“was properly taken within your competence as pastor of that diocese…The judgment of the Holy See is that the activities of Call to Action in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint…Thus to be a member of this association or to support it is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith.”I’m not particularly fond of Call To Action. They are far, far to the left of where I stand, but I think the use of excommunication is ham-handed and unwarranted. Why does the Church still feel that it needs to impose truth by law and by silencing opposing voices within it by force? Wheat and tares grow together within the Church. Can’t the Truth stand on it’s own? Yes, the sight of the late middle-aged women in CTA going around ordaining each other is goofy, but what are the elements in the Creed that they dissent from? Where is the hierarchy’s sense of discernment? Are they trying to quash all possible sources of prophetic voice? I don’t agree with them on everything, but in some areas, CTA is dead-on right.
What bothers me more is the reaction of Cardinal Re and Rome rather than the actions of Bishop Bruskewitz himself. Nebraska is in the heart of the Bible Belt. Catholics who are living under a siege mentality sometimes feel like they need to “out-fundamentalist” the evangelicals. I know how that dynamic works, but there is evidence of some strangely retrograde thinking in Bruskewitz, which really makes you wonder about the current state of the hierarchy.
Bishop Bruskewitz does not allow altar girls or female EOMs in his archdiocese. Bring him here, and I’m going to have trouble keeping my faithful wife and my faithful daughters within the Church… In addition, the list of other groups that he listed in his declaration of automatic excommunication was interesting.
Although the Vatican letter only dealt with Call to Action, the other groups named by Bruskewitz were: Planned Parenthood, Society of St. Pius X, Hemlock Society, St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, Freemasons, Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls and Catholics for a Free Choice.
Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star and Rainbow Girls all are affiliated with the Masons. Are Bruskewitz and the hierarchy still obsessed with freemasonry? A hundred years after the exteme anti-modernist Pian pontificates, and forty years after Vatican II, are they still fighting against the French Revolution and the enlightenment? The fact that some of these Masonic Groups were women’s organizations is somewhat indicative of a sense of misogyny on Bruskewitz’s part too.
Wow. Daggers. Daggers pointed at the very heart of the Church. Why would anyone want to be a Catholic and a Mason at the same time anyhow?
The next time you go to a July 4th parade, watch out for those guys on the go-carts with the fezzes. And, Lord forbid, if a child of yours should ever suffer from serious burns, stay away from the Shriner’s Hospital if you care at all about your immortal souls.
I see mostly glee and cheering in Catholic blogdom over this announcement, although there was some outrage among traditionalists that the Society of St. Pius X was included under the same condemnation and under the same breath as CTA. There is quite a bit of irony in that, because the SSPX is probably the most anti-masonic organization on the planet, after the Ahmadinejad regime in Tehran, with whom they have much in common.
Here is CTA’s response to the news.
Enough of excommunications, at least until the episcopate learns to discipline themselves and their own priests. Just as a starting point of reference, as long as Bernard Cardinal Law is still a cardinal in good standing, with a plum assignment in one of Rome’s major basilicas, and positions on several dicasteries, I urge the CTA members in Nebraska to keep on going to Mass.
Are the VOTF next, for their questioning, for demanding accountability, and for being a gadly? I suspect that they are. If anyone out there signed up in the early days just to find out what they were all about, they might have to wind up answering for it.
Our hierarchy is a mess, and the center of the Church has utterly collapsed. The Second Vatican Council is becoming more and more of a dead letter every year. It is getting harder and harder not to take sides.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
-- William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"