Bishop Forbids Latin Mass Weddings?

By Matt C. Abbott
Renew America [New Mexico]
August 12, 2006

It seems Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe is not allowing weddings to take place at an indult Latin Mass location.

Catholic blogger Domenico Bettinelli writes:

It's amazing to me the lengths some people go to persecute those who have an attachment to the Tridentine Mass. If it's not your cup of tea, fine. If you think it's an archaic relic that's going to die out, then let it. Why persecute it? Do these people not know Church history? The more Christians are persecuted and oppressed, the stronger they become.

On the same blog, Father John T. Zuhlsdorf observes:

Hmmm... there is a flaw here. In the 'olden days' (as today where the older form of Mass is in use) the actual 'wedding' with exchange of vows and so forth took place outside of Mass, that is, immediately before Mass. Then when Mass began, the couple participated as spouses (though not yet consummated of course). So, strictly, what His Excellency wrote doesn't quite apply. But woe betide the priest to challenge the edict.

One thing is clear: Sheehan does not have a good track record. From Randy Engel's The Rite of Sodomy:

Another close friend of Bernardin was Father Michael J. Sheehan, one of Bernardin's four Assistant Secretaries at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference. Father Sheehan had the reputation of being Bernardin's 'hatchet man.' His main task was to fire the employees inherited from the old National Catholic Welfare Conference and replace them with more politically and morally 'progressive' clerics and laymen. Sheehan later became the Archbishop of Santa Fe, a proverbial dumping ground for clerical pederasts on the run.

Readers may recall that Sheehan was the Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas which accepted the notorious Rudolph 'Rudy' Kos as a candidate for the priesthood despite the fact that Kos was a divorced man and known pederast who had sexually abused his own brothers. The former rector of the seminary had warned Sheehan against Kos, but he was ignored.

Sheehan's folly brought a judgment of millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements and litigation fees upon the Dallas Diocese and helped Kos earn a life sentence. One of Kos's victims, Jay Lernberger, a former altar boy, took his own life at the age of 20, a tragedy that cannot be papered over with money. (Taken from: Chapter 15, Page 893, 'The Special Case of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin')

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist. He can be reached at


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