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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are YOU a Real Catholic?

Three cases:

1) About a decade ago, Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicated a whole bunch of people. Specifically he legislated that anyone who was a member of: Call to Action, Planned Parenthood, Catholics for Free Choice, Hemlock Society, the SSPX and the Freemasons was subject to automatic excommunication.

His decision was appealed to Rome and upheld (and this despite the fact that Rome has repeatedly held members of the SSPX as NOT being excommunicate).

Despite this confirmation of his authority, no other bishop has followed his lead, nor has any other American bishop publicly withheld the Eucharist from members of these groups.

Indeed, although Bruskewitz has publicly said he would refuse the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians, other bishops have publicly disputed the wisdom of taking such a course of action.

2) The Bishop of Amarillo has asked his brother bishops not to provide any support for Fr. Frank Pavone's ministry.

Again, other bishops in the US have not only not supported Amarillo, they have actively come out and supported Pavone, despite the fact that the Bishop of Amarillo would appear to have pretty clear authority over Pavone (his very own diocesan priest) and Pavone's ministry, at least to the extent that Pavone is head of the organization and subject to episcopal authority.

3) Recently, the Archbishop of Detroit publicly states that he doesn't think Michael Voris' RealCatholicTV should be using the word "Catholic" in it's title.

Yet again, no other bishop has followed the good Archbishop's lead.

There may be a reason for this.

As the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) itself admits, it doesn't really have jurisdiction.

In 2006, Voris petitioned for diocesan approval of his media and his own non-profit organization (St. Michael's Media).

Apparently, AOD dillied, dallied, ooohhhed and ahhhhed so long that Voris got tired of it. By 2008, Voris had started working for a different organization (RealCatholicTV).

Now, St. Michael's Media provided RCTV with content and with Voris - but that's all it provided.  RCTV is NOT the same as St. Michael's Media. In fact, RCTV isn't even domiciled in the same state, much less the same diocese. RCTV is a DBA for Greenstar Enterprises, a for-profit corporation headed by Marc Brammer who lives in South Bend, Indiana.

So, to sum up the business side:
St. Michael's Media is non-profit and based in Ferndale, Michigan.
Greenstar Enterprises, DBA RCTV, is for-profit and based in South Bend, Indiana.

These are two entirely different business entities,
in two entirely different dioceses
in two entirely different states.

And, as AOD admits, RCTV never attempted to get anything from AOD.
Which makes sense, since RCTV has NO relationship to St. Michael's Media and is not under AOD's jurisdiction to begin with.

In short, RCTV is really none of AOD's business.

So, to sum up the archbishop's case:
AOD ruled on a five-year old request initiated by a completely different business. The archbishop attempted to apply his rule to a business which has zero ties to AOD, which had never petitioned AOD for anything, and was never under AOD's jurisdiction.

What are good Catholics to make of this?

Well, I'm sure canon lawyers can blather on about what should or shouldn't happen, but the facts are these:
  • The Church has made no clear ruling on how to handle the Internet and it's work,
  • The Internet issue actually has little to nothing to do with RCTV and Voris in this instance,
  • The opinion of one Archbishop is interesting but irrelevant, 
  • Because the Archbishop is apparently running his mouth about a business entity which is not under his jurisdiction.
Canon lawyers can write lots and lots of blog posts discussing the niceties of what the Church might eventually rule or even what they think the Church should eventually rule, but that and a dollar still won't get you coffee at Starbucks.

Now, if I were being cynical, given the facts on the ground, I would say Sacred Heart Seminary - which is, by purest coincidence, domiciled in AOD - and AOD's employee, canon lawyer Peters, seem to be very interested in brown-nosing AOD's archbishop by snarking about all kinds of nonsense which makes zero actual sense. Especially since Peters may well have contributed to AOD's weird decree.

But since I'm not that cynical, I would clearly never say such a thing.

Keep dancing, Ed.
I'm sure we're all entertained.

You know, it occurs to me that there was a similar dust-up in South Bend a couple of years ago, involving the priestly president of Notre Dame and the gift of an honorary law degree to some baby-killing yokel or other. Seems to me a lot of bishops (that is, more than the one Archbishop we have here) also pronounced, without invitation, their public disgust about the situation in South Bend. And, as I recall, there were ZERO repercussions for ND's good Father Jenkins in that scenario.

Now, why would that be?

Well, because the bishop of South Bend chose not to impose any penalty on Father Jenkins.
No other bishop imposed any penalty because... wait for it... they had no jurisdiction to do so.
And, if I recall correctly, Rome said exactly nothing about any of it.

With RCTV, we have an organization which not only hasn't killed a baby, it hasn't even advocated the death of anyone's baby. RCTV hasn't disobeyed their own bishop. Instead, someone else's bishop is upset with them.

For people who blather about how you are supposed to obey your own bishop, RCTV has obeyed theirs, so what's your beef, exactly?


Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

This is a great dissection of the idiocy and hypocrisy surrounding Michael Voris and RCTV. The AOD has several groups in it's region that are clearly heretical, but it won't take action against them. Yet, the ABP is demanding that Voris, who's an orthodox Catholic, must cease from using the word Catholic in RCTV. IMHO, Voris ought to counter-request that the AOD should stop using the word Catholic until they stamp out the heresies running rampant in it! LOL!

Dad29 said...

It occurs to me that there are alternative theories behind AOD's move.

1) AOD issued its proclamation without ANY intention of enforcing it, as a show of unity between Bishops (some of whom Voris has excoriated, justifiably.)

2) AOD issued its proclamation as a warning to the real heretics that such proclamations CAN and WILL be made.

Remains to be seen just where this goes (if any place at all.)

Estase said...

"Catholicism" is a registered trademark registered with the federal patent office. It may be used only with the permission of the USCCB and the commissioner of Major League Baseball. Infringements will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.