March 05, 2005

Diocese: Vatican rejects appeal of blanket excommunications

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- An appeal of the threatened blanket excommunication of scores of Lincoln Catholics has been rejected by the Vatican, the Lincoln Diocese confirmed Friday.

But some cannon law experts questioned whether such a blanket action was valid.

"It's against the whole spirit of Church law," said Monsignor Kenneth Lasch, a retired canon lawyer in Morristown, N.J.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz ordered Lincoln Catholics in March 1996 to sever their ties to 12 groups or face excommunication two months later. The bishop said the groups -- including Call to Action, several Masonic organizations, and abortion-rights groups Planned Parenthood and Catholics for a Free Choice -- contradict and imperil Catholic faith. ...

The appeal of Bruskewitz's order had faded from the public light until this week, when an official with the Lincoln chapter of Call to Action told The Associated Press that he was denied communion by Bruskewitz and two other priests in the past month.

John Krejci, a former priest and co-founder of the Nebraska chapter of Call to Action, said Bruskewitz denied him communion at Sacred Heart parish on Feb. 7, with "an unfriendly wave of his hand."

Call to Action has long been critical of how the church handled allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2005 02:54 AM