30-April-2012 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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Wisconsin prelate defends priests, warns of canonical penalty for calumny

Lamenting the closing of a parish school because of declining donations, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison strongly defended priests who have instituted liturgical changes and asked parishioners to consider the canonical penalties enjoined for acts of calumny.

By 2009, Bishop Morlino had invited nine priests of the Spanish-based Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to serve in various parishes in his diocese. In 2010, when parishioners at St. Mary's in Platteville complained that the society's priests at their parish were "pre-Vatican II," the bishop defended the priests.

According to the parish's liturgical schedule, Mass is offered daily in the ordinary form and on most days in the extraordinary form, with confessions heard for one hour before every Mass.

As declining donations led to the recent decision to close the school, Bishop Morlino called upon parishioners to deepen their charity.

"I've received no examples of teaching or practice contrary to the teaching of the Church," he added. "I've not received a single substantiated claim of false teaching or of a liturgical violation."

Bishop Morlino then urged parishioners to reflect upon selected texts from the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Code of Canon Law, including texts on canonical penalties.

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