Friday, November 5, 2010

Bp Morlino's letter to Platteville Catholic parishes

HT LC
My emphasis:

October 28, 2010
Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude

Dear Members of Christ’s Faithful of St. Mary and St. Augustine Parishes:

I am in receipt of your October 8, 2010 letter and petition. I am grateful that you have approached me with your concern, and I certainly recognize and respect your right to do so (Code of Canon Law, c. 212, §§2-3). By means of this letter I am replying to what you requested, namely, the “immediate removal of the priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest from St. Mary and St. Augustine parishes in Platteville.” A number of you have written to the Apostolic Nuncio about this matter. He has forwarded the letters to me after having read them. He asked that I inform you that he has forwarded these letters to me for my pastoral consideration, since the responsibility for priestly assignments rests with the diocesan bishop.

The removal of a priest assigned to a parish is a very serious matter, and I as a Bishop may only do so, at my discretion, for certain serious causes (c. 1741). I have found that much of what has been said amounts to opinion, misunderstanding, and rumor rather than fact. Nonetheless, after carefully weighing all of your reasons for the proposed removal, I have decided to keep Rev. Lope Pascual, Rev. John Del Priore, and Rev. Miguel Galvez in their current priestly ministry at St. Mary and St. Augustine parishes in Platteville. Their charisms for Catholic education and vocations will serve the people of Platteville very well, and they have my full support. With regard to each of your concerns, see the attached Addendum.

While I am available to all of the faithful of the Diocese of Madison, it is always best to resolve concerns with one’s Pastor(s) personally and locally. Not only does this give due respect to the priests, who have given their lives to serve you, but it is usually more efficient. I urge you to speak openly with these priests about your concerns; and I am confident that you will be treated with dignity and respect.

It grieves me to acknowledge that the reputation of three happy, holy, and hardworking priests has been seriously tarnished by rumor, gossip, and calumny (lying with the intent to damage another’s good name) by some within the parish community. Such conduct is gravely sinful, since some parishioners have been driven by fear, anger, or both, to distance themselves from their priests and even the Sacraments. This situation must cease, and charity must prevail on the part of all.

Furthermore, activities such as protest-letter-writing seminars, leafleting of motor vehicles, doorto- door canvassing for signatures on a petition, etc (that is, exerting organized political pressure on people, where the end justifies any means) is an appropriate tactic in a political campaign, but not in the communion of faith which is the Catholic Church. Groups such as “Call to Action” and “Voice of the Faithful” regularly employ such tactics against legitimate authority in the Church. Because these groups dissent from basic tenets of Catholic Doctrine and Discipline, they are not recognized as Catholic in the Diocese of Madison, much less are they able to exercise legitimate authority. It is my hope that these clarifications will prove helpful.

Please give these priests time and open hearts. I assure you of their good will and pastoral concern for all of you, and I ask you to join me in praying for them in their sacred ministry.

With warm regards in Christ Jesus, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison

Enclosure: Addendum

ADDENDUM
Since it is obvious that much thought and care went into the formulation of the reasons for the petition of October 8, I want to provide a response to each point for the ongoing reflection of the Parish.

A. Impact on Faith of Parishioners

1. Allegation: Introduction of faith doctrine that is pre-Vatican II in format and content

– Response: First of all, it is necessary for us to appreciate the eloquent teaching of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI regarding the false dichotomy between the pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II Church. While the Council introduced much renewal, this dichotomy is not healthy in the Church. It is what the Holy Father described as the “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.” We must rather adopt the “hermeneutic of reform,” which recognizes continuity in the Church’s life from before the Council to the present day. The hermeneutic of reform rejoices in the renewed presentation of the Church’s self-understanding without attempting to divorce itself from our rich Catholic heritage. The Holy Father taught this in his Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia (December 22, 2005); I earnestly recommend that all the faithful prayerfully study this speech.

a. Allegation: Reversion to obedience rather than acting as Body of Christ

– Response: It would not be correct to see obedience to Church authorities and the common priesthood of the faithful as in any way opposed to each other. The Council itself highlighted both of these as important components to the life of the Church (Lumen gentium, no. 37). Indeed, the example of Christ our Savior is the very epitome of these two elements, since he offered his priestly sacrifice to the Father by being obedient to the point of death on the Cross.

b. Allegation: Treating not as true believers but as lost souls

– Response: It is not proven that any of the priests have called the parishioners “lost souls” in the paternalistic way implied in the petition. I would encourage parishioners not to infer that the priests currently assigned to St. Mary and St. Augustine Parishes are criticizing their predecessors simply on the basis of their own pastoral decisions. Every Pastor must prayerfully discern how to proceed in his ministry, and this not uncommonly takes a different course and expression than that of his predecessors. Likewise, I would urge parishioners not to infer that the priests are making personal judgments when they preach doctrines and disciplines of the Church which may have been less emphasized in the past or when they encourage or offer pious practices which may be a change in experience.

2. Allegation: Introduction of faith practices that are pre-Vatican II in format and content

– Response: The petition did not include any evidence of when the indicated practices were mandated by the priests. It is my understanding that the priests have made a kneeler available for those who wish to receive Holy Communion kneeling, without requiring it. The options of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue or in the hand are both acceptable; and I know that the priests respect this. In general, it is important for priests to verify that a person is properly disposed to receive Holy Communion (c. 843, §1), and this may include an assessment of whether a person’s hands are too dirty to handle the sacred species. In one incident of this in Platteville, after the priest received more complete background information, the offended party immediately received the priest’s apology, and the apology was accepted. As far as I am aware, this was an isolated incident and should not be characterized as a general trend.

3. Allegation: Homilies transmit teachings inconsistent with the Vatican II Council

– Response: Regarding this concern, it is probable that the remarks at no. 1 above are applicable. I note also that Fr. Pascual publicly invited any concerned parishioners to review his homilies, which he has recorded, so that they could tell him where they think he diverges from the teaching of Vatican Council II. To date, no one has stepped forward, nor was any evidence of this included in the petition. If anyone has very clear examples, I would encourage you to bring your concerns, along with the helpful citations from the documents of the Second Vatican Council to Fr. Pascual.

4. Allegation: Limiting altar service only to males so that young females aren’t deemed worthy in the eyes of Christ

– Response: It is permissible in the Diocese of Madison for Pastors to reserve altar service at the Holy Mass to males. This is particularly beneficial for the promotion of priestly vocations, which is a particular charism of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest. Once again, it is unfair and unreasonable to infer that the priests, by employing only males in this service, deem women to be unworthy in any way. Also, while it is a particular charism of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to foster vocations to the priesthood, that does not mean, nor will you find, that they ignore the vocations of young women to the consecrated life, nor of young men and women to holy marriages.

5. Allegation: Reducing visits to homebound parishioners compared to Extraordinary Ministers

– Response: Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion have no “right” to administer Holy Communion at all—whether within the Holy Mass or outside of it. The administration of Holy Communion is proper to the clergy; and extraordinary ministers may only be used when there is a true necessity (Instruction Ecclesiæ de mysterio, art. 8, §1). Therefore, the priests are obliged to administer Holy Communion to the homebound if they are able; they may only call on an extraordinary minister if they judge there to be a true necessity. To my knowledge, now that the priests are settled in Platteville, they are known to be consistent and diligent in this aspect of their priestly ministry.

6. Allegation: Lack of support for families suffering loss of a loved one with inappropriate comments at a funeral

– Response: I have known the priests to be quite supportive and attentive to grieving families. As for the comments about hell and purgatory, it is natural for the Last Things to be discussed at the time of a funeral. While it would be gravely wrong for a priest to declare that the deceased is in or deserves hell, there is no indication that this has ever been done by the priests of the Society. At the time of a loved one’s death, it is very important for priests and deacons to remind the faithful to pray for the departed and to have Masses offered for them in order to help make satisfaction for the temporal punishment due them for their sins (purgatory). If a soul is in heaven it can do no harm. If the soul is in purgatory, it can do great good.

7. Allegation: Insisting on an open flame candle at a nursing home that prohibits open flames 

– Response: To my knowledge, this was an isolated incident, which was immediately resolved between Fr. Pascual and nursing home management, and in fact Mass is now regularly offered by the priests at the nursing homes.

B. Change of Worship Environment

Allegation: Worship environment has become unwelcoming and lacks joy

– Response: It is not proven that the celebrations in Platteville are lacking in due joyfulness, calling to mind also the characteristic sobriety of the Roman Rite. From other letters and communications it is also clear that what is reported in the petition is not the unanimous experience in Platteville. In fact, it is well known that the priests are reintroducing many images and practices that have never ceased to be an important part of the Church’s spiritual heritage. As for decisions about the kinds of music to be used in the Sacred Liturgy, this is prescribed by the universal liturgical norms of the Church. Also, it is the responsibility of priests to implement these norms in their parishes. Finally, it is entirely permissible for the tabernacle to be placed in a prominent, dignified place in the sanctuary; and in fact I routinely insist on this for renovation projects in the Diocese. On a personal and spiritual level, I would offer for consideration the reality that each of us is called constantly to seek real and lasting peace and serenity in our life of prayer – the very center of which, of course, is the Holy Mass. While I do not doubt that there have been some external changes at the parish nor that these changes – as change almost always does – may cause a certain unsettledness, the reality of Christ’s real presence in the Holy Eucharist is the same. God, Himself, remains constant, unchanging from age to age. I encourage each of you – as I remind myself each day – seek the interior peace and serenity that only God can grant you. Sincerely approaching your liturgical prayer with this at heart, and allowing all things to point to God, I am confident that whatever unsettledness you might be feeling will fall away and be replaced with a renewed and lasting peace in our God, who desires passionately to speak to you in the silent depths.

C. Parish Donations

Allegation: Parish donations have decreased by 50%

- Response: Parish donations often decrease when changes occur at a parish. The exact level of change at the two parishes here is not yet clear. Regardless, it would be wrong to imply that the priests should carry out their ministry in a way that is pleasing to the faithful in order to generate income for the parish. On the one hand, the priests have the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel in season and out of season, even if it is unpleasing to those whom their preaching challenges. On the other hand, it is the obligation of the faithful to support the work of the Church as a good in and of itself, irrespective of the popularity of the clergy. Financial support is not to be treated as a vote of confidence but as a gift of love. This was emphasized by Vatican II in many places (Presbyterorum ordinis, nn. 20-21; Apostolicam actuositatem, no. 21; Ad gentes, no. 36).

D. Approval of Finance Council

Allegation: Consultation with parishioners is next to non-existent; no approval of finance council

– Response: The duty of administration of the parish is entrusted to the Pastor and no other (c. 532); the Parochial Vicars participate in this according to the determinations of the Bishop and the Pastor. The Pastor never needs the approval of the finance council, pastoral council, or any other committee before making any decision (c. 536, §2, and c. 537). These councils and committees offer him insights, suggestions, and support; he can never allow them to bind him to make any specific decision, even by their unanimous vote (Instruction Ecclesiæ de mysterio, art. 5, §§2-3).

Source

62 comments:

  1. Pray for Bp. Morlino.

    I witnessed a "Rightie" attack the Bishop over some foodaddle topic like the placement of a tabernacle--enough so that the Bishop was visibly disturbed and quite unsettled afterwards.

    And that tabernacle WAS in the front of the church in question, prominently placed--but it wasn't in the center.

    Good heavens...

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  2. WOW...reading all these awful things about those priests from Society of Jesus Christ the Priest MAKES ME WANT TO JOIN THEIR ORDER. Seeing the petty and sophomoric accusations against these GODLY and good men makes me realize who is really behind this smear campaign: the evil one...and all those who assist him are in his minyons.

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  3. I would like to read the Platteville letter to Bishop Morlino. It would be useful to see exactly their complaints are, and how those complaints have been documented.

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  5. May God bless and keep His Excellency and those holy priests for many years to come!

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  6. In standing up for these holy priests you stood up for the faithful. You brought tears of joy and thanksgiving to my eyes. If ALL the bishops were like you. Any chance of reforming the USCCB and Catholic Charities?

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  7. God Bless you, Bishop Morlino. How I wish these good and holy priests were in my parish!!

    With prayers,
    MJO
    Potomac, MD

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  8. The pathetic thing is that the bishop's actions have again split a perfectly functioning parish right down the middle, turning friends against friends and even members of families against one another. How does this help the spiritual progress and growth of the congregation?

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  9. VOTF is an organization of faithful Catholics whose motto is "Keep the Faith, Change the Church. We support survivors of clericsl abuse, priests of integrity and accountability of the hierarchy.

    Canon 212.2 of the Code of Canon law states that "the Christian faithful are free to make known their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires to the pastors of the Church"

    This seems to be what has happened in this case. People should not be condemned for exercising their right under Canon Law.

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  10. I think Bp. Morlino is to be complimented for his response – charitable, forthright and clear. Would that more bishops would follow his lead and solidly back orthodox priests trying to fulfill their vocation.

    To Anon 4:58. You need to read ALL of Canon 212, not just #2. It also speaks of the obedience due to ..."what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church."

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  11. Wow!!! Just surfed in,..I love Bishop Morlino!

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  12. "The pathetic thing is that the bishop's actions have again split a perfectly functioning parish right down the middle, turning friends against friends and even members of families against one another. How does this help the spiritual progress and growth of the congregation?"

    Actually--the pathetic thing is that the faithful have been so poorly catechized that they are incapable of recognizing the Truth when it is loving presented to them.

    Christ is the center of every single aspect of our faith. To fail to recognize this and act in such a childish manner that parishioners are pitted against one another is truly saddening. Nothing that these priests have done, nothing that this beloved bishop has done--none of it--has been in discordance with the teaching of the Church in any aspect. Anyone who regularly hears the bishop speak, whether it is in homilies, in presentations, in catechesis, or even in amiable conversation, knows that his first and foremost concern is the spreading of the Gospel, the beauty of our faith--and always in love. Even when pushed, it is clear that his desire is to know that each of us understands the Truth of the faith. These good priests are no different.

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  13. The good Bishop has addressed these 'grievances' in an intelligible and charitable manner.
    God bless and keep him. Mary help him!
    Whomever is making these atrocious attacks upon these priests who are very much in line with Vatican II and the norms of Holy Mother Church need a good conversion; this is a "reckoning" that requires their assent and good will.
    Otherwise...
    there are plenty of Episcopal and Lutheran congregations more than willing to accept them.
    I'm not for splintering the "Body of Christ", the Holy Church...
    but, dag nammit, if you don't want to be Catholic, go elsewhere, and leave the faithful who DO want to be Catholic alone.
    Bishop Morlino is a great spiritual father and shepherd of souls. God bless him; prayers for him from our little monastic community...I'm just in awe of his wonderful pastoral action in this regard.

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  14. I wish this bishop and those priests were in my parish! God Bless them!

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  15. Bravo to my fellow priests for implementing the real reforms of Vatican II.

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  16. God bless the good bishop.

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  17. A true Bishop - may God bless Bishop Morlino and his priests for having the love and the courage to guide the souls entrusted to their care.

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  18. Suffering CatholicNovember 5, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    If you folks don't want your priests and bishop to act like *Catholics*, please send them to Boston, we are aching for real pastors here. We can DEFINITELY send you at least three priests and a bishop that will be more to your liking. (Warning - the bishop may come with sandals and a galero, although he'd not be likely to wear the latter...)

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  19. As a departing Episcopalian and enterring Anglo-Catholic I want congratulate those of this parish for having such fine overseers who love their children enough to admonish them when they require it. Our bishops failed our congregations and look now at the beast that is the Anglican Church. God Bless this servant of our Lord and I pray your church continues to embrace us former Anglicans into your midst. I agree with "nazereth priest"; perhaps we can have a soviet era spy swap by letting the Anglicans divest themselves of us Catholic-minded Anglicans in exchange for your Protestant-minded Catholics!

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  20. As an immigrant to the Boston Archdiocese (from NY) I object to the anonymous "Suffering Catholic" supposedly from Boston. Cardinal Sean, Archbishop of Boston, is a holy and gentle man, I am blessed to have him as my bishop.
    Let us not look at things that divide us, just what divides us from Jesus Christ. Let us pray that Christ will heal our wounds of sin and division, Lord have mercy!
    +Peace
    Dn Fred Horgan

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  21. Thank God, this is the second time this week I have heard an American bishop teach in accord with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The same week that a practicing pro-life Catholic replaced a pro-abortion Catholic as speaker of the house. God's wonders never cease.

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  22. @Anonymous: "The pathetic thing is that the bishop's actions have again split a perfectly functioning parish right down the middle, turning friends against friends and even members of families against one another. How does this help the spiritual progress and growth of the congregation?"

    Let's give credit where credit is due. It isn't the actions of the bishop, nor those of the priests, that split this parish: it was the pride, stubbornness, and fear of the dissident parishioners.

    Nor was this a "perfectly functioning parish" any more than an externally healthy-appearing body with occult cancer is perfectly functioning. The type of spiritual disorders that are manifest here don't develop overnight. They have been there, perhaps lurking out of sight, waiting for an opportunity to erupt. Satan, realizing his hold on these people would be weakened if they listened to these holy priests, threw up the walls and started firing the canons. Thank heaven the Holy Spirit has given the bishop and the priests the strength to withstand the assault.

    My prayers are with Bishop Morlino, the priests, and all of the parishioners, that the may allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit and have the strength to continue fighting the forces of evil at work here.

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  23. Bravo Bishop Morlino!!!!!!
    I am not surprized to see that these dissidents are unhappy with Bishop Morlino's efforts to be a good shepherd. Bishop Morlino has taken a firm stand to defend the authenic "Spirit of Vatican II" as opposed to that false one promoted by those who don't like what he did. He has also done so in a charitable way.
    Jesus said, by their fruits you shall know them. & the fruits of these dissidents actions clearly show that they are causeing the division, lack of charity etc in the parishes, not the priests & definitely not Bishop Morlino.

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  24. Prayers for Bishop Morlino, a truly courageous and good bishop!

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  25. To anonymous, these are the words of Jesus Christ:
    "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
    For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
    and one's enemies will be those of his household.'
    Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
    and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me."

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  26. Monseigneur Morlino, que Dieu vous bénisse ! Qu'il vous donne le courage de continuer chaque jour.

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  27. Let us keep everyone in Platteville in our prayers, bishop, priests, and faithful. Just from reading the bishop's letter it is most likely that the priests of the Society followed a very different pastoral leadership, and those transitions are never easy. Diocesan authorities must keep in mind that replacing perhaps very progressive, liberal priests with highly orthodox and rather conservative ones is not always the ideal solution, although I consider myself a "traditional" Catholic.

    Also, the cultural clash of Catholicism can be considerable. Despite being a university town, Platteville is not a major cosmopolitan city, and the form of Catholicism that the Society brings from their own cultural and spiritual experience, may be very different from the Catholic practice in rural Wisconsin. Growing up in Europe myself I found the differences between Roman Catholics over there and in the USA most striking. Alas, another by-product of Vatican II which empowered national bishop conferences immensely. While it may be somewhat painful that Catholicism may not always be quite as universal as the word implies, in the end the words of St Paul remain, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."

    On the other hand, since Vatican II parochial boundaries have been lifted... there could be a migration to St Augustine's, the University parish...

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  28. "Diocesan authorities must keep in mind that replacing perhaps very progressive, liberal priests with highly orthodox and rather conservative ones is not always the ideal solution, although I consider myself a "traditional" Catholic."

    The trouble I have with this is that so many of the young men going into seminary and becoming ordained priests are exactly that--highly orthodox and rather conservative. Why is it that so many see this as a bad thing? Why is it that hearing the bold Truths of our faith is so upsetting to those in the pews that they would literally run from the Church herself? And why in the world is there a difference in what has been taught?? (Totally rhetorical, of course--I am quite aware of the liberal mindset and practices of so many of our diocesan priests. It's one of the major reasons my husband I and found ourselves feasting upon the beautiful texts of the Catechism and various papal documents--in our late twenties--which SHOULD HAVE been disseminated to us in our youth. THANK GOD we have those things available to us, so that our conversion might be more fully real, and so that we can teach and form our children to the best of our ability, with the help and guidance from the good and holy priests and religious brothers and sisters whom we are blessed to know.)

    Secondly, what an incredible blessing that there are these good men to be sent into a parish AT ALL, let alone in such wonderful numbers. Had Bishop Morlino *not* called them to serve here, other parishes would likely have been shut down in order to allow the administration of a parish with a parochial school, which is so dearly needed. As for the "form of Catholicism that the Society brings"--it is absolutely mind-boggling that anyone expects complete and immediate assimilation to the cultural norms upon their arrival. Seriously? No one in Platteville is capable of appreciating the differences between themselves and the priests who have come to serve them? Well THANKS BE TO GOD that attitude wasn't around in the days of mass immigration from European countries as our great country was being founded. Oh.....wait.... Have we learned nothing?

    Quite possibly the greatest asset to the Catholic faith is that it is the same no matter where you go. The Mass remains (so long as it is licit) the same, Christ is always present in the Eucharist, and the teachings of the Church do not change. Quite possibly the greatest detriment is that the human element within the Church so often chooses their own errant ways, which then lead us, the faithful, in ways we are not meant to be led. It should not matter to which parish a priest is assigned. He brings Our Lord to us in the sacraments. He comes in a stranger, as Christ so often did, and brings with him the joy of the Gospel, the beauty of the sacraments, and the fullness of himself as our human brother, often at great personal sacrifice. How many of his new parishioners will accept him, unquestioningly, without regard to the "reputation" or "inside information" they may recieve from those who claim to know? How may of *us* thank him, immediately, for coming to serve, and offer our prayers for him, and open our homes and hearts to him, and really take to heart the things that he brings by way of counseling, catechizing, and preaching?

    I thank God that the good priests whom I've been blessed to come to know well in my life have not been the type to mould themselves to the mordern times--their preaching does not become stale, like a trend; it continues, week after week, to strike the heart and soul as relevant and true. The priests from SJCP follow this pattern as well. Maybe people are angry because they are hearing things that make them uncomfortable...our faith does not promise us that we will be made comfortable anywhere but in Heaven. Thanks be to God there are those willing to suffer for the Truth.

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  29. and the form of Catholicism that the Society brings from their own cultural and spiritual experience, may be very different from the Catholic practice in rural Wisconsin. Growing up in Europe myself I found the differences between Roman Catholics over there and in the USA most striking.

    What does that mean, precisely?

    If you journey to East Central Wisconsin, or the Milwaukee area, you'll find Catholicism which is directly descended from the German Catholic immigrants who populated those areas in the late 1800's/early 1900's. If you journey to the South Side of Milwaukee, you'll find Catholicism directly descended from the Polish Catholic immigrants.

    Yes, the pure-ethnic traditions have been modified a bit, or dropped entirely. But the Catechism, Canon Law, and the Mass are supposed to be virtually identical (properly practiced.)

    So...what, in Canon Law, Catechism, or properly-celebrated Masses is "different" aside from the vernacular?

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  30. I've read through most of this and was wondering, if our Lord we're standing in front of these parishioners in their church, replying to their complaints, I think he would turn over the alter as he did the tables in the sygnogue and say "these are symbols of man, not faith in me."
    I want these people to think about all the parishes across the US that don't even have a priest. I know because our neighboring parish family doesn't have one. No matter how much money they give, it's not going to happen. Maybe they need to count the Blessings that they have. God Bless Jim

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  31. An excellent piece from an excellent Bishop.

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  32. Bishop Morlino has done a fantastic fatherly job admonishing his misguided gossiping children.

    Those poor priests. Making the conversion from a liberal, "lost" parish to one following the true norms of the Church is nearly impossible. I 'get' what Anonymous said about replacing liberal priests with orthodox. The first step sometimes can't be too many changes, but instead teaching the parish how to pray. Until their hearts are opened, good teaching falls on deaf ears.

    This parish unfortunately believes that the laity is in charge and that priests [and faithful teaching] are irrelevant! Well, can we blame em, if they've been taught that for the past 40 years...

    ~Tina in Ashburn

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  33. If this dumb parish can't appreciate these priests, send them to MY diocese! We are in desperate need of sound teaching here. Geez. How are kids in this school supposed to learn how to be grownups when their parents are acting like kids??

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  34. God bless Bishop Morlino and these faithfully generous priests. Love, courage and fortitude!

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  35. Greetings and prayers from Alberta, Canada.
    Change is coming- don't you doubt it. These superb priests mentioned above appear to be doing all the right things, and we should all pray that they represent the first of a new generation of Catholics. We should pray for a Church properly attuned to Sacred Tradition as well as bishops like His Grace Bishop Morlino who will support our ressourcement.

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  36. How I wish I lived in Platteville where I could worship at a HOLY MASS. God Bless YOU, Bishop Morlino for your courage and willingness to defend the fullness of our ROMAN Catholic faith!

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  37. This is what occurs when a parish has lost touch with Catholic teachings. Everything these priests have done is either encouraged or required by the Church. Catholics....Read the documents of the Church!

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  38. God bless Bishop Morlino and all of our admirable priests who have given their lives to Christ.

    #2284 - The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death.

    Pray for those who have gone astray so that their hearts may be converted and restoring them to God's grace.

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  39. It doesn't matter, because Catholicism is a corrupt, earthly institution from the top down. God doesn't speak to the Pope, much less through him. He's just a guy, telling you what to do with your life.

    Read the Bible instead. No, really, the *whole thing*, from cover to cover. You don't need someone interpreting it for you, or telling you to believe some parts, ignore others, and adding stuff that wasn't in the Bible (like the Immaculate Conception--GO LOOK, it's NOT THERE). Adding or subtracting from the Bible is a sin. It says so in the Bible.

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  40. LastAnon, then why did you take 7 books out of your Bible? And what books does the bible tell you should be in the bible? (go look, it's not there) The Catholic Church wrote the Bible so I'm pretty sure She knows better than you how to interpret Her own book.

    Stay on subject or you get deleted.

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  41. Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis...!

    Thanks be to God for the bishop, and may the presently unhappy members of those parishes be given by God happiness in this life and the next.

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  42. Hey Anon

    "and adding stuff that wasn't in the Bible ...."
    You're right--where did they come up with that "Trinity" stuff anyway. I've looked and looked and can't find it anywhere! One God in three divine persons? Another Romanish plot.

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  43. It was the Church that formed the Bible, not the Bible that formed the Church. The New Testament was written to people who were already Christians, so it couldn’t have been intended as the sole source of religious teaching. In the early years, teaching was oral and was under the authority of the Church, which also decided which books belonged in the Bible and which did not.

    Before the invention of printing in 1450, the Bible existed only in handwriting—what we call manuscript—and we have in our possession now copies of the Bible in manuscript that were made as early as the fourth century. These copies today, contain the books that the Catholic Bible contains today. The first edition of the “King James Bible” did not appear until 1611.

    Note: As Protestant church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes, "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive [than the Protestant Bible]. . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called apocrypha or deuterocanonical books" (Early Christian Doctrines, 53), which are rejected by Protestants.

    It is the Catholic Church that has the authority to interpret scripture. The Bible teaches that the gospel comes to us through both the written (Scripture) and unwritten (oral) traditions. The gospel in her fullness has been entrusted by Christ to His Church. St. Paul says that the CHURCH not the Bible, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

    Read the letters of the Early Church Fathers. Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyons.

    Suggested reading: Four Witnesses by Rod Bennett

    Peace and God bless

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  44. WOW !!! - A great B I G WOW !
    I'm in a parish in California, and here the situation would be that the bishop would remove the orthodox priests for being 'divisive'. Our Diocesan DRE publicly teaches that there are now 9 (yes, 9 !) Sacraments.
    You guys in Bp. Morlino's care are mightily Graced (there being no such thing as 'luck' in matters like these)!

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  45. The battle lines are certainly drawn in Madison.

    Hoping may not bring wonderful orthodox priests like those of The Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to my Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, in Australia, but prayers most certainly will.

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  46. Thomist: What are the two extra sacraments?!
    Unbelievable.
    God Bless You Bishop Morlino!!!

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  47. Let me quote Jerry because he's right on target:
    'Nor was this a "perfectly functioning parish" any more than an externally healthy-appearing body with occult cancer is perfectly functioning. The type of spiritual disorders that are manifest here don't develop overnight. They have been there, perhaps lurking out of sight, waiting for an opportunity to erupt. Satan, realizing his hold on these people would be weakened if they listened to these holy priests, threw up the walls and started firing the canons.'

    If you have ever read the sermons from St John Mary Vianney, they were actually very fiery and to the point. He seemed to make a point of reminding sinners about hell in each one of his Homilies. The devil told him that if there only four priests like him spread throughout the world his kingdom would be destroyed. Only four extremely holy priests like St John Mary Vianney or like Padre Pio who didn't care for human respect and had no problem calling sinners "pigs" to their faces and putting them in their place is what this sinful society/world needs.

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  48. God bless you, Bishop Morlino!!!

    The genuine renewal of the Church lies ahead. It will bring with it Easter Sunday joy. Of course, the carrying of the cross must be endured on the way to that Easter Sunday joy. Thank you, Bishop Morlino.

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  49. God Bless the Bishop and those Priests! We need more like them.

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  50. It is a shame that the parishoners have no idea what an incredible gift they have been given. Thank you dear Bishop for supporting your Priests and not giving in to the "collection basket".

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  51. The Church is going to see more and more of these dramas play out as protestants within the church are confronted with the real faith for the first time.

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  52. I thought the pedophilia scandal in our church,was originated and permitted in Milwaukee. No, it has been all over. The cause for the filth was, that our church became a democracy, insted of a way of living under a bishops autority, comanded by Jesuscrist.Many embraced the free interpretation of the bible,Vatican II became a synonymous with license, but God has had mercy on us and has sent us Holy leaders like Bishop Morlino and holy prists that are willing to suffer calumny and guide us on the way of The Cruz, which is our salvation.

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  53. Sounds like those holy priests were sent by God to Platteville for a good reason. Let's pray that their holiness will rub off on all the laity who are in need of a holy shock. Vivat Christus Rex; tenete traditionis. Quodcumque dixerit vobis facite!

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  54. I wish they'd send those priests to my parish! It would be a great gift! I will pray for them.

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  55. VOTF is an organization of faithful Catholics whose motto is "Keep the Faith, Change the Church. We support survivors of clericsl abuse, priests of integrity and accountability of the hierarchy.

    VOTF is neither Catholic nor is it Faithful. It's a parasitical, professional victim's organization.

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  56. God Bless the parishioners. The priests already have the blessing of the bishop, but what about the families of the Platteville parish? I pray that they can accept the bishop's reply and not become bitter or estranged from the Church. I pray for understanding between opposing parties. I pray for forgiveness in that community and a willingness to start again.

    Pray for the moms and dads, professors, children, students, and those active lay persons who feel they no longer have a place in their home parish. THEY need our prayers.

    And God can continue to bless his priests and bishops.

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  57. I agree Anon.

    Please God Bless and remember the parishioners who have been hurt by comments from those who don't know all of the details. God Bless those who have been told if they disagree they should find somewhere else to go by fellow members of the Church and are now struggling with their faith.

    And God please open the eyes, ears and hearts of those who have been blinded by their own pride and righteousness.

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  58. We are to be evangelizing all people and not turning off 50% of the parishioners. Jesus would be ashamed of the misuse and abuse of authority and power in this situation. Does the Catholic church need to go back to some pre-vatican practices - yes but it took 45 years to get to this point in Catholic churches in the United States. We should not expect to change back to pre-vatican overnight causing parishioners to possibly leave the Catholic faith. The Bishop should be sensitive to this parish and all its people. Yes, changes need to be made in the Catholic church in the United States but they need to be done slowly and carefully over the next 20 or 30 years. After all it was these church leaders that allowed hi-jacking of the church after Vatican II or even promoted these changes. We would not be here today having this discussion if they had protected the Catholic church from being hi-jacked after Vatican II. I would hate to see another Catholic school possibly close due to financial support being withdrawn due to too much dramatic change. It is like children of a divorce whose whole life is turned upside down by so much change in too little of time. I feel for this parish and its people. We need to pray for wisdom and the holy spirit to guide the bishop, priests and parishioners. We should not be condemning 50% of the parishioners.

    Children today more than ever need Catholic education. I have learned more about my faith through the Great Adventure biblestudy by Jeff Cavins and books by Scott Hahn than from any priest or homily. We need teaching priest explaining what happened to the Catholic church and why we need changes. But instead St. Mary's parishioners are once again being told, "We know what is best for you and you must do what we say". We need priest and bishops who are sensitive to the needs of all parishioners and not shove dramatic change down their throats. After all it was all these parishioners that paid to have the church built, maintained and sustain it. The Bishop is discounting this fact as do many priest that do their own thing than listen to the parishioners. (I no longer live in Platteville but had been a member of St. Mary's and was married at St. Mary's. It was a vibrant parish with a good school due to all 100% of the parishioners and not just 50% of the parishioners.)

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  59. I am glad I am no longer a practicing Catholic ....

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  60. Would Jesus "interdict" members of His own Way??? I rather doubt it...

    Not being from the area, but trying to be helpful, I looked up Platteville in an atlas.

    I noted that there are many other parishes nearby e.g. may I suggest that the good members of St. Mary who have been disenfranchised charter a bus to take them from the parking lot each Sunday morning either to Dubuque or???

    Paul

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  61. You mean like tipping over temple tables or calling the pharisees hypocrites?

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