No… and don’t tell anyone I said No

No… and don’t tell anyone I said No

I wonder if telling us this violates the order. The folks at the DesertVoice web site that used to host Fr. Robert ALtier’s sermons, before he effectively prevented from having the very public ministry he used to enjoy by certain officials of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul, recently sent a letter to Archbishop Harry Flynn asking for permission to re-post the homilies. According to the DesertVoice folks, Flynn said No in a three-page letter and then forbade them publishing his letter on their web site or making its contents known in any way.

First, why should Flynn make such a demand and, second, doesn’t telling us that the response was negative violate the order?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • You missed my point. I know that the archbishop is saying No to posting the homilies again. I’m saying that it is strange that Flynn told them not to tell anyone what his answer was. They said he told them not to “make its contents known in any way.” Telling others that he said No to re-posting the homilies is making the content of his letter known.

    I’m not saying I disagree with the web site owners, but that Flynn’s order is strange.

  • I’m genuinely puzzled here.  By what authority may Bishop Flynn demand that they not publish Fr. Altiers homilies?  They certainly are not the intellectual property of Bishop Flynn and how does the bishop have any authority over them wherever DesertVoice is based?  If they are based in Minnesota suppose someone in Texas was the webmaster and posted the content from there?
    why the concern over what Bishop Flynn thinks of this?
    He doesn’t apear to care what Rome thinks.

  • This isn’t the place to bring up ad-related issues because it tends to send the thread way off-tangent. You can always email me. I’ve mentioned before that if one of the Google ads comes up as objectionable to let me know (preferably by telling me the web address it links to) and I will tell Google not to show it any more.

  • It’s the same old story: The orthodox know that they have an obligation of obedience to their bishops and when ordered will obey. But everyone knows that the heterodox won’t listen to a bishop and so no one bothers to order them to do anything because they’re afraid that when the bishop is disobeyed, everyone will see he has no power, that the emperor has no clothes.

  • #1 Fr. Altier’s homilies are on the net already, meaning they are in the public domain.  They can be reprinted if Fr. Altier does not object.  In fact, they surely can be reposted whether anyone objects or not.  That’s how the internet is.  The bishop doesn’t like it—tough.

    #2 Last time I checked this was still the USA.  If the bishop sends out a nastygram, you may print it on a billboard if you wish.  We still do have free speech.  He sends it to you, it’s yours.

    #3 One wonders what his reasons might be if he’s so darned touchy about them he doesn’t want anyone to see them.  If he doesn’t want them out there either, then he needs to keep them out of 3 page nastygrams to the people he’s picking on.

  • There is still the matter of moral obligation of obedience to lawful orders from a bishop as required of Catholics. Does it apply in this case? Only a canon lawyer can tell us.

    Certainly free speech laws in the US do not override out canonical obligations as Catholics.

  • Domenico,

    Are you telling me that as a catholic the bishop could tell me to shut up on any topic whatsoever and I would have to obey?

    For instance.  Are you telling me that if the bishop told me I was forbidden to testify in a court of law about an evil he committed in front of me (and I’m a layperson, remember), that I’d have to comply??  How about the whole sexual abuse thing?

    Believe it or not, there are things the bishops cannot do.  And it’s a darned good thing too.

  • I find it hard to believe he could restrict my rights in the fashion this bishop believes he can.  He is no earthly king whether he thinks he is or not.

  • As an aside… Pretty sure it doesn’t relate specifically to the discussion at hand, but interesting anyway.

    Throughout the centuries, it has been the vocation of the lay faithful to keep their bishops in there place.

    Remember the discussion over the title given the Blessed Mother?  Theotokos v. Christostokos?  If the bishops had their way, Mary would be known as the Mother of Christ and not the Mother of God (Theotokos).  Of course, this would have dimished the divinity of Christ (in the Church).  The people would have none of it, and the bishops were scared stiff.  Hence:  MOTHER OF GOD.

    And what was the story of the Cardinals taking their sweet time electing a new pope?  Didn’t the lay faithful blockade the Vatican allowing no food and water in, and then rip off the roof to get them moving?  Then, and only then, they got the message!

    We love and respect our bishops!  But our vocation is to hold them accountable.

    I’m not saying the bishop is right or wrong in this case.  All I am alluding to is that the priests must be obediant to the bishop.  We all must be obediant to the TRUTH.  And we know who goes by that name.

  • Generally, when there is secrecy, there is something that is not quite right.This is not always true, but is generally true.

    Flynn has lots of good reasons that he’d want to keep his behavior secret. He no doubt fears the backlash from the laity when they learn more of his draconian and stupid antics regarding Fr. Altier.

    Charles Wilson of the St. Joseph Foundation described the problem of episcopal secrecy brilliantly in 2002. His essay is here:

    The big question in all of this is: Where is the Vatican?  Does the Vatican even care that priests like Fr. Altier are being so abused?

    Most of the young men I know who have considered becoming priests back away when they learn of the abusive treatment they can expect from most bishops. It’s no wonder the big “springtime” JPII expected is far from reality.

    The Vatican is in a deep coma when it comes to defending priests, and moreso when it comes to defending the laity.

  • Amazing!  When will we ever learn:  The TRUTH shall set you free.

    And, believe it or not, the truth causes the laity to trust.. and trusting causes them to open their purses!

  • I believe the people who run Desert Voice are Carmelites which might be why they feel compelled to obey the bishop.