Bruskewitz pulls no punches

Bruskewitz pulls no punches

You got to love Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska. When you talk about how bishops should be strong leaders who know what is right and do it without pulling any punches, he’s the one who comes to mind. The National Review Board released its annual report this week and faulted the Lincoln diocese for failing to cooperate with them. Bruskewitz issued a press release telling them what he thinks of their demands:

Some woman named Patricia O’Donnell Ewers, who is the Chair of something called “A National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People”, has said that her Board “calls for strong fraternal correction of the Diocese of Lincoln.” The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws. Furthermore, Ewers and her Board have no authority in the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Lincoln does not recognize them as having any significance.

Of course, he’s right. A bishop is sovereign in his own diocese and answers only to the Pope. The National Review Board has no standing within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and has no authority over him. Certainly it can function as advisors to the USCCBureaucracy, which created it, but they can’t make him do anything. And if he hasn’t broke any canon laws, then there’s nothing for them to say.

I’d like to see a canon lawyer weigh in with his take on the bishop’s statement. Is it true that the nothing in the norms of the Charter for the Protection of Youth and Children approved by the Vatican compel action from a bishop? In any case, make sure to read the whole thing.

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  • “Some woman”. “Something called”. That’s gotta hurt.

    “The Diocese of Lincoln has nothing to be corrected for, since the Diocese of Lincoln is and has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws.”

    What more need be done? Or – must we talk about touching???

  • Is it okay to call a Bishop a stud, because Bishop Bruskewitz is one studly Bishop!

  • Way to go Bishop Bruskewitz!

    And if more bishops had been like him we wouldn’t have needed “something called a National Review Board…”

  • Note carefully what the bishop is saying and how he is saying it.

    Ewers is making public statements that the bishop considers to be inappropriate given his status as ordinary and Ewers’ role. This is where the “some woman” and the “some Board” come from.

    Bishop B. then states that he is in compliance with the law, presumably and part of the Charter that is binding on him.

    Then Bishop B. states that Ewers and the Board have no authority in the Church. Certainly, any authority they might have is derivative.

    Bishop B. point seems to be that Ewers and the Review Board are behaving way out of line in their public statements, specifically the call for fraternal correction – hence his contemptuous “brusk” dismissal of them.

    This does not mean that Bishop Bruskewitz rejects the parts of the Charter that are binding on him or that he rejects the legitimacy of the Board or its staff.

  • I just read the 2005 Charter. Nothing in the Charter requires an ordinary to participate in the official audit process. Peters is off-base.

    Nothing authorizes the Review Board to make a public call for the fraternal correction of ordinaries who do not cooperate.

  • Does anyone have an e-mail address for the good bishop?

    Or will we have to break down and use real paper’n’stuff?

  • The NRB doesn’t know what the “causes and context” of the Scandal are? (According to the Link provided by Frank Cunningham.) This *is* all a put-up job so we don’t have to say *homosexual* (or at least “ephebophile”), isn’t it? Holy Crapolli.

    And there’s a VOTF in Naples? You *know* that’s going to be fun with Ave Maria really coming “online”. I note this bit from the minutes of the last VOTF meeting on their site:
    “Suggestion was made to communicate with priests who did not respond or participate [in their Mass Jan. 31], noting our disappointment of their failure to reaffirm their commitment to Vatican II. Notes of thanks have been sent to the clergy who did participate.”

    My godmother/second cousin lives in Naples more than half the year, and knowing her (and I love her very much, but she’s 70 and a late 1950’s grad of St. Mary’s, Notre Dame), I can just imagine what the “activist” types in Naples must be like . . . obviously they are rather polite, though, they *already* sent their thank-you notes.

  • Agreed, marshmallow.

    Remember, the USCCB has absolutely NO JURIDICAL AUTHORITY.  If the Vatican wants to correct Bp. Bruskiewicz, I”m sure they can contact him directly.  After all he is one of their direct reports.

  • Dioceses pay a “tax” to the USCCB. There is no direct transfer of funds from laity to the USCCB. Dioceses get their money from the laity in varying ways. Some tax the parishes, while others—like Boston—rely on direct contributions from the people.

  • It won’t be dissolved due to a donation boycott. It would have to be dissolved by the Pope. On the other hand, it could be reformed.

    The problem is not the USCCB per se, but the bishops. If we have bishops who will take control of the bureaucracy and make it do their will rather than the bureaucrats’ will, it could be a much more useful organization.