Diocese reacts to petition to remove Madison Bishop

Published: Oct. 27, 2017 at 10:06 PM CDT
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Thousands have signed a petition circulating online calling for the removal of Madison Diocese Bishop Robert Morlino.

This petition comes the Associated Press reports Morlino sent an email to priests suggesting "considerations" to funeral rites for people in same sex unions.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Vicar General James Bartylla sent an email to priests Saturday, with the bishop's approval, that says rites "may be denied for manifest sinners" if they would cause unavoidable "public scandal of the faithful."

The message laid out "general considerations" for priests asked to perform Catholic funeral rites by a deceased person's family or same-sex partner, including whether "the deceased or the `partner' was a `promoter of the gay lifestyle."'

"A gay and lesbian person is no one different than yourself," Mary Kay Radtke said.

Radtke is Catholic and has been in a civil union for 26 years. She signed the petition because she thinks Morlino isn't accepting of everyone, especially the LGBTQ community. She believes he overstepped his boundaries by pushing his "considerations" on other priests.

Diocese spokesman Brent King calls the vicar general's message advisory. He says there were no real directives except to "think through the issue thoroughly and prudently."

(Copyright 2017: WMTV)

Statement from Diocese spokesperson:

“We’ve said all we are going to say on this matter. The lies, gossip, rumor, and calumny about all of this need to cease and for our part, we cannot play a role in this unfounded ‘controversy’ fueled by those looking to hurt the Church and her ministers."