Skip to comments.Bishop: All Priests Must Play Recorded Homily on Life and Family or Suffer "Serious Consequences"
Posted on 11/02/2006 7:19:22 PM PST by Coleus
MADISON, WI, November 2, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Robert C. Morlino is a man of courage. The 59-year-old who has been a bishop for seven years, serving the last three in the diocese of Madison, has taken steps to ensure that his teaching on voting in favour of life and family get transmitted to the faithful. After hearing reports of "isolated cases" of priests refusing to convey, or even publicly contradicting, the bishops' messages on these important topics, he went to the extraordinary step of ordering all of the priests in his diocese to play a recorded message of his own at weekend Masses on November 4-5 in the place of the homily.
In an October 25 letter marked "personal and confidential", Bishop Morlino apologized for having to resort to such a method of operations. He explained, "I apologize in advance for this second paragraph that I must write, and I would very much prefer otherwise. My office has received reports that in isolated cases, priests have refused to cooperate with my requests in terms of preaching in defense of marriage and have even expressed disagreement with my clear wishes in this matter." To demonstrate the gravity of the matter, Bishop Morlino warned of "serious consequences" for priests who would contradict the vital teachings of the church in these matters. "I must make it very clear that any verbal or non-verbal expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences," he said.
The Bishop assured the priests that his message was "non-partisan" and laid out clearly that all priests in the diocese are expected to give "a simple introductory statement that the bishop has required this message to be played during the homily time at all Masses of obligation on November the 4th or the 5th." The bishop added, "If you can express some support for the message that I offer that would be appreciated but not expected." The 14-minute recorded message from the bishop addresses three issues two of which are coming up for a vote in Wisconsin on November 7 - the marriage amendment, the death penalty and embryonic stem cell research. On both homosexual 'marriage' question and embryo research the bishop exposes the "baloney" being used to garner support for the practices which are contrary not only to Church teaching but also to reason. On the death penalty the bishop explains that it is not necessary in the US for protection of citizens, and thus serves only to increase the climate of violence.
The move, according to the newspaper which received copies of the letter presumably from at least one disgruntled priest, has some of the priests in the diocese "furious at what they see as a threat." Rather than cower from the public exposure of his letter to his priests which was intended to be "personal and confidential", Bishop Morlino used its publication as a teachable moment. The Bishop published the full letter to priests on his website, "so that the full truth regarding the content of the letter can be known." The letter indicates that the Bishop is very thankful for the holiness of many of his priests. "Make no mistake that I am far more impressed by that holiness, goodness, and inspiration (among the priests), than I am troubled by the difficulties that we may encounter with each other along the way." Accompanying the reprint of the letter on the Bishop's website is an audio link to his full homily.
At the conclusion of the exercise, the score stands at three-nothing for the Bishop. Not only will his message to the faithful get conveyed at all Sunday Masses this weekend, the general public has been alerted to the Bishops concerns from the front page (above the fold) in the Wisconsin State Journal, and a second article in the paper has Bishop Morlino defending his actions. With all the controversy surrounding the upcoming broadcast of his remarks, the pews will likely be filled this weekend in Catholic Churches in Madison.
See Bishop Morlino's full letter:
Hear the full audio message of Bishop Morlino here:
Bishop Relates "Dictatorship of Relativism" at U.S. National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
Wisconsin Bishop Says Attack on Marriage Teaching an "Intimidation" Attempt
Wow! Is that good news! I used to be so disgusted in New York when the priests would refuse to read Cardinal O'Connor's Pro-Life Sunday letter. And I know many priests don't read things sent out by our bishop here in Florida, either - he's very pro-life and pro-marriage, but many of the priests in our diocese are not (such as the pastor of the Cathedral, who was talking about how God made "some of us gay and some of us straight," and we're all hunky-dory). I'm glad to see a bishop with courage, one who takes his teaching role seriously.
Appears that these priests have the same understanding of confidential that some in the State Department do.
I'm loving this bishop!
I've often thought that something like this should be done because of all the obstinate libtards.
A substitute priest at my Denver-area church was to read a letter from Archbishop Chaput on some marriage and gay rights initiatives on the ballot. He made some slightly snarky remarks against the church getting involved in politics, but at least he read the letter.
Those who complain about the bishops' lack of instruction should keep in mind the opposition they might face from their own clergy.
If you want on (or off) this Catholic and Pro-Life ping list, let me know!
Later homosexual agenda pingout.
Good for the Bishop!
They should excommunicate dissenting priests. It is simple as that.
"They should excommunicate dissenting priests. It is simple as that."
No excommunications, unless of course they do something really extreme like say a Latin Mass.
He sounds great!
Didn't hear it. Hmmmm.
Did this happen at your church?
If not, I would suggest you print off the letter and take it to your priest.
I intend to. I priest talked about supporting the parental notification bill here in Oregon, so I am wondering if that suffices.
May his example inspire other bishops and the priests later on who will become bishops.
Pastoring is serious business.
**I priest talked about supporting the parental notification bill here in Oregon, so I am wondering if that suffices.**
Our priest talked about supporting the parental notification bill here in Oregon, so I am wondering if that suffices.
Oh the joy it brings when a Bishop speaks the Truth with such a courageous love for his flock. Lord knows we need more shepherds like Bishop Morlino.
I certainly applaud this bishop, but how is it true that "...the death penalty...is not necessary in the US for protection of citizens, and thus serves only to increase the climate of violence?"
People are murdered or brutalized by recidivists constantly. Besides that, we put minor offenders in the same prisons with the truly abominable. A person who gets a year for drunk driving should have a reasonable expectation of surviving his sentence, but what possible incentive does a murderer serving life without parole have for respecting the lives of his fellow prisoners--or the guards, for that matter?
No, sorry, bishop...if a person kills somebody, we should kill him back. It'll give'em to know we're serious about the Ten Commandments.
I LIKE this Bishop! What a great move on his part.
...except for the Death Penalty thing.
I wish we had that here where I live in MD. Instead we were offered a tabloid to pick up on our way out. Our priest, whom I really respect otherwise, just said, "Now, I am not going to tell you how to vote...."
This so-called voters' guide -- produced under the auspices of 3 diocese -- was a waste of time as far as I am concerned. There was no clear black or white area, as far as I am concerned. They featured articles on our 2 Senate contenders and our two candidates for governor and made the abortion supporting Rat Cardin sound just as acceptable as Steele, who refers to himself as a pro-life Catholic. It was sickening. They also had some tables with a confusing array of questions. Their scoring put the BS "social justice" question of being pro-minimum wage on the same level as abortion!
I am a member of the Madison Diocese and have never felt prouder to be a member of Bishop Morlino's flock than I did last weekend. His homily was actually originally delivered on Pro-Life Sunday, October 1st. The reaction at my parish was uneventful, although at First Friday Mass on November 3rd, our pastor expressed trepidation over the "challenge" he had to face during the upcoming weekend. I didn't know to what he was referring until he made a later comment about our Bishop during the petitions during Mass.
The homily could not have been any more straight forward and non-denigrating. His Excellency simply spoke the truth. There is another parish 16 miles from mine which we go to occasionally.....until recently. The pastor is in his 40's and was featured prominently in Madison's leftist newspapers when he participated in and spoke at an "anti-Iraq war" protest. He was conveniently identified by his clerical title and name. I had always done so previously, but from that point on made sure I specified our collective thanks and prayers for our men and women in our military during the petitions at daily Mass at his parish.
It was not until 2 weeks ago that I vowed never to attend Mass where he was the celibrant. A friend wrote to me perplexed and angry after having attended Sunday Mass at Fr. Murphy's parish. It was obviously after Bishop Morlino sent the letter and tape to all the priests in our diocese. Prior to the end of Mass, my friend stated, Fr. Murphy stood proudly before the assembled parishioners and said, "I would like to introduce two friends of mine from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance". My friend said there was a slight smattering of nervous applause as a male and female stood. My friend left the church. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance is a radical group and I believe the "introduction" was choreographed by the pastor to undermine what he was being ordered to do this past weekend. I also have no doubt that he could have very well been the person who gave the original letter from our Bishop addressed to his priests to the media.
To provide one final example of the cafeteria, reletivist catholics in Berkley East (Madison), I spoke with my son yesterday and he said that in another choreographed move (I say this with considerable confidence since the press was there to interview the dissidents involved), about 20 people in his parish rose and walked out of church as soon as the Bishop's homily was played. Ironically, they returned after it ended????? The most irrational example, however, was an adult woman seated at the end of the pew in front of my son's who chose to remain seated during the homily with her eyes closed and HER FINGERS PLUGGING HER EARS.
My son said that the newspaper this morning contained interviews with many of those who walked out of Mass, but neglected to ask the opinion of any of the 400 people who remained, listened, understood and agreed with the words spoken by our shepherd.
When Bishop Morlino first came to Madison as our Bishop, immediately following his first Mass in St. Raphael's Cathedral (which was destroyed by arson over a year ago), he led the congregation in procession around the block to a location across from a building housing a prominent Madison abortion clinic. He then led everyone present in praying the rosary not only for the end to abortion but also for all people impacted by abortion, in addition to the most innocent victims, and all people working in the abortion clinic.
Bishop Morlino is a man of courage, conviction and holiness. He has been under attack for weeks for comments regarding the referenda issues mentioned in his homily and he has not backed down and inch.
If only all of the Bishops in our country were as brave as he has been and were as true to natural law, Catholic doctrine, scripture and the teachings of our Savior.
God bless our country,
Paging Father Ted! Paging Father Ted! Oh, wait, here I am. I'll need a plane ticket, a bat, and some comfy running shoes...
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Thanks for adding Bishop Morlino to your prayers.
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This is kind of what all liberals have to do, at least metaphorically.
Bishop Morlino warned of "serious consequences" for priests who would contradict the vital teachings of the church in these matters. "I must make it very clear that any verbal or non-verbal expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences," he said.
"A nation that kills its children is a nation without hope." John Paul II