Backbone award: Bishop Morlino

It is important for us pesky Catholic bloggers to give credit where it is due. Today I would like to highlight the excellent witness given by Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison in Wisconsin USA. Bishop Morlino has been outspoken in his defence of human life and of the family. For this and for his support of Pope Benedict, he has been attacked in the press by non-Catholics and, as so often today, some of his most bitter opponents have been liberal Catholics. "Call to Action" even took out a newspaper advert to attack him.

One firestorm has been his appointment of priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to the parish of St Mary's in Platteville. A group of parishioners presented a petition to the Bishop asking him to remove the priests. Bishop Morlino sent back a cracking response to the whingeing complaints, offering a point-by-point answer to the petition. Here is point 1:
Allegation: Introduction of faith doctrine that is pre-Vatican II in format and content – Response: First of all, it is necessary for us to appreciate the eloquent teaching of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI regarding the false dichotomy between the pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II Church. While the Council introduced much renewal, this dichotomy is not healthy in the Church. It is what the Holy Father described as the “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.” We must rather adopt the “hermeneutic of reform,” which recognizes continuity in the Church’s life from before the Council to the present day. The hermeneutic of reform rejoices in the renewed presentation of the Church’s self-understanding without attempting to divorce itself from our rich Catholic heritage. The Holy Father taught this in his Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia (December 22, 2005); I earnestly recommend that all the faithful prayerfully study this speech.

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