Oct 28, 2006

A bishop speaks out

Click on this post's title for a powerful recent address by Bishop Bruskewitz. Here is his conclusion:

"...The dynamism, the Teilhardism, the Communism, the Marxism, the Socialism, and countless other isms of the last centuries will never be successfully confronted either, apart from a reinvigorated and grace-filled Catholic faith. This duty to profess again, not just with mouth and words, but with heart and soul, the Catholic faith, the profession of faith, is incumbent, not simply upon priests, religious, and bishops, preoccupied as they are and assailed as they are by abominable scandals in their number and confusion in their thoughts, but also by a laity that takes again very seriously what Chesterton observed. 'There are an infinity of angles at which one can fall, but only one at which one can stand.' Once the Catholic faith is flaming alive in the hearts of a dedicated laity, they will be able to carry out the function that the Second Vatican Council places upon them, to bring Christ and the truth of his faith and the truth of the faith He founded into the market place, into the work place, into the home and family, into the realm of politics, business, industry, commerce, the professions, arts and culture.

"In summary, a laity that will be the salt, the leaven and the light that will penetrate our world. Initially, there were only twelve apostles, largely shabby fishermen from Galilee, who were able, with the grace of God and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to bring the light of Christ to 2000 and more years of human history. Why should we think we are any less capable, provided that we are people of prayer, dedication and devotion, of doing something similar in our time and place. Let it be our prayer that God will give us here and now, the ability to dare to be different, and to stand for Christ whatever the cost, and to convince our world that our Catholic faith is so beautiful that all people would wish it to be true, and then to inform our world in the most certain terms that it is true. Thank you very much."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bruskewicz says that obedience to Rome and to those who hold apostolic succession is paramount. But what happens when Rome (in the person of the late pope) issues statements that contradict the teachings of Scripture and Tradition (as Evangelium vitae did concerning capital punishment for murder), or behaves in such a manner (as the late pope did at Assisi with his first inter-religious conference in 1986, which even Ratzinger believed reflected syncretism)?

Bruskewicz says that the laity should be salt and light. Fine. Does he expect the laity to challenge his "brother bishops" (such as Mahony or Brown) when they step of line? How can the laity do so when there are no effective in-house procedures to redress legitimate grievances in the church?

If you think that latter point is false, then you haven't been following the clerical sex-abuse crisis.

Bruskewicz's words might seem powerful to conservatives and traditionalists. But he fails to place any responsibility on his fellow American bishops or on Rome, which is supposed to hold the bishops it appoints accountable and doesn't.

My conservative friends, regardless of whether it comes from the left side of the yard or (in this case) from the right, fertilizer is still fertilizer.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for writing. The Church does provide means for redress of grievances, and the Code of Canon Law says lay people have rights.
The St. Joseph Foundation has information about these things.

None of this is easy or speedy, but the process is there and some people have gotten results. The process is effective sometimes -- perhaps not as often as everyone would like, but it is there.

Bishop Bruskewitz is honest. He encourages the laity to be strong and to act strongly, and in the past he has said the USCCB has no authority over individual bishops.

More and more Catholics are taking various actions, such as doing homeschooling and founding independent Catholic schools.

Maybe the years of requesting the Tridentine Mass will pay off soon. That is lay action.

Pope John Paul II did not close the door entirely on capital punishment; liberals love to misrepresent him, just as they misrepresent everything.

11:52 PM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...


Bishop Bruskewitz' comments were directed at the lay group he was addressing. He wasn't there to launch into detraction against his fellow bishops. Sure, the punk in me would love to have Fabian call out Roger over liturgical abuse, or to lambast ordinaries with rogue theology departments in their "catholic" universities. Not my place to push for those confrontations. Mayhaps leading a good example is more effective in contrast.

Who's the only bishop in the US that's not playing the USCCB's "cover my backside with paperwork to prove I'm protecting children" game?

10:38 AM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

I meant to address the comments to the anon's first comment.

10:39 AM  
Blogger M. Alexander said...

Ironically enough, Pope John Paul II quotes Teilhard de Chardin in his book, "Gift and Mystery".

I could never figure that out.

8:24 PM  

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