Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bishops and Catholic Universities

The Bishop D'Arcy of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, IN has written a very thoughtful and clear letter regarding the visit of the Most Merciful, Lord High Barack Obama to Notre Dame.

A couple of excerpts:

1. The meaning of the sentence in the USCCB document relative to Catholic institutions is clear. It places the responsibility on those institutions, and indeed, on the Catholic community itself. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” — “Catholics in Political Life,” USCCB.

2. When there is a doubt concerning the meaning of a document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where does one find the authentic interpretation? A fundamental, canonical and theological principal states that it is found in the local bishop, who is the teacher and lawgiver in his diocese. — Canon 330, 375 §§ 1 & 2; 380; 381 § 1; 391 § 1; 392, & 394 §1.

3. I informed Father Jenkins that if there was any genuine questions or doubt about the meaning of the relevant sentence in the conference’s document, any competent canonist with knowledge of the tradition and love for Christ’s church had the responsibility to inform Father Jenkins of the fundamental principle that the diocesan bishop alone bears the responsibility to provide an authoritative interpretation.

I consider it now settled — that the USCCB document, “Catholics in Public Life,” does indeed apply in this matter. The failure to consult the local bishop who, whatever his unworthiness, is the teacher and lawgiver in the diocese, is a serious mistake. Proper consultation could have prevented an action, which has caused such painful division between Notre Dame and many bishops — and a large number of the faithful.

Now, does Archbishop Wuerl consider himself to be the teacher and lawgiver of the archdiocese? I have heard many times from priests that he is a teacher. Yet, Georgetown University, Holy Trinity Church and other Catholic institutions in this diocese continue to ignore "Catholics in Public Life."

Archbishop Wuerl, do you or do you not agree with this?

If you agree with this, then why do you remain silent as Georgetown and others continue to give scandal to the Church?

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