The musings and meandering thoughts of a crotchety old man as he observes life in the world and in a small, rural town in South East Nebraska. My Pledge-Nulla dies sine linea-Not a day with out a line.
28 May 2021
Who Signed The Letter?
A question many of us have! I think the laity have a right to know which of our Bishops have turned their back on the Catholic Faith and the unborn.
I think this is the question we’d all like answered. In a world supposedly fond of “dialogue”, it seems to get a little less “dialogue-y” when the bishops want to talk amongst themselves, especially when the liberal faction doesn’t think it has the numbers. Then? All conversation much cease.
A group of more than 60 bishops has written to Archbishop Jose Gomez this month, pressing for the U.S. bishops’ conference leadership to suspend discussion of the subject of Eucharistic coherence ahead of the USCCB’s June meeting, despite a recent letter from the Vatican’s doctrinal office counseling the bishops to continue discussing the matter. Discussion on the topic was scheduled in March through the ordinary USCCB procedure for setting meeting agendas.
The letter was signed by several U.S. cardinals, including Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan was originally a signatory to the letter, but he withdrew his name from the text after it was sent.
Let’s look at the numbers. I went through the nice list on Wikipedia which seems relatively up to date. Not counting the empty seats or emeritus, I got 257 bishops and cardinals in the USCCB, give or take a couple for my poor counting. So, if they were all U.S. bishops and cardinals who signed (and who signed is still a big question mark at this time), that’s about one fourth of them. Remember when “consensus” also meant something to the liberals?! (And, no, consensus is not a thing in the Catholic Church, but I’m just saying liberals…)
It urged that committee work in process on “Eucharistic coherence” be stopped, and that a planned discussion on the subject be removed from the schedule of the bishops’ June meeting — delayed until an in-person meeting of the bishops takes place.
Heaven forbid we reach any Eucharistic coherence – or coherence on anything for that matter, if Cardinal Cupich is involved. I think even Archbishop Gomez is losing his patience with Cardinal Cupich and friends. I’m also pretty sure that Cardinal Cupich would delay meeting in person indefinitely. You know, because COVID.
“Having now received the May 7, 2021 letter from His Eminence Luis F. Cardinal Ladaria, SJ, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, we respectfully urge that all Conference wide discussion and committee work on the topic of Eucharistic worthiness and other issues raised by the Holy See be postponed until the full body of bishops is able to meet in person,” said a text of the letter circulated among bishops for signature, and obtained by The Pillar from multiple sources.
“The bishops should therefore discuss and agree to the teaching in the above-mentioned Doctrinal Note which affirms in article 3 that ‘Christians are called to reject, as injurious to democratic life, a conception of pluralism that reflects moral relativism and accept that democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society.’ The bishops should affirm as a Conference that ‘those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life,’” the prefect of the CDF wrote.
Having done this, local ordinaries “would reach out to and engage in dialogue with Catholic politicians within their jurisdictions who adopt a pro-choice position regarding abortion legislation, euthanasia, or other moral evils, as a means of understanding the nature of their positions and their comprehension of Catholic teaching,” stated Cardinal Ladaria.
After these “two stages of extensive and serene dialogue,” then the USCCB would “face the difficult task of discerning the best way forward for the Church in the United States to witness to the grave moral responsibility of Catholic public officials to protect human life at all stages.”
Ladaria’s May 7 letter urged that “dialogue…take place among the bishops so that they could agree as a Conference that support of pro-choice legislation is not compatible with Catholic teaching.”
And Cardinal Cupich wants to shut down that dialogue. My guess is pressure from the Biden administration’s Jesuit lapdogs.
But the “high standard of consensus among ourselves and of maintaining unity with the Holy See and the Universal Church as set forth by Cardinal Ladaria is far from being achieved in the present moment,” the text obtained by The Pillar said.
And now the spin machine really starts. None of your LIES (yes, I said that) puts the USCCB at odds with the Holy See, the Universal Church or Cardinal Ladaria, Cardinal Cupich. Doesn’t it bother you that you are now literally LYING at this point?
“Moreover, as the Prefect’s sound theological and pastoral advice opens a new path for moving forward, we should take this opportunity to re-envision the best collegial structure for achieving that,” the text added.
Ha! Cardinal Cupich doesn’t want to further dialogue, move forward or any other such thing in regards to protecting the Eucharist from sacrilege.
The Pillar confirmed that the letter was sent to Gomez on letterhead from the Archdiocese of Washington. Sources told The Pillar that the initiative was organized principally through an effort of Cardinals Gregory and Cupich.
Several Church officials told The Pillar that as many as 68 diocesan and auxiliary bishops had initially signed the letter.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York confirmed to The Pillar Monday that Cardinal Dolan initially signed the letter, but subsequently requested that his name be removed as a signatory. The spokesman declined to answer additional questions about Dolan’s involvement in the matter.
Well, cheese hats off to Cardinal Dolan! (If you don’t know what that means, Google). Also, good on whoever else rethought signing this lying disaster of a letter. You give me hope.
The letter’s requests would amount to a serious delay of the conference’s plans on “Eucharistic coherence.” While the USCCB has scheduled for June a discussion and vote on the possible drafting of a text, the letter’s signatories urged that instead, “the bishops gather in person regionally or by province to discuss the Cardinal Ladaria letter before the September Administrative Committee meeting and before any other conference or committee work continues on this matter.”
Does Cardinal Cupich think he’s the only one capable of reading Cardinal Ladaria’s letter? Is he trying a gerrymandering technique by trying to break this down by region or by province rather than by individual bishop? Probably. Doesn’t that go against a big point in Cardinal Ladaria’s letter (and Archbishop Cordileone’s, for that matter)? “Respect the rights of individual Ordinaries in their dioceses” and all that? Does that go out the window, too, because some bishops are no longer going to give the Eucharist to grave, manifest sinners once such sinners have been counseled? No more individual rights for them!
USCCB leadership have stressed that any eventual document on Eucharistic coherence would be broad in scope, proposing themes and principles to help individual bishops make pastoral decisions in their own dioceses.
Everyone who has spoken on “Eucharistic coherence” has said the same thing. Do you know why? Because that’s canonically how it must be done. The individual priests and bishops, for the good of the soul, should be sitting down with all of these public, obstinate sinners and making sure they fully grasp the danger to their soul and the scandal they are causing. If they want to obstinately remain in spiritual danger and want to continue to cause scandal, they should be denied. The big question most of us have is, why hasn’t this already been done by the vast majority of priests, bishops and cardinals??? Do they not care about the souls of the Pelosis and Bidens of this world? And a bigger question is, do they not care about the Eucharist???
The letter was sent to Gomez amid ongoing disagreement among bishops about the question of admitting pro-choice Catholic politicians to Holy Communion, and after strife between Cupich and other bishops, including the bishops’ conference leadership, that has centered around engagement with the Biden administration.
In January, Cupich accused the USCCB of “internal institutional failures” while tweeting against an Inauguration Day statement released by Gomez. The statement pledged the bishops to work with President Joe Biden on areas of agreement, while also calling out the “moral evils” of the Biden administration’s policy agenda on issues like abortion, gender ideology, and religious liberty.
The cardinal charged that Gomez’ statement was “ill-considered,” and produced without consulting the conference’s administrative committee, which he alleged was a violation of customary USCCB praxis.
He would. Honestly, that statement was the first well-considered thing I’ve seen come out of the USCCB in decades. The USCCB’s “customary praxis” has been a joke for a long time. It’s about time that custom went bye-bye.
“The internal institutional failures involved must be addressed, and I look forward to contributing to all efforts to that end, so that, inspired by the Gospel, we can build up the unity of the Church, and together take up the work of healing our nation in this moment of crisis,” Cupich tweeted Jan. 20.
Let’s just be honest. The USCCB has been an institutional failure for most of its existence. They, as a body, have been sporadically effective at best. There’s a reason nobody believes in the Real Presence, and it seems like some in the USCCB are finally done with that, too.
Both Cardinals Dolan and Gregory have stated publicly that they would not deny Communion to a pro-abortion Catholic politician, expressing fears that such a decision would “weaponize” or “politicize” the Eucharist.
Did anyone expect them to protect the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist? Of course not! I mean, they might not get invited to fancy dinners anymore. Let’s be real. They love being elitists and they love rubbing elbows with other elitists. Smelling like their sheep ain’t their thing. They just splash on a little “Eau de Sheep” when they land in Rome and call it good.
But other bishops have expressed concern about the spiritual effects of receiving Communion in a state of manifest grave sin, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches can cause serious spiritual harm.
Is that really just found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Pretty sure it goes back a wee further that that, starting with:
1 Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
Back to article:
Writing in First Things last week, Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, wrote that “Our concern is not political but pastoral; it is for the salvation of souls. This issue has political ramifications, but that is not an excuse to shy away at this crucial moment.”
Framing sacramental discipline as a tool of pastoral engagement, Wall suggested that he and other bishops ask themselves: “‘Have I done absolutely everything I can as a bishop to try to bring all pro-abortion Catholic politicians in my flock back into a state of grace?’”
Senior Vatican officials close to the Secretariat of State in Rome confirmed to The Pillar that the text of the letter had been circulated within the Secretariat, while Cupich was in Rome last week.
One senior Vatican official close to the Secretariat of State told The Pillar that Cupich had offered the secretariat his personal assessment of both the situation and the letter, and suggested that the Vatican intervene in the conference schedule. Other Vatican officials said they could not confirm that report, but would expect the cardinal to seek an intervention from the Secretariat of State to prevent the issue of Eucharistic coherence being debated at the USCCB.
Oh, come on! Honestly, isn’t Rome getting even slightly annoyed with the likes of Cardinals Cupich and Tobin at this point? More importantly, doesn’t Rome wonder, if Cupich and Tobin are THE Catholic influencers of the U.S., why they have to keep running to Rome to whine??? If they were even close to being as influential as they’d like to appear, they shouldn’t have to rack up the frequent flyer miles. They should be able to just sing their siren song and all will fall in line behind their wisdom. Hint: Rome – we don’t care much for them or anyone who signed the letter to Archbishop Gomez.
In January, Cupich was instrumental in persuading the Secretariat of State to intervene ahead of the release of Archbishop Gomez’ Inauguration Day statement, asking for the text to be dropped in favor of alternative wording. The release of the Inauguration Day text was delayed until after a separate communique had been released by the Holy See.
There has also been speculation among some Vatican experts that Cupich, along with Newark’s Cardinal Joseph Tobin, may have been involved in the issuance of Ladaria’s May 7 letter, as the pair met with Ladaria the week before that letter was sent.
Of course they were! Does anyone doubt that? The squeaky wheels and all.
Neither the Archdiocese of Washington nor the Archdiocese of Chicago responded to requests for comment and clarification from The Pillar.
Sorry, Pillar. They’re busy schmoozing with America Magazine and National catholic Reporter working out talking points. They’ll get back to you when they have those nailed down.
Ladaria’s letter was sent well after the U.S. bishops announced their meeting would be virtual; the Vatican cardinal did not raise a concern about that prospect. But the bishops who wrote to Gomez said that “the serious nature of these issues — especially the imperative to forge substantive unity — makes it impossible to address them productively in the fractured and isolated setting of a distance meeting.”
So distance Masses were just peachy but distance USCCB meetings are just out of the question? Very telling line of thinking.
The discussion remains on the schedule of the upcoming June meeting.
In a memo sent Friday to all U.S. bishops, Gomez, the bishops’ conference president, said that the June discussion on the Eucharist has been long-scheduled, since a vote of approval from the conference’s administrative committee, which is the scheduling process delineated in the conference’s bylaws.
Uh-oh! Bylaws that the USCCB voted on at some point and happily put in place? Didn’t you know that that would go against the Great Cardinal Blase Cupich? The horrors!
Gomez’ memo, which made no reference to the letter urging a delay, explained that the aim of the scheduled June discussion is to vote on whether or not the USCCB’s doctrinal committee should draft a document on Eucharist coherence, which would then be subject to “the Conference’s usual process of consultation, modification, and amendment” before eventually being voted upon for the possibility of publication “at a future Plenary Assembly.”
But Archbishop Gomez, this displeases Cardinals Cupich and Gregory!
While Ladaria’s May 7 letter had considered the idea that the U.S. bishops might be planning to adopt a national policy on Eucharistic discipline, Gomez’ memo noted that the conference has in mind a catechetical text, not a set of norms.
“The focus of this proposed teaching document is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”
Wait, wait, wait. You want to help people understand the Eucharist? Off with his head!
“I am grateful for the way the Committee on Doctrine has approached its work and for the good counsel we have received from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I look forward to our Plenary Assembly,” Gomez concluded.
Well, I’m hoping this is the beginning of the faithful bishops finally banding together and doing something about the woeful state of Catholicism in the U.S. Many prayers, gentlemen. Souls are depending on you!
To those who signed this underhanded letter, woe to you.