Friday, May 30, 2008

Cardinal McCarrick Celebrates 50 Years as a Priest

It has been a rather busy week here at he blog. A couple of dissenters have been here and I expect I will see more of them. As I said in a much earlier posting: "All Are Welcome, including dissenters."

I received my weekly copy of My Catholic Standard today. As expected, the focus of the edition is on Cardinal McCarrick and his celebration of his 50th Anniversary as a priest. There will be a Mass and reception this weekend at the Shrine and some of you may attend to wish him the best.

Like many of you, I had high hopes when he came to this Archdiocese. I read his weekly columns in the Standard, looked at his weekly calendar, and at the time thought he did a good job. I even had the opportunity, as some of you probably have, to do the "meet and greet" with him at a Church functions.

However, as I read through the Standard's coverage of him, I noticed that they seemed to leave out a couple of things:

  1. His comments on global warming or should I now say "climate change.
  2. His view that civil unions are okay.
  3. His view (like Archbishop Wuerl) on communion and pro-abortion politicians.

  4. His not so complete discussion at the 2004 USCCB Denver meeting of the letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) of Cannon Law 915.

I could go on for a while about this, but for a more complete read go to Restore DC Catholicism


Anonymous said...

I too, am disappointed with Church leadership, at ALL levels.

Though well educated in theology and doctrine, I don't believe most parish priests are qualified to manage the personel, budget, communictions and overall complexities of a large organization. Hence, lay volunteers are left with most of the 'clean-up' duties. From fundraising to meet poorly managed budgets and discretionary pastoral spending, to liturgical planning and coordination.

The Bishops are neither empowered nor educated to deal with organizational discipline and change - most notable in the sexual abuse cases, but apparent also in many smaller ways.

And the Pope, seems more concerned with his wardrobe (some of it extraordinarily flamboyant) and pageantry than a substantive and frequent presence in the life of American Catholics.

We NEED change. And if it comes from dialogue initiated by dissenters, so be it. Catholicism in america will not be sustainable without reform.

Finally, Can. 915 does not stand alone we must also embrace Can. 916.



I must disagree with you on a number of issues. I would write more at length but simply do not have the time.

Most parish priests are not qualified to do everything. Some are very good at certain items, some at all. However, lay volunteers can muck up the
situation just as easy, if not easier, than a parish priest. How many times I have heard (and seen) the "steering committee" hold a meeting at the local bar or steak house and attempt to charge it as a legitimate organizational expense. how many times do well meaning parishioners hold "fundraisers" which spend more than 50% of the proceeds on running the event. Leaving much of the liturgical planning to parishioners, who do not understand the liturgy, gives you liturgical dance, puppets, circus performers, poor music selctions, etc.

The bishops are empowered to deal with organizational change and discipline. However, they do not use it. Why? Because over the last 30 or so years, they have boxed themselves into a corner. There are only a few courageous ones such as Archbishop Burke, who are willing to stand up for those who go over the line, even after talking with them.

Regarding sexual abuse. Our understanding of this has changed over the last 30 or so years. At one time, the assumption was that if you moved a priest out of a particular place, it would not happen again. However, we were all wrong on that and have learned the hard way. Many made matter worse but they were boxed into it based on a number of things over the years.

The Pope is excellent. He is a man of honor, integrity and intelligence. He came to the US and said many, many things -- things we should take to heart. The Holy Spirit gave us the right man at the right time. I thank God each and every day for
him. I only wish he was much younger. Although many people expect him to be like John Paul the Great, he is 30 years older than he was when elected as pope. So, you can't expect him to ski and take long hikes.

Also, you don't understand the "wardrobe" thing. In my opinion, he is making a statement that the Church is a continuum and that there is nothing wrong with the "old vestments and traditions. To have just swept them away was a mistake. Kneeling when receiving communion. Gregorian Chant. These are not bad things but many have washed their hands of these things as "old" and "ancient."

I would recommend to you an excellent book, which I am in the middle of, entitled: The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture by Phil Lawler. This will explain many things. It was a real eye opener for me.

Finally, dissenters will only destroy and not build up. Look at what is happening with many of the Protestant Churches. Do you see their congregations swelling? Do you see their coffers overflowing? Nope. They are getting smaller and smaller -- wracked by schism.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually with you on much of this:

- Yes, lay volunteers do muck things up, BECAUSE some parish priests are unable to exercise clear and effective leadership in their parishes. Parish operations is serious business. In a non-church setting, someone charged with this level of professional oversight would be trained, hold credentials, have substantially more proven experience and most importantly, have a much higher level of accountability than what I've seen.

- Bishops have no less power today than 30 years ago and the box they are in is their own construct. Strong leaders would break down the walls of those boxes.

- Laws against sexual abuse and obstruction of justice were on the books well before 1978. Our understanding has changed in the last 30 years? No way. It was as morally reprehensible and illegal then as it is now.

- The Pope is an honorable and truly holy man. And I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with what he said during his visit to the US. But I believe action is long overdue.

- Wardrobe? I doubt Christ would be impressed. I'm also willing to bet that Peter didn't dedicate many of his resources to such pageantry either. Now there's an apostolic tradition that I wouldn't mind seeing Rome re-connect with. Gregorian chant is beautiful, but so is gospel. And both have the power and place to move us spiritually in the liturgy.

- I agree that dissenters will not build us up, but they prime the debate and ultimately spur dialogue that we will need to engage to sustain our Church. Few, if any, of the protestant churches are much of an example to follow, but the practices and traditions of some do offer insight to maintaining a healthy and diverse christian community, especially in a modern world. And we might learn (not imitate) from that.

Tradition is one of our greatest strengths, the foundation of our faith, but we should embrace the idea of the ongoing development of that tradition.

Anonymous said...

You have disappointed me in that you did not post my follow-up comments more thoroughly explaining my view on parish management, the appropriate use of wardrobe as a symbol of the Pope's apostolic mission, and long established morals and laws that should have been the basis for dealing with the sexual abuse scandal.