Monday, April 26, 2010

Papo Gets His Own Diocese

The following is an op-ed piece presented for your review. It does not necessarily represent the "official" position of WEORC.

Papo Gets His Own Diocese

Is it good news for Springfield, or good news for Chicago?

We wish Tom Paprocki well in his first gig as the head bishop of a diocese. There is a human heart somewhere under those violet fringed robes, or at least there used to be. Years ago during his first priestly assignment, Tom received a civil law degree and opened up a law clinic for the underprivileged on Chicago’s Southside. Unfortunately that is being buried under a lot of Papal Bull.

Ambitious and self-promoting, Tom moved up the clerical pecking order with a Canon Law degree from Rome, Chancery positions, the Diocesan Chancellor role, and then on to Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. Along the way he has been showboating his theological conservatism with traditionalist groups from here to the Vatican, who are bent on “reforming the reform” of Vatican II.

As John Paul II tried to reign in the use of the Communal Form of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, then Chancellor Paprocki embarrassed Cardinal Bernardin by dissing nearly all the priests of Chicago. As reported in the papers, Papo effectively said any priest who used this popular form of the sacrament was lazy or ignorant, or both.

Paprocki is also infamous for a sermon he gave during a 2007 “Red Mass” for lawyers. He blamed the alleged victims of sexual abuse, and the media giving them coverage, for trying to destroy the Church. He went on to say, "We must use our religious discernment to recognize that the principal force behind these attacks is none other than the devil."

When the USCCB was weighing the FOCA bill, which was trying to gain traction in the US Congress, Paprocki addressed perceived threats to Catholic health care. “It could mean discontinuing obstetrics in our hospitals, and we may need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our Catholic hospitals entirely… “It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions. That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil… I do not think I’m being alarmist in considering such drastic steps.”

When Papo isn’t admonishing sinners, slackards and secularists on political or Church issues, he courts media attention with his” regular-Joe" activities, such as running and hockey. He prides himself in the moniker of “Holy Goalie”. However college classmates remember him more as a “holey” goalie.

Hopefully, a fresh start in a new job in a new location will give Bishop Tom Paprocki a chance to grow in wisdom, grace and humility.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lots of Apologizing Going on in Chicagoland

Fresh from recieving a lifetime award for working for Justice by Cardinal George, Mike Pfleger is in trouble again. Biting his lip while offering Pfleger faint praise at the award ceremony, now George is asking Pfleger to apologize.

During the sermon last Sunday Pfleger mentioned that he felt there should be women priests, married priests, women bishops and cardinals. This is memorialized on you tube and rightist websites such as

Mike Pfleger mentions on Facebook that he was told to apologize, because he can't say things like that in a sermon. Parishioners posting on Facebook generally said he had nothing to apologize for. He was speaking the truth.

Recently, Sr. Anita Baird, Director of Racial Justice, had to apologize as well. She said Obama was pro-choice, not pro-abortion, meaning he wasn't advocating everyone have abortions, but under certain circumstances, he felt a woman has a right to choose. Sister was forcibly reminded that the two words mean the same thing for Catholics.

In recent memory, a Northwest Suburban pastor was also called on the carpet for a sermon he gave at his parish. For Penance he had to read selections of the Catholic Catechism to his congregation the following Sunday.

The only person not engaged in apologies lately seems to be Cardinal George.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Test Your Orthodoxy

Though this "Orthodoxy Quiz" may seem simplistic, it reflects agendas and issues that conservative groups and churchmen are using to critique the loyalty and faithfulness of typical Catholics. Answer each of the following questions with true or false to test your orthodoxy.

1. All religions pray to the same God and they are just different paths to the same truth. T/F

2. Women should be allowed to be ordained priests. T/F

3. Maybe women should not be ordained priests, but there should be open dialogue and discussion on this issue. T/F

4. Since we are ordaining married Protestant ministers priests, it is time for a married priesthood. T/F

5. Birth control is only okay for committed, married couples who already have children. T/F

6. It would be wonderful if Mother Teresa of Calcutta could come back and give a homily at our parish church. T/F

7. If they attend a Catholic Mass, it is okay for Lutherans to receive communion. T/F

8. It is okay for Catholics to receive communion in a Protestant Church, if it is in their spouse's church. T/F

9. There is no penalty for a Catholic to marry a divorced person, as long as they are non-Catholic and had been married to a non-Catholic by a judge. T/F

10. If you ask God for forgiveness of sin, the Sacrament of Confession isn't necessary. T/F

11. If there are more than 100 people per priest at a Penance Service, general absolution is acceptable. T/F

12. The Pope is not infallible. T/F

13. Missing Mass on a Holy Day isn't a mortal sin. T/F

14. When in doubt, it is more important for a Catholic to ask what Jesus would do and follow their conscience, than to follow Church teaching. T/F

Take this quiz. Then check your nswers in first comment below.