Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bishop Sample on Bishop Gumbleton.....not in my diocese!

I was just alerted to a statement by Bishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Marquette in which he has publicly made known that he has asked Bishop Thomas Gumbleton not to speak in his diocese.  It reads, as follows:

I attempted to handle this matter in a private, respectful and fraternal manner with Bishop Gumbleton. It is unfortunate that what should have remained a private matter between two bishops of the Catholic Church has been made available for public consumption.

I want to first of all say that my decision to ask Bishop Gumbleton not to come to Marquette had absolutely nothing to do with the group who invited him to speak, Marquette Citizens for Peace and Justice, nor with the topic of his publicized speech, since the Church is a strong advocate of peace and justice. I am sorry for the negative impact this has had on those planning this event.

There is a common courtesy usually observed between bishops whereby when one bishop wishes to enter into another bishop’s diocese to minister or make a public speech or appearance, he informs the local bishop ahead of time and seeks his approval. Only on October 9 did I receive any communication from Bishop Gumbleton, after this situation had already become public.
As the Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, I am the chief shepherd and teacher of the Catholic faithful of the Upper Peninsula entrusted to my pastoral care. As such I am charged with the grave responsibility to keep clearly before my people the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. Given Bishop Gumbleton’s very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, , it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful to me in fulfilling my responsibility.
I realize that these were not the topics upon which Bishop Gumbleton was planning to speak. However, I was concerned about his well-known and public stature and position on these issues and my inability to keep these matters from coming up in discussion. In order that no one becomes confused, everyone under my pastoral care must receive clear teaching on these important doctrines.
I offer my prayers for Bishop Gumbleton and for all those who have been negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.”

It's that simple folks. That's all that has to be done with any speaker who consistently spreads error through presentations and conferences, whether they are held on Church property or not. 


Curt Jester had this entry up earlier and in the combox I found a note on what likely prompted this action out of Bishop Sample:
I really don't think Bishop Sample would have addressed the exchange between himself and Bishop Gumbleton had the media not been involved once he was denied access to the diocese.  From the Mining Journal of the previous day: Bishop Sample tells Detroit bishop not to speak publicly

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, 79, of Detroit was invited by the Citizens for Peace and Social Justice group to talk about "Visions of Peace: Abolition of Nuclear Weapons" at a forum scheduled for Monday. He was also invited to give a speech on peace in a local church on Sunday.
"Yesterday afternoon he called us and said he received a letter from Bishop Sample to not speak publicly," Dreisbach said. "He was not told why."

Gumbleton, a retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Detroit Archdiocese, is a longtime national and international activist in the peace movement, according to Dreisbach.
"He was the founder (member) of Pax Christi USA," she said. "He was one of the first bishops to speak out against the Vietnam War."
Gumbleton, whose homilies can be read in The National Catholic Reporter, has been known as an outspoken critic of violence and militarism; his stances have drawn national attention. He was arrested several times for anti-war protesting and performing acts of civil disobedience outside of The White House.
"I don't know how one bishop can deny civil rights," Dreisbach said, adding that she now has to cancel every event planned for Gumbleton's visit.
Keep in mind that "civil disobedience" has no place among the faithful on matters of faith and morals, "specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood".
Things are indeed changing. Please pray for our bishops. May God grace them with holy boldness.

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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!