Excommunicated! I could have never imagined this word used to describe me. Yet, this is exactly what happened because of my new bishop’s extra—synodal legislation excommunicating Catholics who belong to certain organizations. An active and engaged Catholic, I found myself confused as I confronted a rigid church that demanded unquestioning obedience. I felt betrayed by a church that educated me to use my mind and then punished me when I did so. Unfortunately, what has long been the case in the Diocese of Lincoln is spreading to other dioceses as well.
"What is happening south of the Platte River, in a heretofore little—known diocese of about 83,000 Catholics, led by a man who relies on church law and obedience, has been so loud and ugly, has so captured the curiosity of the secular media, has so pitted the traditional concept of church against the reformist one, has brought forth so many charges and countercharges, so many editorials and counter—editorials, that one is tempted to think there is some greater purpose, some unseen hand, at work.” —Paul Hendrickson, the Washington Post
“Rachel Pokora’s Crisis of Catholic Authority is a book about the tenure of two successive Roman Catholic bishops in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska—Glennon Flavin (1976-1992) and Fabian Bruskowitz (1992–2012)—and their impact on a small but determined group of Catholics in that diocese who want to be part of our imperfect Church. It is an account of how these Catholics have managed to survive the coercive misuse of liturgical and sacramental authority by those bishops and by some of their clergy over the Catholic people in that diocese. It is a sad commentary on ecclesiastical abuse of well-meaning people who would like to remain faithful to their Church. I recommend Crisis of Catholic Authority because it may become the reality in other Catholic dioceses if their bishops and clergy fence themselves off from Vatican II and its reforms.” —Dr. Carol Rittner, R.S.M., Distinguished Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey