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Monday, August 30, 2004

Bishops Defend Ratzinger Document from Misinterpretation by Dissident Priest

That the Catholic Church hierarchy is divided over fundamental moral issues is becoming more and more of an open secret. Earlier this month, Barbara Kralis published another article on the Catholic World News website including interviews with three U.S. bishops in which they mince no words in their criticism of Catholic dissident, retired Chicago sociologist and novelist, Fr. Andrew Greeley.
Since the U.S. bishops met in Dallas to decide what action to take on the problem of "Catholic" politicians who support abortion, dissident priest, Fr. Andrew Greeley wrote an article in the New York Daily News saying that a Catholic may vote for a pro-abortion politician as long as he makes a mental reservation and is supporting him for reasons that have nothing to do with the candidate's support of abortion. Greeley went on to criticize the bishops who have spoken up in defense of the Catholic Church's teaching saying that they had little knowledge of "traditional" Catholic moral theology. Kralis confirms that Greeley, because of his outspoken dissent from Catholic teaching, is the "darling of the secular media," because of his outspoken record of public dissent from Catholic teaching, especially on issues related to ordination of women and sexual morality.
Three bishops have come forward and have denounced Fr. Greeley in strong terms in interviews with Kralis.
Robert Francis Vasa of Baker, Oregon, said that the theological debate over when a Catholic may vote for a pro-abortion politician is beside the point. He said, "Whether he should or should not, in my mind, is very clear. Pre-born human life in our country is under consistent and vicious attack and those lives must be defended. As I have said elsewhere, these little ones have no vote but mine and I will use it for them at every opportunity."
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs said, "How do we balance out the murder of more than one million babies each year with any good or series of goods?"
But it was Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, who had the strongest terms for Fr. Greeley calling him a "superficial writer" and one from whom no Catholic of sense would take pastoral advice. He berates Greeley for his "tragic indifference" to abortion. "In his self-important buffoonery, he has appointed himself as instructor to bishops and to Catholics nationwide. In doing this, he merely announces to every thoughtful Catholic that his views are totally self-serving and undeserving of any serious consideration," said Bruskewitz.
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(This update courtesy of