Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz: Sebelius “a bitter fallen-away Catholic (who) now requires…coverage for evil and grave sin.”

Nebraska Watchdog has learned that the Catholic Bishop of Lincoln is bringing politics to the pulpit this week-end, calling out the Obama Administration’s recent move involving birth control and health insurance.

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2006 address by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz still a “must read” for today.


Unless there is a strong realization among practicing Catholics that there is a crisis, and that this crisis deserves our resolute determination to confront it and overcome it, we will not get very far, except to descend further into the bleakness of this sad kind of winter. Unless the patient realizes he is sick, he will not expose his wounds to the necessary healing medicine that would provide a cure for his problems.

There are, of course, many causes for these ecclesiastical crises in which we are involved. There are many causes outside of the Church. We live, for example, in a culture that is dominated by materialism and hedonism, invisibly and imperceptibly the values of those things creep in the lives and attitudes of all, including Catholics. Even the healthiest fish cannot swim along in polluted waters. In our country, especially, a serious misunderstanding of freedom has turned freedom into license, and we live in a pan-sexual and irresponsible age, in which pleasure, comfort, and material possessions appear to be the goals of human existence. Lacking solid catechetical teaching, it is very easy for people, especially young people to be lured into that kind of attitude and condition their entire life-style by such an attitude.

As Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say, “Most poisons are quite sweet to the lips. It is only when they are ingested that they destroy one.”

However, we would certainly be blind to reality if we did not also realize that there are many causes of the current crises within the church herself, and the children of the Church who are in large measure betraying her, being one of the principal causes. First of all, the creed is absolutely the basis of what we are and what we do. When heretical and erroneous teachings are allowed to run rampant, it is a very short time before total disaster engulfs the entire ecclesiastical enterprise in any one area. We should remember that there was a time when North Africa was almost entirely Christian, almost entirely Catholic. Today, one can journey across North Africa from Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Egypt and find very little, if any, Catholic presence in most locations on that shore of the Mediterranean Sea. We should not think this cannot happen here. Although we are promised that the Church will endure until the end of time, we have no promise that it will be enduring in North America.

A great amount of dissent and turmoil has come about because of a very serious misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council. The documents of the Second Vatican Council are excellent. All of the documents deserve careful study and careful consideration in all their implications and all their nuances. The intentions of the Popes of the Council, Blessed John XXIII and Pope Paul VI are also quite clear in their writings and speeches and in all the things they saw as derivative from the Council. The Council in itself we consider a great act of the Holy Spirit. However, what happened was (and I speak from first-hand experience because I was in Rome at the conclusion of the Council) that a great number of personages and causes gathered around the Council as a kind of para-Council, which gave, because of their domination of the media, an incredibly wrong impression which persist even to this day, about what the Council was and what it was intended to achieve. For example, one hears very little about the continuity of historic tradition which is inherent in the very actions of the Council and in its documents, that it always understood itself as in organic unity with the previous Councils of the Church, including both the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council which is explicitly affirmed and intended to incorporate in its outlook. This para-Council of advisors, experts and non-Catholic observers bestowed on the media incredibly distorted and even totally inaccurate impressions of the Council, giving to many Catholics even today, expectations for changes that were unrealistic and completely unintended. There was, in a certain sense the rigidities of the past and perhaps some faulty catechetics about issues in the past that made it possible for Catholics to be severely mistaken in what the Council intended and what would be within the capacities of the church to accomplish. The turbulent times of the 1960’s especially in North America and Western Europe – with problems of racial justice, war and peace, and similar matters – got mixed up in the minds and hearts of many people and some Catholics were completely led astray, that Pope John’s opening the windows to let fresh air into the church was an act they didn’t see, which Pope John actually did see, the need for screens on the windows to keep foreign bodies from entering into the Church. Thus, we heard a few years later, Pope Paul VI saying that the very smoke from the fires of hell had crept into and under the window sashes and doors of the Church.

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