Sunday, February 05, 2012

Bishop Robert McManus: Will you allow all members of the People of God to collaborate in the Church's mission or will you continue to allow Catholics faithful to the Magisterium to be treated like second-class citizens

This weekend, parish bulletins throughout the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts include a statement from the Most Reverend Robert McManus.  His Excellency writes, "I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.  The federal government, which claims to be 'of, by, and for the people,' has just dealt a severe blow to almost a quarter of those people - the Catholic population - and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic Church.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health care coverage that includes sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraception...

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics and people of other faiths our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, the free exercise of religion.  As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so.  The Administration's sole 'concession' was to give our institutions one year to comply... 

We cannot and we will not comply with this unjust law.  People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens....Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America's cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, only to have their descendants stripped of their God-given rights.  In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties.  I hope and trust that the Church can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.  Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.."

Well Your Excellency, you are certainly correct in asserting that "the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties."  But then, if we are to be completely honest, the faithful were always able to count on the Church's ministers in the past to provide them with solid Catholic teaching and spirituality.  But as I noted here, it was Father Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., who wrote:

"Today too many fallen stars - rebellious bishops, priests, theologians, philosophers, nuns and Catholic intellectuals - are abusing their sacerdotal powers and intellectual gifts to seduce, enslave and precipitate into hell vast numbers of wayward sheep. Out of the darkness of the pit they have loosed the forces of error, evil and scandal. The smoke streaming from the pit darkens the sun of Christ's truth and obliterates the splendour of His holiness; it infects the air with decadent, immoral odors. Everything is cast into confusion; gloom infests the world of religion and reason; grace, the life-giving oxygen of the soul and body, is strangled out of the supernatural organisms of the children of God. Moreover, the darkening sun and sky betoken the eclipse of the Teaching Authority of the Church, the lowering of men's respect and love for her, their loss of reverence for her Master and the demeaning of both Christ and His Church to the level of being mere natural, defective organs of society lusting after domination over men's souls and bodies through the accumulation of material riches and political power.." (Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., The Antichrist: Has he lauched his final campaign against the Savior?", pp. 260-261).

Just one year before his death, back in 1977, Pope Paul VI asked, "Are we close to the end?  This we will never know...We must always hold ourselves in readiness, but everything could last a very long time yet.  What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger.  But it will never represent the thought of the Church.  It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be." (The Secret Paul VI, by Jean Guitton).

Your Excellency, we are living in apocalyptic times.  We cannot doubt this if we read the signs of the times. Our Holy Father has just warned that, "As we know, in vast areas of the world the Faith is in danger of being snuffed out like a flame that no longer has any sustenance. We are at a profound crisis of faith,at a loss of a religious sense that constitutes the greatest challenge for the Church of today."  (See here).

Our Holy Father also said that, 'The renewal of the faith must therefore be the priority in the undertaking of the whole Church in our times. I hope that the Year of Faith can contribute, with the cordial collaboration of all the members of the People of God, to bring God back anew to this world and to open to men an access to the faith,to a reliance on the God who loved us to the end (cf John 13,1), in Christ Jesus,crucified and risen."

But here in the Worcester Diocese, not all are welcome.  While the Diocese and its official newspaper The Catholic Free Press have given a voice to dissidents who have rebelled from the Church's authoritative teaching (see here for example), Catholics faithful to the Magisterium have often found themselves marginalized.  I cannot even volunteer at my local parish because of the animus against me.  I have submitted letters to the editor and articles to the CFP, but these were censored.  Meanwhile those who have dissented from the Church's teaching, such as Father Robert Bruso, are given a voice.  Just last week the CFP published his guest commentary.  This even though Fr. Bruso has been supportive of same-sex unions in the past.

Your Excellency, if you want the lay faithful to respond to your call to protect and defend the Church, and to insist that people of faith are not second-class citizens, the Diocese of Worcester is going to have to stop treating Catholics faithful to the Magisterium as second-class citizens.  And the Catholic Free Press is going to have to demonstrate a real commitment toward the Church's teaching while avoiding this sort of nonsense.


Amanda said...

Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi that those who are consecrated to her will be persecuted and ostracized for a time. Montfort prophesied this as well. Those who promote error find themselves accepted and given positions of honor while Catholics faithful to the Holy Father and his Magisterium will be increasingly marginalized. The day will come when those who kill us will be celebrated and honored for doing God's work.

HolyCross 2012 said...

We need priests who set a better example. Agreed.


ShrewsburyCatholic said...

HolyCross2012, read this paragraph from the article you cite carefully:

"..according to a Sept. 19 report of the Catholic Free Press on the Internet, Dongor, former associate pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, was arraigned on Sept. 13 in the Fitchburg District Court on charges of possession of child pornographic materials, theft of more than $250 and other charges.

“He is accused of having pictures on his laptop of girls around the ages of 10 and 11 in various stages of undress. He also is accused of having stolen $40 or $50 on several occasions from the parish office, according to police reports,” the report said.

It said Dongor was removed from his ministry in July by McManus “after financial improprieties were discovered at the parish."

I don't believe there are coincidences in the spiritual life. The CFP revealed its report on Fr. Dongor on September 19th. The anniversary of the La Salette apparition. And he had been serving at the La Salette Parish in cleghorn.

The Church is being cleansed.

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