Saturday, November 6, 2010


Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, read his letter to two parishes below my comments; but especially read his addendum! I was even squirming!

My comments first: Read Bishop Robert Morlino's letter to Catholics of two parishes where he assigned a traditional order of priests who uphold Orthodox Catholic teaching and the traditional liturgy (not sure if that is in the EF or OF). At the end of his letter is an addendum. I've never heard a bishop be so strong in support of canon law, doctrine and orthodoxy. You can see how a parish schooled in the theology of reform through rupture with tradition rather than reform through continuity with tradition would be reacting to the "hermeneutic of reform within continuity" in a negative way!

Evidently too, these parishes are infiltrated with the schismatic "Voice of the Faithful" and "Call to Action" groups that have some very dubious and unCatholic means to stir the pot and create even more dissent. I'm surprised there isn't open warfare!

At first blush, I feel that certain pastoral sensitivities are in order toward some of the dissent, particularly as it concerns two things that could create a great deal of misunderstanding, altar girls and the manner of homilies at a funeral Mass, especially if these dwell too much on purgatory or hell and in light of the congregation never having heard of these two doctrines until the funeral of a loved one. Perhaps the funeral Mass isn't the best place to introduce doctrine, but should be more pastoral. Being pastoral doesn't mean canonizing the dead, but it does mean comforting the grieving.

In terms of altar girls, what the bishop says is correct about Church law and the priest's legitimate right not to have them, especially in light of striving to promote vocations to the priesthood. However, I do think that parents get very angry when they perceive that their children are mistreated by clergy or religious and I could see how a girl who was an altar server would be quite alienated if told she couldn't serve with little or no adequate explanation.

Prior to Church law allowing altar girls, Bishop Raymond Lessard, the retired bishop of Savannah, in reaction to parishes which had altar girls "illegally" asked that girls be vested differently than the boys and that the girls could be allowed to carry the cross and candles of Mass, but that altar boys should be the ones that bring the wine and water to the priest and/or deacon at the preparation of the gifts and wash his hands, as well as bring the incense and boat to the priest. I thought this was a very good way to include girls but to keep the traditional role of the altar boy as a way for the church to plant the seed of priestly service in their hearts.

At any rate read the bishop! Wow! It takes guts in today's Church to write this. I hope and pray that Bishop Morlino has a strong constitution!

Bishop Robert Morlino’s letter to Platteville Catholic parishes
Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin

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

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).


Vianney1100 said...

What we have here is a reaction to things being implememented the way that Vatican II meant them to be. All because those who came before these good priests did things they should not have and allowed their members to become weak, uneducated and unfaithful. But then that is the story of many of us Catholics, myself included, who knew not their faith. Thanks to priests like these and the younger ones in my own archdioces here in Minnesota, things are getting better.

Anonymous said...

Awesome letter. Sounds like they have good leadership up there. I hope a few parishioners step up to support these guys.


Gene said...

Indeed. The Church is not a political party or an encounter group where things are negotiable and "democratic." There is really no place for political dissent at exceptions. Now, if heresy is being preached or there are moral outrages, then there are perfectly viable channels for redress without all the petulant behavior.

Many of us may have some discomfort with some of the Church's stances. I think the Church is soft on illegal immigration. I am a strong advocate of the death penalty; the Church tends to be soft on that. I detest the use of the term "social justice" because it is nothing but a code word for Left wing Marxist, anti-Church agenda and the Church seems to me to be naive about this.
But, I keep my mouth shut about it (except in this instance)and pray, go to Confession,and attend Mass. Why? Because I believe that 2000 years of the wisdom of Popes, Cardinals, Priests, the Magisterium, and the devout lives and prayers of millions of Catholics before me might just represent a better informed and more astute body than my wishes and opinions. So, I pray for understanding and patience. Why is that so difficult for this rabble that are constantly whining and stomping their feet like my four year old grand daughter?

So, if you are of the rabble, why do you stay? You would be perfectly happy as Episcoplaians. You get ritual, aesthetics, a nice faux liturgy, sweet Priests (male and female) who wear cute stuff with doves and quail and other game birds on it, and candles. The question of the Real Presence should not bother you because, if you are receiving while maintaining your unrepentant dissent, it probably is not efficacious for you, anyway. You get academically flavored homilies with very nice neo-Platonic allusions, socially relevant laments, and they even read from C.S. Lewis, Walt Whitman, and Walker Percy some. Not only that, they have openly gay and lesbian Priests and Priestesses, welcome Pro-Choice advocates and provide them with good sophistic arguments, and they pretty much believe that anything is ok between two consenting mammals. They also have great parties. How come you aren't knocking people down trying to get there?

Anonymous said...

I have met Bishop Morlino. My son was confirmed by him.
Having lived in Madison, Wisconsin for 24 years, I can be sure there must be much moaning and groaning taking place in that diocese. Talk about liberal practices. I just wonder how the older priests will handle all this change.

To pinanv525, I was enjoying your comments, but only up to a point. Your first three paragraphs I thought were good. But then you get on your soap box, staqrt ranting on, and tell people to love the Catholic Church or become Episcopalian, (like you did to the mother of a gay son), and I had to quit reading.

Gene said...

Anon, why should they not leave? The most strident (and those are the ones to whom I refer) only remain because they need an antagonist or they enjoy causing trouble. They are apostate, obnoxious, and divisive. They stir dissent and influence the opinions and lives of the young or impressionable. They don't have to become Episcopalian. They could become Methodist, Unitarian, Zen Buddhists, Masons, or sons of the Yellow Dog. I don't care as long as they go away.

Anonymous said...

pinanv525, The people should just go away? Christ embraced all people, why can't you?

Anonymous said...

So the Pastors at each individual parish can do whatever they want in their respective parish, within the "rules" their Bishop gives them. It's no wonder there is no universality within the Catholic Church.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In terms of no universality, I do think that the Church today is much more diverse and we have to live with that diversity. We also have to live with a diverse clergy. My concern with what is happening in Madison is that there seems to be a disconnect on the "pastoral" level and a bit too much change back toward orthodoxy and too fast. There is legitimate diversity even in orthodoxy, i.e. altar girls can be incorporated in very traditional, orthodox parishes. I don't know what these two parishes were like before the new priests, but it does sound like they went above and beyond what Vatican II actually teaches in certain area and maybe there was a loss of Catholic identity and the purity of teaching. I hope cool heads prevail and with time these parishes will be guiding lights of what the hermeneutic of reform with continuity can accomplish. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Vey good responses..It sounds like a parish gone awry for many years and has been left to do so. The Bishop is right. These parishoners have a view of the Vat II COuncil that is not consistent with the CHurch or Holy Father. Witholding donations to such an extreme to force hardship onto a parish, its' schools etc., in the hopes of forcing the removal of decent Priests is downright scandalous and harmful. They should be ashamed. Pray for the faithful that they drop the folly and continue to nourish their souls and faith with some of the things that have been brought back and people have not seen or heard in years. It is still part of being Catholic and our teachings. This truly sums up the proverb "Out of sight, out of mind".. Letting all these things lapse for so many years has warped people into thinking that they are no longer part of Church teaching or settings. That is 100 % wrong. A change of heart from these parishoners is definately in order.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the almighty dollar has its way of speaking. The Catholic Church could not survive without its donations.
At the time of the sex abuse scandal in Chicago, the spokesman for Cardinal Bernardine stood on the steps of Holy Name Cathedral and was asked by reporters why the Cardinal did not address the scandal years before when he was first informed of it. The spokesman for the Cardianl said that the Cardinal was too busy running a million dollar business.
The Catholic Church has also donated in excess of 10 million dollars of the hard earned money donated by its people to ACORN, a most corrupt organization that uses the money it gets for so many things the Catholic Church is against, that it is impossible to list.

Gerbert said...

This is the future, the Pope is guiding the Church back to orthodoxy, and to drive the point home to dissenting faithful, a strong hardline position will have to be pushed to counter the mindless fodder of the "spirit of Vatican II", that the progressives have been feeding us over the last 40 years. This is a brave, strong bishop, now if only the rest of the bishops will jump on board. One can hope!

wmjack said...

This letter from an orthodox bishop reminds me to pray that our next Bishop of Savannah will be such a man.

Anonymous said...

Pinan's question is perfectly legitimate. Whatever one thinks of the Bishop's letter, one has to wonder how people who claim to be Catholic came the conclusion that running flyers to people's doors was a path to change. I respect Father's point that the young women deserve an explanation as to why they are 'suddenly' no longer able to help as servers, but the answer has to include how they were misled. It is a little funny to think that correcting missteps of the last 40 years to get back in line with previous one thousand is a shock to someone's system.

How is it impolite to ask someone why they are at the wrong party, especially if they are unhappy with the other guests? Concerning the withholding of funds: if the people who are not only unwilling to accept Church teaching but actively undermine and present obstacles to those who do want to accept and obey were to leave they would, one hopes, take their money with them. As far as I know I withhold 100% of my money from the Presbyterians, not out of malice, but as a practical matter. Even if they benefit from some of the non-denominational religious charities I support, but I will refrain from inserting myself in their internal workings. These people reject both Church teachings good manners. If they will be offended by either, then may as well be offended by both.

It is not a Charity to allow rebellion within the Church.


Bashan Ranch said...

"Social Justice" is a code word for "left-wing, Marxist, anti-Church agenda." The divinely inspired prophets who condemned social injustice would be intrigued by your comments I am sure. So would Pope Leo XIII who gave us Rerum Novarum, and the subsequent popes who have taught in the social justice vein subsequently. So would martyrs like Archbishop Oscar Romero and Fr. Stanley Rother who gave their lives defending the poor from the social injustice of the oligarchs.

It seems your favorite "theologian" must be the apostate Glen Beck. Why am I not surprised?

Anonymous said...

"Social Justice" is another term for the redistribution of wealth.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone lay person sit on a council in any Catholic parish, spend time away from family, spend the time driving to and from meetings lasting hours, and realize everything that may have been discussed means absolutely nothing if the Pastor does not agree?
I have never sat on any parish council (thought about it once) and never will.

SqueekerLamb said...

Social Justice does not inherently mean redistribution of wealth...some sadly folks twist it to mean that.

If one thinks that serving on a Parsh Council is so that one can run the show, then one is right to not serve, because they wouldn't be 'serving' anyhow.Unfortunatley some folks are like anonymous..only give when they get the reward that they had in mind...perhaps the Pastor needs the support...perhaps you'd gain more than you can imagine.
It's a very good thing that a Pastor doesn't have to let such parishioners boss him around!

Gene said...

Bashan, justice is justice. Preaching against injustice of any kind has always been a part of the Church's mission. It is the same with helping the poor. But, secular, ideologues have created an entire mythology surrounding "social justice" and the "poor" (which I now refer to as the "mythic poor"),which they use to play upon people's guilt, sympathy, and naivete in order to further their socialist objectives. My experience has been that most of the people spouting the "social justice" mantra are also pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and pro-female ordination. Many of them hate the Church and only remain nominally Catholic in order to "bring chnage from within." Right.

Let me point out a couple of things: God's justice...the justice talked about in Scripture... is a different concept than some puny Enlightment philosophy or some political idea about "equality" and "rights." It is theological/eschatological and its roots are Christological. Of course, the Church has to speak against injustice and the Bishops and others you name are right to do so. But, the enemies of the Church and the country have co-opted their good intentions. Why do we need special designations for "justice?" Are not these concepts simply a part of the Christian life devoutly lived?

This is sort of like "hate crimes." Are not all crimes based upon hate? Why is killing a person of one race or nationality a "hate crime" and killing another not? Again, this is another myth created by those with a political agenda.

And, no, Bashan, I do not like Glenn Beck. He is, first of all, a Mormon, which is heresy based upon the contorted and schizophrenic ramblings of a lunatic. He is also a bit over the edge. He is certainly no theologian. However, I prefer many of his political views to those of the Left.

Why don't you give some thought to what I am saying instead of resorting to personal attack? I would also like to say to you and old Anonymous who like to get personal, "If you can't bite, don't growl."

Gene said...

BTW, which Bashan are you? Are you the cattle Moses gave the tribes of Manasseh in Joshua, or are you the "cows of Bashan" that Amos condemned?

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who belongs to the parish in question. She has likened the priests to 21st century martyrs, saying that the allegations against them are wrong. They have been teaching the faithful what has been lacking for many years. She said that Bishop Morlino was charitable yet firm in his letter and pastoral decision.

Bravo to Bishop Morlino!

And Father, you keep up your most excellent work. If you have naysayers in your parish, please hold firm to what you are teaching us all. Your work, like the works of those priests, is Holy and good in God's sight.

Gerbert said...

Anon... "Why would anybody sit on a council only to have what you wanted done rejected" You seem to forget that the only authority in the Church rest with the bishops, the bishop has priest who represent him in the parish, through which his authority is made local. The parish council and finance council are there to provide study and recommendations to assist the priest in his decision process. The overall pastoral responsibility rest with the priest. Scripture is clear on who has the authority in the Church, today’s 2nd reading Paul states "we (the Church)are confident of you in the Lord that what we INSTRUCT you, you are doing and will continue to do." The Gospel of Matthew is clear on Church authority. So why do I serve on a church council? For one reason to be of service in support of our priest and all of the parish community. It is not about what I want, but how can I be in service to our Lord and His Church. Get it now!!!

kiwiinamerica said...

Culture shock!

This is what happens when people are suddenly exposed to traditional Catholicism after 40 years of "Father Bob", the "post-conciliar Church" and Catholicism-lite.

Bashan Ranch said...

Pinanv says: "Justice is justice." This is not correct. The Church plainly distinguishes three dimensions of basic justice: commutative justice, distributive justice, and social justice.

Is this some rant from those who hate the church? Read on . . .

"Charity is no subsitute for JUSTICE withheld." St. Augustine

"Equally there is an urgent need for tenacious, lasting, and shared efforts to promote SOCIAL JUSTICE. There can be no true SOCIAL JUSTICE if not in the light of genuine solidarity." Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est

"SOCIAL JUSTICE cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create." Pope john Paul II

"It violates right order when capital so employs the working or wage-eraning classes so as to divert business and economic activity entirely to its own arbitrary will and advantage without the social character of economic life, SOCIAL JUSTICE, and the common good." Pope Pius XI

Do one saint and three popes represent the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-ordination of women crowd? You decide.

So, are we to follow the Church or Pinanv and his Glen Beck inspired "distaste" for what is an essential element of our doctrine?

As for me and my household, we will follow the Church.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Bashan, very good points on social justice and the need for Catholics following the hermeneutic of reform within continuity to recognize the legitimate teaching authority of the Magisterium, both ordinary and extraordinary, even in social teachings. The problem with those who have promoted the theology of dissent and rupture with the Church's past as well as with her legitimate pastors is that they undermine the entire teaching authority of the Church when they question "Humane Vitae" and promote dissent in this area; when they are pro-choice;when they are pro-same sex or multiple partner sex marriages and when they strive to usurp the authority of the Church with belongs to her pastors. If one questions the legitimate authority of the Church in matters concerning homosexuality, why not question the Church's social teachings too and make it up as you go? I'm opposed to that and I hope all Catholics of good will are too in all areas of morality, both private, personal and social.
Fr. McDonald

Gene said...

Bashan, since my "Glenn Beck inspired" comments bother you so much, why don't you tell us where you stand on some of these more pressing issues?

Just because the Pope and the Church may use the term "social justice" does not prevent it from being co-opted and used as a left wing ideology by those within whose camp are many enemies of the Church. It is an unfortunate, politically loaded term which I believe needs to be "de-mythologized."

Now, those of your ilk who like to use Glenn Beck or other conservative pundits to attempt reductios of conservative theological argument are, by implication, most often in the liberal camp or somewhere in the neighborhood. So, Bashan, just how inclusive is your proud stance on Social Justice? I await your candid reply...

Bashan Ranch said...

Fr. McDonald, I was referring to Pinanv's rather un-Catholic dismissal of "Social Justice," which is wholly a part of our Church's revealed doctrine, as the product of dissenters. He is wrong in doing so. I presented only four examples to show his error. There are, literally, tens of thousands of examples that could be cited, from the prophet Amos to Benedict XVI.

Maybe he is ignorant of the three-fold understanding of justice that the Church authoritatively teaches. With all due respect,in such a case, your job is not to respond to me, but to show him his error and to present the Church's teaching in its fullness.

Promoting Social Justice is not a promotion of dissent.

Gene said...

Bashan, you are not paying attention, which does not surprise me. I am well aware that the Church uses the term social justice, and I am well aware of the Church's teachings on our duty to the poor and down-trodden. I was discussing the unfortunate usurping of the term "social justice" by the Left-leaning, dissenting factions in the Church and its ideological use by secular ideologues. See if you can't grasp that this time.

I also told you I am no fan of Beck, but you continue to insist upon trying to associate me with him. Your tactics of deliberate misinterpretation ( I am assuming you are not simply stupid)and perseveration regarding an association that does not exist are leftist tactics. I am beginning to think you are one of the "cows of bashan" that Amos talked about. Just a guess.

I notice that yopu also presume to tell Fr. what his job is. This is pretty typical self-righteous, arrogant stuff that is also found among the and out of the Church. Mooooo!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bashan, I think you misunderstand Pinan's point which is to NOT parse justice but acknowledge it. I will not put words in his mouth, but I would say that the term 'Social Justice' has been abused and its definition twisted. It has been held hostage to more narrow agendas and used as a weapon to shut off truly open discussion. Its edge cuts Catholics who tend to seek certainty due to our rigourous indoctrination and body of laws. It is ironic that we have more flexibility within that structure than most.

Once the idea of Social Justice was presented people already schooled in such ideas seized the lead of its execution in order to control its application and progress. Thus the Church has become both a financier and publicist of Socialist and Communist organisations. For these people it is more important how Social Justice is realised than that it actually becomes reality.

Of the quotes you gave I would think that the one from St Austine would give you chills, especially in light of Pope JPII's statement. One must use the right tools, the conditions must he set. The stones of the Church are cut and blasted from quarry by strong rough men. They were not talked into place, they were dragged there.

Catholics, lay and clergy, would do well to allow the many approaches to problem solving that can happen within the bounds of of Church doctrine, all the greater glory to God.


Anonymous said...

SqueekerLamb, I never said I thought people that sit on a parish council had a right to boss the Pastor around. Why do you have to read into things? I realize being on a parish council would only be in an advisory capacity, but, again, I would not want to have to give of my time and talent, only to have it completely rejected.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post so often, but would like to make a point about Parish Councils. They are councils, not a board of directors. Their job, really art, is to figure out how to get things done within the boundaries given. Their goal setting is limited by the larger goals of the Diocese and Church. Thus a task that may seem straight forward, such as remodeling, can be difficult for the local council as they must do the job within clear limits. In many ways, this makes the job easier. For all you have to do is study the guidance, learn the boundaries and you will have a very limited set of decisions to make. This can make it less contentious and easier to accomplish.

But it never does.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think that with Pastoral Councils, the first model chosen in the late 1960's that is still in the minds of many today, even though Church law makes clear that it isn't this way, is the democratic method of decision making, taking votes and the winner wins and the loser loses. Rather the Pastoral Council should assist the pastor in making administrative decisions, pastoral planning, and parish policy. In my parish, we strive to make decisions by consensus. Occassionally I do like a vote is there is a large expenditure of money for something. I've been a pastor since 1991 and never have I vetoed anything that was passed by the Pastoral Council. We educate the council, each new member, on the constitution and what the purpose is. We make clear that it does not operate as a board of directors or trustees or like the Vestry of the Episcopal Church or the Board of Deacons of the Baptist Church. It's not about power plays, the pastor has the power. Its about the pastor consulting with the laity to make wise use of the power Canon Law gives us and to be pastoral in making his decisions so as not to alienate people, but to bring them along. Sometimes the common sense of the laity is very helpful in guiding decisions and planning for the future.

Bashan Ranch said...

Pinav said: Social Justice "is nothing but a code word for Left wing code word forleft wing Marxist anti-Church agenda." I say, tell that to Augustine, Piux XI, John Paul II, and B16.

Pinanv's statement is a gross over-generalization of the Glen Beck variety and demonstrably false. By quoting the highest authorities of the Church I have shown it to be false.

Now, everyone who jumped on the Beck Band Wagon is scampering to jump off said wagon to fall back into line with our Church that has taught the necessity of Social Justice 'ab initio.' Only now do the nay-sayers acknowledge their errors.

I am happy that I have been able to provide the corrective. I remain, your humble servant . . .

Gene said...

Bashan, you are proving my point. What is this thing you have about Glenn Beck? You have provided no "corrective" and there is nothing "humble" in any of your posts. You are merely repeating yourself.

Mindlessly quoting the "highest authorities of the Church" means nothing if you are just tacking them on to poorly constructed and ad hominem ramblings. It is sort of like the Baptist penchant for "proof texting."

And, please, lay off the faux humility. I'm out of Pepto Bismol...

Bashan Ranch said...

The quotes I offered show that your "justice is justice" statement is wrong. Justice, in the traditional teaching of the Church is divided into commutative, distributuve, and, much to your and Glen Beck's dismay, social.

You asserted that those who speak of social justice are pro-gay, pro-abortion, etc. By the quotes I offered, I showed that your assertion is, again, wrong.

These quotes are not cited mindlessly. I am mindful, in fact, of the Church's social doctrine and think you should be, too.

Gene said...

Bashan, Let's come at this another way. If you accept the Church's teachings on social issues (abortion, birth control, homosexuality/gay marriage, female ordination, etc.),and if you are a devout Catholic in a State of Grace,then you and I are in the same camp. We are simply arguing over semantics. I have asked you to state your position on these issues, but you have not, so let's just suppose you accept the Church's teachings. So, with regard to the unfortunate phrase "social justice:"

In spite of the Church's well-intentioned use of the term, there are strong vocal factions in the secular world who have usurped the term and include in its meaning many things the Church abhors. They also use the term as a foil for their attacks on the Church and the Pope and for their anti-Catholic bigotry. It has become a loaded political term with vague borders which are used by pretend Catholics within the Church to attempt to shape Church doctrine. I know these people, have debated them, talked with them, observed them, and read their nonsense. So, will you not admit that there is danger here for the flock who may not understand the nuances of the term or its unintended use against the Church?

It is similar to such words as, "human rights," "equality," "liberation," and "diversity." All of these are noble sounding, high-minded ideas. But, they have been co-opted by the anti-Church, ant-American, anti-capitalist Left wing crowd who carry Mao's "Little Red Book" in their hip pocket (or in, some sad instances, under their cassock).
It is the same with the statement, "Oh, the Bible is a living document," or "the US Constitution is a living document." It sounds all dynamic and appealing...until you realize that it represents a methodology of de-construction and relativism. So, Bashan, even Satan can quote Scripture...or Church doctrine. Now, are we on the same page or not? If so, I apologize for my distrust of your motives and beliefs. Are you going to be forthcoming with your positions on these matters, or are you going to call upon Glenn Beck again?

Bashan Ranch said...

Mr. Pin: This is not about our being "on the same page." It is about your error regarding the Church's teaching on Social Justice.

I don't care a tinker's darn whether you and I are "on the same page." I am completely satisfied with where I stand in relationship to 1) the Church and 2) God. And where I stand is in no way subject to your judgment. That is between God and me and my confessor.

I have repeatedly stated that I stand with the Church. Your original rejection of Social Justice, a la Glen Beck, leaves me to wonder about you. A hermenurtic of suspicion is cute enough for Perry Mason, but that's just make believe TV.

I know this response will provoke yet another adolescent diatribe. But I have come to believe that that is simply your style. So, the screen is yours...

Gene said...

No one is judging you, Bashan. I was just asking where you stand. You didn't really answer my question, but only responded with more ad hominem crap and some vague statement about standing with the Church. You say you stand "with the Church"...that's good enough for me. So, we are really arguing about semantics, which is pretty much a waste of time. Oh, you need to see someone about your Glenn Beck obsession. I think they have medication for stuff like that.