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Bishop Without a Mandatum from the People? (Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:09 pm)

Bishop Ray Lucker of New Ulm is a hard act to follow for anyone. But his successor, Bishop John C. Nienstedt, according to NCR, chose a particularly mean-spirited way to assert his new authority by deprecating Lucker's credibility and ministry to the Catholics of New Ulm. Even though a reviewer from the US Bishops' doctrine committee found no problem with Lucker's book "Revelation and the Catholic Church: Vatican II in the 21st Century", Nienstedt nevertheless suggested that it contains questionable teachings. The fact that Niensted waited until Lucker was dead and unable to respond, and he was installed as Lucker's successor, gives rise a number of legitimate questions as to his motivation for doing this. The old adage "A new broom sweeps clean" seems to fit here. The good people of New Ulm, but especially those employed by the church, might this note well. Such a radical and conflicting change in approach to the office of bishop, from servant to ruler, is not uncommon in the Catholic church because the selection of bishops is done secretly with no involvement of the people of the community. ARCC's charter proclaims this as our RIGHT: "All Catholics have the right to a voice in all decisions that affect the, including the choosing of their leaders. (Charter of Rights No. 5 and Canon 212.3 in the Code of Canon Law). This right has been denied to the people of New Ulm.

Bishops openly criticizing bishops may be a violation of the Club rules. If so, Bishop Nienstedt's behavior should be reported to the Vatican congregation which oversees the behavior of bishops. But then it may only apply while bishops are alive!

The late Ray Lucker nurtured a diocese of mature Catholics. We hope and pray that they will not take bishop Nienstedt's behavior lightly. They have our prayers and support.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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