the purity of the game

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 22, 2007

Leila, your friends know that you are married to an avid baseball fan, so I'm sure you'll understand a baseball analogy, and I hope most CWN readers will, too:

One of the baseball writers who votes for members of the Hall of Fame recently explained why he did not vote for Mark McGwire this year, but still might voting for Barry Bonds when his name eventually appears on the ballot. Both stars have been tarnished by the steroid scandal, he argued, but in McGwire's case the steroids undermine his only claim to Hall-of-Fame membership.

McGwire, the sportswriter explained, had a one-dimensional game: he hit home runs. Nothing else that he did on a baseball field would have qualified him for serious consideration as a Hall-of-Fame candidate. Since his ability to hit homers is precisely what the steroids allegedly explained, his only valid argument for enshrinement is in doubt.

Bonds, on the other hand, had an illustrious career even before his physique and his home-run totals began to grow at such a suspicious rate. Take away the slugging of the past few years and he still looks like a legitimate candidate for Cooperstown. Not all of his credentials are under suspicion.

Now ask yourself: Why is John McCormack a bishop today? Is it because of his noted piety? His reputation as a theologian, a preacher, or a leader of men? Or it is because, at the time of his appointment, he seemed to have been successful in keeping the lid on a scandal within the ranks of the Boston clergy? Does he have any credentials for ecclesiastical advancement that remain untarnished today?

One final thought: After several years of whispers, baseball's steroid scandal exploded the headlines in 2005. Many fans still argue that the organizers of major-league baseball were slow to respond to the rumors, but tough new policies are now in place, and drug users-- at least users of that particular class of drugs-- are subject to long suspensions. Baseball officials, it seems, are serious about preserving the integrity of the game.

After several years of whispers, Catholicism's sex-abuse scandal exploded the headlines in 2002. 'Nuff said.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 23, 2007 6:01 PM ET USA

    Barry Bonds was at a H ofF dinner held by his (Catholic) highschool. My recently deceased husband was one of several 'Old" athletes being initiated into their H of F. Our table of 10 was next to Mr.Bond's. The ceremonies and acceptance speeches were long. Mr. Bond's comments, incessant talking and restlessness made it difficult to hear. My husband's name was called last; the MC noted his death; I went to accept and said I will be brief;Mr B (loudly)says That's a relief. Arrogant,selfish,zero

  • Posted by: - Jan. 23, 2007 12:55 PM ET USA

    There is only one "Hall" that we need to be concerned with. When Bishop McCormack stands before the Christ child how will he answer the question; "What have you allowed to be done unto me?" Pray for Bishop McCormack - he needs it.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 23, 2007 9:27 AM ET USA

    Ron Santo for HOF.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 22, 2007 10:59 PM ET USA

    Well, like all analogies, this one limps a bit. But there can be little doubt that McCormack should resign and consider himself fortunate not to be in prison for obstructing justice, for enabling crime, etc. The film "Hand of God," however it might be criticized, showed us where McCormack has been. Unqualified to be a bishop to say the least.

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 22, 2007 8:02 PM ET USA

    It looks like most of the US bishops are personally opposed to abortion, but don't want to tell others what to do.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 22, 2007 6:52 PM ET USA

    I watched most of the coverage of the Walk for Life in Washington and can again say the USCCB is still showing its disregard for this issue. Several bishops were present, but where was the President, Vice-President, or leadership of the USCCB? When they stop intervening in select issues and begin taking sides in ALL important issues, they will have credibility with the laity. Why not call out the pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians and judges? No Holy Communion for them until they repent!!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 22, 2007 2:43 PM ET USA

    Your analogy doesn’t wash with me, Di. In fact, it reminds me of the USCCB’s careless and weak-minded comparison of an important moral question (the killing of innocent babies) with so-called social justice issues. And the U.S. bishops weren’t just “slow to respond,” they were grossly negligent, culpable and, in some cases, participants in an evil and vile depravity. McCormack and his ilk should be in the Bishops’ Hall of Shame.