Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pffftttttt - Detroit News Article on Archbishop Vigneron

I haven't much paid attention to the writings of Greg Krupa of the Detroit News, but I got aquainted with his journalism style the day Archbishop Vigneron was announced to take the helm in Detroit. I was purely annoyed with the negative slant he placed upon Cardinal Maida. If there was anything decent in the article about the outgoing shepherd of Detroit, I'm sorry to have missed it. I found it a slap in the face to Catholics in this area, and offensive, that he would choose such an occasion to spew such negative things. This is not journalism, but tabloid journalism.

Let's have a look at a few excerpts from his latest hacked understanding of Catholicism and trashing of our faith.... [comments bracketed in red]

When the debate over gay marriage was heating up last year [of course - let's start off with some real controversy to set the tone of this wondrous occasion for metro Detroit Catholics], Archbishop Allen Vigneron was arguably the most vigorous among the Catholic bishops in California who united in their opposition [he is a bishop who is suppose to defend the faith, which is not based on popular opinion but on Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium].

In a pastoral letter -- a direction for behavior in the diocese of Oakland, Calif. -- he instructed Catholics that same-sex couples can not enter into marriage and that it was their duty to resist [Hello??? This is a teaching of the Catholic Church - what did you expect?]

"God gave you the mission to configure the civil order to his design," then-Bishop Vigneron asserted in his letter on May 16.

Earlier this month, he was named Archbishop of Detroit. Conservative Catholics [pfft - pigeon-holing Catholics as if there are different breeds] posted photographs of Vigneron celebrating the Latin mass [that would be me, I'm sure, but he didn't care to get a positive word from Catholics who are not "conservative", but simply loyal to the Church founded by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago] that some progressive Catholics view as a return to the rigid construction of the liturgy [another common insult thrown at loyalists] that existed before the epochal reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s [And, if you do your research Gregg, you will find that Vatican II, nor any other Church document, ever authorized the jack-hammering out of altar rails, Communion in the hand, the turning of the priest toward's the people, the elimination of Latin, and the elimination of sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant! One cannot look at one sentence in these documents in isolation, they need to be looked at in full]

As he prepares for his installation today as the fifth archbishop of Detroit [good grief, [he finally mentions it], Vigneron arrives with a reputation [uh-oh] as a conservative activist [pfft - there it is - the "big mean bishop"] who is not only a traditionalist [faithful] in his approach to the church, theology and liturgy, but a cleric who has no qualms with asserting that point of view [hey, Gregg - thanks for putting this in such a "positive" light]. Coupled with a personality that is more scholarly and introspective than his predecessor, Cardinal Adam Maida [whom you ripped on previously], observers say the tenure of the 60-year-old prelate is likely to be defined by how he uses his philosophy and personal traits to guide one of the most economically challenged, racially divided and religiously diverse dioceses in the nation. [Divisions do not occur along race, as much as they do on ideologies and in matters of morality. Think of where the lines are often drawn - they often involve moral issues. There is no division among blacks and whites who are pro-life, but if either is pro-choice, then there is division. This does not make it a racial divide, but a moral divide. Of course, some journalists (and even some Catholics) will paint Vigneron as "divisive" if he does not fall on their side of that moral divide.]

"Given the major issues of the church today, the challenge is to provide the kind of leadership that does not deepen division and polarity," said the Rev. Christopher Viscardi, a professor of philosophy and theology at Spring Hill College, a Jesuit university in Mobile, Ala. "A desirable leadership finds the heart of what the Catholic vision and the Catholic faith is about and brings a sense of unity into that diversity."

Some, especially more conservative Catholics, thought Vigneron was highly successful in Oakland. [Once again, there is this notion that there can be conservative and progressive Catholics when it is a fallacy and....getting old, right along with the graying population of those who are more interested in challenging Church teaching than seeking to understand it so they can follow it! Perhaps, Gregg, you may want to ask yourself how we ended up with over 30,000 protestant denominations. The first one originated from the Catholic Church because they had a different "viewpoint". Another split from that, and exponentially, it exploded into so many denominations that no one can be sure how many there are. The Catholic Church has been steadfast on certain teachings so the only controversy is on the end of those who reject them]

"I was impressed that he was on the board of directors of Ave Maria University (the conservative [there's that convenient label again] school established by the former owner of the Tigers, Tom Monaghan), so I knew he was more of a traditionalist," said Paul Vargas of San Leandro, Calif. "Last weekend, we had a March for Life in San Francisco, and he is one of the organizers of that, which we'd never had before in the diocese." [Wow, how did that get in this article?]

But Mark Gotvald of Pleasant Hill, Calif., said he and other more progressive Catholics blanched when Vigneron discussed re-establishing traditions like monthly confessions. [Hmmmm......I suppose he thinks Vatican II did away with Confession. In fact, I think there are people who think Vatican II eliminated sin so there is no need to use the Sacrament. That is why the Confession lines are empty, and the Communion lines are long. We either have a Church full of saints who have no sin on their soul, or we have come to believe that we have already been saved by the Resurrection of Christ.....wait, that's a Protestant belief. OK, so Bishop Vigneron wants Catholics to have a Catholic understanding of their faith. What's wrong with that?]

"Another thing that really bothered me [has anyone counted the negative "points of view" in this article? Why is this guy writing on anything Catholic? Gregg - this is about as useful as asking a vegetarian how he enjoys prime rib!] was one of the Christmas letters he had published in which he basically said that when you become a Catholic you have to check your private judgments at the door," Gotvald said. "Part of the Second Vatican Council was the freedom of conscience [This is only partially true - you need to work at developing a formed conscience, formed in light of the truths of the faith. If three people are at a red light and one wants it to be green and decides to "go", does it make the light green? Are the consequences if this person proceeds through an intersection because he believes the light is green when it is actually red? Not only does he hurt himself, but he harms others who truly have the right of way] . And if the church knows better, then what about the history of its support of slavery, of usury, and at first allowing married priests and then disallowing it, and once saying that eating meat on Fridays was a mortal sin, when it isn't anymore?" [I truly wonder how much this man, or Gregg for that matter, has approached someone like Archbishop Vigneron, to get an understanding of these things. They may be surprised to learn the answers, but they are also free to reject them (I go back to the 30,000 denominations of protestantism)].

In the past three decades, nearly every bishop appointed by both the late Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have followed their conservative faithful [sigh] approach. And while Vigneron may more actively assert his prerogative than some, he also wins plaudits for emphasizing consultation.

"He's a good listener and he would want to hear all of the different angles and opinions on an issue," said the Rev. John Zenz, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, who was a seminarian with Vigneron in Detroit and Rome. [He listens, and part of that listening is to see where there is misguidance, malformation, and lack of formation in the faith, but when people look to be consulted, they often have it set in their mind that they want a particular change....period. "Let those who have ears hear...."]

Well before the economy crashed, Vigneron installed legal and health clinics for the poor in the huge cathedral he built in Oakland.

"One of the big concerns he will face is the very question of a sustainable community, and Detroit is at risk because of economic, political and social issues that need to be addressed," [and he will address them, but not by compromising the faith. Some feel population control through abortion and contraception is good - read #6, his Rule of Integrity: “To do evil in order to accomplish good is really to do evil.”] said Sister Joan Mumaw, vice president of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the so-called IHM nuns who have educated generations of Catholics in Metro Detroit.

Members of the local Jewish community also expressed hope that Vigneron will build on Maida's work, and the immediate challenge may be significant. Pope Benedict XVI has recently alienated many Jews by furthering efforts to make Pope Pius XII a saint and reversing the excommunication of a British prelate who said that 6 million Jews were not slaughtered in the Holocaust.

"I am interested in seeing how the new bishop is going to navigate that territory," said Rabbi Joseph Krakoff of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, who is active in interfaith efforts in Metro Detroit. "I think Cardinal Maida did a very good job and certainly made it one of his priorities. And my hope is that a new person coming in can take it to the next level."

You can reach Gregg Krupa at (313) 222-2359 or

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!