Ricken is a good follow.  Out of the Illinois bishops, Bp. Jenky is a good follow as well.  The entire Diocese of La Crosse doesn't even have a Facebook or Twitter account, so there's many that are still behind the curve.

Defender of Condom Benedict is Marquette Alumnus of the Year award winner

Go figure:  Milwaukee Art Museum Announces New President of Its Board of Trustees

Milwaukee, Wis., May 26, 2015 The Milwaukee Art Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Donald W. Layden Jr. as President of its Board of Trustees. Layden assumes the position from Kenneth C. Krei who will become Board Chairman. This transition in Museum leadership ensures the continuity of the Museum’s mission and affirms its role as one of the most significant cultural institutions in the city and region. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Board of Trustees includes 48 distinguished civic and business leaders dedicated to the Museum.

“Having benefited from Ken’s counsel over the years, I look forward to working with him and Don in their new roles,” said Daniel Keegan, Museum director. “We are grateful for Ken’s leadership during the past three years, and wouldn’t be where we are today without his guidance. With the Museum’s major renovation project nearing completion and with Don’s vision, we will be ushering in a new era for the Museum.”

Marquette University: Donald W. Layden, Jr Wins Alumnus of the Year Award - 2013

Anyone who knows him will tell you that Don lives the Marquette mission. Whether it’s the pursuit of excellence in his professional life — he’s a partner at Quarles & Brady and an operating partner with Baird Venture Partners — or how he and his wife, Mary Jo, Arts ’80, deepened their spirituality as members of the Ignatian Associates community or his leadership on a diverse group of nonprofit boards from here to the Philippines, Don builds relationships and makes connections that encourage the best in people.

Update and thank you from Rogan family

Two and a half months ago we lost our father and husband. I never could have imagined how God would take care of us. Through many generous donations, gifts, and prayers I can see God working through his people. Even though we have suffered a great tragedy and loss we have been blessed in many ways. Thank you to everyone who has helped us in any way, big or small. Through the financial support we have received, I will be able to stay home with our children. This is what Mike provided me our entire marriage.

The children and I have kept up our normal activities. We planted our garden, are raising two pigs, our oldest is taking Drivers Ed, and the older kids are getting ready to participate in summer camp. We also plan on going on vacation to a place Mike loved taking us.

There are many challenges for me each day as a single mother. The loss I feel for my best friend and protector is great. But I know God loves us and will take care of us. The many prayers said for us and Mike's soul have been a comfort and a source of strength.

Thank you and God bless,
Niki, Anne, Jon, Claire, Ben, Luke, Jacob, Gemma, and Blaise Rogan
GoFundMe: Rogan Family 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Milwaukee Art Museum's embrace of condom portrait of pope draws disgust

The decision by the Milwaukee Art Museum to acquire and prominently display a controversial portrait of Pope Benedict XVI fashioned from 17,000 colored condoms has created outrage among Catholics and others who see it as profoundly disrespectful, even blasphemous.

Many suggest that if a piece were as offensive to other faith traditions or communities it would not be tolerated, much less embraced.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki blasted the decision as insulting and callous. The museum acknowledged it has fielded about 200 complaints. A handful of patrons dropped their memberships; one longtime docent tendered her resignation; and at least one donor vowed never to support the museum financially again.

Museum officials said an equal number of people have voiced support for the piece and that memberships and pledges in general are growing. They said they regret that the portrait, by Shorewood artist Niki Johnson, has elicited such enmity. But they insist it was not their intent — nor the intent of the artist — to offend Catholics or anyone else. And they said they continue to enjoy the support of people of all faiths, including Catholics.

"This was never intended to be derisive, mocking or disrespectful of the pope," said museum board of trustees president Don Layden. "It was to have a conversation about AIDS and AIDS education. And my hope is when the piece appears in the museum that will be the focus of the discussion."

Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Listecki, called that explanation "a smoke screen."
continue at JS

The whole point of this exhibit is to exercise bigotry against the Catholic Church(the largest charitable organization in the world) and Her teachings.  I debated on even covering it since it meets the museum's and the artist's end.  Although condoms cannot prevent the AIDS virus from spreading, the myth is perpetuated that the Church hates AIDS victims.

Image: Time

St. Louis priest files federal lawsuit after being cleared of child sex abuse charges

ST. LOUIS — A Roman Catholic priest whose charges of sexual abuse of a boy were dropped this month has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was unfairly targeted by police, the city and advocates for sexual abuse victims.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang claims in the suit filed Thursday in St. Louis that false abuse accusations were the result of religious and ethnic discrimination. The suite says he was denied due process under the constitution and defamed by a group that seeks justice for victims of abuse by priests.

The lawsuit names the accuser’s parents — by initials only — along with St. Louis police Officers Tonya Porter and Jaimie Pitterle, the city of St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and that group’s leaders, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris.
continue at RNS

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Abp. Listecki booming remarks on Obergefell; US "a European wannabe,” the tyranny of the minority, blasts Kennedy, praises Scalia

For a long time now, I have felt that we have entered a post-Christian era in the history of western civilization. There is almost an embarrassment about being a Christian and a denial of the roots that Christianity has provided in the development of our society. In the European society, the Euro community refused to acknowledge the historical significance of Christianity in the development of European society. The pope made an impassioned plea for that recognition, but it fell on deaf ears. Now we have a European community that is clinging to its roots, as it is slowly being destroyed by its own hubris.

Here in the United States, we are apparently a European “wannabe.” We have been slowly disavowing ourselves of any connection to religion and separating ourselves from any symbols which may be offensive, though they have been in existence for decades.

Part of it can be attributed to the tyranny of the minority -- one person is offended by a statue or a picture reflecting some religious symbolism and off we go to an activist court for social reconstruction -- the sensitivity of the one is imposed on the many.

Oh! But we have separation of Church and state, they say (actually only by judicial edict). There was no separation of Church and state when the parochial schools were educating the masses because government lacked the capacity to do so. There was no separation when the religious hospitals were providing care in areas the government could not or would not. Nor when religious charities were providing for the homeless long before state welfare organizations were instituted.
I was hoping he'd come out swinging, thank you!

Oshkosh Sisters sell 155-acre land to preservation trust

A pond, woods and wetlands in Mequon used by an order of Catholic Sisters as a rustic, spiritual retreat has been sold to the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.

As Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother ended its decades-long stewardship of the 155-acre Spirit Lake Preserve, the change in ownership Friday established a milestone — protecting more than 6,000 acres of open spaces — for the regional land trust.

A small, wood-frame cottage at the dead-end of a farm lane provided members of the order with access to solitude: a natural area encompassing the small body of water, an adjacent grassland and a forest with two separate canopies.


The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother are facing declining numbers of members in the region, and a drop in use of the rural retreat, which is costly to maintain, said Pat Groth, a spokeswoman for the Oshkosh-based order.
continue at JS

Two of Six new priests from Madison celebrate First Masses in the Extraordinary Form

Of the six men ordained this year, two of them celebrated their 1st Mass according to the Extraordinary Form!
More at Father Z's

La Crosse man leads 200-mile bike trip

Chris Pundzak believes that from the day we’re born until the day we die, we’re on a mission without statistics. But to many who welcomed Pundzak to Portage Tuesday night, the numbers were quite impressive.

The 28-year-old stepped off his bike at St. Mary’s Catholic Church after departing from Holy Hill Shrine in Milwaukee on Monday, a brief rest from his 200-mile bike trip across the state to Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse.

“Why do we wake up every day? What is our mission?” Pundzak said. “This mission is not about me. It’s about helping other people.”

Pundzak, diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 5, is biking for the third time to demonstrate that the soul is stronger than the mind and to promote a pro-life message.

More than 100 people have chipped in along the way to help the La Crosse native and a small group of other riders, who plan to arrive at the shrine on Sunday.
continue at WiscNews

Monday, June 29, 2015

WI roundup on SCOTUS ruling

Wisconsin Catholic Conference:
Today the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the U.S. constitution equally protects the right of same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage in all 50 states. This ruling regrettably trumps both the express will emanating from the deliberations of voters and legislatures across the country, and millennia of understating across cultures as to what marriage is.

At the same time, the opinion of the Court also recognizes that “the First Amendment affirms that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and their faiths and to their own deep aspiration to continue the family structure they have long revered.”

For our part, our Catholic faith teaches, as it always has, that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman. Man and woman complement each other; they then become united as one in marriage and together are unique in their ability to create new life based on sexual and reproductive differences. Our teaching in that regard will not change.

We will also continue to teach that every human person deserves respect and compassion. The experience of same-sex attraction is a reality that calls for attention, sensitivity, and pastoral care. Each of us is called to love and each of us deserves to be loved. Here too, we will continue to witness this value.

As the impact of the decision plays out over the coming weeks and months the Catholic Church will continue to preach the truth about marriage and human dignity. We will invite our fellow citizens to share in our values and commitment to them.
Abp Listecki(oddly worded):
Today is a sad day for the sacrament of marriage, when the United States Supreme Court redefines marriage to be something other than what God created.
Bp Ricken(well worded):

Bp Morlino (really well worded):
The Church’s response to the ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, recognizing “same-sex marriage”, is the same today as it would have been yesterday, namely that the definition of marriage is an objective truth of the natural order. Such truths can only be recognized and never changed, regardless of a court’s ruling or of a vote anywhere in the world.

As we have stated frequently, and repeat today, marriage is, and can only ever be, a unique relationship between one man and one woman, for one lifetime, with openness to children. This is not based on any private sectarian viewpoint, but on human ecology, which all are bound to respect, at all times, as inscribed in our human nature, from the beginning of creation. Because it behooves us to safeguard the sacred ecology of all nature, especially of our human nature, the Church will continue to do so.
I've not seen statements from the others yet.

Also: Scott Walker comes out strongly against the ruling