Bishop Morlino - A Plea for Reconciliation
No one ever likes to have to flex their authority. No one who is focused on growing deeply in holiness, that is. Authority as Bishop Morlino has said on numerous occasions isn't something he asked for, it was something he was given. His excellency has said that it can be a great burden. Nevertheless, he has been clear that his authority springs from fidelity to the Jesus Christ and His Church. He has recently written a letter to parishioners in Platteville, WI. You can read Bishop Morllino's letter to Platteville here.The situation is such that there has been a long period of time in which the faithful of these two Churches have been allowed to "create" their version of church. One in which feelings and sentiments rule. Where worship is a "work of the people." A church in which that which transcends time is reduced to human power. They have clearly received terrible catechesis and they prefer a church in which they are the authority. Due to their disdain for orthodoxy, they stopped tithing and started writing letters of complaint about the orthodox priests who have been sent to Platteville. In their eagerness to force the Bishops hand, they failed to consider something. They failed to consider anyone other than themselves. As a result a 77 year old school will be closed at the end of this year. Like spoiled children they have said if we cannot have things our way, we are taking our ball and going home. In the heat of their anger, acting from primarily on their passions and poor formation, they, not the Bishop can accept responsibility for the closing of the school.This division in the Church has been building ever since the close of the council. For a very long time, there has been liturgical nonsense and doctrinal derangement. Unfortunately, there has been no one with the courage to tell those who have high jacked parishes and turned them into circuses, "no." Those days are beginning to change. But, if you read the Bishops letter he didn't just say no, he said, I love you, you are my children in spite of our differences, and I urge you to come back home. To forgive and to move forward in Jesus Christ. If you read the WSJ article, you would think the Bishop's letter his simply a sledgehammer to heresy (though WSJ would never call it heresy). The letter makes mention of canonical penalties, however, it is certainly not the central thrust of the letter. At it's core it is a plea for love and mercy, a plea for reconciliation. An excerpt you will not find in the WSJ."I have a responsibility to do what I can to foster stability, understanding, and healing in your community, so that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ can shine forth. Where there are women and men of good will ready to renew their efforts in this regard, I believe that stability, understanding, and healing can come. Where there are individuals who do not truly seek the good, and who even work actively against it, where there are those who work to incite hatred, there may need to be more formal warning and action. First, though, I exhort you, with the words of St. Paul to the Church in Ephesus: “Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil…And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Eph 4:25-27, 30-32) "This situation is not optimal, however, as faithful priests begin to enter the communities which have been led astray often for years at a time, this is going to be the experience. My experience as a police officer taught me a lot. The world is full of "no" people. There will always be those people who simply refuse to accept authority. They are typically the loudest and they typically push the hardest. That is until, they realize you are not going to back down. Certainly, this is not the way in which the Bishop would have wanted things to work out. In fact, the letter is a plea for the faithful to change course. None of us and especially the Bishop want to see anyone leave the Church, however, the Church must be a beacon of truth. Remaining in that truth the free will of those who do not prefer it, must be allowed to choose whether they will remain and give her obedience, or reject her and become apostates. Nevertheless, he is bound by his office and his love for Christ to defend and teach the faith, regardless, of how it may make the faithful feel. Please pray for our Bishop, he is a courageous and holy man, who seeks to bring those who have strayed back into the fold.