Faithful Catholics Demanding Vatican Investigation of Fort Worth Bishop

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 10, 2018   

Laity calling Bp. Michael Olson abusive and divisive

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FORT WORTH, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new petition is charging Bp. Michael Olson, bishop of the diocese of Fort Worth, with abuse of authority, violating canon law "on numerous occasions," using abusive language towards the faithful and taking vindictive actions against faithful priests and laity of the diocese.

The petition formally requests that Abp. Christophe Pierre, the Vatican's diplomat to the United States, request the Vatican open an investigation of Bp. Olson, asking, "Accordingly, we humbly ask that you transmit this petition to the Congregation together with the documentation we have appended and together with other matters you have received from the faithful and clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth for the consideration and response of the Congregation."

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It also mentions that Pierre's office "has received hundreds of letters and emails about incidents regarding Bishop Olson," and notes more documentation has been forwarded.

We, the undersigned, have experienced Bishop Olson's behavior as abusive of his office and divisive both among the faithful at large and within the clergy. It is our understanding that such a visitation can only occur at the initiative of the Holy See through the Congregation for Bishops. Accordingly, we humbly ask that you transmit this petition to the Congregation together with the documentation we have appended and together with other matters you have received from the faithful and clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth for the consideration and response of the Congregation.

In February, Olson helped spearhead a rebuke against Texas Right to Life, led by outspoken Catholic Jim Graham. According to the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops' advisory, the bishops are spurning Texas Right to Life for three reasons:

  1. Conflicts on pro-life reform. The bishops complained the group "often opposes the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and has implied that the bishops do not faithfully represent Church teaching." Texas Right to Life rejects the bishops' "incrementalism" as a halting, soft approach.
  2. Conflicts on end-of-life reform. The bishops slammed Texas Right to Life's messaging on end-of-life care and advance directives as "misstatements."
  3. Texas Right to Life's voter guide. The group publishes an annual voter guide scoring Texas lawmakers according to their pro-life record. The bishops have denounced the guide as built on unfair analysis, and they maintain "a number of legislators who have consistently voted for pro-life and end of life legislation have been opposed by Texas Right to Life."

In August 2016, however, Bp. Olson allowed a pro-abortion Democrat to speak on parish property despite recent tweets to the Catholic faithful about his "apostolic duty" to "guard authentic doctrine in the parishes."

Congressman Marc Veasey (D-Texas) was allowed to speak on the property of All Saints Catholic Church in Fort Worth. Veasey voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when it came in front of the House for a vote. He supports abortion through all nine months and has attended Planned Parenthood rallies.

Olson has also called on the U.S. bishops to rebuke Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò for his calls for Pope Francis to resign.

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