Skip to comments.The Role of the Catholic Bishops in the Wisconsin Mess (Vanity)
Posted on 02/28/2011 6:05:52 AM PST by schmootman
I thought it might be helpful to show the chronology of the bishops' role in the budget debate in order to help you form an opinion about their conduct. We can come to different conclusions about their motivation, but the results of their actions are matters of fact.
BOTTOM LINE: I am not aware of any Republican legislator or conservative commentator who has tried to use the bishops' statements as evidence that the bishops support the Republican position, and I'm sure they would have if the wording of those statements seemed to support their position. Yet, the Democrats have used the supposedly neutral bishops' statements to "prove" that the Catholic Church supports their position. If the wording of the statements was in fact "neutral," how can it be that only one party in the dispute has been able, apparently with some credibility, to use the statements for propaganda purposes?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
In his role as President of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, Archbishop Listecki published a Statement Regarding the Rights of Workers and the Value of Unions. http://www.archmil.org/News/StatementRegardingtheRightsofW.htm
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The dissident, "psuedo-Catholic" pressure group, Catholics United, published a statement offering "our heartfelt thanks to Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki for publicly affirming the Catholic church's support for trade unionism." http://www.catholics-united.org/content/press-release-catholics-call-wisconsin%E2%80%99s-elected-officials-suspend-attacks-workers
Coincidentally, I was at the home of some Catholic friends when a Republican Senator called to express his dismay that the Democrats were using the Archbishop's statement to show that the Catholic Church supported their position. I ended up participating in the conversation, in which the Senator also said that the statement was damaging the Republican effort.
Monday, February 21, 2011
The community organizing group, WISDOM, published a statement saying that Archbishop Listecki was "among those who have spoken out against the radical policy changes being proposed . . ." WISDOM is the parent organization of SOPHIA, a Milwaukee community organizing group that received $10,000 last year from the Archdiocese CCHD program. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzb3BoaWF3YXVrZXNoYXxneDoxOTkwNjgxZTRkYmM3MmM5&pli=1
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Bishop Morlino of Madison wrote an article in the Madison Catholic Herald, saying that "the Wisconsin Catholic Conference has chosen a neutral stance" on the proposed legislation. http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/bishopscolumns/2083-20110224-column.html
Meanwhile, Bishop Steven E. Blair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement titled "USCCB Chairman Supports Wisconsin Bishops on the Rights of Workers." http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2011/11-038.shtml
Memo to Bishops: It is not 1981, this is not Solidarity, and Wisconsin is not Poland
They're ignorant of basic economics and its not their job anyway. They need to stop grandstanding and issuing statements.
I’m a Latin Mass Catholic, and I have noticed that most priests do not understand politics. They always look at everything with a “help your fellow man” kind of thinking.
Little wonder then that perhaps the largest U.S. religious denomination is ‘fallen-away Catholics.’
Oh, and there is one more thing. You can’t trust the USCCB. They are very liberal. The organization was started by Cardinal Bernadin. Need I say more?
The Roman Catholic Church has a long history of participating in union battles. Such was definitely the case in the United Mine Workers strike
In 1988 Nuns driving Winnebago Clinics drove in the middle of the road disrupting traffic and slowing coal trucks to a crawl.
Ron Flynn. the mayor of Boston and IRA terrorist fund raiser, left his city to come to the boondocks of Southwest Virginia to praise their efforts and hold them up as shining examples of Catholicism
The official position was to praise the terrorist Trumka led strikers
Unfortunately the Roman Catholic church would like nothing more than to regain the power they once held.
We all know how that turned out.
Usually they try to play both sides of these non religious issues because people on both sides need saving. But the bishops are way out of date on this unions represent the little guy against the government philosophy. The taxpayer is now the little guy.
There isn't a serious religious denomination anywhere on the planet that would consider it a God-given right for a worker to retire after 20-30 years on the job, and then live a life of leisure at the expense of others for another 30-40 years.
Ignorance is no excuse. If Bishops and priests make statements in support of the unions in these cases, they are either ideological driven Leftists or simply ignorant. Either positions are troublesome.
Ignorant priests would be better served if they researched and reflected on these subjects before speaking and potentially squandering their standing in the community. This will turn even more conservative Catholics away form the Church.
When are the clergy going to figure out that massive public debt is the number one threat to the working family. They claim they are on the side of the worker with their misguided statements but the truth is that the policies they support will drive jobs far from Wisconsin. Pervasive unemployment is the worst form of government oppression. If they don’t believe that, all they have to do is wait and see the misery that will descend on Wisconsin if the unions win this battle. Then they can tell all their unemployed parishioners that at least the public employees are fat and happy (at the expense of the jobs of Wisconsin). Parasites feeding at the public trough, that’s all the unions are.
100% Spot On!
If Republicans have not used the statement, it’s their own fault. It was a gift to them. It pointed out that the common good can require unions to give in even while it said that completely taking away labor rights is wrong. Republicans, if they had any brains at all, should have seized on it to point out that they are NOT denying all labor rights, only some public sector union rights.
The Dems took the statement, mischaracterized it and the Stoopppppid Party sat on their butts and refused to call them out on it.
And now FReepers buy the Dem spin on the statement lock, stock and barrel.
Intelligent observers of things Catholic, notable, Fr. Zuhlsdorf at What Does the Prayer Really Say, immediately recognized that Morlino and Listecki (both conservative bishops in rabidly liberal sees) were breaking ranks, breaking with the past knee-jerk endorsement of unions.
Why is it that you can’t see this? Because the Dems spun it to their advantage? Haven’t we learned to read DimSpin critically and ask questions about what the bishops really said?
The statement was not “in support of the unions” pure and simple. You’ve been snookered by Dims.
Could you clarify AB-Milwuakee Listecki’s comments.
See no. 17. And look at the statement itself, the two paragraphs after the quote from Benedict. Benedict’s quote might be interpreted as carte blanche to unions, the Wisconsin bishops’ statement explicitly qualifies that and says unions must be prepared to “make sacrifices and adjust to new economic realities.” It appeals to both sides to communicate clearly. Bishop Morlino in his own statement directly said the bishops are neutral.
The Dims are the ones who lied about Listecki’s statement, so Morlino reasserted it. Now Freepers are a week behind the curve, still repeated DimSpin.
We’re smarter than that.
NOTE: as well as most protestant pastors do..
Perhaps coincidence, or just a skewed sampling of observations, but it has always seemed to me that cultures steeped in the Catholic religion are more prone to accept corruption than those of a more Protestant background.
I’m neither, so I have no dog in this fight, but it just seems to me.
Liberation theology found fertile ground in which to grow in Central America because of catholic support for socialism there.
And in the US the majority of catholics went for Obama in '08.
Neither AB Listecki nor B Morlino mentioned the fundamental difference between private sector unions and public sector unions. They described the right to organize in broad, general terms, without the necessary nuance. That’s what allowed the Democrats to make their claims. The Church has no clear position on public sector unions, and the bishops made it sound as if It did. THEIR BAD!
Latin loving Catholic here... yep - they need to stick to what they know...
Father Zuhlsdorf is not God. It appears that many faithful Catholics see the “sleight of hand” occurring when the bishops give cover to the Democrats by expounding on the validity of unions in broad terms but totally avoiding the specific situation we face.
Our bishops’ statements seem to be answering an irrelevant question. Everybody knows that the Church supports free association in private sector unions. The Church’s position on public sector unions is far less clear, and if you extrapolate from the encyclicals, you have to believe that the Church would come down cautiously against most modern public sector unions if it ever addressed the issue comprehensively.
I’m waiting for one bishop just to mention the fact that there is a fundamental difference between private sector bargaining and public sector “bargaining,” but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Given the fact that the Archbishop Listecki’s letter on unions paraphrases Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum out of context, allow me to provide the actual wording of the Encyclical concerning the “prerequisites” for morally valid collective bargaining:
“To sum up, then, We may lay it down as a general and lasting law that working mensassociations should be so organized and governed as to furnish the best and most suitable means for attaining what is aimed at, that is to say, for helping each individual member to better his condition to the utmost in body, soul, and property. It is clear that they must pay special and chief attention to the duties of religion and morality, and that social betterment should have this chiefly in view; otherwise they would lose wholly their special character, and end by becoming little better than those societies which take no account whatever of religion.”
Now let’s see how that lines up with the policy of WEAC’s parent organization, the National Education Association, regarding the sanctity of life:
Resolution 1-12 (2003) Family Planning. “The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association also urges the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.”
Or let’s compare it to WEAC’s opposition to the Wisconsin Marriage Amendment and its $25,000 contribution to the anti-amendment group, Fair Wisconsin.
Perhaps someone can help me understand what the Archbishop hoped to accomplish by publishing his letter, in the midst of the current controversy, given the above information. I’m not aware of any large union that doesn’t take positions similar to WEAC. Under current circumstances, they should be opposed by the Church, not defended.
Oh, I get it now. You WANT to bishops to play politics, you just want them to play politics on your side.
The letter was a gift to Pubblies, who could have used it to reinforce their position.
The Dems used it. The Repubicans didn’t.
And to you it’s all the bishops’ fault that the Repubics are too stupid to see the huge hole the bishops opened for them in what had been a solid pro-union phalanx.
But blame the bishops. I’m sure it makes you feel better.
It accomplishes zilch.
But you feel better.
And that’s worth something.
Yeah, Zuhlsdorf’s not God. You want to know a secret? I didn’t say he was.
But he had advance notice of Morlino’s statement.
Which suggest that Morlino was trying to get conservatives to pay attention and take advantage of the opening Listecki and he were giving them.
No dice. Conservatives are too stuck in bishop-bashing hatred to recognize a gift when it’s handed to them on a platter.
But it’s the bishops’ fault. I forgot.
I see. Too bad you didn’t volunteer to write the bishops’ statement for them. Then it would have come out the way you wanted it.
And would have been useless.
But you’d feel better. I’m really sorry your feelings were hurt when they didn’t write what you thought they should write.
The Dems spun it shamelessly. The Repubics sat on their hands.
And it’s all the bishops’ fault. I get it.
Father Z is da bomb!
Actually, I think Bishop Morlino was helpful, given the Mack-Truck opening AB Listecki gave the Democrats.
I’m not saying AB Listecki should have taken a partisan position on my side. He should have just stayed out of it.
Concerning Bishop Blair’s USCCB,these are the very same bishops who, through CCHD, continue to give millions of dollars each year to Democrat-controlled community organizing groups that in turn play a major role in electing pro-abortion, anti-marriage politicians.
And they are the same bishops (not accounting for turnover) who, in one-half to two-thirds of America’s dioceses, have covered up priestly sexual abuse in one way or another. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/data.htm
And they are the same bishops(95% of them)who refuse to enforce Canon 915. http://www.canon915.org/list_people.php?figure_ind=B
Actually they are not the same bishops. You forget that there’s turnover. The election of Dolan in place of Kicanas last fall showed that the tipping point is near. Listecki and Morlino are conservatives.
But you are stuck in the disasters of 20 years ago and, like the dwarfs in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, insist on sitting in darkness of their own making, denying reality.
It’s so much more fun to bitch about bishops than to discern trends and pray in hope.
Yeah, everyone’s a RINO, all the bishops are bastards, to hell with everyone.
Oh, and just for the record, Listecki wrote on behalf of all the bishops of Wisconsin. So “Listecki should have stayed out of it” needs to be corrected to “the bishops of Wisconsin should have stayed out of it.”
All the bishops are crap. The sky is falling. The Church is over. There’s no hope. Let’s take our bat and ball and go home.
Shouldn’t Catholic School teachers get the same pay and benefits, along with collective bargaining as their public school colleagues? It’s only fair.
The American bishops, as a group, are in de facto schism. I’m guessing you would have told St. John Fisher that everything was OK in England during 1635. If you’re not part of the solution (i.e, exposing the corruption), you’re part of the problem.
For the record, you were the person who made this exchange “personal.” YOUR QUOTE: “But you are stuck in the disasters of 20 years ago and, like the dwarfs in C. S. Lewiss The Last Battle, insist on sitting in darkness of their own making, denying reality.”
When you can’t argue the facts, that’s all you can do.
Here are some facts:
One in three baptized Catholics leave the Church.
65% of Catholics do not attend Mass regularly (a mortal sin).
About 1% of Catholics regularly receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, while nearly 100% receive Holy Communion.
98% of married Catholics contracept.
The rate of abortion among Catholics is higher than that of the general population.
Large parishes are celebrating fewer than five marriages per year.
Hundreds of Catholic politicians publicly disobey Catholic teaching on sexual morality with no fraternal correction.
I too live in hope, because I know what’s on the last page. But these are current problems, not “disasters of 20 years ago”. Only a handful of bishops are even talking about these problems, much less making the changes necessary to correct them.
I too am discerning some positive trends, but the trends are moving from the Spirit through the laity, not the bishops. AB Dolan would not have been elected if it hadn’t been for the ground swell of lay outrage at the Kicanis succession.
You may continue to resort to name-calling. This will be my last post on the subject.
“Only a handful of bishops are even talking about these problems, much less making the changes necessary to correct them.”
“I too am discerning some positive trends, but the trends are moving from the Spirit through the laity, not the bishops. AB Dolan would not have been elected if it hadnt been for the ground swell of lay outrage at the Kicanis succession.”
Most of the rest of your stats are exaggerated and therefore false or misleading. You do not help yourself or your cause by refusing to be level-headed and accurate about what is now and what was then. When you live in a cloud of exaggeratedly negative assumptions.
The tipping point among bishops owes a good bit to a strategy implemented by John Paul II 30 years ago. But no, you have to attribute it all to lay politicking. No possibility that both have contributed, that the bishop of Rome did something right, going after the next generation of priests and bishops, and that his strategy is now bearing fruit?
No, you have to attack bishops, even the ones who are doing everything groundswell conservative lay people want (Morlino).
Keep this up and you will find yourself Protestant some day. The bishops have messed up but the bishops will also be leaders in the solution. That’s the way it is in Catholicism. That’s the way it was in the 16th century and in every century.
I’m tired of bishop-bashing pride-filled lay Catholics attributing everything to their liberal-style public opinion pressure. Leave “groundswell of lay outrage” approaches to the liberals—they invented that in 1968 and it left wreckage and division in the Church that we are only now overcoming. For conservatives to embrace the same secular political pressure models as the solution to problems in the Church is beyond foolish.
But have it your way.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.