Bishop Robert C. Morlino

Birthday: 31 December 1946

Bachelor’s in Philosophy – Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Master’s in Philosophy – University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Master’s of Divinity – Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, MA
Doctorate of Sacred Theology, Moral Theology – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Deceased – November 24, 2018

Ordination: 1 June 1974
Episcopate: 21 September 1999
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Bishop Robert C. Morlino on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Supports investigating Archbishop Viganò’s claims
  • Bishop Morlino said he was “disappointed” when Pope Francis chose not to comment on Archbishop Viganò’s disturbing allegations of a massive sex abuse cover-up going on in the Church. Morlino praised the Archbishop and called for an investigation. “During his tenure as our Apostolic Nuncio, I came to know Archbishop Viganò both professionally and personally…And I remain deeply convinced of his honesty, loyalty to and love for the Church, and impeccable integrity.” (LifeSiteNews)

Amoris Laetitia

Does not allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • During a 2015 appearance on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo, Bishop Morlino strongly rejected the possibility of giving Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. Morlino said that Jesus declared he who divorces his wife and marries another “commits adultery.” (LifeSiteNews)

Pro-life leadership

Actively engages in pro-life leadership
  • In May 2011, 300 people, including the Knights of Columbus, joined Bishop Morlino in praying the rosary and consecrating a cemetery for babies who died before birth. Morlino gave a homily about chastity and spoke about how in-vitro fertilization and contraception work against a culture of life. (Pro Life Wisconsin)


Upholds Church teaching on homosexuality
  • At the height of the sex abuse scandal in August 2018, Bishop Morlino issued the most stinging rebuke of homosexuality in the priesthood up to that point. Morlino frankly admitted that “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.” His Excellency called on the Church to have a “hatred of wickedness” and to root out sin everywhere in the Church. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2017, Bishop Morlino resisted criticism and doubled down on guidelines he previously issued that banned un-repentant homosexuals and those engaged in same-sex “marriages” from having Catholic funerals. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Morlino rebuked the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize gay “marriage.” He stated that marriage is “an objective truth of the natural order” that “can only be recognized and never changed.” (LifeSiteNews)

Abortion politics

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in 2006, Bishop Morlino said the term “pro-choice” is misleading. “I’ve never heard anyone defend a pro-choice position with regard to bank robbery….Pro-choice is a euphemism that causes us to forget the baby,” he said. (LifeSiteNews)


Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • During his 2018 commencement address at Thomas Aquinas College, Bishop Morlino strongly defended Humanae Vitae, stating that it “absolutely condemns” artificial methods of birth control. (Thomas Aquinas College)
  • During a talk at Holy Family Church in Waterloo in 2017, Bishop Morlino said surrogacy is a “moral evil” that commodifies a human being and often leads to abortion. It disrupts the “sacred circle” of marriage. Similarly, in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination aren’t morally permissible, he said. (Madison Catholic Herald)
  • In 2007, Morlino boldly declared his opposition to a state proposal that would require all hospitals, even Catholic ones, to provide abortifacient emergency contraception to rape victims. At the time, Bishop Morlino was the only bishop from Wisconsin to publicly oppose the bill and to urge lawmakers to vote it down. (LifeSiteNews)

“LGBT” ideology

Not enough evidence collected on this issue


Promotes reverent liturgy
  • Bishop Morlino requires seminarians in his diocese to learn how to say the Traditional Latin Mass. (LifeSiteNews)
  • On June 8th, 2018, Bishop Morlino celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass as part of a Gregorian Chant group’s novena of masses in honor of the 100th anniversary of Fatima. (The Badger Catholic)
  • Bishop Morlino said a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form on October 13, 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun that took place at Fatima. (Madison Catholic Herald)
  • In September 2017, Bishop Morlino delivered a talk on the beauty of the mass while visiting his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Morlino said beauty is objective and that beautiful liturgy can help aid in evangelization. (New Liturgical Movement)
  • During his homily for Chrism Mass 2017, Morlino said the crisis in the Church will be addressed only when the liturgy is “reverent and beautiful,” adding that “as we pray, so we believe.” (Madison Catholic Herald)
  • During his homily for Chrism Mass 2017, Bishop Morlino said communion on the tongue is “more reverent” than in the hand. He asked that all Catholics be encouraged by their priests to receive the Eucharist kneeling and on the tongue. (Roman Catholic Man)
  • Bishop Morlino announced in September 2016 that he would begin saying mass ad orientem in his diocese, becoming one of the first bishops in the Church to heed the call of Cardinal Robert Sarah. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2011, Bishop Morlino issued guidelines that allowed priests to either wash the feet of men only during Holy Thursday services or not perform the ritual at all. Morlino upheld the ban on washing women’s feet until January 26, 2016, three years into Pope Francis’ pontificate. His updated guidelines gave priests the option to wash women’s feet but he said “It is also my hope that our priests and people will avoid any pressure tactics so as to allow our priests to make good and prudential decisions” on what they will do on Holy Thursday. (Crux)
  • In September 2015, Bishop Morlino directed priests in his diocese to move the tabernacle in all churches to a prominent spot at the center of the sanctuary. (Church Militant)
  • In a diocesan letter written in 2011, Bishop Morlino said that the mass “must be nothing less than beautiful, reflecting the perfect beauty, unity, truth, and goodness of…the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Diocese of Madison)

Marriage and Family Life

Upholds Church teaching on marriage and family life
  • Bishop Morlino was heckled and called a homophobe by 300 pro-gay activists while praying the Our Father and explaining why marriage can only be between one man and one woman at an event sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage in Madison, Wisconsin in 2010. (EWTN News)
  • In 2008, Morlino co-authored a pastoral letter with three other Wisconsin bishops explaining the immorality of embryonic stem cell research and the Church’s support for non-embryonic stem cell research. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Just before the November 2006 elections, after becoming aware that priests in his diocese were contradicting Catholic teaching on family and life issues, Bishop Morlino instructed all priests in his diocese to play an audio message he recorded condemning same-sex “marriage,” embryonic stem-cell research, and the death penalty in the United States. If they didn’t, Morlino told them they could face serious consequences. (National Catholic Reporter)
  • At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on April 7, 2006, Bishop Morlino said thanks to in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy society is no longer sure of what the words mother and father mean. (LifeSiteNews)


Upholds Church teaching on education
  • Bishop Morlino serves on the ecclesiastical advisory board of the California-based Napa Institute. The Napa Institute holds conferences, symposiums and events across the U.S. that features faithful Catholics, priests and bishops who encourage Catholic leaders to fight secularism and building an authentically Christian America. (Napa Institute)
  • Catholic schoolchildren in Madison, Wisconsin are not allowed to take field trips to a center that conducts embryonic stem cell research thanks to a policy instituted by Bishop Morlino in 2013. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In December 2012, Bishop Morlino banned employees of a local “spirituality center,” including two radical Dominican nuns, from speaking in his diocese over concerns that they are misrepresenting the Catholic faith and preaching a New Age religion. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2009, Morlino dismissed a feminist pastoral associate at St. Thomas parish after she refused to recant a 2003 master’s degree thesis extolling the use of female pronouns to describe God. In a statement, the diocese said she was let go also because “the bishop is not confident she can or will present the complete and authentic teaching of the church.” (National Catholic Reporter)