Click here to advertise on

Wisconsin bishop stands by conservative priests

Catholic World News - November 08, 2010

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison given his emphatic support to priests whose conservative approach triggered protests in a parish in Platteville, Wisconsin.

After more than 450 members of St. Mary’s parish signed a petition asking Bishop Morlino to remove the priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, who had been given pastoral responsibility for the Platteville parish, the bishop announced that he would stand by the priests.

“It grieves me to acknowledge that the reputation of three happy, holy, and hardworking priests has been seriously tarnished by rumor, gossip, and calumny (lying with the intent to damage another’s good name) by some within the parish community,” Bishop Morlino wrote. “Such conduct is gravely sinful, since some parishioners have been driven by fear, anger, or both, to distance themselves from their priests and even the Sacraments. This situation must cease, and charity must prevail on the part of all.”

Bishop Morlino emphasized that the laity have a right to petition their bishop, but warned that “protest-letter-writing seminars, leafleting of motor vehicles, door-to- door canvassing for signatures” and other political tactics are inappropriate. He observed: “Groups such as “Call to Action” and “Voice of the Faithful” regularly employ such tactics against legitimate authority in the Church.”

In his message to the parishioners of St. Mary’s, Bishop Morlino dwelt at length on the complaints that had been raised about the priests of the Spanish-based Society of Jesus Christ the Priest. He explained that the priests were carrying our their pastoral duties in keeping with the Church’s teachings and traditions, and rejected the suggestion that the “spirit of Vatican II” called for a sharply different approach to ministry.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,685 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,314.54
96% 4%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bernadette - Nov. 14, 2010 11:49 AM ET USA

    This is what happens when our liturgy and catechesis have been taken hostage by those who have another agenda and have held prominent positions in the Church these past 40-50 years. Now that some are finally "waking up" to the Truth that the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II" is a false spirit, those who have had their way and those laity who have been misled react in mean-spirited and unchristian ways. Witness the throwing of a pie in the Belgian archbishop's face during the Mass!

  • Posted by: Obregon - Nov. 09, 2010 12:49 AM ET USA

    And what is the crime of these priests? Some say they are too "conservative," I say they are "Catholic," and apparently so does their bishop! Are those priests teaching anything contrary to the faith? NO, so what's the problem?

  • Posted by: impossible - Nov. 08, 2010 10:15 PM ET USA

    A suggestion. Please consider not using the terms "liberal" and "conservative" when characterizing Catholics, clergy or laity, unless the subject matter is clearly an accidental one as opposed to an essential one - i.e. faith and morals. In matters of faith and morals, the terms should be "orthodox" or "heterodox" or "obedient" or "disobedient." These priests and their Bishop are modern day martyrs albeit "white martyrs."

  • Posted by: rpp - Nov. 08, 2010 9:56 PM ET USA

    Very good of the bishop. Those who do not really strive to live an authentic Christian life and seek to conform their conscience to the real teachings of the Church will sometimes resort to lying and other uncharitable tactics to try to get their way. In fact, those who scream "tolerance" most ludly are often utterly intolerant of those who disagree with them.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ezra the Odd: A Lesson in Fidelity? 9 hours ago
Famous actors bring the New Testament to dramatic life in this audio Bible September 1
Preparing for the Jubilee of Mercy September 1
Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available August 31
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - September 1