We are happy to share with you this letter recently received from Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Bishop Gumbleton is a retired auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. At eighty-eight years young he has witnessed a great deal of history, both within these United States and within the Catholic Church. He was appointed a bishop in 1968, one of the more turbulent years in US history, and he has been a priest for 64 years, having been ordained on June 2, 1956. Bishop Gumbleton was the founding president of Pax Christi USA in 1972. Pax Christi is an organization devoted to promoting peace, and Bishop Gumbleton remains one of the organizations “Ambassadors for Peace.” He has been arrested for civil disobedience, labeled a radical, and scorned by his brother bishops because of his progressive views on numerous church matters. He understands what it is like to be falsely accused; he understands the pain of betrayal. In spite of the indifference of his brother bishops, Bishop Gumbleton has remained faithful, and his love for the church, which has so often been unkind to him, has not diminished. It is for this reason that the following letter from retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton should be such a source of encouragement to Parishioners For Justice.
4 thoughts on “Letter recently received from Bishop Thomas Gumbleton.”
Thank you for sharing. It is nice to know that not all bishops belong to the “Good ol’ boys” club and at least some are willing to look at our situation objectively. Could you please post the homily of which Bishop Gumbleton spoke?
Bishop Gumbleton is a long time friend to me and my father in the city of Detroit. He is an excellent example of a man grounded in the church, always speaking out for those oppressed and harmed. He too has been harmed by this institution but remains faithful. His words of encouragement should sustain Fr. Christopher and our group who support him. Thanks for sharing the letter.
Many times since we first heard of Fr. Senk’s case–the mistreatment and accusations and mis- judgement of him by our church — we have often recalled Detroit’s Bishop Gumbleton’s own difficult times many years ago. I am pleased to read this letter from Bishop Gumbleton and know that he has spoken out in defense of his beliefs in what was right and just at that time
and now once again he courageously speaks the truth. He knows that our church can judge wrongly.
Father Senk has not been treated right by the church in Venice Florida—
-nor was Bishop Gumbleton treated right at another time – It hurt then and it hurts now to see the same silence or false accusations that have been made!! I recall some of the labels that Bishop Gumbleton had said about him! I felt then and now that he was not treated justly as he spoke to issues that needed to be addressed at another time in our church history.
Many people didn’t like that Bishop Gumbleton spoke out against the wrongs he saw in our church…and they called him many false names! The insinuations were all that people heard or knew! Many agreed with him but just as many were afraid to voice our thinking! Someone was in charge and no one listened to the desire for discussion! I hope our church is not that way still but in this case of Fr. Senk, I feel it is not listening!
I give thanks that Bishop Gumbleton has lent his name and prayer to the cause for justice for Fr. Christopher Senk! These are two good and holy, honest and wise and spirit filled men who deserve to be treated with thanksgiving for their honesty, love for our church, and service to all people.
Thank you Father Senk and Bishop Gumbleton… you renew my own faith by your courage and perseverance
Sincerely, Mary Jo .
Whenever Bishop Gumbleton spoke out against the war … a good friend of mine kept calling him a ‘communist!’ After a while of wondering and disbelief of this accusation — I decided to write to the Bishop and ask him if what she said was true! The Bishop took time to write me back and knew what some people were privately saying…! He had and took the opportunity to address his side of this accusation! He was an American citizen who wanted a better way to peace!
In Father Senk’s ‘case’ we don’t even know who to write to …I feel that letters go in the waste basket before they reach the people who might give Father Senk the justice and respect he deserves..some response that will speed up this unfair process ! It is almost two years!!!!!
We need to walk in shoes of those unjustly accused !