Madison’s Bishop Robert Morlino gave an insightful and lengthy interview to the Wisconsin State Journal. This exchange caught my attention.
State Journal: Another question about something the pope said. He often talks about keeping the doors of the church wide open and used the metaphor of the church being a field hospital after a battle, treating the wounded. How does that jibe with your recommendation to priests a few years ago to no longer use the Catholic hymn “All Are Welcome” at Mass because you felt only people who follow God’s will as spelled out by the Catholic Church are truly welcome? Is that at odds with this new sort of big-tent approach?
Morlino: This is something that is particularly difficult, because it’s clear Christ wanted the salvation of all people. So who is welcome? Those are welcome who want the truth of Christ, or who want to want it. We have groups in the church who don’t want it. Why would they even come? So for me to say that people who don’t want to want the truth of Christ are welcome, is to disrespect them. They don’t want that, so why would they. . . It’s like someone joining the police department but never wanting to wear the uniform. Why would they do that? I mean, all are welcome to enjoy the grace and the love and the truth of Jesus Christ, but if people systematically and publicly oppose the truth of Jesus Christ, how can they say they want to be in communion with the body? It doesn’t make any sense. This is the part where I don’t think in Argentina there are groups of Catholics that have formed to dissent from the teaching of the church, yet that’s an ordinary part of Catholic life in this country.