Catholic diocese calls ‘foul’ over petition against bishop
Earlier this month we carried a report that said Catholic priests in Wisconsin were warned to be wary of conducting funerals for homosexuals who were known to be in a same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.
Well, the shit’s hit the fan big time. According to this report, an online petition is accusing Bishop Robert Morlino, above, of the the Diocese of Madison, of “hatred and discrimination” and “abuse of power”. Among its charges is that Morlino:
Is an open and practicing bigot whose attitudes and opinions about the LGBTQI members of his Diocese (and our beloved families) are nothing short of inhumane.
It further alleges:
He does not have the love in his heart nor the strength of character to stop his hate-filled fixation on the intimate lives of consensual and committed adults.
The petition, signed so far by almost 6,500 people, demands the sacking of Morlino by the Pope.
In its turn, the diocese is screaming “foul”, saying of the petition:
It is what it is – a successful PR stunt, because it has gotten altogether too much attention. However, this is certainly not how the Church works, and even the organizers know this. But it becomes the M O of such groups to use whatever means necessary to besmirch a good bishop’s name. Sadly, it works in our culture today. Not anything new or surprising about this and the premises for the petition are demonstrably false, for those who have any desire to see the truth of the matter, just as are the claims made in this recent affair.
Nor would it be something that faithful Catholics sign, not because of who the bishop is, but because everything he teaches (which is the reason for these various petitions over the years) is the consistent and universal truth, taught by the Church, since the time of Christ Himself.
Cue Catholic League President, the posturing nincompoop Bill Donohue who said the attack was:
Scurrilous. Catholics in the Diocese of Madison are very fortunate to have such a brilliant and courageous leader in Bishop Robert Morlino. He is currently under attack by dissident Catholics, ex-Catholics, and those who never were Catholic, for merely upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church. The uproar is wholly unjustified.
The row erupted after the burial guidelines were issued by the diocese’s Vicar General James Bartylla.
The Vicar General’s comments were entirely measured. To begin with, he was not talking about the burial of homosexuals, per se; rather, he was addressing those instances where a homosexual was involved in a public union with his partner.
I know Bishop Morlino as a kind person who holds no animus against any person or group of persons. He deserves our support. Shame on those agenda-ridden activists who are out to smear him.
The diocese clarified in a statement last week that the communication attributed to Bishop Morlino was not official diocesan policy, though it did have his approval.