Saturday, March 21, 2009

Teapot Boiler: Kolpack, Again

A few days ago we mentioned Ms. Kolpack, who got canned for taking Catholic payroll money while questioning Church doctrine.

The Bishop of Madison, Robert Morlino, a courageous churchman, did the firing--and as you might expect from the Madison area, the Left-O-Wackies are in full shriek mode.

Supporters of a Catholic lay worker fired this month by Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino for allegedly advocating views contrary to Catholic teaching - a charge she denies - are lobbying to get her job back.

Morlino has agreed to meet in April with parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Beloit, where Ruth Kolpack has worked 26 years, the last 10 as a pastoral associate, to discuss her dismissal.

We hear from Fr. Andy Nelson, who mysteriously arrived in Milwaukee during the regime of Abp. Rembert Weakland, but who had originally been a priest of the Green Bay Diocese.

"This is very sad. There's something wrong with the process when a woman whose track record as a lay minister has been extraordinary," said Father Andrew Nelson, retired rector of Saint Francis de Sales seminary when Kolpack studied there [It is significant that even Andy won't use the term "pastoral associate," which is not to be used except when referring to priests....]

So what did Ms. Kolpack learn while studying under the direction of Fr. Andy Nelson?

[The] troubles began in January, she said, when allegations were made that she, among other things, encouraged non-Catholics to take communion in Catholic churches, believes in women's ordination and believes she can consecrate the Eucharist, a role reserved for ordained clergy

These are not questions like 'whether or not holy water should be kept in church fonts during Lent.' These are extremely serious matters of doctrine--the latter two being irreformable, period.

Kolpack denied the allegations and said they might stem from hypothetical situations she presented in discussions with a Catholic student group at Beloit College or in a private conversation with students afterward.

William Yallaly, an assistant to Morlino, said he did not know the allegations, but debating theology isn't the role of catechism teachers

In the civil order, Ms. Kolpack would be accused of sedition.

Another item not mentioned in the JS report:

Kolpack said Morlino asked her to renounce her master’s thesis, make a profession of faith and take a loyalty oath

This "loyalty oath" is something that Rembert Weakland never bothered to enforce at Marquette University. The NYTimes has a bit on it.

The teachings to which the new oath and a companion ''profession of faith'' require assent include not only matters solemly proclaimed by the church as truths, like the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus during Mass, but many less solemn papal declarations

It would include the teaching on the male priesthood AND the doctrine that only an ordained priest can confect the Eucharist.

It would seem that Ms. Kolpack will not go there.

Supporters have rallied around Kolpack, staging rallies last weekend and circulating petitions to reinstate her.

Yallaly [a Diocesan spokesman] said he didn't know whether that was a possibility and reiterated Morlino's comment to Kolpack's supporters last weekend: "You never say never, but it would be wrong of me to raise hopes in that regard."

"Never" is a long time. Let's hope and pray that Ms. Kolpack experiences metanoia sooner than that.


VSO said...

If only all Catholic bishops did this.

Al said...

It sounds to me like the Journal Sentinal is taking some lessons on hatchet job journalism from the Non-Catholic Reporter.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Left-O-Wackies -- sounds like a breakfast cereal but what it really seems to me to be is judgmental and condescending. You have your opinion and and a right to it - so do I. I happen to agree with those portions of Ruth's thesis that were printed in the Wisconsin State Journal. I think none of us have the full story and judgment should be reserved for the Lord.

Dad29 said...

Ooohhhh, you certainly are a Righteous Bastard for someone who cannot find the testosterone to exercise judgment on what's plain to see.

I suspect you judge the words and actions of lotsa folks. So do I.

Quick quiz: exactly WHAT is reserved to the Lord for judgment, anony-o-wacky?