The Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz Prayer Club

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bishop Bruskewitz interview

The Wanderer Interviews . . .
Bishop Bruskewitz On Defying The NRB

Q. On March 30, Mrs. Ewers, who heads the USCCB’s National Review Board, urged your brother bishops to give you some fraternal correction. Do you feel adequately corrected?

A. Sometimes you have to react. If I’m attacked, they are going to get a mouthful of porcupine quills. And it wasn’t just me. They attacked my diocese . . . the people who serve on that board. Some Board members support abortion very strongly, such as Leon Panetta. Paul McHugh, a Kinseyite from Johns Hopkins University, has supported human cloning. This is publicized in some of the USCCB’s own publications like Origins.

Q. What prompted your response to the published letter from Mrs. Ewers to Bishop Skylstad?

A. I was speechless with indignation, and I refuse to be bossed around by these people. It was explicit in a published report that was put on the Internet, an attack on the Diocese of Lincoln.

Q. Have you experienced any efforts since then of fraternal correction from Bishop Skylstad or others?

A. Not even the slightest negative, although several bishops have communicated positively.

Q. In the Dallas meeting of 2002, you recommended a study of the true causes of the sex-abuse scandals. Your resolution addressed homosexuality and the traditional teaching of the Church on moral issues.
Why do you think you received so little support?

A. I don’t know, except possibly a fear of offending a powerful constituency. I don’t think there’s any doubt that, in many dioceses, colleges, and universities, the homosexual attitude is very powerful. After all, the abuse crisis is a homosexual issue, not a pedophile issue, involving adolescent boys. That seems to be corroborated by the information that the bishops’ conference itself has gathered. That’s why the bishops wanted to delay the document from the Congregation for Catholic Education on admitting homosexuals in the seminaries. I don’t think homosexuals belong in the priesthood.

Q. Why do you object to pro-abortion Catholics serving on the lay board? Aren’t a lot of prominent Catholics supporters of partial-birth abortion? Don’t they deserve representation too?

A. It’s a standing disgrace that some of these people who call themselves Catholic don’t understand the heinous evil that they support. That we should give them a position of prominence in the Church is an outrage.

Q. At the bishops’ meeting last November, Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis attacked The Wanderer for its articles on the Charter and the Safe Environment programs. Has he ever engaged you in conversation about the issue?

A. Never. We’ve never quarreled. We have exchanged social greetings at meetings. I’ve seen [Teresa] Kettelkamp at the meetings, but we’ve never had conversation or conflict.

Q. Under your direction, the Diocese of Lincoln has had spectacular results in fostering vocations to the priesthood. What do you think accounts for that?

A. First of all, it is God’s grace and the patronage of Mary, to whom the diocese is dedicated. And it’s also due to the wonderful diocese that I inherited from a great predecessor, Bishop Flavin; also a cadre of excellent priests who are wholesome, holy, pure, learned, and good.

Q. As you have probably heard, Bishop Paul Loverde has announced that girl altar boys will now be allowed in the Diocese of Arlington. That means that your diocese is alone in not allowing them in the United States.
Will you continue that policy?

A. I’ve been alone before. However, it might be interesting to know that there are other dioceses that don’t have altar girls, but they do not want it to be known. But, as I’ve said many times, if I see a diocese, chiefly because of altar girls, with convents overflowing with novices, and hundreds of priests being ordained, then I’ll change my mind. In the meantime, we’ll just continue in the old traditional way.

Q. There are clearly many problems facing the American Catholic Church. Now that Pope Benedict XVI is nearing his first anniversary in assuming the See of Peter, how do you think he will address the problems in America?

A. That’s hard to say. I think that as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was aware of the problems. I think that’s an indication of good things. We can look forward to a very careful observation of the problems in the United States on his part. Not that Pope John Paul II hadn’t visited our country many times, but perhaps some of the members of our hierarchy might now be more willing to discuss our problems more openly and clearly with the present Pope.

Q. Many thanks, Your Excellency.