Say Amen to Jesus!
The National Catholic Reporter aka "The Fishwrap" (Father Zuhlsdorf) aka "The National Catholic Heretic" (Ray from MN) aka "Eco-Outhouse Paper" (Cathy of Alex) had another delusional article this week wherein they continue to think, or rather, hope,:
a)the Church is a democracy and the faithful have a vote in Church elections
b)the National Catholic Reporter is the Catholic newspaper of record and the hierarchy are actually influenced by what they print
In the article entitled "Just say "Nein" to Nienstedt" (let's take a moment to laugh at the clever title! Gosh, how creative! Like no one at St Joan of Arc didn't think of that 4 years ago!)they express their concern that next week, at the USCCB Plenary meeting, the Bishops will vote to elect Archbishop Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul - Minneapolis the Chair of the Committee on Doctrine.
Those of us who actually live in the Church of the Faith we profess should think the minute the NCRep announces it's dislike of a cleric "He must be truly great! How do I advocate for his candidacy!?" Or, better yet we can stay out of it and continue to do what our Archbishop teaches: prayerfully meditate upon Scripture, go to Mass, encourage our loved ones to go to Mass, support the upcoming improved English Mass translation, spend time in Adoration, support our seminaries and our seminarians with prayer and donations. THIS is the doctrine that I've learned from our Archbishop. This is not radical stuff. Really, it shouldn't be. But, to the more "progressive" among us it's frightening and it needs to be quashed.
The progs have been quaking ever since Archbishop Nienstedt became Archbishop 4 years ago. You won't read in the NCRep about how he has subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, instructed parishes and certain priests that they need to be in conformity with the rest of us. That said, the ultra-traditionalists are upset with him too because he has not closed down some of the troublemaking parishes in the Archdiocese; but, rather, the recent reorganization (that the NCRep rehashes) is closing or merging some solid parishes while the crazies get to stay open.
I don't know Archbishop Nienstedt. I'm not invited to Sunday dinners at the Chancery, he wouldn't know me from a statue at the Cathedral. I've kissed his hand after Masses at the Cathedral and he probably notices me as one of the 'veiled women' but that's it. I don't need to know my Archbishop on a personal level. He could be the world's biggest crab before his morning coffee for all I know (Hey, that's me! lol) and maybe he hates bacon? Maybe his staff runs the other way when they see him coming? I don't know and I don't care.
All I need to know about my Archbishop is: he teaches the Faith. Straight up. Period.
Switching gears slightly, or am I? bwah-ha-ha! Has anyone else but me read Archbishop Nienstedt's pastoral letter "Do This in Memory of Me?" I just read it yesterday and I loved it. The prog parishes that are thinking of ways to avoid implementing the new missal as they continue to refuse to follow the rubrics may want to start sweating now. Read it and you'll see why. Is it a coincidence that the pastoral letter is released just before the USCCB vote and the NCRep's piece? I bring this up because someone is going to say Archbishop Nienstedt wrote the pastoral letter to lobby for the Chair of the Committee on Doctrine.
I say: no. I said I don't know Archbishop Nienstedt personally, and I don't. But, I do know he has consistently demonstrated his commitment to teaching his flock. I believe the pastoral letter has been planned for some time and it fits his already established pattern of instruction: something big is coming, instruct the Faithful in the appropriate response.
To those who insist on seeing ministry as a job, rather than a calling: Ok, it's his job and he's doing it.
Now for a digression: I found it interesting that the NCRep tried hard to insinuate that Archbishop Nienstedt trashed his predecessor in the Diocese of New Ulm, the late Bishop Raymond Lucker. If anything I would say Archbishop Nienstedt tried hard NOT to trash Bishop Lucker. Bishop Lucker was a well-known advocate for women's ordination. I know because I did actually meet Bishop Lucker on a few occasions at events devoted to women's ordination and I was a "fan" of his back in my prog days. However, what is rarely remembered about Bishop Lucker, and should be, is that he was an opponent of abortion. Unfortunately, he supported the use of birth control. In his anti-abortion stance he separated from a lot of the readers of the NCRep who are "pro-choice" or "personally opposed to abortion but..." I remember prog feminists complaining that they couldn't get Bishop Lucker on board with their pro-abort platforms so he was excluded from events where it was felt he might say something pro-life. Bishop Lucker was a proponent of a slightly inconsistent ethic of life; he was anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-abortion, but, he didn't get that birth control prohibits life. His biggest problem, however, is that he led the Faithful into thinking that lack of conformity with the Church, the Magisterium, was acceptable and one could still call themselves a Catholic. It is that last where he and Archbishop Nienstedt differ, I believe, the most.
To all of us I say: don't assume you know someone by what others say about them. Their life, their teaching, their writing, what they say and do, gives us the truth.
Update 11/14/11: Archbishop Nienstedt was elected to the Chair of the Committee on Doctrine