Tom Roeser Criticizes Milwaukee Archbishop Listecki for His Position On Madison, WI Union Stand-off.

CHICAGO — To the Most Rev. Jerome Listecki, archbishop of Milwaukee: What in the world possessed you to turn out a statement conveying the view of all the state’s bishops that comes down on the side of the amply well- paid union workers in Wisconsin?

I write as a labor union member in good standing ( American Federation of Television and Radio Artists AFL- CIO). Your statement maintains it is a plea for “ the legitimate rights” of public employees. Thus it was immediately snapped up by the liberal media as an endorsement of the well-paid public employees under the misleading rubric of “ social justice.”

Archbishop, where is the “social justice” when taxpayer- paid lawmakers flee the state to avoid a democratic vote in an era when citizens are rebelling against a looming public- pension crisis that threatens bankruptcy in cities,counties, and states — a crisis made possible by public employees, already protected by civil service and who cannot be terminated, who hold politicians hostage in their collective bargaining?

The crowd demonstrating in Madison claims to support democracy like the crowds urging democracy in Tunisia. In reality, they are antithetical to democracy, cheering dereliction of legislative duty, supporting the thwarting of the will of the majority by supporting the Democratic minority that has fled to Illinois.

Regrettably they are using your statement among others as a pretext — and tying Catholic theology to it.

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Editor’s note: Archbishop Listecki comes from Chicago, and he’s obviously been infected by Chicago’s liberal politics. Nothing surprising there. Nor is there anything surprising about one bishop refusing to criticize another. Politics as usual … Catholic style!

Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, on the Wisconsin union standoff

… To the documents quoted by Archbishop Listecki I would also offer a quotation from the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens*, which gives us even more “food for thought” on this matter:

“Just efforts to secure the rights of workers who are united by the same profession should always take into account the limitations imposed by the general economic situation of the country. Union demands cannot be turned into a kind of group or class ‘egoism,’ although they can and should also aim at correcting — with a view to the common good of the whole of society — everything defective in the system of ownership of the means of production or in the way these are managed. Social and socioeconomic life is certainly like a system of ‘connected vessels,’ and every social activity directed towards safeguarding the rights of particular groups should adapt itself to this system.

“In this sense, union activity undoubtedly enters the field of politics, understood as prudent concern for the common good. However, the role of unions is not to ‘play politics’ in the sense that the expression is commonly understood today. Unions do not have the character of political parties struggling for power; they should not be subjected to the decision of political parties or have too close links with them. In fact, in such a situation they easily lose contact with their specific role, which is to secure the just rights of workers within the framework of the common good of the whole of society; instead they become an instrument used for other purposes.”

Read the entire letter

*Click here to read Laborem Exercens on the Vatican website

Catholic writer Lisa Graas takes Archbishop Listecki to task for his stance on the Wisconsin Cheese (Union) Revolution

St. John Chrysostom once said, “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” The reasoning for this quote can be found in the Book of Luke which, paraphrased, means “to whom much is given, much is required.” Bishops are responsible for the souls of their flock. So it is that they will have much to answer for when they meet God. These are the things I considered when I learned that Milwaukee’s Archbishop Listecki decided to back Wisconsin’s Government Cheese Revolution and, in justifying it, took both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI completely out of context. Catholics in Wisconsin, and in states across America, especially those who don’t want to see their state go bankrupt, deserve to know the truth.

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“It is the truth of the (Church’s) teaching that maintains our right relationship with Jesus.”

Milwaukee, Wis., Jan 4, 2010 / 09:33 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jerome Listecki was installed on January 4 as the 11th  Archbishop of Milwaukee at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, filling the seat left vacant by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was appointed to New York. In his first homily, the new archbishop called on his flock to “sacrifice for the truth.”

“There are many bishops and priests more intelligent, more talented and more deserving of this position than me,” said Archbishop Listecki lightheartedly on Monday. “I say this not with a false sense of humility but merely as fact.” The prelate continued to say however, that Pope Benedict XVI, “has made his selection and I accept his decision as God’s will. Please note that I will use every ounce of my being to serve this great Archdiocese of Milwaukee.”

Drawing on the Gospel reading from John during his homily, the prelate recalled the story of Christ’s “dramatic confrontation with St. Peter,” where He asks St. Peter three times if he loves Him. The archbishop continued to explain that followers of Christ are asked the same question along with St. Peter and are given a similar calling to present the truth in love.

“The Church presents the truth in charity,” said the prelate. “It is the truth of the (Church’s) teaching that maintains our right relationship with Jesus.”

“Our teaching on the dignity of the human person embraces life from the moment of conception to natural death. It reflects the love of life entrusted to us. This sacredness which reflects the imago dei – the very image of God – it is this very life for which Christ came into the world to suffer, die and rise. Our social principles, our care for the poor, is mandated out of a love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God,” he explained.

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