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Exclusive Interview: Three Bishops refute flawed theology of Fr. Andrew Greeley

© Barbara Kralis 2004
Catholic Online (

No other Vatican memorandum has caused so much controversy in recent times as has that written by the head of the Vatican’s second most important dicastery of the Roman Curia.

Moreover, one Cardinal and one Catholic priest are at the forefront of this controversy, namely Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and retired sociologist Father Andrew M. Greeley, Ph.D.

The First Controversy

The first controversy, perpetuated by Cardinal McCarrick, took place at the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) plenary meeting, June 14-19, 2004, in Denver, Colorado.

Knowing well the U.S. Bishops’ need to correct the scandal of over 500 ‘Catholic’ politicians in the U.S. who promote procured abortion, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote two USCCB heads a directive memorandum.

Cardinal Ratzinger wrote the memo in English expressly to the attention of Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB. The memo was to be shared with the Conference of Bishops and used as a guideline representing firmly defined Church teaching and law on this issue.

Cardinal Ratzinger, in his memorandum entitled “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion – General Principles,” said without ambiguity:

“The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” when warning and counsel given to the manifest sinner “have not had their effect.” [1]

As chair of the USCCB’s ‘Task Force’ committee, Cardinal McCarrick gave the remaining 189 U.S. Bishops his own recommendations regarding Catholic politicians who promote procured abortion.

Not unexpectedly, Cardinal McCarrick’s recommendations departed from clearly defined Church teachings and Canon Law. McCarrick said his “Task Force does not advocate the denial of Communion from Catholic Politicians or Catholic voters.” [2]

In addition, Cardinal McCarrick unfortunately did not share the contents of Cardinal Ratzinger’s memorandum with the Conference of Bishops.  Moreover, the Committee of Bishops [3] who composed the ensuing controversial statement, “Catholics in Political Life” were also not given the contents of Ratzinger’s memorandum.[4]

Because of McCarrick’s withholding of Vatican directives, the Conference of Bishops was led to believe Cardinal Ratzinger was recommending them to take action contrary to Vatican documents and laws,[5] some written by Cardinal Ratzinger himself. 

Confusion reigned and the Conference of Bishops remains divided over this controversy even more so today.

The Second Controversy

Fr. Andrew Greeley perpetuated the second controversy regarding the same memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger.

None would dispute that Fr. Greeley is the ‘Catholic’ darling of the secular media. Whenever the major news marketers require an interviewee regarding Catholic Church issues, they indisputably call upon the ubiquitous Fr. Greeley.

Author of numerous nigh on pornographic novels, Father Greeley is under the authority of Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. It is not known if Cardinal George has imposed any disciplines upon the aging hippy Father Greeley whose behavior is not consistent with the ordained priesthood.

True to form, in an August 10, 2004 New York Daily News article, Fr. Greeley crafted a column that disparaged faithful Bishops and used the deceitful headline “Catholics can vote for Kerry.”

In this article, Fr. Greeley dishonestly stated that His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that Catholics could vote for Presidential candidate John Kerry who promotes procured abortion.

Fr. Greeley was fraudulently referring to the Cardinal Ratzinger memorandum.

A scandalous excerpt from Father Andrew Greeley’s article read as follows:

“It is as close to an official statement on the subject as one is likely to get. It says that Catholics ...

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1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Lois
    3 years ago

    I believe Fr. Greeley has taken religion out of the dark ages and shed a bright light on the many who have lived in darkness under the thumb of tyrants who refused to allow people to use their own God given minds and senses.

    Actually, I sense a great deal of jealousy amongst those working against Father Greeley and much is caused because they did not have the courage or common sense to enlighten the followers of an antiquated theory/philosophy.

    I am not of Father Greeley's religion, but can understnd his motives and methods of bringing sanity into a group of midevil mentality.

  2. Anne
    4 years ago

    Finally, a few bishops willing to speak out and lead the faithful in these confusing times. We need more of them to start setting a sterner example.
    Andrew Greeley is disgusting, narcissistic, and incorrect on almost everything he says in regards to faith and doctrine. Why he is still a Catholic is beyond me....he disagrees with, and demonstrates hatred for, everything for which the Church stands. A very public excommunication would be just the thing to make the point even clearer to the faithful who might be confused by him....although any Catholic who gives his teachings and opinions a thought after reading only a few of them, needs to take basic Catechism 101.

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