Statement issued on Membership in Forbidden Organizations and Groups
EXTRA SYNODAL LEGISLATION
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz
Statement issued by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (published in Southern Nebraska Register, March 22, 1996)
All Catholics in and of the Diocese of Lincoln are forbidden to be members of the organizations and groups listed below. Membership in these organizations or groups is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith.
Society of Saint Pius X (Lefebvre Group)
Call to Action
Call to Action Nebraska
Saint Michael the Archangel Chapel
Catholics for a Free Choice
Any Catholics in and of the Diocese of Lincoln who attain or retain membership in any of the above listed organizations or groups after April 15, 1996, are by that very fact (ipso facto latae sententiae) under interdict and are absolutely forbidden to receive Holy Communion. Contumacious persistence in such membership for one month following the interdict on part of any such Catholics will by that very fact (ipso facto latae sententiae) cause them to be excommunicated. Absolution from these ecclesial censures is "reserved to the Bishop."
This notice, when published in the Southern Nebraska Register, is a formal canonical warning.
By mandate of the Most Reverend Bishop of Lincoln.
Reverend Monsignor Timothy Thorburn, Chancellor March 19, 1996
Unsigned Editorial In The Same Issue
The Second Vatican Council says, "the faithful . . . should be closely attached to the Bishop as the Church is to Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is to the Father." St. Ignatius of Antioch, the successor of St. Peter in that See, wrote, "let no one do anything concerning the Church in separation from the Bishop."
It is well to remember this authentic teaching of the Catholic Church when reviewing the extra-synodal legislation, which Bishop Bruskewitz has just enacted and which is promulgated in this issue of the Southern Nebraska Register. Because certain organizations and groups have been, either directly or indirectly, asserting that membership in them does not contradict membership in the Catholic Church and leading even some people of good will astray in this, our Bishop has found it necessary to dissipate ambiguity and overcome any confusion in the minds of Catholics in the Diocese of Lincoln about these matters. Despite the fact that the anti-Catholicism of most of these organizations and groups is frequently open and apparent, some of their members and leaders have been trying to sell their evils to the unwary or uninformed, and sometimes to give the impression that the Catholic Church is divided or undecided about some of these groups and organizations. We applaud and thank our Bishop for this service of clarification.
The Second Vatican Council states, "The Bishops, as vicars and legates of Christ, govern the particular Churches assigned to them by their counsels, their exhortations, and their example, but, over and above that, also by their authority and sacred power . . . ." Bishop Bruskewitz has told us that he would feel he had failed in his office and in his duty to protect the Catholic Faith, unless he acted as he did. This extra-synodal legislation was enacted only after the Bishop engaged in extensive consultation over many months with innumerable inquiries and discussions. We expect that the forbidden groups and organizations will make as much use as they can of the secular media to oppose our Bishop and our Diocese. Let us pray that all Catholics in the Lincoln Diocese will be obedient to our Bishop and let us pray as well for the conversion of any who may dissent and thus incur the serious sins and ecclesial penalties listed in the legislation.