"When asked if he agreed with Father Greeleys assessment of Cardinal Ratzingers statement, Bishop Bruskewitz conveyed through his Vicar General, Monsignor Timothy J. Thorburn, J.C.L., the following assertion: .... My advice to any Catholics who would ask me about that Greeley article would be to give it the same view as you would the words and acts of a clown.
BAM! As chef Emeril Lagasse would say! Bishops Bruskewitz, Sheridan, and Vasa vs. the gadfly Greeley.
(PS to Convert from ECUSA
: I don't see Catholic Online listed in JimRob's Updated FR Excerpt and Link Only or Deny Posting List due to Copyright Complaints
. Good catch on the article! Glad to see SOMEONE
in the Catholic Church repudiate "Father" Greeley! - ConservativeStLouisGuy
Exclusive Interview: Three Bishops Refute Flawed Theology Of Fr. Andrew Greeley - Barbara Kralis
No other Vatican memorandum has caused so much controversy in recent times as has that written by the head of the Vaticans second most important dicastery of the Roman Curia.
Moreover, one Cardinal and one Catholic priest are at the forefront of this controversy, namely Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and retired sociologist Father Andrew M. Greeley, Ph.D.
The First Controversy
The first controversy, perpetuated by Cardinal McCarrick, took place at the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) plenary meeting, June 14-19, 2004, in Denver, Colorado.
Knowing well the U.S. Bishops need to correct the scandal of over 500 Catholic politicians in the U.S. who promote procured abortion, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote two USCCB heads a directive memorandum.
Cardinal Ratzinger wrote the memo in English expressly to the attention of Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB. The memo was to be shared with the Conference of Bishops and used as a guideline representing firmly defined Church teaching and law on this issue.
Cardinal Ratzinger, in his memorandum entitled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion General Principles, said without ambiguity:
The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it when warning and counsel given to the manifest sinner have not had their effect. 
As chair of the USCCBs Task Force committee, Cardinal McCarrick gave the remaining 189 U.S. Bishops his own recommendations regarding Catholic politicians who promote procured abortion.
Not unexpectedly, Cardinal McCarricks recommendations departed from clearly defined Church teachings and Canon Law. McCarrick said his Task Force does not advocate the denial of Communion from Catholic Politicians or Catholic voters. 
In addition, Cardinal McCarrick unfortunately did not share the contents of Cardinal Ratzingers memorandum with the Conference of Bishops. Moreover, the Committee of Bishops  who composed the ensuing controversial statement, Catholics in Political Life were also not given the contents of Ratzingers memorandum.
Because of McCarricks withholding of Vatican directives, the Conference of Bishops was led to believe Cardinal Ratzinger was recommending them to take action contrary to Vatican documents and laws, some written by Cardinal Ratzinger himself.
Confusion reigned and the Conference of Bishops remains divided over this controversy even more so today.
The Second Controversy
Fr. Andrew Greeley perpetuated the second controversy regarding the same memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger.
None would dispute that Fr. Greeley is the Catholic darling of the secular media. Whenever the major news marketers require an interviewee regarding Catholic Church issues, they indisputably call upon the ubiquitous Fr. Greeley.
Author of numerous nigh on pornographic novels, Father Greeley is under the authority of Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. It is not known if Cardinal George has imposed any disciplines upon the aging hippy Father Greeley whose behavior is not consistent with the ordained priesthood.
True to form, in an August 10, 2004 New York Daily News article, Fr. Greeley crafted a column that disparaged faithful Bishops and used the deceitful headline Catholics can vote for Kerry.
In this article, Fr. Greeley dishonestly stated that His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that Catholics could vote for Presidential candidate John Kerry who promotes procured abortion.
Fr. Greeley was fraudulently referring to the Cardinal Ratzinger memorandum.
A scandalous excerpt from Father Andrew Greeleys article read as follows:
It is as close to an official statement on the subject as one is likely to get. It says that Catholics are not obliged to vote on one issue, no matter how important the issue might be. They may vote for Kerry for other reasons so long as they are not supporting him merely for his pro-choice stance. That ought to settle the matter. Catholics who have been confused by the insistence of a few bishops, some priests and some pro-life laity that they must vote against Kerry now know that they are free to make their choice balancing all issues just as they always have been. The theory of indirect material cooperation is traditional Catholic moral teaching. Apparently, the few bishops who threaten to exclude Catholics from Communion if they vote for Kerry dont know much traditional moral theology, which shows what the qualifications are for the bishopric these days.
That disparaging excerpt is malicious but not surprising coming from a priest who makes a living writing steamy, enticing novels that are either an occasion of sin or blatantly sinful to read.
Three Bishops refute Greeleys theology
According to three U.S. Bishops, Father Andrew Greeley has distorted the words of Cardinal Ratzinger.
The three Bishops are:
- Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, M.Div., J.C.L., Bishop of Baker, Oregon
- Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D., Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska
They have granted this writer and Catholic Online.org exclusive statements that strongly disagree with Fr. Greeley.
Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, M.Div., J.C.L.
When asked if he agreed with Father Greeleys assessment of Cardinal Ratzingers statement, Bishop Vasa gave the following statement:
I see little sense in entering into a debate about the theological merits of Father Andrew Greeleys statement in the New York Daily News article of August 10, 2004. I do believe his interpretation of Cardinal Ratzingers June Statement is erroneous.
While it is an interesting intellectual exercise to debate whether Catholics, under certain very limited circumstances, may or may not vote for candidates who favor procured abortion, the more important practical question is whether practicing Catholics should, in fact, vote for a candidate who openly, consistently and even aggressively defends the killing of pre-born children when there are Pro-Life alternatives.
Whether a Catholic may or may not vote for a candidate who favors procured abortion, when there are pro-life alternatives available, can be debated. Whether he should or should not, in my mind, is very clear. Pre-born human life in our country is under consistent and vicious attack and those lives must be defended. As I have said elsewhere, these little ones have no vote but mine and I will use it for them at every opportunity.
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs gave the following statement:
It is my opinion that Fr. Andrew Greeleys reading of Cardinal Ratzingers memorandum is very incorrect. Nowhere does Fr. Greeley even attempt to deal with the qualifying phrase: ...in the presence of proportionate reasons.
I would ask Fr. Greeley to provide those reasons that could even begin to justify voting for an avowedly pro-abortion candidate. Put another way: How do we balance out the murder of more than one million babies each year with any good or series of goods?
Also, if Fr. Greeleys reading of the memo is correct, we would have to throw out other magisterial teachings; for example, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faiths own statement: Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life. 
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D.
When asked if he agreed with Father Greeleys assessment of Cardinal Ratzingers statement, Bishop Bruskewitz conveyed through his Vicar General, Monsignor Timothy J. Thorburn, J.C.L., the following assertion:
No Catholics of any sense will take any pastoral advice from Father Andrew Greeley, a superficial writer who appears to spend his time promoting himself to various elements in the secular media.
It is often said by priests and people in his native region of Chicago that he long ago published all his thoughts, and in the last decades has been publishing his fantasies.
In his article in the New York Daily news, fostering a pro-abortion vote (so long as it is not merely for that...), he seems to strongly indicate not only a tragic indifference to abortion, which the Second Vatican Council called an abominable crime, but a shallowness of mind akin to a harlequin.
In his self-important buffoonery, he has appointed himself as instructor to Bishops and to Catholics nationwide. In doing this, he merely announces to every thoughtful Catholic that his views are totally self serving and undeserving of any serious consideration.
Father Greeley even appointed himself to be an interpreter and spokesman for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to the great amusement of all who really know the Cardinal.
My advice to any Catholics who would ask me about that Greeley article would be to give it the same view as you would the words and acts of a clown.
Labra lege! Catholics cannot follow Father Greeleys bad advice and vote for John Kerry.
If you would like to express your gratitude to the three bishops, contact them as follows:
- Bishop Bruskewitzs email at: Sr.Collette@cdoLinc.net
- Bishop Sheridans email at: Info@Diocs.org
- Bishop Vasas email at: Chancellor@DioceseofBaker.org