May 17, 2006

Quotes from Bishop Wuerl

A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article of March 29, 2002 (click on this post's title), reported on remarks by Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl at that year's Chrism Mass. Here is an excerpt:

"Wuerl defended the church's 'secrecy' in not publicizing accusations against priests, saying the accusers often preferred to keep the issue from authorities and media. He also defended a much-criticized practice from decades ago of reassigning accused priests, saying bishops were only doing what they thought was best at the time. Today, Wuerl said, they know better.

"'In spite of all the repetition of the same names and the same incidences that create the impression in the media that this type of abuse is widespread, it includes a minuscule fraction of the Catholic priesthood,' Wuerl said. 'We are dealing with a limited number of priests, albeit one priest molester is one too many. We also need to keep in mind that charges range from inappropriate touching of a child to homosexual contact with a person in the late teens.'"

I am presenting this news article for whatever it is worth. No doubt it does not represent the totality of Bishop Wuerl's views then or now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, Cardinal Ratzinger said the exact same thing once.

Frankly, it's outrageous to imply that Bishop Wuerl is soft on child abusing priests. He is one of the only bishops who has come out of the scandal unscathed.

His handling of a '93 abuser case was astonishing. Not only did he defy the Vatican - which ordered him to reinstate the abused priest - he personally wrote John Paul II urging him to "defrock" the priest in question. Wuerl was vindicated - JPII sided with him, not only upholding his decision to remove him, the Pope personally saw to it that the priest was laicized.

We need MORE bishops like Wuerl, not less.

This post (as well as the last - you apparently have never read his lengthy treatment on the issue of holy communion) is missing vital information. You have selected small bits of information to incriminate him unfairly. Not only have you entirely taken his statements out of context, you misrepresent this very good bishop.

I normally agree with your criticisms of Cardinal Mahony, but when you implied that Wuerl is a complimentary East Coast "bookend" you lost a lot of credibility with me. Have you never heard of his Catholic education conference? Are you completely unaware of the way John Paul II handpicked him to clean up the mess created by Hunthausen in Seattle?

Nor have you mentioned Wuerl's wonderful catechetical works - which are completely solid.

You're losing credibility here Quintero. I don't think I'll be coming back here any more. I know you won't like this but I think you need to do some prayerful reflection about whether or not you're doing a service to the Church with this kind of coverage.

And by way, I'm not a liberal. I love the Latin Mass - bring on the indult! But you're making all of us orthodox Catholics look bad with this kind of analysis.

10:53 AM  
Blogger JohnPaulFootball said...

Anonymous....great comment! I tried to make the same points on the last "bookend" post, just with less effectiveness and less research...thank you for your comments, I appreciated reading even if no one else on this blog did.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 10:53 a.m. and John Paul Football,

Any credibility gap is yours. I never said Bishop Wuerl was wrong on everything. Cardinal Mahony is not wrong on everything! But since when do we want bishops who are not right on EVERYthing?

If a bishop errs on abortion policy, that should disqualify him no matter what else he gets right.

Fact: Bp. Wuerl has a "hands-off pro-abort Catholic politicians" stance; he urges that we evaluate politicians on a "broad range" of issues; and he recommends that pro-life bishops muzzle themselves about abortion. This is a recipe to do NOTHING to end our daily slaughter of God's little babies.

Fact: I did not imply that Bishop Wuerl "is soft on child abusing priests." I repeated HIS OWN WORDS from a newspaper article.

Fact: I also noted that no doubt this did not represent the totality of his views then or now.

Fact: Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Wuerl allow Communion for Catholic pro-abortion politicians. They are total "bookends" in that!

None of us should mind being urged to prayerful reflection on what we do; that is our Catholic duty. And we all have a duty in justice and in charity to be fair and accurate about others.

We should also prayerfully read and reflect on what Evangelium Vitae says: That ending abortion is the top priority, not just one of a broad range of issues.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't we condemning Pope Benedict? Why doesn't he make a direct intervention in this matter and tell the American bishops what to do, forcing their hand? I say, Benedict is failing the Church - it's all his fault.

In fact, Pope Benedict is a bookend to Mahony on the other side of the globe because he, like Mahony, does little with his papal authority about pro-choice politicians receiving communion.

I guess Benedict doesn't get it. He's just an ignorant man, apparently. He writes letters to the bishops about receiving communion, and then rolls over when they disagree with him. Or maybe he writes letters about matters he doesn't care to follow up on, is that it?

How very sad this lack of trust in him is.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 6:30 p.m. (and 10:53 a.m.?),

As long as you bring it up: I am totally loyal to Pope Benedict XVI and to his predecessors of happy memory, but I do not understand this appointment and many others in recent decades.

You are saying that bishops may make bizarre statements that sometimes even contravene Vatican documents, but that bloggers may not wonder about those statements, draw any conclusions from them, comment on them or even merely quote them.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Quo Vadis said...

Please realize that being chairman of committee that makes a recommendation does not mean the chairman agrees. He is just one vote, if he gets to vote at all unless there is a tie. The interesting thing is that the recommendation was never published. Now that is often something a chairman has responsibility for doing.

I have orthodox Catholic friends that live in his Diocese and they speak very highly of him as does several reliable Catholic publications.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Quo Vadis,

Thank you for this perspective and information! Hope your friends in the Pittsburgh diocese are right, and the Catholic publications, too.

Still, it would be nice if the committee situation were the only one that is at issue about Bishop Wuerl's stance on Catholic pro-abortion politicians.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous MVH said...

Folks, please remember, he is Pope Bendedict, "a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of The Lord," who entrust[s] himself to our prayers, to The Lord and to His most holy mother.
He's a human being. He is Not SuperPope.
Oy vey!!!

11:28 PM  
Blogger skeetor said...

I also agree, we in america have only had "the lesser of two evils" as a choice for so long many believe its the only choice they have in every venue. When deciding on a bishop, how hard can it possible be to find one who believes everything the church teaches and takes it upon himself to guide his diocese in the proper direction. I don't want the lesser of two evils, I want a genuinly obedient man in every instance to help lead the church

11:58 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Skeetor,

Well said! Thank you for writing.

12:24 PM  

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