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

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Whistling while Rome is burning?

First off, apologies for the hiatus. Never enough time and, honestly, nothing really got me stirred up enough lately to blog about it.

Second, thanks to Terrence and the Provincial E-Mails for stirring me up today.

Woman gets ordained...again!!!! Everyone who has been deeply enthralled with Archbishop Timothy M. (probably stands for mushy) Dolan, well, now we all can see where that is going.

To start, let's review some details about this very telling story:

Vandenberg herself says: "I am active in St. Mary's Parish." That would be St. Mary's in Waukesha, WI. You may not know that place, but it from here that the Archbishop elevated Deaconess Vandenberg's last pastor to the position of Associate Vicar for Clergy. Good job there...yea, Fr. Brian Mason really exemplifies solid priestly leadership. But, then again, at least he is inspiring vocations among some. It is also the place where soon-to-be Reverend Mother Vandenberg's present pastor, Fr. James Volkert was, I am told, recently appointed a Dean for his area. Oh, there is a good expample for the other parish priests. I hope that Fr. Volkert won't celebrate his new appointment or Ms. Sullivan's first mass at the parish with some of his previous gusto! OK, it seems that no one at the parish level has ever been inclined to say something to the soon to be ersatz priestess. Better yet, they get promoted by His Excellency!

Vandenberg, when referring to a recent meeting with the Archbishop: "I'm not excommunicated. I'm a full member of the Roman Catholic Church at this time." Really? How in the world can that be? Allow me, after only twenty minutes research on the internet, with all do respect, refer His Excellency to a few citations from his Church's Code of Canon Law -- (the fact that I must be the one to do this leads me to ask where are the Archbishop's staff on this? Does Madame Chancelloress support the priestess movement? Has Fr. Hartmann, the Judicial Vicar, been castrated, or given up, or given in to these things?)

Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.
§2. If contumacy of long duration or the gravity of scandal demands it, other penalties can be added, including dismissal from the clerical state.

Is it just me, or is Ms. Vandenberg already a schismatic? Since she supposedly got ordained a deaconess last year, isn't that already "contumacy of long duration"? So how can His Excellency say anything in a personal meeting that would leave the Reverend Mother-to-be with the sense that she is still a "full member of the Roman Catholic Church"? I wonder if, out of his undying desire to be liked by absolutely everyone, the Archbishop and Madame Deaconess had a good ecumenical (she is a schismatic) hug at the end of their meeting?

Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

Hmmm? I concede that there may not be anyone left at the diocesan star chamber of Archbishop's staff and advisors who is insulted by this, but come on...isn't this an act of contempt against the Church?

Can. 1371 The following are to be punished with a just penalty:
1/ in addition to the case mentioned in can. 1364, §1, a person who teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff or an ecumenical council or who obstinately rejects the doctrine mentioned in can. 750, §2 or in can. 752 and who does not retract after having been admonished by the Apostolic See or an ordinary;
2/ a person who otherwise does not obey a legitimate precept or prohibition of the Apostolic See, an ordinary, or a superior and who persists in disobedience after a warning.

Hasn't women's ordination been specifically stated to be covered here? As for the warning, presumably it was Madame Spokeswomen Kathleen Hohl who indicated to the Journal-Sentinal that "Vandenberg has had a 'time of discernment'". Is that a warning or not? I have this image of something like that scene in Kramer vrs. Kramer where Dustin Hoffman keeps telling Ricky Schroeder not to do all the things that lead up to, and ultimately include, taking the ice cream. That was as fruitless (spineless?) as the Archbishop is in this case.

Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.

If Ms. Vandenberg thinks she has been a deaconess for the past year, call me crazy, but I find it hard to believe that she did not try to do something "deaconal". Who is supposed to have investigated that? And if she performed say, a baptism or a marriage, is that not provoking whom she led to believe that these were valid sacraments to disobedience?

Can. 1374 A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.

Is it not the case the Madame Vandenberg's lobbying group, "Roman Catholic Women Priests", is both organized and "associated"; oh yeah, that makes them an association? Are they not specifically, vocally, and obviously opposed/against a clear the doctrine of the Church? Are they not set and intent upon planning for/plotting against the Church? Given all of this, why is it the case that the Archbishop, the Reverend Judicial Vicar, and the Madame Chancelloress all fail to act?

Can. 1378 .... §2. The following incur a latae sententiae penalty of interdict or, if a cleric, a latae sententiae penalty of suspension:
1/ a person who attempts the liturgical action of the Eucharistic sacrifice though not promoted to the sacerdotal order;
2/ apart from the case mentioned in §1, a person who, though unable to give sacramental absolution validly, attempts to impart it or who hears sacramental confession.
§3. In the cases mentioned in §2, other penalties, not excluding excommunication, can be added according to the gravity of the delict.

Ummmm...duh? Attention Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center staff: isn't this Priestess Vandenberg's plan? Thank you Madame Spokeswoman Hohl for giving the deaconess/priestess a "time of discernment". Yeah...that will make the difference!

Can. 1379 In addition to the cases mentioned in can. 1378, a person who simulates the administration of a sacrament is to be punished with a just penalty.

OK, let's be straight on this: as a deaconess she may have (probably) tried to perform baptisms and weddings, and the Archdiocese seemingly did nothing. As a priestess is seems fair to presume that Eucharist and confession are presumed to take place in the near future(can we say Call to Action conference), and nothing is planned other than to wait and "forward" the case to the Vatican. Is not also logical to presume that anointings (of course with pretty vestments and nice perfumes oils) will occur? And yet, no real action seems to be in the offing! Thank you for protecting the Church's integrity Your Excellency!

Can. 1384 In addition to the cases mentioned in cann. 1378-1383, a person who illegitimately performs a priestly function or another sacred ministry can be punished with a just penalty.

Seems obvious to me? What about you? Oh yeah, His Excellency reads these canon laws and instead of doing what is entailed, he "forwarded" the case to the Vatican. So this means one of maybe three things: 1) either the logical conclusion of these laws was intentionally hidden from the Archbishop by his staff because of their ulterior motives; 2) the logical conclusion of these laws was intentionally ingored by the Archbishop; or 3) the Archbishop is so afraid of bad press that he can't take a bold, and necessary, and legally required, step without specific hand-holding direction froms Rome (can you say "impotent"?).

Some of you might be asking what exactly is wrong with having the Vatican handle this matter. But consider one more Canon (Madame Spokeswoman Hohl probably never studied canon law, nor was given incomplete or inaccurate information by Madame Chancelloress Cusack):

Can. 1341 An ordinary is to take care to initiate a judicial or administrative process to impose or declare penalties only after he has ascertained that fraternal correction or rebuke or other means of pastoral solicitude cannot sufficiently repair the scandal, restore justice, reform the offender.

For those of you who might be unaware, "an ordinary" means the diocesan bishop. This canon means that a local bishop is supposed to enforce these laws, not pass the buck to the Vatican. I can only ask the Archbishop, either what are you afraid of, or who is talking you out of enforcing your own law?

Well enough for tonight. Simply spine means no action!


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is the fallout still falling?

Archbishop Dolan's recent e-mail to all the priests of the archdiocese and the subsequent J-S article has caused something of a stir.

The original e-mail from His Excellency has already been posted by Terrance.

Dad29 has had a number of interesting comments posted about this.

I tend to agree with the growing, as yet unanswered, chorus of people who want a blunt discussion of the connection between gay priests and priests who prey sexually on teen boys. These are a different category than pedophiles...predatory behavior directed at pre-pubescent children. It doesn't matter whether these were crimes of passion (the gay community is renowned for seeking sex with teens), or crimes of opportunity (the young priest has more opportunities to spend time with boys).

Archbishop Dolan, when are you going to honestly address this question? What are you afraid of...losing the majority of your priests?


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Clothes may not make the man...but they make a difference!

Dear Archbishop Timothy Dolan:

In you estimation, which is a more inspirational example (Sorry, no political-dodging here, you have to choose one or the other):

A blue jean, short sleeve, Birkenstock-wearing priest of all things convenient (who happens to have been appointed by you to work at the previously esteemed North American College), or....

A habit-wearing, basketball playing nun who works with orphan boys?

I can believe that Fr. Shecterle is a fine man, he was even a near the top finisher in the auxiliary bishop handicapper's race. But please...he is afraid to wear a collar even on Sunday morning to go say mass?

It's your choice Archbishop, make it now, or regret it later. (I realize that when you leave for New York, none of tis will matter to anyone except all the faithful you will leave behind.)


Monday, July 03, 2006

Something for the Whiners!

An interesting little article in yesterday's Washington Post begs questions about just how "overworked" our priests are. Someone should pose serious questions, with the support of facts, to the whiners in the Milwaukee Priest Union. These are the guys that frame laziness as "reasonable limits and expectations of priests."

According to the research collected by the Washington Post, there are a lot fewer Catholic weddings today, than there were in 1970. No surprise there. Specifically, nationwide, the number of Catholic marriage ceremonies declined from 426,000 marriages in 1970 to 212,456 in 2005. That means that last year, there were less than 50% the total of Catholic weddings than in 1970.

OK, so the first thing you will cry to me is "priest shortage." True, but how do the numbers really work?

Presumably, Milwaukee's decline in marriage ceremonies is not much different than the nationwide trend. It is also logical to assume some degree of correspondence between this number and the totals for things like baptisms, funerals, etc. If one declines, all decline.

Now here is the point: Thanks to Catholic-Heirarchy.Org, we know that in 1970, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee had 1,150 priests, no permanent deacons, no such things as pastoral associates or much lay staff in any parish. Last year, there were 744 priests, plus 152 deacons (remember, deacons can perform weddings, funerals, and baptisms). This does not include all of the new lay staff that handle prep for these sacraments. At minimum, 896 ministers represent 78% of the workers to perform 50% of the work. Hmmm, it seems that the workload is getting lighter.

Now, before someone e-mails with a complaint, I admit that the numbers above reflect all priests, both diocesan and religious orders. If you just count diocesan priests (and deacons) the comparison is 93% of the ordained ministers, for 50% of the work.

So, a question for Fathers Cooper, Mich, Last, and the other Jimmy Hoffa wannabes...What are you complaining about?

More to come.