Bishop Olson Calls for Bishops to Rebuke Viganò

by Trey Elmore  •  •  November 15, 2018   

Fort Worth bishop: 'I'm not commenting on the veracity of his claims'

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BALTIMORE ( - Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas is calling on the U.S. bishops to rebuke Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò for his calls for Pope Francis to resign. Two tweets sent out from the conference on Wednesday from Greg Erlandson of Catholic News Service and Jesuit Kevin O'Higgins reported that Olson called for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to state that Theodore McCarrick is not welcome in the conference and repudiate Viganò for calling for Francis' resignation.

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Wednesday evening, the Texas bishop tweeted, "I'm not commenting on the veracity of his claims; I repudiate his call for [Francis] to resign. The Chair of Peter is not a political office."

Some responses to that tweet pointed out, however, that resigning would be in keeping with the Holy Father's own stated "zero tolerance" policy.

One response said:

The context of Viganos argument is that the Pope is the one who said any bishop who covered up should resign. Vigano says the Pope knew, therefore for the Pope to be consistent he must either resign or reveal the facts of the case. That's the argument. & I think it's reasonable.

Archbishop Viganò himself responded in a statement to the news that the Vatican told the USCCB not to vote on sex abuse reform during their Baltimore meeting, saying, "Do not behave like frightened sheep, but as courageous shepherds. Do not be afraid of standing up and doing the right thing for the victims, for the faithful and for your own salvation. The Lord will render to every one of us according to our actions and omissions."

Church Militant has reported on Bp. Olson's behavior in wake of the Texas Bishops' Conference's parish advisory against Texas Right to Life.

In the wake that advisory, which Texas Congressman Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) called "factually inaccurate," Bp. Olson tweeted out an order for Catholics attending Mass to spy on priests and report to his office if the Texas bishops' advisory was not read from the pulpit.

Bishop Olson went so far as to imply that those who don't read the advisory at Mass are not "true Catholics" and that an advisory is an act of his "authentic teaching office."

These remarks come after previous public comments in which Bp. Olson said:

The obedience that one makes as a promise is never at the violation of one's conscience. I mean, the principle of natural law says that you cannot violate the integrity of your conscience. Obedience is a subordinate virtue to justice, and so only has meaning like that. And so, no one can oblige me to violate a well-formed conscience.

In 2014, Bp. Olson sent a letter to a small Fort Worth-based Fisher More College forbidding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass on any day of the week, with a threat of withdrawing permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament or have Mass on the property at all. He said in the letter, "I make these norms out of my pastoral solicitude and care for the students of Fisher-More College, as well as for your own soul."

He has also publicly said that there may not be anyone in Hell: "It's mentioned in the Scriptures, albeit exclusively in the New Testament, that one need not believe that anybody is necessarily there. That's a different disputed question as well."


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