Calls on US Bishops to Reform Catholic News Service (CNS) - Says powerful USCCB news agency rebuked by Archbishop Burke for good reason

lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09121114.html

WASHINGTON, DC, December 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Christian faithful had ready access to reliable media sources that consistently address important issues truthfully and completely while also communicating the authentic doctrine of the faith so dependably that the information provided could be received with complete confidence?

Enter Catholic News Service (CNS) - an agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that was created more than forty years before the Council specifically for the purpose of carrying out this very mission.

Catholic News Service has long been viewed with a suspicious eye by “conservative” Catholic groups, but any perception that this wariness is confined to some traditionalist fringe, however, was officially put to rest earlier this year.

By January 2009, CNS’ failure to consistently apply reliably Catholic editorial standards had become so problematic that Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican, was moved to take the extraordinarily bold step of criticizing CNS from Rome.

waiting for the next part

It’s about time.:cool:

good

Is someone responsible to change the course of CNS?

My man Ratzinger is getting ready to ‘lay the smack down’ on the heresy allowed by UCCB - it’s time to shake things up!

I guess my question is, so what? Archbishop Burke, as far as I’m aware, has no authority over CNS unless they violate canon law in some way. Otherwise it falls under the jurisdiction of the USCCB. If Burke doesn’t like them, who cares? Its not his call.

He may not have direct authority, but his authority does extend over every one of the Bishops of the USCCB in terms of oversight. Not so much canon legal matters, the Rota takes care of those, but appeals of administrative actions taken by Bishops fall squarely in Archbishop Burke’s ballpark. From even a casual glance, it doesn’t seem like it would be smart business for Bishops to ignore someone in that position. And that doesn’t even factor in how many friends in other Vatican places the Archbishop might have.

I think they’ll take what he has to say with some importance. Like everything else though, it may take a while to see the response.

Yes and no. Church and Vatican “politics” are rarely as simple as “not upsetting” a person in any one particular position. I’m sure Burke hates CNS, yet how much energy and effort and influence is he really going to spend on this if it gets a lukewarm response? Given all the problems the Church has right now, CNS falls so far down the list that an off the cuff remark by Burke probably isn’t going to change much.

There is a clarification that has to be made here. Anyone can point out to something that that they believe needs to be fixed or changed. It’s very legitimate to do so. In Archbishop Burke’s case, it’s more legitmate, because he is an American and this is an American news service.

That being said, we the faithful, have to understand that there are rules that govern the involvement of officials in the Vatican into local affairs. They may only become involved in those affairs that are directly under their jurisdiction. CNS is not under the jurisdiction of the Signatura. Therefore, the Archbishop’s comments are respected and probably listened to by his confreres, but they are not taken as a mandate, because he has no jurisdiction to make mandates in this area.

Sometimes we, the faithful, have to be careful not to let our enthusiasm get the best of us. We hear of a Vatican Official taking a position on something and those who are on the same side will rejoice, believing that the individual speaking has the authority to change things, which he does not.

On the other hand, those who are on the other side of the issue and disagree, scream that the individual is interfering, which is not the case either.

Unless an issue falls under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation of a particular prelate, that prelate speaks for himself. He doesn’t even speak for his Congregation. He can’t. That’s not allowed.

We have to take the archbishop’s words as they are meant. They are his concerns. We can share them or not. But we should not suppose or assume that they carry the weight of authority. They only carry such weight if he is given that authority. Otherwise, the authority that they carry are those of words spoken by a wise man who has a genuine concern.

The reason that I say this is because it’s very important to avoid any feelings or thoughts that may suggest a breach of unity between the bishops of the Church. There can be disunity in opinions. But there can never be disunity in function. The national conference of bishops of any nation has a function and the different deparments, offices, congregations and other agencies of the Roman Curia have their functions. Together they make up the governing body of the Church in union with the Holy Father.

Let us always strive to seek unity and see complimentarity is mission and service among the bishops of the Church, rather than conflict or power struggles. God protect us from such conflicts and power struggles. The Gospel of Life is not about bishops trying to control other bishops. It is about bishops doing the work of the apostles and exressing their concern for the common good, not for the purpose of putting someone else in their place or interfering. Both points of view are wrong. The Curia does not exist to control, nor does it exist to interfere. It is a service to the larger universal Church. At the same time, every bishop in the curia, has the right to speak his mind as long as the topic is not forbidden by the Holy Father.

But speaking their mind from Rome, does not make it law or binding, unless it is within the right of the individual to exercise that level of authority. Let us not do the Church harm by celebrating what we perceive as a gavel coming down on those whom we disagree with or by sounding the alarm of abuse of power when we disagree. Neither is true. The Church does not use authority to crush or to interfere, but to unite into one body committed to the Gospel of Life. Let us always look for the signs of life and unity and rejoice in them.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Let us not do the Church harm by celebrating what we perceive as a gavel coming down on those whom we disagree with or by sounding the alarm of abuse of power when we disagree. Neither is true. The Church does not use authority to crush or to interfere, but to unite into one body committed to the Gospel of Life. Let us always look for the signs of life and unity and rejoice in them.

You make a very good point. There are millions of Catholics in the U.S. so you are going to have people who do not see eye to eye on every position. I don’t agree with my wife, siblings, and children about everything, but none of us wants to not be a family together.
In addition, none of us wants to “smack down” the other.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.