Archbishop Wenski delivers a deserved rebuke to a fellow bishop

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 24, 2016

When a priest criticizes a bishop by name, that's unusual. But when one American bishop criticizes another, in a public statement, that's nearly unprecedented. 

Writing for Catholic World Report, Father Mark Pilon has explained why Bishop Lynch should be forced to resign his Office, after his appalling statement in the wake of the Orlando shootings, suggesting that the Catholic faith shared the blame. 

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami was gentler in his criticism. Rather than scolding Bishop Lynch by name, he spoke of "a bishop who should know better." But the importance of the rebuke is greater-- not least because Archbishop Wenski is metropolitan of the region in which the St. Petersburg diocese (which Bishop Lynch heads) is located. When one bishop makes an outrageous public statement, his brother bishops have a duty to correct the record, to avert confusion among the faithful. Unfortunately, such public corrections are rare. All the more reason to thank Archbishop Wenski in this case.

By the way, Bishop Lynch celebrated his 75th birthday last month, and under the terms of canon law was obliged to submit his resignation. The ball is now in the Vatican's court.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Jun. 29, 2016 1:08 PM ET USA

    Given the publicity, it is neither a secret or calumnious to note that money had to be paid to try to silence Lynch's former homosexual partner. Neither is Lynch's complicity in the passive killing of Terry Schiavo. (Find the late Father Neuhaus' commentary on Lynch's culpability in First Things.) Unfortunately, we can't expect much from Pope Francis given that he recently made similar remarks about the Church supposedly persecuting homosexuals.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 29, 2016 10:17 AM ET USA

    Bishop Lynch's sympathy for the gay movement is well known in the Diocese of St. Petersburg!

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Jun. 27, 2016 8:04 PM ET USA

    Fealty to brother bishops in the form of silence is an indication of spines associating with spines made of gelatin. We want our Catholic faith back!! Thank you Archbishop Wenski.

  • Posted by: rfr46 - Jun. 24, 2016 11:31 PM ET USA

    Good for Archbishop Wenski. Now, will our good Pope do his job?