Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Silence of The Catholic Diocese of Peoria

Bishop Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria has been silent regarding the fact that OSF's new acquisition, OSF Medical Group--College Avenue in Bloomington, Illinois, will employee new OSF physicians who will prescribe oral contraceptives.

Bishop Jenky was also quite destructive to Haitian Hearts as OSF in Peoria did all they could to stop Haitian children from coming to Peoria for further heart surgery.

And now Bishop D'Arcy in Indiana is accusing the University of Notre Dame Trustees of being silent regarding their discussions of President Obama's visit to UND in May. Bishop Jenky serves as a Trustee at UND.

See this article in America, August 31, 2009.

The Silent Board

In the midst of the crisis at Notre Dame, the board of trustees came to campus in April for their long-scheduled spring meeting. They said nothing. When the meeting was completed, they made no statement and gave no advice. In an age when transparency is urged as a way of life on and off campus, they chose not to enter the conversation going on all around them and shaking the university to its roots. We learned nothing about their discussions.

I firmly believe that the board of trustees must take up its responsibility afresh, with appropriate study and prayer. They also must understand the seriousness of the present moment. This requires spiritual and intellectual formation on the part of the men and women of industry, business and technology who make up the majority of the board. Financial generosity is no longer sufficient for membership on the boards of great universities, if indeed it ever was. The responsibility of university boards is great, and decisions must not be made by a few. Like bishops, they are asked to leave politics and ambition at the door, and make serious decisions before God. In the case of Notre Dame, they owe it to the Congregation of Holy Cross, which has turned this magnificent place over to a predominately lay board; they owe it to the students who have not yet come; they owe it to the intrepid missionary priest, Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and the Holy Cross religious who built this magnificent place out of the wilderness. They owe it to Mary, the Mother of God, who has always been honored here. Let us pray that they will take this responsibility with greater seriousness and in a truly Catholic spirit.

Perhaps the most important questions asked by Bishop D'Arcy revolve around the necessity for communication and dialogue to occur between the administration of Catholic Universities and the Ordinary Magistarium of the Church. The facts that he was informed of decisions after they were made suggest lack of communication and perhaps trust. His points suggesting that financial largesse trumps Catholic Cultural Values in the decisions to appoint board members is one that seems most likely. This parallels what might also be seen in the Catholic Health Care Arena which like Catholic Education has seen great erosion in Gospel driven mission objectives. Market driven financial incentives often militate against Gospel mission objectives. This article is fair, and asks some very important questions that I would hope the Board of Directors at Notre Dame and other Catholic Universities will consider, and then be forthcoming as they communicate their mission focused discussions.

By Rev. Daniel Callahan, SAf on August 29, 2009 at 12:17 AM

I pray that the suffering this debacle has caused faithful Catholics turns into a renewal of commitment to Christ, His Church, His real presence in the Eucharist and His little ones. Finally, in response to the Saturday disgraces, I do not hesitate to quote Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), who, in his 1997 book, Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the End of the Millennium, wrote of the state of the Church, including the “lowering of moral standards even among men of the Church”:

The words of the Bible and of the Church fathers rang in my ears, those sharp condemnations of shepherds who are like mute dogs; in order to avoid conflicts, that let the poison spread. Peace is not the first civic duty, and a bishop whose only concern is not to have any problems and to gloss over as many conflicts as possible is an image I find repulsive.

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