Dissent not welcome

Dissent not welcome

It’s very rare when one bishop tells another bishop not to come and speak in his diocese, but that’s what the Bishop of Tucson said to now-retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Bishop Gerald Kicanas told Gumbleton he didn’t want him giving a speech to the heterodox group Call to Action because of its support for heresy.

Note, incidentally, that Gumbleton has earned the press-imposed sobriquet of “outspoke advocate for sexual abuse victims and gays and lesbians.” When exactly did he become an advocate? In the last year, perhaps, even as he neared retirement and long after any such advocacy could have done any good? And what has his advocacy consisted of? Lobbying for extending statutes of limitations. Anything else? As for advocacy for gays and lesbians, a true Catholic advocate would be Fr. John Harvey, founder of Courage, which seeks to help those afflicted with same-sex attraction to live lives of chastity in conformity with the truth found in Church teaching.

Anyway, Gumbleton, despite being asked to stay away, will come anyway, but will give his talk at a Protestant church.

Because Gumbleton has been barred from speaking at diocese churches, he instead will speak Feb. 6 at the First Christian Church in Tucson, led by the Rev. Robin Hoover. Hoover’s congregation supports making all religious entities more open and affirming of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Interesting that Hoover thinks it’s his mission to change not his own church, but all others. I thought meddling in other peoples’ faith was verboten, but perhaps not if you’re trying to stop “homophobia.”

It’s important to realize that a bishop cannot preach in another bishop’s diocese without permission. The ordinary is the shepherd and teacher for that flock and the responsibility for teaching and safeguarding them all falls to him. Gumbleton wasn’t simply barred from diocesan parishes, as if the venue was the problem, but from the diocese. It is the heresy he will preach to the people that is the problem.

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  • Gumbleton must receive some sort of retirement living from the Church or a pension. Maybe someone should tell him his income will be cut off if he invades another diocese with his lies and misinformation.

  • Back in the early 1990s, when I was editor of The Michigan Catholic in the Archdiocese of Detroit, I got to see the face of the clerical abuse scandal up close, and believe me, by no stretch was Gumbleton any more a friend of abuse victims than any other generic bishop. I was repulsed by the chancery’s coddling of pedophiles and of active gay priests, some of whom held positions of great responsibility under Cardinal Adam Maida. There were no big secrets on this point.

    Indeed, Gumbleton did not follow archdiocesan protocol when he was informed by a victim that a priest then in good standing in the arcdhiocese had abused him as a teen ager.  The public policy at the time was that the archdiocese was supposed to refer such allegations IMMEDIATELY to a very secret review board. But Gumbleton did NOT do this.

    It was nearly a decade later that the priest was finally brought to trial and put in prison. So, in my book, when he had the chance to call the police and report the sex abuse by the priest, Gumbleton sat on his hands, actually obstructing justice.

    Since I first saw the recent proposterous claim that Gumbleton is an “outspoken” for sex abuse victims, I have been trying to figure out how to detail Gumbleton’s depolorable obstruction of justice in this particular case, but have to maintain the anonymity for the victim and his family that they have requested.  So, I’m working on that now, and have been in contact with family.

    In any case, I want to say that on the sex abuse scandals 10 and 15 years ago, Gumbleton was nowhere to be found among those agitating for action to put the pedophiles in prison, or out of ministry.

    Gumbleton has also been a major promoter of the group Dignity. It did not suprise me that when the county prosecutor in Wayne County (which covers part of the archdiocese) finally started investigating local priests, the public learned that one of pedophile priests was in Washington, D.C., saying Mass for Dignity, even though he had been laicized. This priest pleaded no contest to sex abuse and spent a year in prison.

    I don’t beleive Dignity when they claim they did not know this priest saying their Masses was a pedophile who was laicized for his misdeeds. Nor do I beleive that Gumbleton would have remained silent about this priest—he was not reported to the police until 2002—if Gumbleton were genuninely concerned about victims of abuse.

    When he had administrative authority to prevent abuse by priests, Gumbleton did nothing, as far as I can tell, to intervene.

  • Isabelle, you’re right. I’ve noticed this in the past few months with regard to ecumenical gatherings led by Catholics with “issues” against the Church. The thought keeps occurring to me “They don’t realize that they are becoming Protestants…” That’s the negative side of the situation. But personally, with regard to future unity in the Church, I am becoming as sympathetic to the origins of Protestantism as I am learning to be wary of dissent. I am talking here about REAL issues, ie, peace, accountability, justice, etc. But I wonder if those who are now convinced of lies (abortion, relativism,etc) BEGAN as faithful persons with REAL issues, but lost their way through dissent.