Views on the bishop
What a poor attempt at a hack job on Bishop Morlino ("Taking on the Bishop," 8/31/10). This amounted to nothing more than whining about the bishop's ardent defense of doctrine in a variety of situations. The cover stated some Catholics oppose the bishop in order to be true to their faith - purportedly the same Catholic faith as the bishop.
What rot! The story failed to highlight any failing by the bishop to be faithful to Catholicism. The author merely parroted the rantings of the tiny group Call to Action, whose members apparently think they can protest their way into altering church doctrine with 1960s antics.
Christ did not leave a democracy on Earth in his church; he left men, to be guided in truth by the Holy Spirit. Groups like Call to Action simply dislike Catholic doctrine.
Thanks you for your article about Morlino's authoritarianism.
For a long time now, some Roman Catholics have openly rebelled against the "teaching as Magisterium" by papal and Episcopal authorities. This is the doctrine that only the church officials can say what Jesus and his followers taught. It denies Catholics the right to question, reading and dialoguing with others in that effort.
Morlino hides behind these doctrines, as when he cites "natural law" in his pronouncements about abortion and homosexuality. He will not admit to other teachings by such folks as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, much less recent "apostate" writers. Heretics are often much more enlightening than doctrinal fundamentalists like Morlino.
In one sense, standing up to Morlino is a good teaching/learning experience for those who cherish a Catholic faith.
Daniel J. (Jim) Guilfoil, Monona
Bishop Morlino is the best thing to happen in this diocese in many years. Despite his being persecuted by nominal Catholics, he courageously teaches the Catholic faith to his flock.
Unfortunately, many so-called Catholics that you interviewed are Catholic in name only. Some would call them heretical groups/individuals. The dissenters' problem is that they do not believe that the Catholic Church (the Magisterium) is the "pillar and foundation of truth," but erroneously believe that it is a democracy of believers where members can pick and choose their "truth" according to their conscience. They forget that a conscience can be wrong.
I recommend that these dissenters find a Catechism of the Catholic Church and read it; they will learn that what the Church teaches and what the bishop preaches are the same. God bless Bishop Morlino. He has my continued support and prayers.
Andy Cardinal, Cottage Grove
The lay people that you cite in your condemnation of Bishop Morlino would do well to understand the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Regarding the role of the laity in the Church, the council's core document, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, article 37, teaches us that "The laity should, as all Christians, promptly accept in Christian obedience decisions of their spiritual shepherds, since they are representatives of Christ as well as teachers and rulers in the Church."
In response to your article on Bishop Morlino, it can be said that, while he may be somewhat distinctive, more generally the bishops that the Vatican has appointed in recent decades seem different from those who worked together in Rome 1961-65 on the far-reaching reforms of Vatican II. They are cautious rather than creative, known more as hardworking administrators than as leaders with a sense of history and large perspectives.
While cardinals at the council played a key leadership role, they made one serious omission: They failed to take the election of popes out of the hands of the College of Cardinals, which must be the longest lasting of the world's "old boys" clubs.
As an atheist, I'm always bemused at internal rifts within various religions, such as the one detailed in Esty Dinur's "Taking on the Bishop."
On the one hand, you have an ardent faction screaming that 2 + 2 = 5,228, while their equally determined opponents keep yelling that 2 + 2 = 6,492; in between, wringing their hands, are the ecumenists, hoping that we can all put the strife behind us and just nicely agree on the sensible middle ground, that 2 + 2 = 5,860.
This is what happens when people treat opinions (also guesswork, mythology, wishes, fairy tales, mistranslations, outright lies, etc.) as if they were facts. Religion is nothing but opinions, no facts involved, which is why anybody's word on religion is just as good as anyone else's (to wit, no good at all).
Richard S. Russell, Atheists and Agnostics of Wisconsin
Visiting your beautiful city as a participant in the Transplant Games gave me the opportunity to read your newspaper. The article "Taking on the Bishop" caused me to have some questions and comments.
Robert Morlino claims to represent the true church of Jesus Christ. A bishop is always due the respect of calling him by his title with his name to follow. Second, who in authority or what authority disputes the bishop's representation of the true church?
Just from this headline I would be willing to bet author Esty Dinur is a disgruntled Catholic or not a Catholic at all but someone who has issues with Catholic doctrine and its enforcement by the bishop.
My quick Internet search shows that Jim Beyers has had a long-running dispute with the Church. Brother Jim Green, because of his sexual preferences, will be at odds with the Church and with God for the rest of his eternity.
Ken Carrell, New Lenox, Ill.
Thank you for your article about Bishop Robert Morlino. I found it very accurate but missing one extremely offensive action taken by Bishop Morlino.
Last September, when President Obama scheduled an address to our nation's schoolchildren, Bishop Morlino ordered Catholic schools in the Madison diocese not to allow the broadcast of President Obama's speech. The message was clear: Do not listen to or respect the president of the United States!
Bishop Morlino is obviously a Republican, and he has tried to tell his flock how to vote several times. When he tells lifelong practicing Catholics, like me, to choose between being a Catholic or being a Democrat, many of us will choose to be Democrats!
I offer the following comment regarding the reopening of the Catholic Multicultural Center: After the decision was made to close the center, one conscientious and compassionate pastor facilitated the move to reopen it. Following his lead, other priests and pastors in the diocese, along with parishioners, have rallied to support the effort and continue to do so because it is the right thing to do.
Thank you for the great article by Esty Dinur on Bishop Morlino! It was so truthful and very interesting. This bishop is so different from our first one of the Madison diocese, Bishop William P. O'Connor. He was so gentle, kind, religious - so many traits that Morlino will never have.
We know our Lord would never treat his priests and parishioners like Bishop Morlino does. With such a shortage of priests, yet our priests are retiring younger than they ever used to. Could he be the reason for this? I would guess yes.
Sex and Isthmus
The cover illustration for your prostitution story ("Sex for Sale," 8/6/10) reeks of sensationalism, reproducing rather than merely reporting our culture's sick sexual saturation.
Children all over the city may see "Sex for Sale" and the image of a scantily dressed woman in the free newspaper dispensers close to their eye level.
I expect more responsible journalism from Madison's excellent weekly.
I found Isthmus' report "Sex for Sale" by Joe Tarr very in-depth describing street prostitution and solicitation online. One thing that was not covered, though, is the effect on [the problem from] Isthmus' own "Adult Services" section of classifieds each week advertising adult dating services and massages.
How interesting that there was an image of a prostitute on the front of a recent issue of Isthmus. On the back of the very same issue was an ad for American Apparel showing a young woman wearing a somewhat see-through article of clothing. It makes me wonder if something is being revealed to me twice at the same time.
Mayor Dave done good
I take exception to Marc Eisen's column branding Mayor Dave a failure on economic development ("Wanted: Mayoral Candidates," 8/6/10). Having been a player in this area for Mayors Otto Festge and Bill Dyke, I can attest he has made two significant improvements over his predecessors. The hiring of Tim Cooley [as economic development director] and the city's ardent support of University Research Park.
For years I had high-tech clients in Orange, Calif., and can attest to their dynamic approach to real development. Giddings and Lewis (Gisholt) was my client as we tried to rework their East Wash properties and old Royal Airport. Blocked at every level by Soglin and key city departments.