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Catholics and the Magisterium in Dialogue

SFBay Catholic Special Report: Bruskewitz

CHICAGO CARDINAL SAYS HE WON'T EJECT LIBERALS

In an article from the March 27th edition of the Chicago Sun Times, Cardinal Bernardin commented on the recent canonical warning issued against Call to Action. The Roman Catholic Cardinal of Chicago questioned the wisdom of Fabian Bruskewitz, bishop of the diocese of Lincoln Nebraska who one week earlier had threatened Call to Action members within his diocese with excommunication.

 The Cardinal went on to say that to excommunicate Catholic reform groups would just "exacerbate the situation" and "members of liberal Catholic lay groups such as Call to Action are safe from  excommunication in Chicago".

 Bernardin went on to emphasize that he does not agree with Call to Action on every issue but this reform group has a right to exist and he did "not think cutting off Call to Action  members completely from the Catholic community would serve any good purpose."

 It is very exceptional for one Catholic bishop to publicly criticize the actions of another bishop. The fact that Bernardin spoke out publicly and the fact that the other U.S. bishops have not rushed forward to commend Bishop Bruskewitz is significant and sends a signal.

 According to Roman Catholic Canon Law, Call to Action members affected by Bishop Bruskewitz condemnation and interdict have a right to appeal, first to the bishop himself and then to Rome. Ordinarily, one Church source reported, once an appeal has been submitted, the effect of the interdict or excommunication is suspended until the appeal has been decided upon.

04/10/96

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