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Bishop Morlino Fails To Respond To Protesting Parishioners

May 3, 2009

It was an odd sound today.  The sound of silence from Bishop Morlino.  But really considering the alternative…..maybe that was not so bad after all.

Morlino participated in a most unsound judgement call regarding Ruth Kolpack, a Beloit Church worker.  She had..believe it or not…. the audacity…. to write in a thesis six years ago that church language should be more gender neutral.  Never one to miss a chance to cling to antiquated thinking, Morlino fired Kolpack.  She had worked in the church for 35 years, but now can’t even sing in the choir.    I am sure this makes Morlino tingly all over, and am sure his sacramental wine tastes sweeter.  But for anyone with a brain, or a conscience, it is just plain wrong.  Catholic or not, Morlino’s action is unjustified, and a throw-back to a time when the church was throwing scientists in prison.  Bishop Morlino missed his true calling in the church by being born about 500 years too late.

Kolpack’s firing resulted in a protest today that stretched a city block in Madison, and proof of the anger over the disconnect that Molino has in the community.  Tonight James and I had a friend over to dinner at our home who protested the firing of Kolpack.  He spoke of the intensity of the protesters, and the fact that even a nun was present to make her own statement about Morlino’s mistake.  (If it were only his first..but we  can not forget Morlino also served on the advisory board of the bloody institution once known as the School Of The Americas.)

The controversial firing of a Beloit church worker had people protesting and marching in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Madison.

They stretched an entire city block, chanting in English and Spanish, all because of Ruth Kolpack, a former pastoral associate at Beloit’s St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.

Six years ago, Kolpack wrote a paper arguing for more gender-inclusive language in the church. When she refused to denounce those ideas in March 2009, she was fired. Sunday, her supporters protested that decision.

“The reasoning behind that is still convoluted,” said Stephanie King, St. Thomas Church parishioner. “As we continue to try and understand the facts over the months, it doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make sense.”

“She’s a Christian woman and a tremendous example for people to be open to diversity and to help minorities and other groups in the church,” said Elizabeth Tardola, St. Jude’s Church parishioner.

Kolpack’s supporters want Bishop Morlino of the Madison Diocese to reinstate Ruth.

“I didn’t do anything to deserve being fired,” Kolpack said. “People who actually know and worked with me in the parish attested to that.”

Kolpach says this is a fight for church workers’ rights. She worked at St. Thomas church for 35 years, now she’s not even allowed to sing in the choir.

Bishop Morlino is not talking to the news media about the situation. Phone calls and e-mails to the Madison diocese were not returned.

  1. May 5, 2009 11:28 AM

    I might add for the benefit of my readers that this writer who seems to wrap himself in the ‘THE CHURCH’ has as his email addess….”WacoFan”….

    I guess that tells me everything I need to know about him, and also something else about THE CHURCH.

  2. The One permalink
    May 5, 2009 6:49 AM

    People like Ruth Kolpack are wrong, If she does not like the Catholic Church she has every right to go find a religion that fits her needs. The Church is THE CHURCH and it is not going to change just to appease a few liberals like Ruth.

  3. May 4, 2009 7:25 PM

    Solly, there are plenty of people who support what Bishop Morlino did. In addition, when you look at Christian denominations and churches in America it is the conservative ones that are gaining members and the liberal ones that are losing members– the Mormons and the Southern Baptists are the fastest growing denominations in the U.S. So by that logic the Catholic Church is doing exactly what it needs to do in order to gain members.

    More importantly, however, the Catholic Church is also getting back to its principles, after a “lost generation” during the 60’s through the early 90’s. Even if it lost members, though, that would be fine. Because in religion, a small, committed group of people can have a pretty big effect on the world. That is in contrast to the democratic political sphere, where one needs to build a majority in order to get anything done.

  4. Solly permalink
    May 4, 2009 2:31 PM

    There’s an article in the State Journal today. She can sing in the choir, just not preach to it (no paid or unpaid leadership roles in the parish).

    I bet Bishop Bob is sorry that the church liberalized and got rid of the rack and the Judas Chair (look it up)and now is coddling its heretics!

    Oh to go back to the good ol’ days when you could get rid of your inconvenient free thinkers by burning them at a stake. Nice and tidy.

    Will the last person to leave the Catholic Church please turn out the lights.

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