Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Episcopal Backbone Blossoming?

Look what’s happening! Our shepherds seem to be getting stronger. Here are three stories that give me hope.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been talking the talk more and more strongly; I'm impressed, and though I’m still waiting for more “walk” to go with the “talk”, I do believe he’s got the guts for it.  Cardinal Dolan has recently frankly admitted that there’s been a general failure by our shepherds to adequately teach against contraception, and that remedial work must be done. In a LifeSiteNews article, he is quoted as saying:

I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge—a towering one—in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach. That’s a biggie…

We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality…

That’s a good start. This is still talk, but he’s gone up a whole bunch of notches in my estimation simply because he’s acknowledging the fault of the bishops. Let’s pray we see progress in this area now that the can of worms has been opened!

Besides, he seems so genuine! I love these photos. And if anyone knows he doesn't have a good sense of humor, please do NOT tell me. Cardinal Dolan makes me smile.

I bet he gets his sense of humor
 from his mom!
In the Diocese of Austin, Texas, according to another LifeSiteNews article, the bishop there recently “disinvited” a Catholic Texas state politician from speaking at a parish because of she supports abortion and contraception. The article says:

Rep. Dawnna Dukes had been disinvited from speaking at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Austin, her home parish, where she had been slated to speak at a Black History Month celebration, according to a local report. “We avoid as much as possible any semblance of a church endorsing a particular candidate or a particular party,” Rev. Msgr. Michael Sis, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Austin, told KEYE TV.

…At a Planned Parenthood rally speech on March 13 unearthed by CatholicVote.org, Dukes elicited boos from the audience when she described being shut out from her family church “because I support contraceptives.”

“I’m not ready to make nice. I’m not ready to back down. I’m mad as hell,” said Dukes.

“We should be burning mad that the far-right would go to my Church and try to dictate what we can do. We should be mad that they would try to take away the rights that we have had – and the argument has been over for a very long time – to have the right to choose.”

Uh…really? “The right to choose” has been around “for a very long time”?  You mean, like, decades?! News flash, Ms. Dukes: the Church has been teaching against abortion and contraception for a couple thousand years.  As a Catholic, you’ve never had the “right to choose” abortion.

Anyway…hooray for the Diocese of Austin, whose bishop is not named in the article –Msgr. Michael Sis, the Vicar General, was the spokesman, apparently.

Bishop Robert J. McManus, of the Diocese of Worcester, MA, is also stepping up to the plate, it seems. In yet another LifeSiteNews article (they’re GOOD!), we’re told that:

Anna Maria College in Paxton uninvited Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, after Bishop Robert J. McManus said her positions on abortion, homosexuality, and the Obama administration’s mandate on insurance coverage for abortifacient contraception and sterilization were incompatible with Catholic teaching.

Hooray for Bishop McManus, who took some heat for this decision from liberal quarters:

Steve Krueger, chairman of the Catholic Democrats, said, “Increasingly, we see more and more bishops playing the role of enforcers of the faith rather than shepherds of souls, because they squandered the trust that they once had and the authority that came with it.”

Um, sorry Mr. Krueger, but sometimes the shepherds of our souls must play the “role of enforcer”; it’s their job. If “they squandered the trust they once had”, that’s all the more reason to start acting like the guardians of the faith they are supposed to be; the ones who do that will certainly win back my trust!

Then we have Sister Janet Eisner, president of another college, who said, profoundly (or not), “I find it hard to believe in Massachusetts, in 2012, that this is happening.” Awww. Puh-lease, Sister! Do you really think true moral teaching should be molded by current fads?

And Ms. Kennedy herself said, “[B]y objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College [the bishop] has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic. This is a sad day for me and an even sadder one for the Church I love.”

Why yes, Ms. Kennedy, Bishop McManus did make a judgment – a judgment about the observable support you’ve given to abortion, homosexuality, and the Obama administration’s mandate on insurance coverage for abortifacient contraception and sterilization. Your support of those things is incompatible with Church teaching. And that’s a funny way to show that you “love” your Church!

Three cheers for Bishop McManus.

Let’s hope these three stories start a strong trend in the direction of greater courage and fidelity among our bishops.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that there is hope. The light of hope came on for me when the bishops elected Dolan President of the USCCB over Kincanas. I quake in my boots to think what would have happened.



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