For over a hundred years, the Church has always supported the rights of workers to form unions so that they could bargain more effectively with their employers. Such support was enshrined by Pope Leo XIII in Rerun Novarum. However, today's bishops seem to be somewhat compromised when it comes to the rights of workers not to join a union if that is their preference. They have demonstrated their left-wing proclivities once again with a case that is now before the Supreme Court, Janus vs American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Mark Janus, an Illinois employee brought suit so that he wouldn't have to cough up the mandatory union dues even though he declined to join. He rightly states that such compulsion to pay union dues is a violation of his rights.
Demonstrating their slavish devotion to unions, the USCCB filed an amicus on behalf of AFSCME. To his immense credit, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield publicly disavowed the USCCB's stunt, correctly stating that no such consensus exists among Catholics regarding a matter on which reasonable people can disagree. I thank him for not joining the USCCB's false pretense that compulsory union membership is enjoined by the Magisterium. I suspect the USCCB benefits a bit from union largess as well as that of the feds. How else do we explain the toadying to John Sweeney, former boss of both SEIU and AFL-CIO over the years?
Let's take a look at the latest stunt by Cardinal Cupich of Chicago. A parish within his archdiocese, St. John Cantius, has conducted Mass in the Extraordinary Form and fostered traditional sacred music. Some rather cheap allegations arose concerning the pastor, Father C. Frank Phillips. With no regard to due process, Cupich slapped on him very draconian measures, including the suspension of his priestly faculties. Meanwhile, Father Michael Pfleger is still pastor of St. Sabina's. Remember him? Remember how he threatened to "snuff" the owner of a local gun shop (because he hates violence so much!)? How does Pfleger remain while Phillips gets thrown under the bus? The answer is really quite simple; Pfleger and Cupich have very similar outlooks. Father Phillips on the other hand embraces fidelity to the Magisterium. So as he squashed the priests who participated in 40 Days for Life while he was bishop of Spokane, so too is he punishing Fr Phillips for his love of Tradition.
We will now move onto another dissident prelate who, like Cupich, was made a Cardinal. I refer you to Cardinal Joseph Tobin (not to be confused with the relatively decent Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island). In direct contradiction to a statement made by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, he voiced his opinion that the Church should not attempt to make herself more pure. Well, at least he's honest about that. At a meeting of close confidantes of the pope's at Villanova last week, the cardinal opined that the "church is moving on the question of same-sex couples". Moving where, pray tell? In her two-thousand years of existence, she has always held to the teachings of Jesus Christ on the matter (and by the way - it's NOT "complex"). The only way she could "move" would be away from the truth. That is happening only in the minds of dissidents, progressives and outright heretics. Those last few words describe the attendees at that gabfest.
One last word about Cardinal Tobin. Three years ago, Tobin was an archbishop in Indiana. Within his diocese, a Knights of Columbus council rented their hall to a lesbian couple to celebrate their #mowwidge. I had suggested that all call the chancery and ask Tobin to have the thing cancelled. At the time I was unaware of Tobin's true colors. Needless to say, Tobin did nothing. At first I chalked his inaction to mere apathy. Now I consider the very real possibility that the KofC council caved to the lesbians under his order.
Above I mentioned Bishop Thomas Paprocki as a bishop who is upholding the truth. Another is Cardinal Burke. He too was at a conference, one quite different in tenor than the heretical snake-pit that Cardinal Tobin attended. What he said deserves its own post and that post will follow this.
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