Action Alert!

none too soon

By Diogenes (articles) | May 03, 2007

"Because of illness or some other grave reason." Once again, Canon 401-ยง2 proves itself Joe Catholic's Best Friend, most recently bumping Middlesbrough (UK) Bishop John Patrick Crowley into retirement, ten years ahead of his sell-by date.

In June of 2001, Crowley made headlines in the kind of papers it's a felony to send through the mail when it became known that he was to preside at a Mass celebrating the relationship of two gay activists, ex-Carmelite Martin Pendergast and his partner Julian Filochowski. Eyebrows were raised, booms were lowered, lies put forward. This from the CWN report of the upshot (September 2001):

Bishop Crowley abruptly pulled out of the event on the morning of June 10, after the Daily Telegraph ran a story about the Mass. He explained that he had decided not to be the celebrant because of "misleading" press reports, and added: "I want to make it perfectly clear at the outset that what is being celebrated at this Mass is, as the invitation card indicated, '25 years of friendship and commitment to justice.' It is simply that."

Right. A simple misunderstanding. We all of us "celebrate" our friendships with special anniversary Masses, and the local bishop is almost always happy to drop what he's doing and oblige. One curious point though: most of our friendships, unless they were forged escaping from a prison camp or the like, are hard to date with precision. Clever of Martin and Julian to keep track.

Regrettably, there are those on both sides of the aisle quick to find a bride's blushes in the Filochowski-Pendergast discomfiture. A bishop's word, however, is good enough for me.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Mar. 26, 2010 11:55 AM ET USA

    Haven't you heard? The Sign of the Cross is offensive to NBC's viewers. Or maybe just to some in MSNBC?

  • Posted by: thecrossreference8142 - Mar. 26, 2010 11:50 AM ET USA

    I saw her make the Sign of the Cross when I watched her perform. (I'm guessing that was a live broadcast. Perhaps they edited it out of later broadcasts.)