Sunday, September 6, 2009

Further Reflections on the CWN Article. Fr. Euteneuer Shows Us the Source of the Rumor

Sources: LifeSite Special Report - Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer statement on David Gibson's anti-Catholic article:;

I spoke a few days ago about what I believe to be Rash Judgment in a CWN article concerning the resignation of Bishop Martino.  Today I found a statement by Fr. Euteneuer the president of Human Life International (HLI) who I think sheds some light on the subject as to where this CWN rumor came from.

Fr. Euteneuer wrote:

The following quote from David Gibson's ugly article says it all: “Whatever the ins and outs of the internal church maneuvering, the upshot is that a leading voice in the anti-Obama wing of the church hierarchy has been silenced while both Obama and Biden continue to take center stage.”

The Catholic Left in America is allowing this administration to divide the Catholic Church in America. Anti-Catholics like Gibson, because of their ill-will and disdain for the Church, see the departure of one of America's great shepherds as a victory. That the wonderful Bishop Martino was “silenced” is the musing of sick media minds like Gibson’s that look for scandal everywhere. Scandal indeed is the media’s business while the care of souls is the business of the Church. Bishop Martino was one of those courageous shepherds who simply got attacked for doing everything a bishop is supposed to do, and for that reason he received HLI’s Cardinal Von Galen Award last year for his uncompromising witness.

In other words, Fr. Euteneuer is saying that the claim that Bishop Martino was forced out because he was "anti-Obama" has no basis in fact and people who seek to make this connection are the work of people who are scandal-mongers.  Fr. Euteneuer is saying that Bishop Martino was simply doing what he was supposed to do (of which I fully agree).

Fr. Euteneuer goes on to point out what this stepping down in fact means for the Church:

If his stepping down symbolizes anything it indicates the warfare that a good bishop must go through, even from within the Church, to set things aright. The battle for orthodoxy is literally ferocious in today’s Church, and it will be the dividing point between the sheep and the goats. When did “go along to get along” become the dominant view of so many American bishops and Catholics? Where exactly in the Gospel is this written? How can we justify shrinking from the defense of human life and other unpopular Catholic teaching under the most anti-Catholic administration in modern history?

We cannot let such Catholics claim the mantle of Catholicism. We implore our shepherds to defend their brother Bishop Martino, and again unequivocally restate the importance of defending Church teaching even when it is most politically inconvenient. We must not give dishonest hacks like David Gibson even the appearance of endorsement for the view that all normal and faithful Catholics are those who endorse everything this anti-life administration does.

What Fr. Euteneuer has pointed out is indeed correct, and is repeating the teachings of the Church and the Bishops who stand for the teachings of the Church in America.  American Catholics indeed have to choose between being orthodox Catholic faith and partisan belief which forces a sacrifice of these beliefs.

In contrast, the CWN article seems to have taken its inspiration from the article Fr. Euteneuer has denounced.  David Gibson wrote:

Many in Scranton, and beyond, would agree. In fact there are strong indications that Martino was pushed before he jumped.
From the start of his six-year tenure in Scranton, Martino alienated many with his abrasive style. He clashed frequently with the local Catholic universities -- including the Jesuit-run University of Scranton -- and was dismissive of their ruling bodies, arguing that as bishop he would not heed their advice.

Last February, Martino blasted another local college, Misericordia University, for inviting Keith Boykin, an openly-gay author, Clinton administration staffer and Harvard Law classmate of Obama, to speak on campus. The university, run by the Sisters of Mercy, was "seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity," Martino charged.
Also in February, Martino warned Irish-American groups that he would close the city's cathedral on St. Patrick's Day if any of them honored a politician who Martino said would be considered "pro-abortion." That was seen as a shot across the bow against inviting Joe Biden; in past years, the Scranton Irish-Americans had honored both Obama and then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

What we are seeing then is CWN taking Gibson's partisan slant and assuming without justification that it was true.  Because CWN is conservative, they interpreted it as a sign of liberals "taking over" the Church and forcing Martino out.

The problem is they took an a priori assumption that Liberalism is controlling the Church and thus assuming the speculation of a liberal is correct.  They thus spent time speculating on why it was done instead of investigating whether it was done.

This is rash judgment of course, and CWN news certainly did the Church no favor with its writing.  The assumption that Martino was forced out and writing as if it was true did do harm to the reputation of Bishop Martino, Cardinal Rigali, the USCCB and the Vatican by implying they lied about the issue.

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