Get Up, and Get Moving....

An opportunity for people of serious and orthodox Catholic faith of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to share the means to improve their own Churches.

Location: near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What really is the handicap?

Just a quick update on the rumored handicapping list for future auxiliary bishops in Milwaukee. I have confirmed its existence, and heard more that it is a rather acerbic, non-charitable view from some priest(s) writer(s) about brother priests. No surprise in the highly charged post-RGW era. Remember the working motto of the Ken Mich Alliance: Debase rather than debate, Dis rather than discuss.

I still have not obtained a copy of the list, but am told that at the top of the list is Fr. Dave Malloy. There solely by virtue of his position as General Secretary at the Bishops' Conference.

When pressed to elucidate, a priest who had likely seen the list was defensive about a view that the list was mean-spirited. His reply was "nice people are treated nicely." So we can presume that with that much intellectual fortitude being brought to bear, nice guys are treated with kid gloves. I would say that this can be interpreted to mean that those who will not change anything (i.e. Sklba or another Weaklandista) are to be highly recommended on this list While those who might be orthodox and uphold accountability will be scorned.

I am still trying to get my hands on the list and will pass it on once I get one. A point to learn: the Weaklandistas want the people to have a voice, so let's use ours. Given the lack of backbone shown thus far by His Excellency, as I have said before, contact the Nuncio in Washington with your recommendations of good pastors who should be named our auxiliary bishop!

Still developing....


Monday, May 29, 2006

Are we prepared for a non-Jesuit president?

Are we prepared for a non-Jesuit president at Marquette University? Why not, we have had at least two of them in a row in recent years.

St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, provided a very detailed description of what is took to be a Jesuit. Let's perform a little review to see how Fr. Robert Wilde, present president is doing...

Basically, St. Ignatius laid down eight rules for all Jebbies:

1) The Jesuits were to be at the disposal of the pope.

Does much need to be said here? Maguire as a professor; Martini on condoms; enculturation; liberation theology; on and on and on... FYI for MU, hiring Fr. Bryan Massingale is just liberation theology warmed over!

2) They were to go wherever he ordered them to go to save souls.

Most Jesuits seem to exempt themselves from places like abortion clinics; classes on the Catechism; and the confessional.

3) They were never to accept a bishopric etc. Unless the pope ordered it.

Oh, how Benedict XVI is gritting his teeth over his predecessor's appointment and elevation of Cardinal Martini.

4) They were to wear no special habit.

Gentlemen, it says "no special habit", not no habit at all. Didn't you guys actually invent what is now called the Roman collar? Alas, there are the habits of Fr. Thon, Fr. Schultenover, Fr. Hughson, Fr. Rossi, yada, yada, yada. That is just one department. (OK, I have to add two of the four Jesuits in campus ministry.)

5) There were to be no special mortification├â┬é’s, e.g. no fasting without a medical report.

Ok, they have one in eight down pat.

6) They were excused from communal prayer and masses.

Thank the Lord for this, since so many of their masses have been of questionable validity anyways.

7) All members were to take the three traditional monastic vows. An elite would take a fourth vow of direct obedience to the pope if he sent them on a foreign mission.

OK, figure this one out...I am told that the Jesuit leadership has, on the one hand, refused to allow Fr. Fessio to take fourth vows, but allows just about any university president who hosts the Vagina Monologues to mouth the worlds of "direct obedience." Hmm, a little Jesuitic logic at work there?

8) Faith was to be spread by preaching, spiritual exercises, charity and education in Christianity.

Is there any faith left on our Jesuit campuses?

All in all some should let Archbishop Dolan know that there has already been a non-Jesuit as president of Marquette. Even if he is a member of the order.


P.S. Rumor has it that there is floating around a rather snide "handicapping" of priests for the possibility of auxiliary bishop. It seems some of our esteemed priests are tearing down their brethen pretty harshly. I am trying to get a priest to share a copy. Nothing yet, but I can only expect the worst.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More on the Pot - Kettle dilemma.

In the same address that His Excellency, Rembert Weakland, gave to the priests a few weeks ago at the "pajama party" which (I think) he initiated after rationalizing away the very damages that he perpetrated on Catholics sincere devotion to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and then going through mental gymnastics to blame everyone else for a lack of trust in Church leaderships (can you say $450K payment for silence), His Excellency moved on to his critique of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

On the matter of we Catholics being "one" --

Jesus Christ is the source of unity in the Church. We are one in Christ. Every Eucharistic prayer makes that clear. There is but one Christ. Paul is upset with the Corinthians where one says he is baptized by Apollo, another says he is baptized by Paul. He finds that kind of designation divisive. (Is it wise today to say - as I heard someone say the other day on EWTN - I am a Pope-John-Paul-II Catholic?)

OK sir, you start off well but finish poorly. Those same Eucharistic prayers also call upon all of us to be in union with the Pope when celebrating the sacraments. Did you sir, serve that end when you called Pope John Paul a "ham actor"?

The desire to rest all things unified on the Eucharist would carry more weight if the Weakland theological premise was not always rooted in relativism. Consider this insight from His Benedictineness: Besides, argued Weakland, the church can reinterpret the meaning of the sacraments over the ages. When confirmation got out of the original sequence in the fourth century, he asked, "could this not have been under the guidance of the Spirit? Could this not have been an enrichment of our sacramental system and a logical evolution?"

Simple respect, devout obedience, and orthodoxy will do more for unity than rationalizations.

On the idea that Catholic's should be "catholic" --

Weakland said "For example, Pope Benedict XV, the pope during the First World War and immediately after it, said one should never add a modifier to the world "Catholic," like "orthodox Catholic" or "authentically Catholic," since the word Catholic, meaning fullness, is enough."

Sir, who wrote the forward to the "American Catholic" Hymnbook? You.
Who established an office of "Black Catholic" concerns in his archdiocese? You.
Who contributed a chapter to a book entitled "American Catholic Social Teaching"? You.
Who likes to use "American Catholic" and "Liberal Catholic" interchangeably?

Need I go on? Clearly you are happy with modifiers like "black", "liberal" and "American" but are disturbed by "orthodox" and "authentic." The struggle for relativism wins the day again.

Well, I need my Pepto and Tylenol again. Be back later.


P.S. Thank you Archbishop Weakland for still giving me material even while in exile.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Who's the pot, and who's the kettle?

Even after all that was done to embarrass and shame the priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Brokeback Rectory crown still allows His Excellency, Rembert G. Weakland to address the priests at their annual assembly) sadly, but interestingly enough, called the "Priests Pajama Party."

Thankfully for us, the man has no shame and no shortage of arrogance and actually published his homily for my edification. Would you believe that the man has his own website? I fear that when the Nantucket memoirs get posted my parental filters will not let me visit the site, but for now things are safe (at least from the Nantucket limerick aspect).

Here are some of His Excellency's snippets:


If one asks about Faith in God the Father, I would have to say statistics show our people do have such Faith, even though some might be struggling with the relationship between Faith and Science.

This from one of the great rationalists of our time. The +RGW penchant for distinctions and drivel reflects his desire to be more closely associated with Thomas Jefferson than St. Benedict.

If we ask about Faith in Jesus Christ, I would say that, with some watering down that comes with such plays as "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the like, Jesus would find Faith on this earth if he came now.

Oh yea, and I am sure that Paul Marcoux's Christodrama, with yourself as benefactor and producer, was going to stem that tide.

If we ask about Faith in the Holy Spirit, I would say there is not a severe crisis, in fact, there seems to have been a rejuvenation after Vatican Council II of faith in the action of the Spirit in our midst.

But the proof is in the interpretation of how the Spirit will work in the world. If, for His Excellency, the power of the Spirit leads to ecclesial relativism, than we have misinterpreted the Spirit. But if, as in the view of the Church, the Spirit acts for the sake of universal unity, you can begin to see the differences between the Weaklandistas (Voice of the Faithful, Call to Action, Women's Ordination Conference) and the orthodox faithful (you and me!).

But, if one were to ask about Faith in the Church, I would have to say there is indeed a crisis. I wonder how many of our faithful, when they recite on Sunday the Nicene Creed, really mean that they believe in the Church. Many tell me that for our people to say sincerely that they believe in the Church is the most difficult of all the creedal statements.

Excuse me while I take some Pepto-Bismol and a handful of Tylenol.

(Insert expletive here), your are referring to credibility and stability. These are the things that people want to ground their lived faith in.

Let us review the Weakland track record:

Parish communities -- dismantled. You insulted the Poles when JPII was at his peak, insulted Blacks when Bp. Perry was consecrated, and used "collaboration as the means to extend the influence of the militant lay women of your diocesan offices.

Churches -- wreckovated.

Priesthood -- shamed and emasculated.

Sexual ethics -- Need I say anything?

Sir, with all due respect, just because masses of people were led astray by you, and the fruit of that leadership and your foibles is distrust of some leaders, does not mean that good Catholics do not have deep devotion to the Church. You are rationalizing.

I need to take a few deep breaths. I will be back later with some more thoughts.

Take care,


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mr. Smith goes...

Sorry, your Excellency, I guess Washington is not to be your new address. I guess the Motor City is your next hope for a new hat.

Monday, May 15, 2006

We are awaiting confirmation.

I have had the opportunity to be at a number of confirmations since Easter. Permit me to make some observations about both of our local prelates:

First, to Bishop Sklba:

- Please, not everything needs to be explained and re-explained, ad infinitum. Yes, you do have a very calm soothing voice...but after the third paragraph explaining the Sign of the Cross, even that can get irritating.
- OK, we all understand that the oil of chrism is the matter for the sacrament, and you note well that the Archbishop teases you about how much oil you use, but smearing that much oil, messing up everyone's hair, and wiping it all over the teens hands, just causes those same teenagers to laugh at you and at the sacrament.
- One last reminder: it's a sacrament, not a Saturday Night Live skit.

To His Excellency, Archbishop Dolan (and these apply to almost every public appearance):

- Do you every really listen to the readings, or do you just keep looking around and waving at potential donors?
- Have you ever just complimented a priest, or must you always tease them about something? You compliment parents, teachers, musicians, etc. But, your priests only get put-downs. That will really help vocations.

Closing message to His Excellency: You can quit all of your planning commissions, blue ribbon panels, and strategic task forces. Of all places, National Catholic Reporter has given you the blueprint for saving a lost diocese:

Extreme Makeover: The Diocese

I only wish you could take advice like this.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Looking For a Few Good Men

Was looking through the USCCB website. Decided to review the report on newly ordained priests. "The Class of 2006: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood."

Some points to make note of, and how the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will raise to the vocations challenge.

According to the survey...

A young man starts in seminary in his early 20's -- So, changing the setting of academics to Sacred Heart School of Theology, with it's focus on old man vocations, will really help.

43% of seminarians made the dean's list in college -- Sorry Fr. Stanosz, who is really dumbing things down now?

Most attended Catholic schools -- I am so glad that we are keeping so many of them open.

Played soccer or basketball in high school, but not baseball -- I guess Fr. Papineau will not be getting to first base.

Was an altar server -- So, what Milwaukee priest is going to admit the maybe Bishop Bruskewitz is right.

Was probably in the Knights of Columbus -- Who in Milwaukee encourages that anymore?

Participated in "Come and See" weekends -- That's going to be real easy now that perspective seminarians will come to St. Francis and will get to see the Archdiocesan bureaucracy hard at work with all of those ex-nuns and ex-priests.

Was invited to consider priesthood by a priest -- Yep, a whole lot of happy faces among this crew.

At this rate, the five men to be ordained next week could well be the last. Thank you Archbishop Dolan for making the changes necessary for more vocations.


Friday, May 05, 2006

No thanks, I prefer to say galoshes.

Happened upon an article in the campus newspaper of the largest, supposedly Catholic University in the area. You know the place: where Dan Maguire and Fr. Bryan Massingale pass on their skewed version of the faith with the approbation and support of all your alumni donations!

Yesterday's Marquette Tribune in which there appears an article which is problematic from the start. "Vatican Considering Condoms" is, as it turns out, somewhat inaccurate to say the least.

A couple of things in the article are very telling. Certainly young Mr. Boesson, the "reporter" has learned Jesuitic thinking rather well and it likely destined to follow Cardinal Martini right into whatever moral contradiction he plans to go.

For the insights that Mr. Boessan's journalistic pre-determined goal needed to reach, he did not go to a moral theologian (but, I would think that Fr. Massingale would be well ready to discuss the pros and cons of various condom brands), a classical theologian (wasn't Maguire happily married once?), or a medical professional. No he wanted to place the exploration of this subject purely in the realm of journalistic in-breeding. He went to a journalism professor.

Professor William Thorn states for us that "I suspect they will change their (current) policy to a more moderate one." And Dr. Thorn, what journalistic tenets, what scholarly research, what professional edification provides support for this suspicion? Hey Joe, ask your headline writer to try something more accurate: "Journalists Want Change in Policy Therefore We Write About It!"

The amazing thing, and maybe the underlying motive in Mr. Boessan's maddening method is that Dr. Thorn carries the credibility of name from his wife, Vicki Thorn who is one of the staunchest allies of pro-life and theology of the body issues. It is like all of those opinions and rumors that get reported from famous peoples brothers, cousins and gardeners. Thank you Marquette School of Journalism, if you don't like the news...just interview one another and change it!

Now (sadly giving in to a side of me that I will have to bring to confession) does Dr. Thorn think that his argument is really furthered by this paragraph:

"The Executive Committee of U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops debated the use of condoms with homosexuals," Thorn said. "They were reminded by (retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland) that contraception did not apply to homosexuals because their is no transfer of life." Weakland was archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002.

Do any of us really want to take a whole lot of guidance from Archbishop Weakland on matters homosexual? From the man who gave the original permissions of the first Brokeback Rectories? Did he send that message in from Nantucket? Oh, the Christo-drama of it all.

So, the thrust of the article seems to be, even when it comes to activities that are themselves objectively disordered and immoral, the Church should be guided by someone else's political agenda to push it down the splippery slope. Next week the Tavern League will encourage the Church members to be sure and buckle up when they drink and must be the moral thing to do.

OK, so I can see why a college-aged, liberal reporter wannabe might do this. I accept, grudgingly, the environment that Fr. Wild's Marquette does to foster this. I can even concede that Dr. Thorn might have been duped by all the glamour of being interviewed and quoted in a campus newspaper. But explain to me this one:

Kathleen Hohl, communications director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, declined to comment on the issue, saying the Archdiocese will wait until the Vatican releases a document to respond.

Excuse me, Madam Hohl, I do not see the need for equivocation. What are you and, presumably, the Archbishop waiting for? Allow me to assist you in your job: according to the Catholic News Agency the "Church will not budge 'one inch' on issue of condom use, says Cardinal Lopez Trujillo."

Journalism -- strike one; Marquette University -- strike two; the Archdiocese of Milwaukee -- strike three. Thank you all for letting us get pushed a little farther down the slippery slope.

There you have it for today. Mike

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Truth be told...or not!

Dad29 tells me that the open-minded, pride of Milwaukee priest, Fr. Paul Stanosz with his blog "Church in Hospice" has decided to show the stripes of real Archdiocese of Milwaukee dialogue...he has shut down the comments function on his blog.

So Fr. Paul, you want to dish it out about everyone else, but can't really stand the heat of contrary opinion? Who is dumbing things down now?


Monday, May 01, 2006

When will they start playing spin the bottle?

This past weekend the pastor indicated that all of the priests of the dicoese would be gathering for the annual "priest pajama party."

OK, I can see the need for an annual meeting or retreat by our priests. But why the heck do some of our own priests persist in the Weakland-era frivolity of such a name as pajama party. What makes it worse is the girlish giggle with which the priest used the term.

I don't know how often other pastors use this reference, nor how many intend to mean something untoward. What I do know is that when a group of men keep bemoaning the lack of respect they are supposedly shown, should they first not act with a little self-respect.

Sure, some will complain about picking on this specific point, but come on guys...if you don't like it when bloggers refer to the rampant Brokeback Rectory syndrome in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, then why persist in your own childish, giggle-ridden, approach to your own presbyterate. I guess it should come as no surprise, Michael Rose was probably right, the diocese's own seminary might have been one big pajama party.

Asking around about this "assembly" left me only with vague impressions. Is there adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? Is there respectful interaction with the Archbishop? Is there something more serious than pajama party hijinks?

I will pray for the priest like I do every day. I hope that they will do the same for one another.