Monday, March 10, 2008


Since the birth of my second child, I have had very little time to blog. This shows in the much slowed frequency of my posting.

To add to this, I am taking a new job next Monday that will significantly add to my commute time.

I'll also be working for the federal government.

Thus, I probably shouldn't use my work PC for blogging, even if I avoided work related material, and even if I managed to restrict blogging strictly to my legitimate breaks.

Besides, I imagine I'll have a lot to learn during the first several months.

Realistically, I don't see myself updating this blog very often in the near future...At least until my son is a little older.


A Catholic Yogi Blog

This site is nicely done.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Conflict in Burke's Diocese

This NCR article is dated more than a week ago, and I haven't been online very much. So, this may be "old news" to some readers.

The controversy is over an inner-city church in St. Louis that has historically served the Polish immigrant community.

For whatever reasons, the church has historically controlled its own finances (about $9 million in 2005).

Archbishop Raymond Burke decided to enforce canon laws that would make the parish finances fall under the control of the archdiocese (and himself, as its ordinary).

The parish refused, and Burke removed its priests.

..., until a Polish born priests, Father Marek Bozek, showed up in defiance of the Archbishop's orders and started administering the sacraments.

Bozek takes the view that it is theologically absurd to withhold the sacraments due to a worldly struggle over money.

I agree with Bozek's theological point.

However, personally, I'm not sure I could support Father Marek Bozek in taking this conflict quite as far as he has - to the point of public schism.

On the other hand, the more he stands up to Burke, the more absurd the Archbishop comes across.

If NCR is accurate in its reporting, the Archbishop has publicly warned Bozek that his immortal soul is in jeopardy if does not publicly repent for his disobedience.

That is theologically wrong. Disobedience to a bishop does not place the soul in jeopardy in the manner the Archbishop implies.

Indeed, if anything, the Archbishop may be placing his own immortal soul in grave jeopardy by claiming to possess that sort of power of judgment!

Even Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) never claimed such audacious authority over those he placed under some sort of censure (such as Hans Kung).

In his Salt of the Earth, Cardinal Ratzinger explicitly speaks to Peter Seewald about this issue, using Kung as an example.

His view of the actions against Kung never had anything to do with whether he considers Kung and his followers saved or not. Indeed, Ratzinger implies the probability that Kung is being saved. The issue was whether Kung's theology is Catholic theology or not.

In Ratzinger's mind, if Kung wanted to use the Catholic brand name, he had an obligation to present and expound upon authentic Catholic doctrine.

If Kung wanted to present and expound upon some other theological system of thought, he an obligation to do so under a different brand name than Roman Catholicism.

The conflict between Ratzinger and Kung had nothing to do with who is saved and who is not. It had to do with branding and what has come to be called "Catholic identity".

If Burke wants to fight Bozek over Catholic identity, so be it.

But to claim that disobedience to himself over a matter of juridical obedience to a discipline places a soul in eternal peril - that borders on blasphemy!