Rorate Caeli

Bishop Bruskewitz’s successor named in Lincoln

From Catholic World News:

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver as the new bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, succeeding Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who is retiring at the age of 77 after two decades as bishop.

Under Bishop Bruskewitz’s leadership, Lincoln consistently led US dioceses in the ratio of seminarians to Catholics, and his diocese remains the only one in the United States that forbids female altar servers. In 1996, he gained national attention when he decreed that Lincoln Catholics who persist in membership in Call to Action, Masonic organizations, anti-life organizations, and the Society of St. Pius X face automatic interdict and excommunication. More recently, he was responsible for the majority of the translation of theCompendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church into English.

Bishop Conley, 57, is a convert to Catholicism; he was received into the Church at the University of Kansas as a student in John Senior’s Integrated Humanities Program, an innovative great books program that was ultimately suppressed by the university. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wichita in 1985, Father Conley worked for the Congregation for Bishops and served as a pastor before his 2008 appointment as auxiliary bishop.

“I have great love and appreciation for the Tridentine, or ‘extraordinary form’ of the Mass,” Bishop Conley said in 2011. “But I also see how the ordinary form, the Novus Ordo, has nourished and sanctified the spiritual lives of countless souls over the past 40 plus years.”

“And yet … something has been lost,” he added. “Something of the beauty and grandeur of the liturgy. Something of the reverence, the mystery, the sense of the transcendent … the problem is not the Novus Ordo — but the license that people sometimes take in celebrating it. I would add that another big part of the problem has been the translations we’ve been using. There is a banal, pedestrian quality to much of the language.”


Elizabeth said...

I had no idea that Bishop Bruskewitz included the SSPX in with heretical groups such as Call To Action and the like. How disappointing. All I knew of the man was that he was an early supporter of the Traditional Mass and the FSSP. Hmmm.

As for the new Bishop, sounds pretty typical in this day and age. He bemoans the terrible translations and improvisations of the Novus Ordo. But the Novus Ordo itself is wonderful. Ugh.

Kenneth J. Wolfe said...

The FSSP chose wisely when it rejected many other locations in favor of the Diocese of Lincoln for its seminary.

Here are photos of Bishop Conley offering a Solemn High Pontifical Mass in the (Denver) cathedral:

David said...

... the problem is not the Novus Ordo ...

Of course we all know this is wrong, we needn't belabor the obvious. No one expects the new Bishop to say that the Novus Ordo is inherently problematic. The good news is that the Diocese of Lincoln will remain Tradition-friendly.

Whats Up! said...

Elizabeth said...
"I had no idea that Bishop Bruskewitz included the SSPX in with heretical groups such as Call To Action and the like"

Probably because there was no state of necessity or need for the FSSPX, as Lincoln is a small diocese and the FSSP have it well covered.
Other diocese are different.

Big Daddy said...

"... he gained national attention when he decreed that Lincoln Catholics who persist in membership in... the Society of St. Pius X face automatic interdict and excommunication."

What. The. Hell?

John Fisher said...

The problem IS the Novus Ordo. It is a break with tradition and is a fundamental sign of rupture!
Cardinal Brandmuller who is old enough to remember "I must emphasise that the form of the post-conciliar liturgy with all its distortions, is not attributable to the Council or to the Liturgy Constitution established during Vatican II which by the way has not really been implemented even to this day. The indiscriminate removal of Latin and Gregorian Chants from liturgical celebrations and the erection of numerous altars were absolutely not acts prescribed by the Council.

With the benefit of hindsight, let us cast our minds back in particular to the lack of sensitivity shown in terms of care for the faithful and in the pastoral carelessness shown in the liturgical form. One need only think of the Church’s excesses, reminiscent of the [Iconoclastic crisis] which occurred in the [8th] century. Excesses which catapulted numerous faithful into total chaos, leaving many fumbling around in the dark."

Lamentationes said...

I hope that the new bishop doesn't bring "altar girls" to the diocese of Lincoln with him. The magisterium has repeatedly condemned this practice, yet in this age of modernism, the authorities seem to be willing to turn a blind eye for the sake of creating harmony between the modernist wing of the Church and the secular world.

Lincoln thus far is the only American diocese left that has refused to allow the practice. Bruskewitz has been very good for the Church, it's sad to see him go.

Spork said...

"countless" souls are just so nourished by the Novus Ordo - Oh please..

Problem is not the Novus Ordo but the way that it is celebrated - so neo-con and simplistic.

Anyway, he seems to be a very good choice. God bless him on this appointment.

Jason C. said...

Bishop Conley is a fantastic choice. Take all of your fears about him and put them away. The FSSP have to be rejoicing right now.

Knight of Malta said...

The problem IS the Novus Ordo.

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Mr. Fisher.

We have turned the Eternal Sacrifice into a meal.

Please see The Problem of the Liturgical Reform; I've posted it here before, and had nothing to do with it, but for new readers, I think it gives a glimpse into the change in praxis between the pre and post conciliar liturgies.

Whats Up! said...

Its quite obvious that the Novus Ordo Missae is the main problem.
Some people have not realized that yet, I guess.
Maybe I am just naive.

Tradtrub said...

Bishop Conley is such a fan of tradition he made a trip to Clear Creek a few yrs ago to be present at the mass and celebration of the installation the first Abbot and the monastary being elevated to Abbey status. This is the man any traditional catholic would want as their shepherd in this N.O world

tjf said...

The Novus Ordo is NOT the source of the Church's troubles.

That would be like blaming homosexual priests for the sexual abuse crisis...

Hilltop said...

The frequency with which Bishops assure the Faithful that "the problem is not with the Novus Ordo..."!
Methinks they dost protest etc, etc. It's getting to be funny now, and approaching the ridiculous.

Andrew said...

Just a question, does the Holy Father actually choose who will be bishop of a diocese by going through resumes etc. and then decides who is best for that diocese through prayer or is it done through a committee and the Holy Father rubber stamps it? I'm just curious as to what the process is.

Kevin Ford said...

Bishop Conley celebrated the Extraordinary Form for the Wichita Latin Mass community and was the champion for making it more widely available in a diocese that was and is not friendly to it. He will be a great choice for the Diocese of Lincoln, and it is extremely unlikely that he would bring altar girls with him. He might though expand the use of the EF in the diocese. He has been known to frequent both Clear Creek and the Carmelites in Wyoming as a Bishop, and the FSSP I'm sure is indeed rejoicing. May Lincoln be blessed to keep this good bishop for many years to come. I wish we had him back here in the Diocese of Wichita.


TDC said...

"The great masses will more easily fall victim to one big lie than to small ones."

The NovusOrdo is not the problem. Repeat.

B. said...

It depends. Normally the pope rubber-stamps the recommendation of the congregation. There have been cases where (according to several Vaticanistas) he has rejected the recommendation and hand-picked a bishop on his own.

St. Christopher said...

"tjf": You are wrong on both counts: (1) the N.O. is a cardinal reason that the Church has been, and is, in serious decline; and,
(2) homosexuals, and their enablers, are the sole reason for the sexual abuse cancer that is ripping the Church apart.

Xavier Rynne said...

I read somewhere recently that to call is the "Novus Ordo" is itself a mistake. It is simply Ordo Missae, and "novas" was added to that after Vatican II. "Novus Ordo" always confuses me with our currency.

authoressaurus said...

What many people don't realize is that the Society of St. Pius V is stronger than the SSPX in the heartland of America. If Bruskewitz ever wanted to be taken seriously, and not all bishops in the past forty-five years have wanted that in any kind of Catholic sense, he had to take an absolutist stance about dissident groups, since he's facing entrenched sede-vacantist congregations. He wisely sought to convince his congregants that the Diocesan church still believed in itself, in its Catholicity, and was capable of calling out and condemning those who doubted that. He was for many years one of the few credible and identifiably Catholic bishops in the USCCB. He will be sorely missed. If I were his successor, I wouldn't mess with the status quo.

Anthony said...

The problem isn't the Novus Ordo?

Well, the New Rite is a "novelty" and "liturgical innovation," according to Pope Paul VI.

Pope Paul VI

Address to a General Audience, November 26, 1969
Our Dear Sons and Daughters:

"We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass.

"A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries.

"We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits.

"This novelty is no small thing.


Paulus said...

The Ottaviani Intervention states:

"The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery."

LeonG said...

"...the problem is not the Novus Ordo — but the license that people sometimes take in celebrating it.'

With all due respect, how little he has understood in this case. It is the very liturgical rite itself which facilitates the license people take. In using the ever-changing and novel vernacular form this encourages the desire for increased modifications. Also, when The Vatican keeps making changes as it does every decade this opens the door to yet more calls for change.
When you make a radical change with Sacred Tradition in the liturgy, the outcome is that which faithful Roman Catholics ststed it would be in 1969 and the years following. Liberal modernism has done the rest.

LeonG said...

I feel sorry for Bruskewitz - we are not sentimentalists where the Sacred Liturgy is concerned. When you really love The Latin Mass you cannot possibly tolerate the NO since you know it is insufficient nourishment for The Faith.
Moreover, his attitude towards the SSPX is symptomatic of his feellings towards The Holy Mass.

What an appalling ecclesiastical era we endure at present. The hierarchy do not comprehend the terrible destruction wrought on The Church by this NO liturgical rite.

Albertus said...

Bishop Conley states: '' the problem is not the Novus Ordo — but the license that people sometimes take in celebrating it.'' How many times throughout the years have we worn-out Catholics heard similar statements?! Unfortunately, the Novus ordo is not merely ''sometiems'' taken licence with in its celebration. The ''licence'' to celebrate Mass as each priest or group wishes to, is widespread, indeed, it has become the norm. Seocndly, the problem does lie with the Novus Ordo Liturgy iteself. It lends itself to sloppiness, carelessness, manipiulation, protestnatisation, even blasphemy and sacrilege, by its lack of rubrics, lack of sacrality, lack of time-tested ceremonial and texts, by its break with Tradition, by the added aggravants of secular music, anti-sacral vestments, protestant-looking church interiors, Communion on the hand whilst standing and distributed by laymen. Have i left anything out?

Jason C. said...

I wish more people on this post would come out and attack Bruskewitz--Bruskewitz, of all prelates!--so I can just remember whose comments to ignore completely in the future. Saves time when trudging through these long series of "NOVUS ORDO GRARRR" comments looking for a jewel or two. (Of which there seem to be fewer and fewer.)

Bruskewitz haters: You're doing it wrong.

Timothy Mulligan said...

Thomas, I am sure that you would not want to accuse Cardinal Ottaviani of being anything other than an orthodox Catholic. Have you read the analysis of the Novus Ordo commonly called the Ottaviani intervention? It can be found here:

The upshot is that the Novus Ordo is inherently problematic.

Bad Apples said...

Why do they keep hanging onto the NO? It is an aberration which has only produced bad fruit, and a lot of it! Do they not see the cause and effect?

JTLiuzza said...

Jason C I see no comments attacking Bishop Bruskewitz. Perhaps I missed them? I read through them twice.

And the "it's not the NO but it's implementation" line is pretty standard these days. It is actually an improvement from not too long ago where anyone who even questioned the value of the NO was treated as being on the fringe.

The NO will inevitably be abrogated in my opinion but not in my lifetime. The NO and the council are joined at the hip which I believe is good. It would not be possible now or in the future to scrap the fabricated liturgy without scrapping the whole council.

When the NO finally goes into the "what were we thinking" pile, so will the entire council.

I may write a letter to my grandchildren who are not yet born to let them know what it all was like in this time of disorientation and tell them to treasure the TLM and the Church in Her orthodoxy.

Matt said...

I wish Bishop Bruskewitz well. He has done a great service to his diocese and the Church during his tenure. He championed the Tridentine Mass long before Summorum Pontificum, and because of the Mass as well as his sticking to Tradition and Docrtine is why he's had the highest "ratio" of seminarians per capita in the country. This obviously is cause-and-effect, which other bishops don't seem to (or refuse to) grasp. His lumping of the SSPX in that mix of miscreant issues is disturbing however.

We pray the new bishop will be just as intrepid as Bruskewitz but...

It was curious he commented he had "seen so many enriched by the Novus Ordo" over the years. Since there wasn't anything else around to compare it to, that is really a skewed observation. That he himself has celebrated the Tridentine Mass is a great accomplishment in and of itself.

In any case, let's pray he can continue in the footsteps of his predecessor and still bear noble fruit. One thing to watch for is what happens to the ban on female altar servers. If he changes that it then will be telling of which way he's going to aim.

Knight of Malta said...

The liturgy transcends understanding; even without a hand-missal a human being can understand transcendence and holiness.

There was never a lack of converts before Vatican II.

I read a liturgical book on liturgical music, by a protestant, who observed that the medieval faith amongst Catholic, unable to read or write for the most part, was unbelievably devout.

Holiness exudes itself, and gathers to itself; which is present in the TLM, but not the NO.

Joachim Wende said...

Of course Bishop Conley supports the Novus Ordo as he was instrumental in the decision of introducing the new altar Coram Populum (including the removal of the altar rail) in the Lincoln Cathedral. /Joachim Wende

Barbara J. said...

Joachim Wende, you have the wrong guy. Now apologize to Bishop Conley.

Jordanes551 said...

Yes, Auxiliary Bishop JAMES CONLEY of Denver, designated Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, is not the same person as Auxiliary Bishop JOSEPH CONNELL of Melbourne, Australia.

In addition, Bishop Conley could hardly have done any remodeling in Lincoln, Nebraska, since he hasn't even been installed yet as bishop there.

Stephen said...

The laity of the Lincoln Diocese have included a Sunday petition that God sends the Diocese "a good and holy bishop when Bishop Bruskewitz's retirement is accepted." That has been included every Sunday for two years. That prayer was heard.

Bishop-elect Conley is a good man. There will be no change to the ban against altar girls.

The laity is very happy here with this selection. And as he is very young, we may have him for over 15 years.

When his name was announced, there was much rejoicing by the many priests of the diocese AND the FSSP and religious and laity!