Friday, March 26, 2010

Bishop Morlino: “Speaker Pelosi is Not Called by Jesus Christ to Lead the Catholic Faithful”

Bishop Morlino takes issue with the "Alternative Magisterium" that Pelosi, Obama, and the Catholic left have established for the purpose of doing an end run around the Bishops' authority:
In the midst of a wide-ranging column today, Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino turns his attention to who speaks for the Church and reminds readers that “Speaker Pelosi is not called by Jesus Christ to lead the Catholic faithful, any more than the religious Sisters in Network are, any more than the leadership of the Catholic Health Association is.”

[...]

I cannot pass over the actions of the Catholic Health Association and an organization called Network, a lobby of American religious Sisters, who said, quite publicly, that what the bishops have taught is false. They said that the legislation does provide an adequate framework for a Catholic to follow his or her conscience about abortion. So, we had a trade organization — the Catholic Health Association — which calls itself “Catholic” and we had religious Sisters who call themselves Catholic, saying, “Sorry, bishops, you got it wrong, here is the teaching of the Church.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, unworthy though the bishops are, called the bishops to lead the people in faith; He did not call anybody in the Catholic Health Association and he did not call any of the Sisters in Network. To boot, those Sisters who signed the Network document said that they speak for 59,000 American Sisters — that would be every last Sister in the U.S. Yet, another grouping of Sisters came out publicly expressing their disagreement with Network. Unfortunately, the claim that these Sisters in Network represent all Sisters is actually what is false, not the teaching of the bishops.

And, of course, people like Speaker Pelosi could not do enough to wave the letter from the Catholic Health Association and the letter from Network to provide cover for Democratic legislators who wanted to waffle in protecting innocent human life. Speaker Pelosi is not called by Jesus Christ to lead the Catholic faithful, any more than the religious Sisters in Network are, any more than the leadership of the Catholic Health Association is.

The bishops are called to teach, sanctify, and govern. But, as I said before, with regard to the Holy Father, if people will not recognize authority, then they cannot lay responsibility at the feet of those to whom they are disobedient. The pope and the bishops are only responsible when their authority is accepted. The then-Cardinal Ratzinger himself has said, in our contemporary world, the word “obedience” has disappeared from our vocabulary and the reality of obedience has been anathematized.

In this way, very serious harm is being done to the Church because people in the Church wonder, “Who speaks for Christ? Does the Catholic Health Association speak for Christ? Does Network, an organization of religious Sisters, speak for Christ? Do they teach with the authority of the bishops? Is the bishops’ teaching just another opinion?”

To read the full text of Bishop Morlino’s remarks published in the Catholic Herald, the Madison, Wisconsin, diocesan newspaper,
Click Here.
(emphasis added)


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Establishing the "Alternative Magisterium"

Archbishop Chaput: A Bad Bill and How We Got It

Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill

Catholic Obama Supporters More Interested in Providing Cover Than Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

Catholic Nuns Urge Passage of Obama's Health Bill

Obama's Catholic Strategy: Divide and Conquer

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