what the man said

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 08, 2004

In the current Crisis magazine, Russell Shaw has a mordant and well-reasoned Open Letter to America's Bishops that deserves a careful reading. It pains me to say that a critical tone occasionally creeps into his argument -- he's addressing the Successors of the Apostles, after all -- but in view of the merits of the essay I'm inclined to overlook the lapse, and urge you do to the same.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 09, 2004 3:37 PM ET USA

    Did you see Sen. Kerry make the sign of the Cross in front of the TV cameras covering President Reagan's casket? Maybe he really is a Catholic. He surely needs remembrance in our prayers when we pray re. the unborn today.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 09, 2004 10:24 AM ET USA

    St. Bridget was trapped one day in her house in ancient Rome by a screaming mob ready to stone, burn, drag etc. The Holy Woman soberly asked the Lord whether she should attempt to flee or die, ready to imitate Him. Jesus spoke in a vision, telling her majestically that it was only BECAUSE IT WAS THE SPECIFIC WILL OF THE FATHER FOR HIM that He allowed Himself to be betrayed by Judas Iscariot. St Bridget in fact lived...It is not always wise to passively allow betrayal...even by bishops.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 09, 2004 12:48 AM ET USA

    Diogenes - since the principle "corruption optimi, pessima est" clearly applies in regard to the malfeasance of office of many modern bishops (American and foreign), the use of "a critical tone" is entirely justified. Real charity requires effective criticism before these (mostly old) men pass to their eternal reward. If that criticism is blistering, withering and makes their ears bleed, so much the better, if only it touches their hearts and brings tears to their eyes.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2004 7:05 PM ET USA

    In re persons who advertise and promote their views consciously contradicting the doctrines of the Church concerning abortion, contraception, divorce, or whatever, there is one word which applies - Apostate - one who renounces a religious faith. (Mer. Web.) Re. abortion, all know about "latae sent." In either case, they have left. Ergo, Holy Com. is not possible. An unholy com. surely is. Who needs even an orthodox theologian for this?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 08, 2004 6:46 PM ET USA

    "something said many years ago by Rev. Edward McGlynn, a headstrong priest : 'I am not a Roman Catholic. I am an American Catholic.' Here was a man ahead of his time!" And many bishops have followed him.Catholicism RESPECTS culture, but it DOES NOT subjugate itself to it This was known since the days of St Paul,when he radically refuted the need to be Jewish culturally in order to be saved. JPII himself seems to recognize this problem (cross-reference to article on cultural idolatry)

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2004 3:55 PM ET USA

    Tsk. Tsk. Such language! Reasoned discourse with recommendations? I'm shocked - just shocked! Far better to take The Gipper's words, call evil by its name and be done with it. The USCCB as the Evil Empire... Maybe then the wall of separation between words and action, between hierarchy and faithful, between lessons taught and faith lived...will come down. Frank Keating, where are you...?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 08, 2004 1:50 PM ET USA

    Hunter and Grizzly B confront each other one day in forest,G Bear teeth bared, hunter gun poised, ready to shoot. G Bear suddenly extends paws eloquently, pleading " We are both rational creatures,surely we can settle this reasonably" "What, friend hunter do you want?" "A fur coat" H replies "And I only want my lunch..let's sit down and talk" H lowers gun and sits down. Next scene, G Bear walking away licking chops "Not a bad deal..., I got lunch and he got his fur coat Not critical enough

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2004 11:15 AM ET USA

    Successors, like descendants, rarely live up to their origins. That's a shame in this case as we are facing crises across the world that demand more than business as usual. Some of our bishops seem up to the task, some would be better off as Unitarians. The great majority are, to put it gently, mediocrities with mitres.