Monday, May 19, 2008

Call To Action Member Doesn't Like Archbishop Nienstedt

Underneath a nice photo of Archbishop Nienstedt, B. W., Minneapolis, had a letter to the editor of the StarTribune published Saturday May 16. Evidence has been found that indicates that he is a member of Call To Action, the dissident Catholic geezer-group that doesn't seem to have any members under 60. Patrick Phillips, President of the Catholic Defense League of Minnesota, has submitted a response to the paper today.

Call To Action is just another of the many groups that have grown up after Vatican Two that forty years afterwards, is still attempting to re-interpret the documents of the Council to serve their own relativistic, progressive, protestant agenda.

A Man of faith and a man of questions

On May 2, Archbishop John Nienstedt became the official archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He does not come from the local faith community here. The local faith community had little, if any say in his coming. He was selected and sent here by the institutional part of the Catholic Church --- the Roman Curia with Pope Benedict's approval.
With the new archbishop's arrival, there is a crucial question in the air. This crucial question directly affects Catholics living here, but it also less directly affects others who call Metro Minnesota home --- other Christians, people of other faith's traditions and even non-believers.

The question is this: Will Archbishop Nienstedt be a servant leader supporting the local faith community as it strives to live fuller lives in the Christ Spirit, or will he primarily function like a Roman governor sent to impose man-made institutional laws?

We pray for the former. Regarding the latter, we watch with concern.

B. W., Minneapolis

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No surprises!

In his letter titled “A man of faith and a man of questions”, May 16, 2008, B.W., Minneapolis, implies that Archbishop Nienstedt might “primarily function like a Roman governor sent to impose man-made, institutional laws?” This is insulting and disrespectful to the Archbishop.

Archbishop Nienstedt, appointed by Christ, acting through His vicar on earth the pope, to be an apostle for the here (St. Paul and Minneapolis) and now, will lead the faithful Catholic community to the light of salvation and away from the pitfalls and darkness of sin.

There will be no surprises (I predict) in his leadership. If one wishes to know how His Excellency will respond to any situation (well almost any) one simply has to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church, available to all on the web site of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (google USCCB). The contents are not, as B.W. states “man-made, institutional laws.” They are, Catholics believe, the commandments of God.

He was not sent by “Rome” to be a dictator. Rather, he was sent to be a spiritual leader, with relatively little temporal power, to point the way, right and wrong, which some of us will, in some circumstances, find difficult. He deserves our prayers and support.

B.W. concludes: “We pray for the former. Regarding the latter, we watch with concern.” To him we say, “Keep praying, keep watching, but dispel your concerns.”

Pat Phillips


Catholic Defense League

Roseville, MN


PatP said...

Thanks Ray,

Anonymous said...

Am I wrong, but I thought that the local Church does have some* input into the selection of bishop and that the Holy Father in consult with the outgoing bishop and nuncio vets the options.

*Not perhaps an election of direct and universal suffrage, but since when has revealed truth been subject to majoritarianism, and given the state of contemporary politics, thank God!

Unknown said...

Good question 1949 (I know my Roman numerals):

I'm no expert, but I think that the local ordinary (bishop/archbishop) submits names to the papal nuncio, the Pope's diplomatic representative in WDC. I suspect he gets recommendations from other bishops also. And one of his jobs is to keep tabs on the American Church so he probably develops his own list through other contacts, too.

How else would Father Peter Christiansen of Nativity parish in St Paul have been appointed as Bishop of Superior? Or Auxiliary Bishop Frederick Campbell of St Paul-Minneapolis become Bishop of Columbus, OH.

So the nuncio culls the list down to three names and forwards it to the Pope. No doubt this takes a considerable amount of time.

The nuncio's list is probably referred to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops where they do their own investigations. As they monitor bishops all over world, they probably have their own sources and no doubt promote others or quash some names from the list.

I've heard that "people who know people", i.e. priests who attended the North American College in Rome, the Harvard/M.I.T./Stanford of the Church, and others, get to know people in the Congregation for Bishops and attempt to get their views heard at this point. "You can't want to appoint HIM, can you?" Or, "Father Soandso would make a wonderful bishop!"

They are busy in the Congregation for Bishops. Generally a couple dozen bishops from around the world are appointed each month.

Then it goes to the Pope. Mind you, this "vetting" process may take as long as a year or more. The Vatican is rarely in a hurry.

The Pope probably has suspicions about the recommendations he receives -- especially about appointments in his own country, or countries with which he is familiar. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't inkle a name or two to trusted sources to get other reactions.

Then it is announced. Not a democracy, no suffrage, more like a republic with unelected somewhat democratic representatives at work.

With the Holy Spirit looking over their shoulders all the time. But of course, not all are listening.