Bishop Morlino Recording to be Used as Homily in All Diocesan Parishes Nov 4-5!


Beyond sound
Bishop Morlino recording to be used as homily in all diocesan parishes Nov. 4-5.
Recent audio recordings from the Diocese


**Fri Nov 3, 2006 8:52 am (PST) **

Thought you might all like to hear this from Bishop Marlino…Pray for this man cause he is certainly going to get alot of riff over this… Here is the letter that he sent to his brother priests…Maybe more will follow suite…God Bless him for his courage

Hear the full audio message of Bishop Morlino here: (Look for the audio link on this page)

Bishop Morlino’s letter to priests

The letter below from Bishop Robert C. Morlino was sent to the priests of the Diocese of Madison, dated October 25, 2006 marked "Personal and Confidential. " Information about the letter was reported in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 30. The full text of the Bishop’s personal correspondence with the priests is reprinted here, so that the full truth regarding the content of the letter can be known.

October 25, 2006

Dear Brother Priests,

Please pray for all those who exercise their right and duty to faithful citizenship. Pray for all our candidates, that they will choose to do God’s will as our elected officials, and not their own.

Enclosed with this letter, you will find a recorded message from myself both on CD and ordinary-cassette- tape format, for your convenience. It is mandatory that this recorded message be played for our faithful people at all Masses of obligation on the weekend of November 4th and 5th.

Very honestly, I would prefer never to have to resort to this particular format, and you can be assured that my use of it will be extremely rare. In the slightly more than three years that I have been with you, this is the first time when it has even occurred to me that this format would be appropriate. The message is approximately 14 minutes in length, so its use at the time of the homily (when it must be used) will not prolong the duration of Mass.

I apologize in advance for this second paragraph that I must write, and I would very much prefer otherwise. My office has received reports that in isolated cases, priests have refused to cooperate with my requests in terms of preaching in defense of marriage and have even expressed disagreement with my clear wishes in this matter. Please listen to the enclosed message: it deals with the marriage referendum, the death penalty referendum, and the issue of embryonic-stem cell research.

The message is educational in its purpose, and is certainly non-partisan. What I expect of each of you is a simple introductory statement that the bishop has required this message to be played during the homily time at all Masses of obligation on November the 4th or the 5th. If you can express some support for the message that I offer that would be appreciated but not expected.

I must make it very clear that any verbal or non-verbal _expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences. I am sorry that a few isolated reports cause me to write to all of you in this vein. Up to this point I have not investigated the accuracy of those reports and at the moment I am giving the priests involved the benefit of the doubt, as is my custom. But it would be less than fair for me to leave any lingering ambiguity in anyone’s mind about my seriousness in this particular matter. As always you are welcome to discuss the matter with me, through the use of my private phone number.

The episcopal consecration of Bishop Paul Swain provides us an opportunity to celebrate all that is holy, and good, and inspiring in our presbyterate. Make no mistake that I am far more impressed by that holiness, goodness, and inspiration, than I am troubled by the difficulties that we may encounter with each other along the way.

With deep gratitude for all that you are and for all that you do in the Lord’s service, I am

Fraternally yours in Christ

Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison


To make sure everyone hears the message they should play it at halftime at the Packers game!


God bless this good and faithful servant!!!

:amen: :amen: :amen:


:rotfl: Amen to that!! HA HA!!!


WOW! Telling it like it is. God bless him.


Holy Wow! Things have changed in Mad-town since I was in college there! Anybody got a transcript of what he said? I got no audio!




Madison Bishop Robert Morlino is in error on the death penalty.

The Bishop claims that the purpose of punishments is “to make society safe” and that life without parole is sufficient for that purpose, thereby negating the need for the death penalty.


Punishments are based upon violation of the social contract and the coded punishments deemed appropriate for those violations.

The primary purpose of punishment is to sanction the offending party. With the death penalty, as well as all other criminal sanctions, the US system strives to apply a just punishment for the crime committed.

The Bishops position is immoral, because he bases it solely on safety.

Lawmakers and jurors apply sanction based upon the crime committed. The offender had to break a law for the law to apply in sanctioning the wrongdoer.

Because of the imposition of just sanctions, criminals and potential criminals are deterred from committing some crimes and we, therefore, are safer because of law enforcement and sanction.

Safety is the natural by product of law enforcement and sanction - not the reason for the sanction.

The Bishop would have some believe that safety is the reason for criminal sanction. But, safety can never be the foundation for sanction. That would be immoral. Sanction must be earned and deserved because of the wrongful actions of the criminal.

The Bishop claims that the death penalty is not necessary because life without parole renders us safe.

Jurors assign the death penalty because they determine it is a more just sanction for the crime than are any other options, such as a life sentence. Again, the Bishop wrongly neglects justice.

Furthermore, we know that the death penalty makes society safer than life sentences.

The Bishop knows that living murderers harm and murder, again, in prison, after escape and after improper release. He also knows that executed murderers never harm and murder, again.

Based upon safety, The Bishop must explain why he chooses a sanction that spares murderers at the cost of more innocents harmed. Why does the Bishop choose the lesser sanction, when he could chose the more severe one, making society safer?

In other words, the Bishops contradicts his own message of safety.

Furthermore, 8 recent studies find for death penalty deterrence. Even if the Bishop wrongly discounts those studies, reason dictates that all prospects of a negative outcome deter some. There are no exceptions. Again, the Bishop chooses the sanction that spares murderers, at the cost of more innocents harmed. He opts for a less safe solution.

The Bishop wrongly neglects the biblical, theological and traditional support of the death penalty by the Roman Catholic Church. This is very common, but unjustified.

Sincerely, Dudley Sharp


Welcome to the forums, Mr. Sharp.

I’d like to just respond to this little bit of your post–the idea of the “social contract” is a product of the godless “Enlightenment” and has no place in Catholic discourse. Fleming’s Morality of Everyday Life should dispel you of such notions.

Anyway, the good bishop was merely repeating what is said in the Catechism: it would be imprudent to use the death penalty if it were unnecessary for public safety to do so. To call him “immoral” is, well, rather imprudent. I disagree that the death penalty is unnecessary, but I think the bishop is entitled to his opinion on the matter without such name-calling.


Thank you for your reply.

Amoral may have been a better word and it wasn’t used as simple name calling but a recognition of what it means to base a punishment on safety, only, without considering additonal secular, biblical and theological principles.

Furthermore, the Catechism’s amendment, reflecting Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae, on the topic of the death penalty, also committed that same error. That was the point. Bishop Morlino simply repeated that error without reflection.

PJPII comments were prudential judgement, only. First, my research indicates that this may be the fist time a prudential judgement was entered into a Catechism. I suspect it will not occur, again.

Secondly, reason and the facts reject PJPII’s notion that the death penalty should be limited because of current improvements in incarceration which render us safe, without resorting to execution. We are all aware that living murderers harm and murder, again, in prison, after escape and after improper release. Executed murderers never harm or murder, again.

The Pope and Bishop was/are aware of this, as well.

Furthermore, 8 recent studies in the US find for death penalty deterrence. Even if you, wrongly, discount those studies, we should consider “What prospect of a negative outcome doesn’t deter some?” There isn’t one. Both incarceration and execution are a deterrent to some and there is evidence, both anecdotal and more solid, that the death penalty is an enhanced to deterrent over incarceration.

Why would the Pope and Church select a less safe alternative, sparing murderers and sacrificing more innocents, when they could have asked for an expansion of the death penalty and spare more innocents while executing more murderers?

The Pope never adressed that. I am not sure he ever considered it. Therefore, his prudential judgement was not prudent. Executions are more protective of the innocent. It is unexplained why he chose the less safe alternative, chosing to spare murderers over innocents. That is why I don’t believe he even considered it.

In addition, according to the references, below, Roman Catholic tradition instructs four elements to be considered* with criminal sanction.

1.* Defense of society against the criminal.
2.* Rehabilitation of the criminal (including spiritual rehabilitation).
3.* Retribution, which is the reparation of the disorder caused by the criminal’s transgression.
4.** Deterrence
It is a mystery why and how the Pope could have excluded three of these important elements. In doing so, though, we can confirm that his review was very incomplete and, thus, improper.* It should never have been entered into the Catechism.

(1) “The Purpose of Punishment (in the Catholic tradition)”, by R. Michael Dunningan, J.D., J.C.L., CHRISTIFIDELIS, Vol.21,No.4, sept 14, 2003


Sorry, Dudley, but I’m going to have to part ways with you on this one. When the bishop of Rome and every current bishop that I’ve ever heard of weigh in on the subject takes the position that capital punishment is not justified given the stability and condition of our culture, that says a LOT to me.

Catholics tend to give rather a lot of support to the teachings of the Pope, especially on issues where he enjoys unanimous support of the world’s bishops!


Dear Manualman:

Thank you for your reply. There is more here than simple adherence to the Bishops.

If the Bishop’s position is not supported by reason or the facts and is contrary to traditonal, biblical and theological teachings of the Church, one can and should reasonably disagree with them.

If Pope John Paul II omitted three important Roman Catholic factors in making his assessments of the death penalty, then his commentary is incocnsitent with Catholic requirements and teachings. That does not seem to be in question.

We know the Pope’s words on the death penalty are not ex-cathedra. We know the Pope didn’t give a reason why it is prudent to spare murderers lives at the cost of sacrificing more innocents. I contend that he failed to do so because he didn’t consider it.

We know that individual Catholic support or rejection of the death penalty is based upon their own conscience and their own prudential judgement.

Part of that process can be a reckoning with the errors that the Pope made in his assessemnt of the death penalty and that the Bishops should not blindly go along with the Pope’s position if found to be in error. The fact that most Bishops have chosen not to do that does not call for you to blindly follow their lead.

You can respectfully disagree with their position, while prudently outlining their errors in reason and fact, as well as within biblical, theological and traditonal Catholic teachings.


This is where my question comes up.

What is meant by “public safety”? and actually the Catechism does not say that “it would be imprudent the death penalty is unnecessary for public safety”, what it says is that recourse to the dealth penalty is ok “* if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.*”

Now for my question, are crimes against other prisoners in prison crimes agasint human lives? Are they subject to the unjust aggressor?

If so then I can see a use for the death penalty. Many crimes are commited by prisoners against other prisoners in our prisons including murder. Also some prisoners are able to keep up their crimes on the outside though the use of others.

See my comments above. Seems some people ignore the crimes that are going on in the prison system today.


A lot of people made quite convincing cases as to why the pope and bishops were wrong in their prudential judgement before the war in Iraq too. I was one of them.

I won’t be so hasty to place my own reasoning above the unanimous judgement of the pope and bishops next time. Even when somebody else makes a nice convincing case.


The current Catholic campaign against the death penalty contradicts nearly 2000 years of biblical, theological and traditonal
teaching, by Popes, Sainst and theologians, who were nearly unanimous in their support of the death penalty, based upon sound biblical and theological foundations. And of course, that current campaign is also based upon flawed reasoning which contradcts the facts.

The war in Iraq is a very differen thing altogether. The just war theory, presented by the great Augustine, never took into account a premptive strike based upon strong evidence of WMD’s held by an aggressive dictator who had previously attacked two non aggressive neighbors - Iran and Kuwait. Saddam had wiped out members of his own country with gas attacks, also used against Iranian civilians and soldiers in that war.

The Iraqi war did not fit into the box of a just war, as previously defined by the Chuch. I suspect that the Church has some good folks working on that scenario to see if they can properly address it for any future consideration.

By speaking against the Iraq war, the Church was adhering to the just war theory, which has great theological and traditonal history and support, but which didn’t address that specific circumstance of the current Iraq war…

Speaking against the death penalty, the Church has done the opposite - they have rejected reason and fact, as well as biblical, theological and traditonal teachings.


I think I understand the Church’s teaching on the death penalty. Remember the Roman Catholic Church is a World Religion and not just based on the United States.

I think the Church supports Capital Punishment in the case if society can not safely protect itself from the criminal.

In the U.S., we have very good prison systems which protect the criminals from the rest of society. However in other countries they do not have secure prisons like we do and therefore have to use Capital Punishment at times for the worst of the worst criminals in order to protect their society.

So the Catholic Church takes a World View of Capital Punishment. It states Capital Punishment is needed in a few very grim circumstances. However, I think most of the Bishops in the United States feel our technology in the prison systems are so good that Capital Punishment is no longer needed in the U.S. to protect the worst of criminals from the rest of society.

This is the way I understand it but I may be wrong.


The issue is that the policy is full of errors and contradicitons of biblical, theological and traditonal Catholic teachings, as well as contrary to reason and facts in how Pope John Paul II and the Church arrived at their conclusions, as reviewed in the posts, above.



“The bishop was particularly candid in his assessment of the cause of those problems: ‘In the specific situations at hand, the recent revelations os sex abuse, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops and cardinals.’”

“There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia."

'‘To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority,’ he wrote."

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