The threat was out there. Actually it wasn’t a threat, it was a warning. Archbishop Allen Vigneron warned Father Robert Wurm not to preside at the liturgy organized by the progressive American Catholic Council this past weekend.
Father Wurm seemed, to put it lightly, unfazed.
Catholic Culture reported:
Father Wurm told reporters that he was not worried about a disciplinary response, because as a member of a religious order he is not directly subject to the archbishop’s authority. He also pointed out that at the age of 78 he is already retired from active ministry.
That kind of public dismissal of an Archbishop is calamitously unhealthy and dangerous for the Church.
Of course, the event took place and among the thousands in attendance were several women in collars and stoles. It’s sad. It really is. People are endangering their souls and don’t seem even slightly worried that the Church is going to say or do anything. Fr. Wurm essentially seemed to dismiss any discussed disciplinary action saying: “I don’t see that happening.”
According to reports, the diocese is now saying that there were “serious liturgical abuses” at the Mass and the Archbishop will now begin a “careful and thorough review.”
I understand that bishops don’t want to be all up in everyone’s business dropping notes every Monday morning saying, “I know what you did last Sunday.” But I think laissez-faire Catholicism has gone too far. I think too many in the Church fear being the bad guy in the media. But sometimes being called the bad guy is what the good guy has to do.
I applaud Archbishop Vigneron for his words and his actions, not because it’s some kind of comeuppance but because to do nothing leads others astray. Continued inaction endangers souls.