Naturally, the Bishop "wished the women well" in their desertion of Holy Mother Church. No effort to recover their property as ecclesiastical goods (contra what might have happened at EWTN and what we see the more heretical set of Episcopalians doing to the slightly-less heretical Episcopalians in this country) was reported. No concern that in taking their monestary outside the church they were contravening the wishes of their founders and putting their property to a use their now-dead benefactors would have been appalled at. As I've done before, I'm going to rewrite this story. Does it sound very unlike what happened in dozens of places around the country over the last few decades?
Benedictine center abandons Catholic identity
Madison, WI, Jul. 04, 2006 (CNA) - The St. Benedict Center, a Benedictine ecumenical community in Madison for the past 40 years, has chosen to end its ties to the Roman Catholic Church in order to live out more comfortably its ecumenical character….
….Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison wished the women well, but is cautious about the future of the monastery. "Such experimental endeavors can bear great fruit for the Church, such as the monastery at Taizé (France)," he wrote in a June 26 letter to his priests. "But there are very few other success stories worldwide, and thus our prayers and good wishes are all the more important."
The bishop approved the changes, but he requested that the monastery no longer have Catholic Mass celebrated at the center and that the Eucharist no longer be reserved in the chapel…..
Such a scenario is just preposterous isn't it? (and it should be so). Then why isn't the scenario actually played out in Madison preposterous? (ignoring technicalities of civil law ownership, and focusing on Catholic principles, of course).
Parish abandons affiliation with Catholic Diocese
Madison, WI, Jul. 04, 1996 (CC) - St. Pius V Catholic Church, a parish in Madison for the past 40 years, has chosen to end its affiliation with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison in order to live out more fully the spiritual life of the Catholic Church as it existed prior to the Second Vatican Council.
The pastor, Fr. David Brimstone, told the Wisconsin State Journal that there are several reasons for the change, one of which is that the parishioners, nearly all of whom prefer to participate in the Mass and the other sacraments according to the practices prior to Vatican II, were uncomfortable supporting diocesan programs and with implementing new practices such as laypersons distributing communion, communion in the hand, female altar servers, simplified Masses in English, and lay-run RCIA programs.
The pastor said the parish petitioned the Vatican for separation from the diocese and retention of parish assets, and that the request was granted. The parish will now be officially known as simply St. Pius V Church.
"We felt like we had second-class status in the diocese, and we objected to being associated with the modern way of 'being Church' and to paying diocesan assessments for educational facilities and programs our people will never use," parish finance council member Lynn Smith told the newspaper. He joined the St. Pius in 1971, a year after his old parish adopted the new rite of Mass in English that had been promulgated by Pope Paul VI.
The pastor said the parish, with members who drive as much as 70 miles to get to Mass, will now function as an independent church, Catholic in principal and spirit, similar to those run by the canonically irregular traditionalist societies throughout the world, under its new name.
All members will still be individually considered Roman Catholics in good standing.
Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison wished the parish well, but is cautious about its future. "Such experimental endeavors can bear great fruit for the Church," he wrote in a June 26 letter to his priests. "But there are other unsuccessful attempts at this worldwide, and thus our prayers and good wishes are all the more important." The bishop approved the changes, but he requested that the parish no longer have the new Mass of Paul VI celebrated at the center, and that his portriat and the official diocesan felt banners would no longer be displayed in the chapel. Fr. Brimstone assured the bishop that neither condition would be a problem.
The bishop said Catholic adults are free to go to the parish, but added that it may not be suitable for young people or catechumens. Young people, he said, need to be well grounded in the spirit of Vatican II in order to have a foundation from which they can participate in traditional liturgies.
Now, I'm not inviting any comments about traditional/newfangled parish life or any discussions about the the extremes of traditionalism or the caution warranted with regard to independent chapels. I'm focused on these goofball Benedictines.
I'm just pointing out (for the billionth time) the horrible double standard. A Bishop has a duty to be vigilant about the souls in his charge and keep control of ecclesiastical property in any situation, whether the claimant is from the right or the left (or represents someone who claims to have been buggered by one of his priests), but obviously, there's less vigilance and less control when the claimant is a progressive or a member of the plaintiff's bar than there is a group of traditional folk who, in good faith, are trying to hold fast or revert to the old faith (which is not to suggest that my little rewrite is a prudent move for any parish--except maybe one in the Diocese of Orange).
People of Madison, grandchildren of those who gave to the Benedictines so they could build their monestary, it's time to throw a fit!