1996 May 26 – Pentecost Sun (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle A Pentecost
1 Cor 12, 3-7. 12-13
“The body is one and has many members, but all members, many though they are, are one body.” 1 Cor. 12:12
Pentecost Sunday marks the birth day of the Church and the age of the Holy Spirit. Through out the book of Acts the early Church was able to continually grow and expand into many differing ethnic and religious communities throughout the Roman Empire, all the while keeping its basic unity in tack.
Built within the story line of Acts is an on going tension between the unpredictable and uncontrollable actions of the Holy Spirit and the established and legitimate Church authorities in Jerusalem. As the story unfolds a pattern evolves where the community of believers take their lead from the Holy Spirit and the Church’s governing authority structure follows up with its blessings. By Acts account, the tension between spirit and authority is essential to the life cycle of the Church.
Siþnce the earliest times, whenever the tension between spirit and authority is maintained and held in balance within the Church, the Church is spiritually healthy. It will grow and remain united despite its diversity.
However, whenever the tension between spirit and authority is not maintained within the Church and dialogue is cut off, the Church falters and is divided amongst itself. During these times the mission of the Church is diminished and many good people are wronged unjustly.
I’m afraid we are heading into one of those faltering and painful times when the tension between spirit and authority within the Catholic Church is out of balance and dialogue between its members is being cut off.
Reform minded Catholics who want the Church to re-examine iÏts positions on women, human sexuality, Church leadership and decision making structures are being marginalized and excluded from the body of the Church.
As I write, I am painfully aware that Call To Action people are being excommunicated by Bishop Bruskewitz in the Lincoln NE Diocese. I belong to Call To Action as do many of my friends. If we were in the Lincoln Diocese, we would be facing excommunication.
And in the Archdiocese of Omaha NE, Archbishop Curtiss is demanding Catholics who publicly disagree with the Church’s positions on abortions, euthanasia and women’s ordination, surrender any public roles of ministry or leadership in the Church. If I were a priest in the Omaha Archdiocese, I would probabl !y be striped of my priestly privileges, out of an assignment and out of a job.
Bishop Charron has made it clear that he is no friend to the reform minded Catholics. Last summer he band all IA Call To Action sponsored activities from Catholic properties in his diocese.
I must say I don’t find a lot to be encourage in all this. I’m afraid we will see more polarization and division within our Church before we see any reconciliation and movement back to a more open and welcoming Church environment. I hope I’m wrong about this. Please join me in praying that I am.
96 05 26
Memorial Day Vigil at Offutt
I will be joining others in a one hour vigil at Offutt Air Force Base on Memorial Day. No line crossings or arrest are expected. I should be back in the county Memorial Day night.