Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bishop Bruskewitz to Catholic Citizens of Illinois:

"Let it be our prayer that God will give us here and now, the ability to dare to be different, and to stand for Christ whatever the cost"

Bishop Fabian Bruskwitz' Address to Catholic Citizens of Illinois at October 19, 2006 Annual Meeting.

I have chosen for the title of my talk Facing the Crisis: Some reflections on the Current Crisis in the Church. It is important, I believe, to place a background against which my reflections will reflect...

I need not point out to a wonderful group such as yours, that some of the leading proponents of such horrors as abortion, including partial birth abortion, are Catholic senators or senators who claim to be Catholic, and their names are quite familiar to you and I am certain that they are also very dedicated to such monstrous practices such as human cloning for therapeutic purposes, and embryonic human cell research.

The picture, when one steps back and looks at it from some distance, can be quite bleak, and in many ways a source of anxiety and perhaps, desperate despondency. On the other hand, it can also be an opportunity to re-determine and reinvigorate our own faith, so that we can answer the question in the affirmative, that Jesus left unanswered in Sacred Scripture. "When the Son of Man comes again, will he find any faith on earth?"

...Unless the patient realizes he is sick, he will not expose his wounds to the necessary healing medicine that would provide a cure for his problems.

...Even the healthiest fish cannot swim along in polluted waters. In our country, especially, a serious misunderstanding of freedom has turned freedom into license, and we live in a pan-sexual and irresponsible age, in which pleasure, comfort, and material possessions appear to be the goals of human existence. Lacking solid catechetical teaching, it is very easy for people, especially young people to be lured into that kind of attitude and condition their entire life-style by such an attitude.

As Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say, "Most poisons are quite sweet to the lips. It is only when they are ingested that they destroy one."

...In Nebraska, where I come from, at this time of the year, harvest time, there are a lot of rodents who try to intrude themselves in, feasting on the corn, soybeans, and other products of the fields. This requires the farmers to put out appropriate amounts of rat poison to prevent this from happening. The rat poison that is put out is always 95% healthy, good, wholesome, nourishing food. It is only the 5% in the poison that does the killing. I think that this has been overlooked in the ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues sometimes, that inserted into things which might have elements of truth, are also very serious elements of error that place in jeopardy one's eternal salvation.

...What then should be the method by which we face the rises in the Church at this time? There must be, I think, a supreme effort to recapture our Catholic faith in all its orthodox splendor, and to take a stand for Christ as in the olden days. The Church has ever been counter-cultural. She has always and ever been that which stands against the age because she is the custodian of the Deposit of Faith, inherently and intrinsically conservative, as Pope Paul VI observed, because she to maintain the integrity of that faith without distortion or mutilation down through the centuries. It is important that we see the truths of our Catholic faith as liberating realities, and not as some kind of constraint, and that true freedom is linked with truth, and that truth trumps freedom and that unless one is in possession of the truth, one is not actually free. The words of Jesus are always appropriate to every age, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

These are but a few excerpts of the address of Bishop Bruskewitz...Thanks be to God that we have been blessed to have men like him, Archbishop Burke, Bishop Vasa and a few others in the episcopacy of the Catholic Church in the U.S. May God give us more fearless shepherds for those who are in most need...

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