MADISON -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino said Sunday, June 10, that St. Raphael Cathedral church would be rebuilt on the site of the present church in downtown Madison.
Bishop Morlino made the announcement at the conclusion of a Eucharistic Procession celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi - the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Bishop Morlino has spent more than two years listening, consulting, and praying about the cathedral future.
"I truly believe in my heart that the decision at which I have arrived is what God wills," Bishop Morlino said. (For more on his comments on the cathedral, see Bishop Speaks.)
St. Raphael's cornerstone was laid in 1854, and the church, located at 222 W. Main St., was designated as the cathedral church for the newly established Diocese of Madison in 1946. Much of the church was destroyed in an arson fire on March 14, 2005.
Bishop Morlino said that the footprint of the new church would be different than the current cathedral. The new church will be bigger and is expected to seat 1,000 people. It will be erected where the current church, rectory, and parking lot now exist.
The new entrance will be on Fairchild St., rather than on Main St. The diocese will use the current steeple, which was installed in 2004, and as much as they can salvage from the existing church.
A final design has yet to be determined. The bishop announced that a feasibility study would be done on the financial aspects of the project. The diocese has an insurance settlement of $6.125 million for use in building a new cathedral.
Sunday's Eucharistic Procession started at St. Patrick Church and moved to the state Capitol, where Bishop Paul Swain of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., and former rector of St. Raphael, spoke. It concluded at the St. Raphael site, where Bishop Morlino made his announcement.
Mass at St. Patrick's
At the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church, Bishop Morlino said he had "much joy" in his heart. "I am deeply moved on this occasion," he said after welcoming Bishop Swain; Bishop George O. Wirz, retired auxiliary bishop of Madison; Msgr. Kevin Holmes, the current pastor of the three downtown Madison parishes (Holy Redeemer, St. Raphael, and St. Patrick); and other priests.
The church was filled with people from the Madison parishes and from throughout the diocese. Bishop Morlino said the sunny weather was a sign of God's benevolence.
In his homily, Bishop Morlino noted that the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ reminds us that in order to have the Eucharistic celebration, we need priests - men who lend Jesus their hands, voices, and hearts. "We can't reflect on the Eucharist without reflecting on the priesthood," said the bishop.
He introduced Deacons Brian Dulli and Patrick Wendler, newly ordained transitional deacons who plan to be ordained to the priesthood next year. He also asked the seven seminarians present to stand, noting that there are almost 30 seminarians now studying for the Diocese of Madison.
Eucharist as food
Bishop Morlino referred to the Gospel story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. When the apostles tell Jesus there is not enough food to feed the crowd, Jesus tells them to give them food. He makes it possible for them to feed the people.
"He wants the apostles and all of us to get involved in giving nourishment to the world. The most important nourishment is the Eucharist," said Bishop Morlino.
He said we can look at the Eucharist as food in three ways: as the food of reverence, by experiencing wonder and awe in God's presence; as the food of truth, by believing in everything in the Catechism of the Catholic Church when we receive Communion; and as the food of Adoration, by participating in Eucharistic Adoration as the "Mass in meditation."
Walking with Jesus
While preparing to walk through the streets of Madison in a Eucharistic Procession, Bishop Morlino said, "It's a great blessing that Jesus wants to walk with us. Let's remember that every day of our life in the Diocese of Madison, Jesus walks with us. He accompanies us on the pilgrimage that leads to heaven."
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament began at St. Patrick Church. When the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament was brought to the sanctuary, the bishops knelt before it. Bishop Morlino then incensed the monstrance.
Deacon Patrick Wendler carried the monstrance out of the church where a canopy awaited. The bishops, priests, and servers processed out of the church onto Main St. Joining them were Knights of Columbus and Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre in their robes.
Also joining in the procession were the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and members of the Schoenstatt Movement, ConQuest Madison Boy's Club, the St. Raphael Cathedral Choir, as well as members of other lay ecclesial movements and other faithful of the Diocese of Madison.
People of all ages took part in the procession, from parents pushing strollers to children, youth, young adults, and the elderly. As they walked, they sang songs in English and Latin, interspersed with ringing of bells.
At the state Capitol
Some people watched from the curbs and others joined the procession. They stopped at the state Capitol, where the monstrance was placed on an altar. Bishop Morlino again incensed the monstrance.
At the Capitol, Charles Scott, a member of St. Raphael Cathedral Parish and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, read from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (Sacrament of Charity). The Holy Father said, "In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus shows us in particular the truth about the love which is the very essence of God."
Bishop Swain then addressed the crowd gathered at the Capitol. While he noted that they were standing in front of the "beautiful, imposing Capitol building," he said the building "pales in comparison with the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament."
He said being at the Capitol brings back many memories for him. He started practicing law at an office nearby, then worked for former Governor Lee Dreyfus at the Capitol. "I have great respect for public officials," he said, noting that they face many pressures, both internal and external. "Like all of us, they face the temptations of life."
Church in public square
Bishop Swain said public officials must consider the financial, bureaucratic, political, and moral aspects of their decisions. The church can - and must - be in the public square, especially in raising the moral issues, he said. "The church is present here because she cares for the salvation of souls," he said.
Although he dreamed of working at the Capitol, once he got there Bishop Swain realized how "narrow" the mission was. "So I went searching for the source of life and it led me down the street (to St. Raphael Cathedral). I discovered the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist," he said.
That led him to become Catholic and later to be ordained to the priesthood and consecrated as a bishop.
Bishop Swain referred to St. Thomas More, the patron saint of public officials, who said he was the king's servant, but "my God's servant first."
"Once we accept the Lord, it must touch everything we do," emphasized Bishop Swain.
At cathedral site
The procession then continued on Main St. to the site of the burned St. Raphael Cathedral. The crowd surrounded a tent where the monstrance was placed on an altar. Bishop Morlino presided at the liturgy for Benediction.
After Benediction, Bishop Morlino discussed his plans for the future of the cathedral. He thanked everyone for coming "to participate in faith." He expressed gratitude to Bishop Swain for returning to Madison for this event.
Bishop Morlino also thanked Chief Debra Amesqua of the Madison Fire Department for the department's professionalism and loving care at the time of the St. Raphael Cathedral fire. He also thanked all city and state civic officials and the Madison Police Department who made the procession possible.
On this day, Bishop Morlino said he was thinking of Madison's predecessors, Bishops William O'Connor and Cletus O'Donnell. Bishop Morlino said he was wearing a cross that belonged to Bishop O'Connor and carrying his staff.
He said he was grateful for the presence of Bishop Wirz and the presence "in spirit" of Bishop William H. Bullock, bishop emeritus, who was representing the diocese at an anniversary celebration in Gary, Ind.
In discussing the cathedral future, Bishop Morlino noted that he has held listening sessions throughout the diocese for the past two years. "I made it clear I was leaning in a certain direction, but my mind was open. "I have listened and received sufficiently copious correspondence."
He also consulted with the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Diocesan Finance Council, and the Presbyteral Council (priests). "I believe anyone who wanted to have a say has been heard," he said.
Bishop Morlino read a message from Archbishop John Glennon of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, who talked about building a new cathedral there about a century ago. Much of what he says still applies today, 100 years later.
Archbishop Glennon noted that some people say a cathedral building isn't necessary. Excess money should be spent on helping the poor, sick, and lowly. Are we forgetting the poor, the archbishop asks?
He answers that the cathedral will serve as a home for the poor, including the spiritually poor - those who have lost their faith. They will "find consolation, peace, and hope in our temple."
Why build a church? Archbishop Glennon said that a material structure of a cathedral is just as necessary as our material bodies are to the soul. The cathedral is the place where sacraments are ministered and the faith is preached.
The other churches of the diocese are "orphaned" until the cathedral - the mother church - is built. The circle is not complete.
Bishop Morlino said the archbishop's remarks apply to the Diocese of Madison, too.
His decision to rebuild the cathedral on the present site was met with applause and cheers from the crowd.
He said the present church and rectory would be dismantled. Commissions will be formed to consider all aspects of the new cathedral. "We will seek input so we go forward with collaboration," said Bishop Morlino.
"This will be a cathedral - please God - for centuries," he said, asking people to pray, especially to the patron of the diocese, St. Raphael.
Comments on decision
Bishop Swain commented that he was "delighted" with the decision. He said when the new steeple was erected in 2004, it was an affirmation "that we're here to stay as a parish and as a downtown community."
Monsignor Holmes said, "We pledge to do everything we can to build up the parish so you have a most vibrant parish to worship God."
St. Raphael Parish Council member Margaret Bomber said, "I am so thrilled. It's the announcement that I prayed and hoped for."
She said she was so pleased that Bishop Swain could return and that the weather was beautiful.
Bomber is also a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. She said that council - made up of over 25 lay people from around the diocese - was overwhelmingly in favor of a downtown cathedral. "We need a presence downtown," said Bomber. "We need to speak as one voice. We need to be here."
Charles Scott, another St. Raphael parishioner, said, "I'm delighted. It's exactly what I wanted. It is immensely important for the cathedral to be downtown and to be a major presence here."
In a statement, Bishop Bullock said of the cathedral decision, "The announcement that the Diocese of Madison will build a new St. Raphael Cathedral on the very site chosen by Bishop William P. O'Connor, founding Bishop, speaks to continuity with the past and connects us clearly with the future.
"The priests and people of the Diocese of Madison, now in its 61st year (established 1946) will be entrusted with the erection of the new building. But they are, as the Catholic Catechism reminds us, 'living stones gathered together in Christ whose Body we are - to be built into a spiritual house, the temple of the living God.' The People of God make visible the Church living in the Cathedral, the dwelling place of God and where the Bishop of the Diocese, places his Cathedra - his teaching chair. It is a great historic moment. May the Cathedral be a place of reconciliation and unity in Christ."
-- Posted: 6/14/2007, 12:36 a.m. Central Time
Fr. Kenneth Klubertanz permanently removed from priestly ministry
MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison announced on Tuesday, June 12, that it has received official notification from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the penal judicial trial of Fr. Kenneth E. Klubertanz, a priest of the Diocese of Madison.
In accord with the final decision regarding credible accusations of sexual abuse brought against Father Klubertanz, he has been found guilty of sexually abusing a minor in an ecclesiastical judicial trial conducted in the Diocese of Madison and has therefore been judged unsuitable for priestly ministry.
Upon receipt of a complaint against Father Klubertanz in 2002, the Diocese of Madison requested that he voluntarily take administrative leave. The Diocesan Review Board found the allegations against Father Klubertanz to be credible. Then Bishop of Madison, Bishop William H. Bullock, referred the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church's competent authority on the process for handling matters of this type.
In 2004, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith authorized the Diocese of Madison to conduct a penal judicial trial of Father Klubertanz on this matter.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino requested that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops suggest three canonists from outside of the Diocese of Madison to be named as ecclesiastical judges to conduct the penal trial. The canonical trial provided Father Klubertanz due process (as required by canon law) and the right to defense on this matter against him.
The final decision of the three independent judges found Father Klubertanz guilty of the canonical crime (graviora delicta) of sexually abusing a minor and, as a result, unsuitable for priestly ministry. Father Klubertanz has not been removed from the clerical state, but he is not assignable to any priestly ministry.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has indicated he is to lead a life of prayer and penance and must abide by the restrictions of Essential Norms (Article 8B). It should be noted that the judges have also imposed on him the restriction that he should never be alone with anyone under 18 years of age. As a result, Bishop Morlino, has placed a penal precept on Father Klubertanz instructing him to observe the penalties imposed on him.
The declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is considered final (res judicata) and there is no longer an opportunity for appeal.
"I recognize that today's announcement may serve as a deep source of pain for those sexually abused by members of the clergy," stated Bishop Morlino. "For those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy, I sincerely apologize for the suffering you and your families have endured.
"Sexual crimes perpetrated against children or vulnerable adults by priests are shameful and grievous. I remain committed to providing support for survivors and their loved ones who have experienced such profound emotional and spiritual suffering as a result of these depraved acts. I will also strive to show the compassion of Christ to any brother priest who has fallen into this tragic situation."
Through the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Bishops of the United States have taken positive steps to address the issue of child sexual abuse. The Diocese of Madison has fully implemented the terms of the Charter, which work to promote healing and reconciliation of victims, guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, ensure the accountability of its procedures, and protect the faithful in the future.
Three independent national audits have been conducted in the last three years by The Gavin Group, Inc., a Boston-based independent firm headed by William A. Gavin, a retired FBI official, and all have shown the Diocese of Madison to be in full compliance.
Some of the examples of the positive steps taken by the Diocese of Madison include the appointment of a victims' assistance coordinator to facilitate a proper response to persons who, as minors, were harmed by clergy sexual abuse. It has also initiated a mandatory safe environment program for its clergy, religious, seminarians, lay employees, and volunteers who have regular contact with children and young people and for parents, guardians, children, and young people themselves, to help educate and sensitize them about a variety of important issues concerning child abuse and its prevention.
The diocese has also conducted and continues to conduct background checks on all such personnel who have regular contact with children and young people. These are but a few of many examples that have been taken by the diocese to address the issue of sexual abuse of minors in a responsible manner.
The Diocese of Madison remains committed to promoting and protecting the safety of children and young people. It will continue to work with government officials and others in a concerted effort to prevent any recurrence in the future.
Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices and mailing address: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719
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