the pastoral style

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 16, 2007

The online California Catholic Daily caught up with Archbishop Donald Wuerl while he was in San Diego this past weekend, and asked him whether, in his capacity as Archbishop of Washington DC, he would take disciplinary action against the new Speaker of the House, the pro-abortion Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

“Will you make a statement to your priests and deacons to warn her not to allow her to receive if she presents herself for Communion?”

Wuerl: “You’re talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No.”


In southeastern Nigeria, the faithful of the Nsukka diocese have been warned that if they don't register to vote by February, they can't receive Communion.

That's a whole different style of pastoral ministry, too.


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  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2007 9:09 AM ET USA

    Archbishop Wuerl gave the reason for not acting is that Fr. Drinan has faculties in the Archdiocese of Washington. My question: Why does he, since he has camphioned the death of many innocent unborn lives and continues to do so. I think it's time for Benedict XVI to celebrate a Passover this itme for the Archdiocese of Washington when the Red hats are given, after all, a former Archbishop of Baltimore was "Passed over"

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jan. 18, 2007 1:39 PM ET USA

    Abp. Wuerl has joined Abps. Hunthausen, Weakland, Mahony, McCarrick et al, who have a similar "style" of supporting (actively &/or by their silence) such nominal Roman Catholic politicians who have 100% pro-abortion voting records, & these pols receive the Eucharist with hands that are dripping with the blood of millions of slaughtered pre-born babies (47 million since 1973). Jesus has called the bishops to be successors the apostles, to be martyrs for the Faith, not stylists, not diplomats.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2007 12:01 PM ET USA

    "...He has taught, written, and spoken well in his life..." The same can be said of the Pharsees. The charitable thing to do is put Speaker Pelosi on notice that her eternal Soul is in mortal danger.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 11:10 PM ET USA

    Wuerl is just mimicking Cardinal McCarrick, who told CNS recently that Pelosi is "a very thoughtful and committed defender of human rights. ... We don't always agree - on life and education issues especially - but my experience has been that you can always talk to her."

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 10:22 PM ET USA

    YES! One of my favorite priests declares Wuerl is not doing his job. See:

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 17, 2007 9:21 PM ET USA

    Tominellay, I don't see anything in the article from the "Californina internet newspaper" demanding that AB Wuerl do anything. Looks like a fairly straight forward news report on a controversial issue. Given the magnitude of the scandal posed by pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving Holy Communion, perhaps the appeal to enforce Canon 915 can be seen as a cry from the faithful on behalf of the babies who blood cries out to Heaven for vengeance...and against continued sacrilege.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 8:50 PM ET USA

    The issue is not simply giving communion to Catholic politicians who promote or otherwise cooperate with the murder of innocents. It is the necessity of publically declaring what has already taken place--their excommunication. Harsh medicine for their souls, but the illness is terminal if untreated, resulting in that fearful and eternal sickness unto death. But most importantly this would benefit the faithful who are being assaulted from all sides.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 7:24 PM ET USA

    Well, unless somebody has some better ideas of how to get a grip on this festering problem, the bishops would do well to remind themselves of what's at stake should they continue to kowtow to the heterodox snobs. They certainly aren't doing them a favor by allowing folks to imperil their souls and dragging others down into the cesspool with them. And they would bear responsibility for that as a result of being overly pastoral.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 2:53 PM ET USA

    Wait a second. A California internet newspaper cannot just demand the archbishop do such and such or lose his credibility. I share the traditional views of that interviewer, but neither of us is the legitimate pastor in Washington D.C.. Abp. Wuerl does not wield authority in my name; he isn't my personal hammer to use against people like Pelosi. He has taught, written, and spoken well in his life as a churchman; and I do expect him to continue witnessing to Catholic principles.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 17, 2007 2:08 PM ET USA

    Cupertino...I agree something must be done. I don't know exactly what. Maybe a short cut would be to not have a career diplomat as the Nuncio...or the Nuncio can be the Ambassador representing the Vatican to Civil authorities and have someone else head up the vetting the candidates for Bishop. Perhaps also many more letters can be sent to the faithful & Priests alike asking them to appraise a particular candidate???

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2007 12:37 PM ET USA

    Regarding Wuerl: Where is Torquemada when we need him?

  • Posted by: florentine - Jan. 17, 2007 11:39 AM ET USA

    This is the kind of hypocritical leadership that has long paved the way for, and thus contributed to scandal, divisiion, and loss of respect for Holy Mother Church. Either what the Church teaches is all truth or it is not, and when our own so called shepherds won't stand up for that truth and provide protection for the faith and the true faithful from the wolves and wolves in sheeps' clothing, it exposes a profound lack of genuine faith and courage. This is a defining moment for Arbp Wuerl.

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Jan. 17, 2007 10:20 AM ET USA

    I know this will sound like maddness to most but the Church needs to get rid of the Nuncio system for selecting Bishops in secret. And - here comes the nuclear explosion - find a way to involve the local faithful in the selection of local Bishops. It worked for 1900 years. Problems involved? Sure. But the present system wherein a "club" of insiders selects our Bishops for us has left us without any leadership.

  • Posted by: Italiana - Jan. 16, 2007 9:45 PM ET USA

    Go Allyson! Archbishop Wuerl hadn't a clue or a chance against Allyson Smith. She's cool, calm and collected. Sharp, smart and a dedicated soldier of Christ.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 16, 2007 9:36 PM ET USA

    Dear "esalkin," I share your deep disappointment. It's all the more troubling in Wuerl's case because he has the charisma and the brains to set forth Church teaching in such a compelling way. Woe is me.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 8:13 PM ET USA

    This is not fair to Abp. Wuerl.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 8:00 PM ET USA

    Is there anything so wrong with Archbishop Wuerl taking that "whole different style of pastoral ministry" that is so sorely needed to avoidscandalizing the flock? Did he resort to a weak-kneed and wishy-washy form of ministry from the Unitarians? God help us all. Who's in charge here: the sheep or the shepherd? I suppose Pelosi will flash her maniacal smile upon hearing of this news like she does at this link:

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 7:46 PM ET USA

    How very sad but how interesting. Faith and morality are now matters of style. We can now have hair styles, clothing styles and morality styles. Mon. Wuerl is one more walking billboard for the SSPX. Deliver us from this evil o' Lord.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 6:31 PM ET USA

    Style or not, the pastoralism of today is sheer arrogance. The planted axiom is that the current bishops have a better, more refined morality than Our Lord and His redneck followers, who were not averse to culling troublemakers out of the flock (indeed, they even recommended this lowbrow "style" of shepherding!). The "we don't do that kind of thing anymore" attitude is nothing more than a snooty coverup for craven cowardice.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 3:59 PM ET USA

    I find it amazing that they had the (guts) to ask the question! Of all the U.S. Bishops appointed in the last 30 years, Bishop Wuerl is the most disappointing. He taught sound Catholic doctrine with authority when he was just a priest. His "style" did a 180 as soon as the ring hit his finger. Power corrupts...

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 2:20 PM ET USA

    Before appointing a new bishop; the Vatican should ask if the appointee believes that pro abortion politicians should be excluded from the Holy Eucharist. This will never happen; but I can dream can't I!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 11:28 AM ET USA

    Donna Girl.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 16, 2007 10:26 AM ET USA

    PLEASE! If anyone out there can do so: let the Holy Father know we have a problem here! With a recent report that 25 Bishops will soon retire, and whatever vacancies there are already, something NEEDS to be done. This is serious business: business as usual is not going to make it.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 9:53 AM ET USA

    The problem with not rocking the boat is that God eventually does, with a Flood. Good luck with the backstroke Archbishop Wuerl. Looks like the SS Minnow will be out for more than a 3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 9:37 AM ET USA

    Preventing large scale scandal, mortal sin and sacrilege is a wrong “style of pastoral ministry”? Allowing government to use the Church to promote a Satanic agenda of murdering babies is right? This is beyond good faith error. Alas, most U.S. bishops probably agree with Weurl. Such open betrayal of Truth shows our Lord has removed His grace from the Novus Ordo, in which few if any clergy show they have courage to defend the whole Truth. These men should be charitably avoided.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 9:27 AM ET USA

    Let us not forget that Wuerl is a recent appointment and that his views (or lack of them) and history were known to all. The problem is much deeper.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 9:22 AM ET USA

    He's known in DC as "Don't rock the boat" Wuerl.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 16, 2007 8:06 AM ET USA

    I thought that bishops are supposed to act like shepherds and not chicken farmers? Another spinal transplant needed here.

  • Posted by: Mangy Donkey - Jan. 16, 2007 7:25 AM ET USA

    For some reason the all too well know phrase "Spare the rod, spoil the children" comes to mind. Too many US bishops are too cowardly or too wrapped up in their own agendas to deal out proper punishment. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives them courage and humility to gather in the lost sheep. In terms of the good Bishop of Nsukka, all I can say is nifty. That is a cool style.

  • Posted by: pkiefner - Jan. 16, 2007 7:07 AM ET USA

    I think both their styles are inappropriate.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Jan. 16, 2007 7:05 AM ET USA

    cont.... and put the salvation of one's immortal soul in danger. If one is really concerned about the salvation of souls then offering fraternal correction is a necessary obligation. Either Mon. Wuerl does not believe these things or he needs injections of hormones of the type certain menonite cyclists take. He certainly needs our prayers.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Jan. 16, 2007 6:58 AM ET USA

    A few years, decades, ago there was much talk of some Christians being practical atheists, although professing to be Christians in their daily decisions they acted as if God did not exist. It seems that Mon. Wuerl is a practical relativist although he has written a very fine catechism and talks the talk about Divine Truth, he does not walk the walk, he acts as if truth did not exist, or it is merely "truth". If it is true that life is sacred, and that sins against life are grevious ...

  • Posted by: Gene Church - Jan. 16, 2007 6:31 AM ET USA

    I like that different style!