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Catholics and the Magisterium in Dialogue


 March 24, 1996

 Dan Daley
 Sheila Daley
 (312) 604-0400

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Catholic Bishop's Excommunication Threat
Violates Basic Principles of Justice

On Friday, March 22, the Catholic bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, threatened  all Call To Action members in his diocese with excommunication.  "We are embarrassed for Bishop Bruskewitz  and for the Catholic Church of Lincoln, Nebraska," said Call To Action CO-director, Sheila Daley.  "The intemperate action of threatening Lincoln Diocese Call To Action members with excommunication unless they resign  from Call To Action violates the most basic principles of justice.  It is the sort of bully boy tactic that makes the Church incredible in the eyes of many reasonable people. "Call To Action is a national Catholic organization which works for justice in the Church and in society. 

It has chapters in 24 states.  According to a recent Gallup Poll, Call To Action reflects the concerns of 90% of American Catholics who disagree with Bishop Bruskewitz on birth control and the 70% who support a married priesthood, the ordination of women, and all Catholics who believe that the laity have a right to be heard on church decisions deeply affecting their  lives."For what is Call To Action condemned?" asked Dan Daley, Co-director of Call To Action.  "We have no bill of particulars nor was there any prior meeting between Bruskewitz and  members of Call To Action -- only the naked use of the Church's harshest penalty, reserved for the most grievous sins and the most unrepentant sinners. It is precisely because of Bishop Bruskewitz and people like him that Call To Action exists - to proclaim that the Church is not a dictatorship but a community of believers. 

All Church members are given the gift of the Spirit at baptism and deserve fundamental human respect, communication, and participation in the life ofthe Church. "Call To Action regrets Bishop Bruskewitz's decision to distance himselffrom the reform and renewal tradition in the U.S. Catholic Church of thelast 20 years. Call To Action is a 15,000 member association of progressive Catholics based in Chicago and working for church reform and social justice in the spirit of Vatican II and the U.S. Bishops' Call To Action (Detroit, 1976).


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