What if CTA issued a press release in the forest,...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 19, 2008

For months the leaders of Call to Action have been collecting signatures on a petition to the US bishops' conference, demanding action against Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, who has refused to play along with the "audits" required by the Dallas Charter.

Pause here for a bit of background:

  • The bishops' conference has no authority to discipline an individual bishop for non-compliance with the Charter audits.
  • Insofar as the conference can do anything, it's already been done; the conference has published public pleas for Bishop Bruskewitz to get in line with the policy.
  • Bishop Bruskewitz, who (rightly) regards the audits as pointless window-dressing, has refused.

So what's the point? Payback, possibly.

Back in 1996, Bishop Bruskewitz announced the excommunication of Call to Action members in his diocese.

Is this picture coming into focus now? Good.

Anyway CTA went on a nationwide drive to collect signatures, and after several months the group had 1,000 names on the petition. That's one-- count 'em, one-- thousand Catholics, or roughly 0.0015% of the Catholics living in the US. Are you impressed? If so, consider that loyal Catholics in Lincoln, Nebraska collected 1,500 signatures within 2 days on a petition to support their bishop.

With this petition in hand, CTA leaders marched down to the US bishops' meeting in Washington, asking to speak to the folks in charge. But CTA leaders report that "we were promised that an official would meet with us but nobody came." To be sure, there was some consolation:

Nevertheless, we have been grateful for the media coverage …

Ah, yes; the media. What would CTA do without the coverage?

Maybe we'll soon find out, because CTA leaders have now written to Chicago's Cardinal George, the new president of the US bishops' conference, reiterating their demand for action against Bishop Bruskewitz. Carbon copies went to at least 7 reporters. (And probably more. Uncle Di has obtained a copy, and as you might suspect, he isn't the first entry in the CTA Rolodex.) The letter asks Cardinal George for a response by February 15.

And if the cardinal doesn't respond? The threat is implicit: The CTA will go to the media. Again. On the theory that if you advertise a Grand Opening enough times for the Edsel showroom, sooner or later the customers are bound to show up.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 23, 2008 2:57 PM ET USA

    US collegiality may be a point, but the good Bishop does not owe anything to the congeniality crew at the USCCB as he reports to BXVI & is leading many souls in the right direction actively rather than playing scharades & making facades. In the grand scheme of collegiality, he has good company in the Sacred Tradition and with other good & faithful sons of the Church that share so much in the way of shepherding their flocks rather than grooming their own feathers (and boas). Pray for him.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2008 6:06 PM ET USA

    Santiago, I don't think Bishop Bruskewitz needs an award from the likes of us. I'm sure he has a far greater one waiting for him. I am less sure about some of his colleagues.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2008 10:52 AM ET USA

    VOTF puts out an occasional award to someone they entitle a "Priest of Integrity" (i.e.a priest who embraces their dissent and often leaves the priesthood soon after he receives this 'honor'). For all of his courage, honesty, and yes, at times rumbustiousness and stubbornness, is there any bishop in the US with more integrity than Bruskewitz? An award, anyone?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2008 7:00 PM ET USA

    For most Chicagoans, "CTA" means "Chicago Transit Authority," and thus this letter from "CTA" may cause confusion in the office of His Eminence. However, both the Chicago Transit Authority and Call to Action have at least one thing in common - they both go in circles.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2008 11:26 AM ET USA

    It's a wonder: CTA seems to hopped up to get Bishop Bruskewitz censured by the USCCB, but we haven't heard a peep from CTA demanding the USCCB censure its brother bishops who actually engaged in conduct that left children at the mercy of pedophiles or even engaged in the conduct themselves. (Not that the bishops would act anyway.) It reveals the ultimate cynicism of CTA and their ilk like VOTF. "Protecting the children" is a cover for their own selfish agenda.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2008 10:52 AM ET USA

    Bless the Bishop for his stance. Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker City, Oregon has also "failed to comply" with one provision on the correct belief that the suggested education for children curriculum is inappropriate, not completely consistent with Catholic teaching, and that educating children regarding potential abuse matters is a parental responsibility. Bless him too.