Monday, September 25, 2006

Scooped on Milingo?



I've had a few comments that I've been "scooped" on Bishop Milingo. Now how could I be "scooped" when I'm not a reporter? I guess the confusion is natural since what I write is true and real.

But to get back to the matter at hand in the strange and illuminating case of Bishop Milingo. The reason this whole unpleasantness came up arose from a discussion about the SSPX and how it was disciplined by Rome. Our contention was that liberals are allowed freedom to spew their error and heresy without correction while Traditionalists are smacked down immediately.

"Give us an example" the comboxes screamed.

Well Bishop Milingo fell right into my lap. (my apologies to Maria Sung) A few years ago he married during a Moonie religious service. After several months he repudiated the marriage and was back in the good graces of all. Forgive and forget. Then last Spring he disappeared from Rome. He resurfaced this past July at a Washington press conference calling for married priests, vowing to reunite with his "wife" and proposing to start a new movement of married Roman Catholic Clergy. His statements promoted "concern" from the Vatican but no official action.

Until this letter, detailed in this story:



"Your behavior, activities and public statements during these past few months are completely contrary to the obligation of every bishop," Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re wrote in a letter to Milingo that the archbishop showed The Associated Press. "In the name of Jesus Christ, I beg you to reflect seriously on your behavior and all its consequences."


Bishop Milingo was unrepentant and defiant and sponsored a "Married Priests Now" weekend in New Jersey. Details of his organization and the weekend are on his yahoogroups website.

The very latest and the scoop is that this past weekend, September 23rd to be exact, Bishop Milingo "installed" four Bishops, all married. The similarities to the SSPX are unbelievable. Well, except for one tiny thing.

Anyone remember Eccesia Dei Afflicta?


On June 30, 1988 Archbishop Lefevre installed four Bishops.
On July 1, 1988 Archbishop Lefevre as warned by the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops that he could be excommunicated under Canon 1382.
On July 2, 1988 the document from Pope John Paul II was delivered to Archbishop Lefevre.

So by my calculations the warning should have been issued yesterday the 24th and the document of excommunication should be delivered today.

25 comments:

Tradcatholic said...

Now, now, Mary, hold your horses! You must know that liberals are the 'mainstream' catholic (deliberate small 'c') church, and they cannot really mess up like the conservatives of the Catholic (deliberate big 'C') Church can. After all, they are just living out the mandate they have received all these years of luv, living reality, understanding, empathy for the prejudiced against (read: expriests who cannot 'do' Mass), eccumenism and generally living the 'reality' of "I'm OK, you're OK...unless you happen to be Traditional Catholic. This man cannot be excommunicated -- he already is--- let's see how hard Rome works to 'bring him back' into the fold.

Jessica said...

" let's see how hard Rome works to 'bring him back' into the fold."
What kind of attitude is that? Catholics should always have hope and pray that those who have gone astray come back to God. You know the drill ...."forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE those..." If you don't show mercy to Milingo and others who have strayed, how dare you hope for any mercy yourself. You are a sinner, you realize. We all are.

SueSue said...

Why would you even care? Everyone knows that the main goal of Traditional "Catholics" is to bring down the Catholic church and will do everything they can to undermine the authority of the Vatican.

The ranting about how bad everyone else is and how anyone who is not Catholic is going straight to hell belies a fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity. Christ died for EVERYONE. You should pity those who surcome to the Evil One and try to help them find their way back. Instead, you form your little club and snicker about how much more holy you are than everyone else.

Get your facts straight -- SSPX - schismatic and bad. Thank God that some of the priest in that group have seen sense, left SSPX, and returned to the true Church (and thank God that a new institute has been formed to welcome them back to the fold). Let's pray that the remaining (and dwindling) SSPX members come back to the Church and stop their power-hunger-I'd-rather-burn-in-hell-than-compromise-with-the-Vicar-of-Christ ways.

As for Milingo, I'm glad he's exommunicated. Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they wake up and change their ways. Let's pray that he comes round.

And to pre-empt the usual whiny "oh you bad liberal, we won't listen to you" jazz, NO I AM NOT A LIBERAL and I wouldn't be caught dead voting for the Democrats.

Jackson said...

"His statements promoted "concern" from the Vatican but no official action. "
Mary, Mary. How ignorant you are of your faith. and of the facts of this situations.

You claim to speak the truth, so please speak it!

He is excommunicated by his actions...there is no need for him to be officially excommunicated. Just like anyone involved in abortion is excommunicated even if no one else knows about it.
Haven't you bother to read:
http://www.canonlaw.info/2006/09/this-time-milingo-made-it-easy.html

Any "action" by the Vatican on this particular case is just a formality.
And he did NOT validly ordain any bishops, he does not have the authority after he voluntarilly left the Church. This is clear in the various news articles. For example:
The Archdiocese of Washington did not recognize the installations. "This means nothing within the church," spokeswoman Susan Gibbs said.

To refer to Milingo as ordaining bishops as you did in your blog is spreading falsehoods and misunderstanding about the Catholic Church's teaching on the issue of ordination!

M. Alexander said...

It is my fervent hope that Bishop Milingo will repent of his wickedness and repair the terrible scandal and schism he is causing.

I hope that Rome will act to communicate that he is wrong.

M. Alexander said...

Dear SueSue,

A spelling correction:

surcome? I think you mean succumb

And the dwindling SSPX- I'm afraid you are gravely wrong on that score. I know of at least 2 acquaintances in different parts of the country who though quite opposed to the SSPX have written to me that they will be attending Mass at SSPX chapels because the Indult Masses are in such disarray. This is a hard decision for them. In one case it is on the advice of a priest who says the Indult.

We are living in strange and confusing times.

M. Alexander said...

Dear Jackson,
Yes, I am very ignorant. I am waiting to see if Bishop Milingo will receive and Ecclesia Dei Afflicta like Archbishop Lefevre did. Why is that so difficult for you to grasp? If by Milingo's actions he had "excommunicated himself" then the same would apply to Archbishop Lefevre. So why was EDA promulgated in that case?

Why indeed and that is the very question I am asking.

M. Alexander said...

Suesue wrote:


"The ranting about how bad everyone else is and how anyone who is not Catholic is going straight to hell belies a fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity."

Though I understand this is the prevailing wisdom and without basis in fact, please show me where I have "ranted" or "sent someone straight to hell"?

Dymphna said...

I think the Vatican is being soft on Milingo because he's African. The faith is pretty much dead in Europe and the Third World is being touted as the next big thing in church history. Coming down hard and fast on Milingo would cast a shadow of the so called vibrant African church so the Vatican will soft pedal it for as long as possible.

Excommunicating Archbishop Lefevre was an easy because those in charge thought at that it would cost the church nothing.

Petrus said...

Jackson:

Its my understanding that despite the grevious sin and error of Bishop Malingo, he does indeed have the power to illictly, though validly, confer the full sacrament of Holy Orders to men.

Despite his sin, the mark of priesthood on his soul remains there and as a priest that I knew used to say "even to his shame in hell."

Pretty scary stuff if you ask me.

M. Alexander said...

Very interesting comment Dymphna. That had not occured to me.

Jo said...

"I think the Vatican is being soft on Milingo because he's African."

Yep...play the race card.

Or maybe the Church thinks that there is a chance the Milingo will change his views, whereas Lefevre seemed pretty much bent on building his own little empire and didn't want to give up that power.

James said...

"I know of at least 2 acquaintances in different parts of the country who though quite opposed to the SSPX have written to me that they will be attending Mass at SSPX chapels because the Indult Masses are in such disarray."

Wow! A whole two people.

The statistics of mass attendance at SSPX chapels is declining and has always been very small. Why anyone would attend an illicit mass is beyond me. I've attended masses in Latin that ARE approved by the Vatican (not just here, a lot of churches in England, including St. Ethelreda also offer at least one Latin mass), so, contrary to the horror story propagated by Trad "Catholics", it is possible to attend a Latin mass without getting involved in the schismatic SSPX group.

M. Alexander said...

Jo
I'm glad you wrote. Your letter makes the point perfectly. You are ready to give Milingo the benefit of the doubt and hope that he may return. But Archbishop Lefevre does not receive the same benefit of the doubt. And examine their "crimes" in parallel. Lefevre continued to say the Mass of the Church and ordained Bishops to that end. Milingo married, lived with Maria Sung for a few months, came back to the Church, returned to Maria Sung and is ordaining Bishops and advocating married priests.

What is to stop priests and Bishops from thinking that they could attempt a marriage, give married life a test drive and then return- all forgiven and still retain people's good will. Absolutely nothing.

Your loyalties here are very revealing. We have poor Bishop Milingo on the one hand and that nefarious scoundrel Archbishop Lefevre on the other.

I mean do you people REALLY not get it?

David L Alexander said...

If maintaining ties to the SSPX, and working toward reconciliation with the Holy See, are half as critical as you or your readers suggest, it should surprise none of you to realize that they are going to appear in a more central part of the Holy See's radar. This, as opposed to one half-crazed archbishop with a precarious following, whose worst enemy will end up being himself.

Under the circumstances, the SSPX has the attention it has demanded (if not deserved). A shorter timeline for those complications which arise is one of the byproducts of that attention. Admittedly, it is not fair. Neither is the comparison.

Anonymous said...

An important thing to note is that Milingo is just one person. The SSPX is (unfortunately) a whole organization that has invested interest in maintaining it's autonomy.

Hilary said...

"But Archbishop Lefevre does not receive the same benefit of the doubt."

Hold on. He DID, but Lefevre rejected the Vatican's offer.

Also, note that BOTH Lefevre and Milingo were excommunicated when they had the audacity to ordain Bishops without Rome's permission. Compare apples to apples, Mary! They did the same action (ordination) and got the same penalty. If you weren't so bent on discrediting the Vatican, you would see that.

any1 said...

"What is to stop priests and Bishops from thinking that they could attempt a marriage, give married life a test drive and then return- all forgiven and still retain people's good will."

Uh...how about the fact that Milingo was recalled to Rome and "guarded" by a group of Nuns? Sounds to me that he was put in the care of the nuns because he was mentally unfit.

M. Alexander said...

Hilary,
You are correct. It appears that the excommunication has come in response to the Ordinations.

M. Alexander said...

James,
Two people, yes and two Indult locations and perhaps hundreds of people affected and admit it- there seems to be a pattern of imposing a priest upon an Indult Community or Christendom College for that matter who does not want to say the Latin Mass and succeeds in making everyone's life miserable. That was my point.

I remarked it because the two people involved were SO opposed to the SSPX so this was quite an admission for them to make. These trends forecast greater influence for the SSPX which undermines Ecclesia Dei. But if no one cares about that then why should I? LOL

Tradcatholic said...

Hilary quipped:

"Also, note that BOTH Lefevre and Milingo were excommunicated when they had the audacity to ordain Bishops without Rome's permission. Compare apples to apples, Mary! They did the same action (ordination) and got the same penalty. If you weren't so bent on discrediting the Vatican, you would see that".


Well, not exactly apples to apples, Hilary. In the case of Bp Miligno, the Vatican has declared that the 'ordinations' were not VALID - these men came in married ex-priests and after the fruitless 'ceremony' they came out just married ex-priests with the added sin of attempting of ordination of a married man.

In Archbishop Lefebvre's case, the ordinations of the priests was illicit, but NOT INVALID. In fact, the bishops of the SSPX are referred to as 'our brother bishops' in Rome. A man who is ordained deacon by a SSPX bishop and then wishes to return to the lay state, MUST make his appeal to Rome for the dispensation. These 'Milingonites will not have to do that if they no longer want to be 'bishops' as they were not ordained as such in the first place.

If YOU wern't so bent on discrediting the SSPX, Hilary, (and if you read the BIG books) even you would see that.

Dust I Am said...

Mary, You're on the ball! Dymphna, you're very perceptive. suesue, you're out in left field with the first paragraph of your comment.

Petrus, I'm afraid you may be correct in that the consecrations are valid but illicit. Perhaps Rome will explain why they do not recognize Milingo's ordinations of Bishops. It would be good if they distinguished the Lefebvre line from the Milingo line from the Thuc line of Bishops.

The Thuc line of Bishops is comprehensively described by Wikipedia which states "Pio Cardinal Laghi, Vatican diplomat and papal nuncio to the United States, said the episcopal consecrations and subsequent ordinations and consecrations are 'illicit, but valid'....it is also alleged, that the Vatican curial dicasteries have kept registries of all the Thuc-line bishops as valid episcopi vagantes."

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps Rome will explain why they do not recognize Milingo's ordinations of Bishops. "

You don't need Rome's explanation, it is obvious; priests have a vow of chastity which clearly rules out marriage and they can't be made bishops either.

Check out AmericanPapist or the Cafeteria is Closed.

Hilary said...

"so bent on discrediting the SSPX"

I don't need to discredit them. They have discredited themselves!

Dismissed from clerical state said...

Well he has now (17th december 2009) been dismissed from the clerical state....

"As for those recently ordained by Archbishop Milingo, the Church’s discipline in imposing the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who receive episcopal consecration without pontifical mandate is well-known. While expressing hope for their conversion, the Church reaffirms what was declared on 26 September 2006, namely that she does not recognize these ordinations, nor does she intend to recognize them, or any subsequent ordinations based on them, in the future. Hence the canonical status of the supposed bishops remains as it was prior to the ordination conferred by Archbishop Milingo."

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/24835.php?index=24835&lang=it#TESTO IN LINGUA INGLESE