Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Good News About Bishops

There are a few good bishop stories floating around…and I, for one, am happy to hear all the good news I can these days.

First, have you been following the story of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s active support of traditional marriage in Minnesota? Most recently, LifeSiteNews reports that:

Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis stood on the steps of his State Capitol Tuesday and issued a call to all his fellow Minnesotans – Catholics and non-Catholics alike - to vote in favor of an amendment that would preserve the true definition of marriage.

The article also reminds us that last October, the archbishop

directed his diocesan priests to not make any public statements of contradiction to the Church’s teaching on the defense of marriage, in particular against the archdiocesan efforts in support of the state constitutional amendment.

Too bad the archbishop can’t give the laity the same marching orders…or atleast, too bad they don’t all listen! The article also notes that

The main group opposed to the marriage amendment has been at pains to convince believers that supporting gay ‘marriage’ jibes with their faith. Just this week Minnesotans United for All Families launched an ad, part of a multi-million dollar campaign, featuring a Republican Catholic couple, John and Kim Canny, in which the couple asks Minnesotans to vote no on the amendment.

Can you believe it?! (Yeah, I know, we should all be able to believe it, because it happens much too often.) The article accompanying the video ad says:

“The Cannys, informed by their faith and conservative values, represent many Minnesotans who have come to the conclusion they don’t want to limit the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples,” Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, said in statement. “At the end of the day, they have concluded that there are all kinds of Minnesota families, and no one would want to be told it’s illegal to marry the person you love.”

Ugh. This is just an effort to hijack the Catholic faith. And it shows how far we have fallen and how far we have to go to re-teach adult Catholics what they should already know.

The second good bishop story is really about the removal of a “bad” bishop. This one is from Sandro Magister, with the tag:

In Slovakia, Archbishop Bezák has the support of the media. He is seen as open and modern. But Benedict XVI has removed him [f]or bad management of the assets of the diocese and for infidelity to doctrine and discipline.

Archbishop Bezák had accused his predecessor of financial mismanagement of the archdiocese, and even asked for an apostolic visitation. He got what he asked for, but not the results he wanted.

As for the apostolic visitation, this took place during the latter half of January of 2012. But instead of being against Sokol, it backfired against Bezák himself. For administrative infractions, this time his own, but also doctrinal and disciplinary violations.

…Archbishop Bezak is believed to have entrusted "positions of responsibility to unworthy priests, some of them from other dioceses, in that they are living in situations of open immorality and violation of discipline." Read: homosexuality and concubinage.

Not only that. Bezák is thought to have distinguished himself – still according to the Vatican authorities – "in blatant lack of observance of liturgical norms, in the support given to ideas contrary to Catholic doctrine consistently taught by the sacred magisterium with regard to the indissolubility of marriage, euthanasia, and the sacrament of Holy Orders, showing little respect for the Roman pontiff."

Not to mention his "public mockery of clergy in clerical dress" and "wearing inappropriate secular clothing even on official occasions like visits to parishes to impart the sacrament of Confirmation."

Magister also notes that “Vatican authorities have not made any of this public”, but apparently the information is available. At any rate, I find it a positive piece of news; at least it appears that the Holy Father is slowly but surely cleaning up some areas of the world that have been infected by bad bishop-ing.

Finally, the third good bishop story comes from the state of Washington, where Archbishop J. Peter Sartain continues to work hard for the defeat of a law redefining marriage in that state. LifeSiteNews reports:

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle has warned, if Washington state’s marriage amendment redefining marriage passes this November, “the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of society would be harmed beyond repair.”

If state voters approve the measure, it would devalue the institution of marriage. “In effect, this new law is saying that the loving, permanent and faithful union of a man and woman in marriage…are only of relative importance rather than being fundamental to the existence and well-being of society as a whole.”

Like Archbishop Nienstedt in Minnesota, Archbishop Sartain emphasizes that

…[T]he Church’s position on Referendum 74 is “not against anything, and especially not against anyone,” but “for the gift of marriage, for God’s plan for human society, for husbands and wives – for children.”

He’s got an uphill battle in the Diocese of Seattle, though; recall the blatantly disobedient clergy that reside there, as I wrote about here.

Here’s Archbishop Sartain’s video:


  1. Perhaps Archbishop Nienstedt needs to - ahem! - do what Pope Benedict did to Archbishop Bezák at a particular seminary seminary in his archdiocese?

    Just askin'. :)


  2. Apologies Dr. Jay - my "cut and paste" did not work correctly.

    Here is the correct link.


  3. Good news, yes. But Benedict still seems to be doing that strange back-and-forth "dance": he disciplines one Bishop, then gives more honors and dignity to creeps like Wuerl or blowhards like Dolan. No consistency of action can be found in this man's thinking, and that is quite disturbing. It is especially disturbing for Catholics who are trying to hang on to their Faith while having the rug continually pulled out from under them by either their local Ordinaries or Rome.

    I'm beginning to understand what the famous phrase "diabolic disorientation" means.

  4. Dan, I agree that there seems to be major inconsistency. I thought about wondering aloud in the post about why our US bishops don't get the hook like Bezak, or the Australian one, etc.

    And CK - absolutely! I like to hear the good words said by archbishops like Nienstedt and Sartain, but I'm waiting to see some real action. At least Absp Gomez did in fact "silence" a priest.


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