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SFBay Catholic Special Report: Bruskewitz


Boston Archdiocesan Paper

Critical Of Bishop Bruskewitz

In a strongly worded criticism of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, the Bishop of Lincoln Nebraska was openly criticized by one of the most prestigious Roman Catholic Newspapers in the United States. THE PILOT, the newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese voiced its criticism in an editorial published on April 5th. Sever weeks earlier, the Lincoln Nebraska bishop issued a warning to excommunicate any Catholic in his diocese who belonged to any one of 12 organizations. (see warning). This move by Bp. Bruskewitz was widely seen as primarily focused against CALL TO ACTION a Catholic reform group working for Church renewal.

 "THE PILOT" reminded Catholics: "Catholic bishops are not a collection of individuals. They constitute a college of apostolic ministry, which requires close collaboration with each other in union with the Holy Father for the sake of the church's unity.

  The pilot contends that the Nebraska Bishop's failure to consult with his fellow bishops was a serious error in judgment and that the bishops stands alone not even one other bishop has [so far] joined him in his ban.

  In its critique, THE PILOT noted that the Bishop of Lincoln failed to follow the example of Pope John Paul II who was "very, very slow to use the canonical penalty of last resort - excommunication."

 CALL TO ACTION is a Chicago group which had recently written to Bishop Bruskewitz informing him that they were about to form a local CTA chapter in Lincoln. The condemnation followed three weeks after the letter was mailed. Local CALL TO ACTION officers claimed that bishop Bruskewitz made no attempt to contact the Catholic reform group before issuing his excommunication threat.

CALL TO ACTION issued its own press release on the Bishop's action calling it unjustified and promised an appeal to higher authority.

Source: April 5th '96 Editorial of 'THE PILOT' and NCR (Apr 15th) article.

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