Make Your Voice Heard

This is like what happen to the choir directors last year and why I stopped going to church the lying and not being truthful of the real reason of wanting to get rid of the more Liberal wing of the church.

Anyway, I hope those who live near enough to make their voice heard will speak up in this woman’s defense.

URGENT ACTION  NEEDED! 

BISHOP MORLINO FIRES LONG-TIME  ASSOCIATE
PROTEST MARCHES – SATURDAY, MARCH 14th, St. JOHN VIANNEY CHURCH,  JANESVILLE
OR
SUNDAY MARCH 15th- see  below

Ruth Kolpack, Pastoral Associate  of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Beloit,
Wisconsin
since 1995 was fired on  Thursday, March 12th, by Bishop Robert
Morlino of the Catholic Diocese of  Madison, WI. The basis of her dismissal was a
set of accusations made  against her over the past three years by an
anonymous individual or group, but  during the meeting, Ruth was given no opportunity
to learn about these  accusations, nor defend herself.  Instead, she was
simply terminated,  effective immediately.

In response, an informational march is  planned for Saturday, March 14th at 2
pm at St. John Vianney Church, 1250 East  Racine Street, Janesville, where
the Bishop plans to meet with area parishes to  discuss a new diocesan financing
program. A second march will  be held before the 11 am mass on Sunday, March
15th at St. Thomas, 822 East  Grand Avenue, Beloit, to inform parishioners of
Ruth’s  dismissal.

This week the investigation shifted to Kolpack’s  thesis for her master of
divinity degree
, granted from St. Francis Seminary in  2003. The thesis
discusses the potential harm of non-inclusive language in the  Mass. In meeting with
Bishop Morlino yesterday, he concluded that Kolpack’s take  on the teachings
about Jesus were “off base”. Yet he admitted that he had not  read the document
in its entirety, but only “bits and pieces.” 

Bishop Morlino asked Kolpack to denounce her thesis, make a  profession of
faith and take an oath of loyalty in order to remain Pastoral  Associate. She
could not refute her thesis, as it would be dishonest, not true  to her work,
and risk her reputation as a scholar and academician.

“After  Bishop Morlino’s announcement, I was given no opportunity to discuss
any points  in my thesis with which he disagreed, nor any of the original
accusations made  against me,” commented Ruth Kolpack. “In fact, within 10 minutes
from the  beginning of our meeting, I was fired.”

Kolpack added, “These past two  months have been difficult for me but also
have given me an opportunity for much  reflection. I feel confident in saying
that my actions as an employee of St.  Thomas have been consistently prudent and
in good faith in relation to the  teachings of the Church.  I have never used
my position to promote issues  contrary to Church teaching. This has never
been my intention.”

Kolpack  has served at St. Thomas for 35 years, first as a volunteer starting
in 1974,  then as a part-time youth minister in 1983.  She was appointed
Pastoral  Associate in 1995.

She has been instrumental in developing Christian  faith and interfaith
dialogue in her work. She has served as president of the  Wisconsin Directors of
Religious Education Federation, lead the Diocesan Youth  Council, and directed a
diocesan youth retreat on diversity. She was  instrumental in starting
“Catholics in Action” locally (now called “Middle  School ROCKS”), facilitating
Virtus sessions for adults visiting homebound and  hospitalized parishioners,
helping start Hands of Faith, an ecumenical  cooperative effort housing homeless
families in different churches on a  rotational basis, and initiating Hispanic
ministry for the three Catholic  parishes in Beloit.

Kolpack commented on her work, “I recognize the Holy  Spirit guiding me
through the years to the place where I am in my faith at this  time and I continue
to depend on the Holy Spirit for daily guidance. The  Scriptures are my
foundation, showing me the presence of God in the lives of  people.  It is the life
of Christ
that drives me to work for  justice.”

Members of three local Beloit parishes, other Beloit  congregations, Madison
area parishes and Call to Action, the national Catholic  church reform
organization, will be taking part in the  events.

For more information:
Jim Green  (608.669.2886
Jim Andrews (815.558.5000)
Jim Beyers (608.848.3195)

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12 Comments »

  1. 1
    Kin Robles Says:

    I’m constantly reminding myself that we humans are flawed. We’re far from perfect and we make mistakes. Lots of them. It’s my hope that we all depend more on Christ to guide our actions and prayer to open our eyes to His desired path.

    peace

  2. 2
    ukeedukee Says:

    With you in spirit.
    Phil Smith

  3. 3
    chrisy58 Says:

    Dear Kin,

    I agree with you that we humans make many mistakes. I don’t think there is a human being alive who hasn’t made his share.

    Yet, Jesus loves us and forgives us and it is sad that many times we humans fail to show the same love and compassion to others. I hope too that Jesus will find a way for us to overcome what is going on in the church today and that is why I think it is so important that we as Catholics pray for our church.

  4. 4
    watcat Says:

    Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

  5. 5
    Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M. Says:

    I’ll make my voice heard: Shame on you for attacking Bishop Morlino for doing his job.

  6. 6
    chrisy58 Says:

    As a Catholic I have a right to speak about what is happening in the church. I am not the only Catholic who is noticing the change in the church and worried about the direction that the church is going in. We have a Bishop in Phoenix that is just like this Bishop Morlino. Just because someone is a Bishop’s doesn’t mean that they are PERFECT!!!!!!

    I believe that Jesus would have me speak out about the harsh judgement that other Catholics are showing other Catholics who they feel aren’t Catholic enough for them. I am not the only Catholic who believes the church has crossed the line between seperation between church and state and this Bishop is one of the main Bishops who is guilty. Do you know that he is turning people away from Christ and not leading people to Christ by his atttude and harsh judgement of others.

    I will continue to speak out and I am truly sorry if I offend a fellow Catholic who doesn’t want to hear the truth or face the problems that we are facing in the church today and be willing to work on fixing them.

    God Bless you. Which is more that I would get from your side of the fense.

  7. 7
    Boanerges Says:

    Anyone who teaches heterodoxy in Catholic Education is, by default a heretic. Her New Age sophisms are proof of that. Go work at McDonalds or, find a nice fuzzy protestant congregation to harass. The Church is what She is…True to God

  8. 8
    chrisy58 Says:

    Dear Boanerges,

    I will be the first one to admit I am not very smart, but I had a teacher who once told me that the only stupid question is the question that remains unasked.

    I am not really sure what you mean by heterodoxy in Catholic Education. Maybe you could explain what you mean by that term. I am guessing that it has to do with women and our role in the Catholic church. So that is what I am going to address. If I am wrong about what the term means please feel free to correct me.

    First I would like to ask you what you feel the proper role in the church is for women? What can and can’t we do?

    Second I am a Catholic. You can’t take that away from me, and I am very spiritual who prays and seeks God’s wisdom in life. I have an open heart and mind. I pray and know that Jesus forgives me my sins and loves me. He has compassion on me and understands my heart, unlike Mankind. I also have a deep love for Mother Mary who I know is watching over me and is praying for me to her Son Jesus.

    Third I don’t want to go to the Protestant church, I am a Catholic.

    Fourth you talk about her New Age beliefs. I can’t address what her thoughts are because I haven’t read her paper or have talked to her in person so I can’t make a judgement on what she beliefs.

    Finally, I believe in truth. I believe in being fair. I believe in justice. I would think that Bishops too believe in those things. How can it ever be fair to judge someone’s work without reading it? Maybe you have never known harsh judgement in your life, but I have. I refuse to judge others in this life the way I have been judged. I like to keep an open mind about people. This Bishop didn’t do that. He admitted he had not read her whole paper.

    I would like to ask you, do we as being part of the Catholic church have a duty to speak up out of love when we have those in our church who seem to have forgotten one of the most important messages of Christ( love, mercy, compassion, and not judging others)? I believe we do and must speak up.

    We as a church have been hurt by some of the very people who are in charge of our souls. We have been hurt by priests and Bishops who allowed sexual abuse to continue. Did we remain silent for to long because we were afraid to confront those in the church who had fallen and were not living as they should for Christ?

    I believe as a church we must speak up and make our voices heard. We must debate some of the issues facing us as a church and not be afraid to stand up for what we believe Christ would have us do.

    Jesus says we are not to judge but that he is the judge. Yet, in the Catholic church today there is a whole lot of judging of others harshly and not allowing them to defend themselves.

    I hope that we as Catholics are open to what Christ would have us do and not so harshly judge our fellow Catholic in such a way as we drive people a way from the church.

    Many of us are not against the teachings of the church, but think that the methods being used at this time are a violation between church and state. I know you may not see this as a problem, but where I live it is a problem.

  9. 9
    sotto voce Says:

    Dear Chrisy,

    I hope this won’t come off as an attack. I really do mean it as a sincere question. Aren’t you doing the same thing you believe the bishop has done? You say that he shouldn’t judge the situation with this parish employee without reading her entire paper, but you admit that you haven’t read any of it. But then how can you know that the bishop acted wrongly in firing her?

    If the only evidence you’ve read is this Call to Action article, written by a group with a huge axe to grind with the hierarchy, then you’re not really giving the bishop the benefit of the doubt – which you seem to think he’s not giving Ms. Kolpack. Shouldn’t we be fair to both sides in this regard?

    I read that her paper is 50+ pages. which suggest to me that the bishop wouldn’t need to read the entire paper to know that Ms. Kolpack has some seriously unorthodox beliefs. To a bishop, who has responsibility for the teaching of the truth within his diocese, this paper should cause concern especially given the fact that she was in a position of teaching young people who deserve the full truth of the Catholic faith.

    God bless you.

    sv

  10. 10
    chrisy58 Says:

    I don’t take your comment as a personal attack on me. I can tell your motives are with a good heart and intent. I try to look at my actions honestly and when people point out something that I am doing wrong, I try and look at it and pray over it.

    I will be the first one to admit that I have some unresolved feelings toward the Catholic Church. I love the Catholic faith and practice it in my home on a daily basis. I love to pray the rosary and the chaplet of divine mercy. I read the daily readings everyday. I do have an open heart and do try to follow to the best of my ability the teachings of Jesus.

    I do however have some anger at the harsh judgment that other Catholics show each other and the harsh manner in which some treat their fellow Catholics. I even have some unresolved anger at the way a few priests and Bishops have handled sexual abuse in the church by covering it up for many years. I am somewhat angry that when I go to mass that some Bishops like the one in Phoenix where I live have turned it into a political mass having us fill out post cards to Congress during the Sermon and putting them in the offering basket for the church to mail. That is wrong and violates the seperation between church and state. I don’t have a problem if the church wanted to ask us to write Congress on our own time and mail them ourselves, but I do have a problem that it is done during the mass.

    Some Catholics have gone so far as to say that women have abortions because they don’t want to be bothered, that they take great joy in having one. That is so far from the truth. I don’t know of any women who goes to have an abortion happy with the thought of what she is doing. It is very emotional it is something that haunts you for the rest of your life. For many they have no choice and believe me they feel the pain for the rest of their life. Though to some Catholics a woman who was forced to have an abortion is condemned to hell for the rest of her life. That isn’t how Jesus would treat the women, but showing them love and compassion. No other Catholic knows the reason of why a woman has an abortion. Unless you have walked in her shoes you have no idea what she is feeling inside.

    When you have Catholics who come across as praising the Lord because the man who lost his family in the plane crash in MT owns some of the clinics where abortions took place, and post on Catholic groups that it is God punishing him, I get angry. We have catholics praising the Lord and giving each other high fives because this man knows the pain now of loosing some of his children and grandchildren. Does this kind of behavior please Jesus? I think not!!!!! Yet, with the new Catholic attitude in the church today of harsh judgment and treatment of those we label as sinners, this praising the Lord at another man’s misfortune is the new way, and I condemn that path we seem to be taking.

    Tell me is that showing Christ love and compassion to the world? God says we are not to judge others nor are we to celebrate when God’s judgment comes to others. I see that all the time with certain Catholics. They think they are more Catholic than the Pope and any Catholic who doesn’t live up to their high standards is declared a non Catholic. I see that all the time in the new Catholic church that is so different than the one I knew in the 70′s when I was confirmed.

    It is like to many Catholics today they focus on one issue and the other issues that Jesus would have us care and fight about are forgotten. I read in the daily readings that we are to care about the environment and social justice for all. Yet what political party best fights for the issues of the environment and social justice for all Americans. IT is not the Republican party. Yet Catholic Democratics and Independents are told they are in sin if they don’t vote for the Republican party because of the one issue of abortion. WE have a Bishop in Phoenix that wrote a book telling Catholics how they must vote in an election. This Bishop in question is just like the one we have in Phoenix.

    For your information I am pro-life. I value all creation because I see the wonder of God in it. At the same time, because I love Jesus so much, I couldn’t vote the way that the Bishop in my area or this Bishop we are talking about wanted me to vote because of other issues that I feel as a Catholic I must fight for.

    I have a lot of feelings that I need to work out regarding the church. I know that. I believe that we as Catholics have got to speak up and make our feelings known. I pray for the church that we can learn to love each other better. That we as Catholics can find a way to judge each other less, be able to talk things through, and move forward as one church. We won’t be able to do that if both sides make the other side feel they are not Catholic anymore. I know Catholics that tell other Catholics if they voted Democrat they are no longer Catholic. This Bishop in question is one of those Bishops who have made it very clear that if a Catholic didn’t vote the way he wanted than they are no longer Catholic and should be denied Holy Communion. I have a problem with that.

    I know I am going to be misunderstood, but there is a right way and a wrong way that we as a church can play a role in making our voice heard in the government and the public square of this country. This Bishop and others have chosen the wrong way, and the fruit of that is driving good Catholics away from the church and to a place where we are practing our faith at home. We are still Catholics, but we know we are not welcome in the church because we didn’t vote the way the church wanted us to vote in the election or we wanted to talk about what role a woman can play in the church.

    Is this Bishop and my Bishop willing to take an honest look at how their actions are effecting the church as a whole and all the Catholics who for just as moral reasons voted for a Democrat?

    I am not angry at you, I am just angry that the church I love so much as decided to conduct a witchhunt against those Catholics who vote the way that they feel they must vote for moral reasons and we are told that we are in sin.

    May I ask you what role to you think women should be allowed to play in the church? I don’t think there is anything sinful for us as Catholics to talk about what the different roles that we as women can play and be part of the mass and the church. With a shortage of Priests I think that there is a lot that we women can do to help a priest do his job better. I am not even talking about women becoming Priests, but what roles can we as Catholic women take and do that will help the Catholic Church do its job better. I find nothing wrong about that discussion. Yet, to some Catholics, if you want to even discuss the role that women can play in the church you get called a terrible Catholic who should be kicked out of the church along with all the other Catholics who vote Democrat.

    Just because a man is a priest or Bishop doesn’t mean he is perfect. He is still a man who makes mistakes like the rest of human kind. The only perfect being is Jesus. I am not saying that we don’t respect Priests and Bishops because I think they should be respected, but at the same time we should be able to make our voices heard as Catholics when we see them act in such a way that they are hurting the Catholic Church as a whole.

    Please pray for me. and God Bless you too.

    Chrisy

  11. 11
    Rev. David Froemming Says:

    Once upon a time I worked across town from Ruth at St. Jude on the west side of Beloit.

    I read Ruth’s paper. that the hierarchy is threatened by her work is a real sign of illness and dysfunction in the system. As I said on other blogs – it confirms what Michael Crosby published around 1992 in his book “The Dysfunctional Church” – namely that the system (much like an alcoholic in a family) silences those who try to address the problem of the addiction. In this case – the addiction is to power.

    We are in a world of economic hurt, environmental crisis, political crisis, and what do they the male leaders focus on – their own power domain. It’s all about them. Hardly a hint of dying to self and baptismal identity in Christ. That explains why they can’t identify with community/partnership between women and men, they are centered within their own culture of power, instead of community in Christ.

    May the Spirit that moved Ruth continue to move others to grow in their faith. Remember – often in history the saints/leaders come from among the laity!

  12. 12
    chrisy58 Says:

    Dear Rev. Froemming,

    Thank you for your comments. It is nice to hear from someone who has met and worked with Ruth.

    God Bless
    Chrisy


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