Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I Think the USCCB Fall 2010 General Assembly May Be an Unmitigated Disaster

Let's just say I see some things looming on the horizon at the Fall 2010 meeting that give me huge pause for. More specificly:

1st we have the possibility of Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona being elected the next Conference president. Often the current vice-president is almost automaticly elected to the office. Given what has come out recently about Father Daniel McCormack, 1 of the priests he ordained who ended up molesting at lest 23 boys. Kicanas ordained him even though, while rector of Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary, he was aware of accusations of sexual misconduct against McCormack. The problem I have is that it appears Bishop Kicanas didn't take the charges as seriously as he should have. In fact, even now he says he would do it again.
It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him,” Bishop Kicanas said shortly after being elected as vice president of the USCCB, in a quote that appears in the deposition of Cardinal Francis George. “There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience,” continued Bishop Kicanas. “I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that.” (Journalist warns against election of Bishop Kicanas as USCCB president)
While I do have concerns about rushing into judgment, in this case it seems Kicanas rushed the other way instead. In fact he sounds almost dismissive like he approves of homosexual activity rather than seeing it as the sin it is.
That may explain the other thing that has me concerned. Why he got an endorsement from the Rainbow Sash Movement , a LGBT group that claims to be Catholic. (Bishop Gerald Kicanas Gets "High-Profile" Endorsement...) With an endorsement like that the USCCB might just as well announce that they are going into schism by electing him.
There are several Bishops on the list, including Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Cap., of Denver & Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, that would be much better & send the right message.

Then we have The Catholic Campaign for Human Development report that I have already posted my concerns about. & I am not the only 1 who has these doubts. (Click on Reform CCHD label for more)

These 2 things alone are the recipe for a disaster. & if the USCCB elects Kicanas & refuses to seriously deal with the CCHD scandal then . . . . Well, as I said, the USCCB might as well admit the majority of Bishops have opted to take themselves & the USCCB as an organization into schism.

1 other fact makes me think that the USCCB leadership is not serious about dealing with the problems is the limits they put on EWTN's coverage. All EWTN can do is rebroadcast Telecare Television's feed. FYI: Telecare is operated by the Diocese of Rockville Centre. They are not allowed to have any commentary about what is going on during the broadcast. Raymond Arroyo mentioned that fact on last week's episode of The World Over Live. I am not sure if this was only impossed on EWTN or all TV stations carrying it. Either way, it is clear the USCCB is afraid of what might be said by the EWTN commentators. & is doing its best to control the spin as well. But they will only delay the inevitable as he will be reporting on the events on next week's show.
Remember many at the USCCB resented Mother Angelica's success & did all they could to destroy EWTN. While some Bishops backed Mother's efforts some hated the fact she was faithful to the magesterium & showing up their heretical teachings. They were also POed that her network took off & the USCCB attempt went belly up. Some Bishops, led by a soon to retire Cardina, mounted an attempt at a hostile takeover. Fortunately they failed. & Mother's support from the Vatican by Pope John Paul II & Benedetto XVI hasn't sat too well with them either.

Another set of votes that hasn't got much attention but should is the election of Officers & Chairs-Elect for 6 Committees. Depending on the Bishop elected to head these committees they could take things in the right direction or further away from authentic Catholicism. The committees include Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Evangelization and Catechesis & Catholic Education. Since I am not familiar with all the Bishops, I can't comment on specifics.

The 1 that, while not so controversial, is actually more the result of abuses allowed by Catholic Bishops in the Baptismal rite than the way the Protestant Churches handle it. I am refering to the agreement with 4 Protestant communities to mutually recognize one another’s baptism. I have to laugh at the hyperbole used in the news release about it. In particular I am refering to Archbishop Wilton Gregory's statement: "The U.S. bishops stand at an important juncture in affirming the unity that Christ has given to the baptized members of his body, a unity that is ever fragile and always in need of support from the pastors of the Church.” What important juncture????? The Catholic Church already recognizes the baptism done in a protestant church if done in the "name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit". The concern mentioned about spoken formulas such as baptism in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier the Vatican had wasn't aimed at protestants. It was aimed at Catholic priests who used the formula & the scandal that those baptisms weren't valid.
Like I said, this is just a bunch of hyperbole. & while it does make for greater ease in knowing if a protestant baptism is valid should the person cross the Tiber, i suspect the hype is more to calm down those who are upset about the recent events involving the Anglican communion. The socialist USCCB gang is probably trying to reassure those counterparts in the other churches that it is socialist business as usual. I hope I am wrong, but giving the way this whole thing is qworded, I suspect not.

Then there are other items on the agenda that I have to wonder why they are even there. Items such as "The request of the Pro-Life Activities Committee to begin drafting a brief policy statement against physician assisted suicide." HUH????? I thought Catholic teaching on this was pretty clear. NO WAY, NO HOW, EVER!!!!!

So it will be interesting to see how things come out, as well as the spin put on them. I am not holding my breathe for serious reform at the CCHD. I am slightly more hopeful about the Bishops not electing Kicanas. But only slightly. The question isn't "Will there be a disaster?" The question is "How big & how much will be averted to keep it from being bigger?"

As a postscript, I have to admit that what I am esp waiting for isn't on this year's agenda but will be coming up soon, & that is the welcome given by the new US Bishop for the Anglican ordinariate. Yes, he will be an equal to all the other Bishops, Eastern & Latin Churches on the USCCB. & I suspect he will not be welcome by the Mahony/Gumbleton/Weakland types at all. (Ditto for their equivalents in the CCCB as well.) Meanwhile, let us pray for the USCCB & that God will have mercy on us all by keeping things from being too bad.



  • At 15/11/10 7:48 AM , Blogger Patrick Button said...

    It would be a great blessing if Chaput were made the USCCB president as unlikely as that is. I didn't know about the hostility towards Mother Angelica. The thought of a bunch of liberal bishops all in a huff about a sweet old nun for being faithful to Church teaching is kind of funny, though sad.

  • At 15/11/10 8:00 AM , Blogger Al said...

    Patrick: Re Mother Angelica, yup, some of the Bishops were not happy with her. You can read the whole story in Raymond Arroyo's Bio of her. Mahony was esp POed at her as she took him on by name. Which made her recent recognition by the Pope as all the sweeter to us supporters.


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