As background to my posting earlier today noting that Paul Ryan's bishop Robert Morlino deliberately distorts Catholic social teaching to raise the right of private property (and the rejection of socialism) to the level of intrinsic evil for overt political reasons--to give Ryan and his rejection of Catholic social teaching the appearance of episcopal approval--I want to provide a set of links from three bloggers whose work I admire.
The first of these is Colleen Baker, who has followed Morlino for some years now at her Enlightened Catholicism blog, and who notes in one of the three postings linked below that she once lived in a diocese in which Morlino was bishop, and has personal knowledge of his baleful effects on the lived experience of Catholics under his pastoral "care". Here's a collection of Colleen's postings about Morlino, with excerpts to tantalize you into reading each posting in its entirety:
Personally I think Bishop Morlino's appeal to mercy is way too late. The genie of judgmental condemnation over moral 'non negotiables' is not going back in the bottle. The Republican party has too much invested in this strategy to ever let that happen.
The Morlinos of the current Catholic world (and their continual promotion) are no surprise. What is sort of surprising is the silence of our bishops that aren't like the Morlinos of the Church. It makes me wonder what's going on under the surface of the supposed unity of groups like the USCCB. It makes me wonder about the reasons for the silence. Maybe I'm just deluding myself, but I can't believe the maturity level of all of our bishops is that of the Morlinos or the Burkes of the Church world. Not all of our bishops exhibit the kind of personality that thrives on the fantasy implied in the trappings and the pageantry of their position or insists on the kind of authority that's needed to make those theatrical kinds of fantasy come true.
Bishop Morlino of Madison Wisconsin Speaks about Budgets and Unions and Relativism, But Not to Bloggers Like Me
As to what the good Bishop thinks about this whole messy union fight with the union busting governor thing, well, it's all a perfect example of secular relativism because what's fair for me is in my eyes and what's fair for you is in your eyes and so both sides are right and the Church in Madison can do no less that take a neutral stance because such a relativistic society leaves no other choice.
This is all about the use of naked power and who has it and who doesn't. As now as it ever was, forever and ever. Amen
Another outstanding Catholic blogger who has dealt well with Morlino's political agenda and political ties is Frank Cocozzelli, who published the following piece at Open Tabernacle analyzing why Morlino has remained conspicuously silent about union-busting under the current GOP governor in Wisconsin, while some other Wisconsin Catholic bishops have spoken out to note that Catholic social teaching has long opposed union-busting:
While Archbishop Listecki and the other members of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops are certainly anti-abortion, Morlino and Sirico are willing to sacrifice the well being of fellow Catholics and all other workers in order to win their culture war. And if the right for public workers to collectively bargain is ultimately destroyed, it is because a highly attenuated reading of Catholic theology has been employed to serve mammon and not God.
And, last but not least, here's Michael McShea at the This Cultural Christian noting Morlino's leading role at the right-wing Napa Institute gathering this year:
Paul Ryan’s bishop Robert Morlino of Madison was chief spokesman of the far right Catholic group The Napa Institute this year to discuss the Institute conference's theme of "The Next America." When they discuss "The Next America" they are describing their noble fight as martyrs against the secularism endorsed by the African Muslim/Protestant in the White House.
Wise words from three wise bloggers about who Morlino is, why he bowdlerizes Catholic social teaching to promote right-wing Catholic political candidates, and the GOP connections that drive Morlino's bowdlerization of Catholic social teaching and promotion of Paul Ryan.
The graphic: the solemn pontifical Mass celebrated in the "extraordinary form" at the Napa Institute in July, at the Meritage Resort in Napa, California. The main celebrant was the newly appointed archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone. His Excellency Bishop Robert Morlino sat in the choir.