what happens in vegas ...

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 03, 2007

... stays in Vegas. Right, Eminence? An AP headline reads Catholic Cardinals Meet in Las Vegas for Fundraiser. Just the right tone of prayerful recollection. The desert experience.

LAS VEGAS -- Catholic Church leaders gathered in Las Vegas on Friday for an annual mass and fundraiser to benefit Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.


Five of the seven cardinals currently serving as archbishops of U.S. dioceses were scheduled to attend the events, including Cardinals Edward Egan of New York, Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Sean O'Malley of Boston, Adam Maida of Detroit and Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.

The mass was to be followed by a fundraiser at the Four Seasons Hotel, where the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada would be honored and awarded $10,000. The university says the annual event has raised more than $21 million.

Several years ago already, in an essay in Crisis, Prof. Ralph McInerny deplored the USCCB's practice of gathering in flashy hotels. There are plenty of monasteries with plenty of empty rooms, he pointed out. And the photos of the bishops at make-shift matins in a basement conference room speak louder than any document about which conveniences they regard as indispensable and which not. In the present case, thankfully, the Mass was not held at a hotel; only the squeeze play took place there. But even the cocktail waitresses at the Four Seasons Las Vegas will be able to intuit something out of whack in that particular conjunction of red silk and raised funds.

If no abbey were available, why not Chuck E. Cheese?

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  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2007 2:04 PM ET USA

    One of those Las Vegas strip parishes rated a 10 out of 10 for preaching on a website dedicated to anonymous ratings of parish by random visitors. Wait till you read about the "Chipmonk" -- the guy who goes to the casinos to exchange poker chips in the collection basket for food for the poor.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 9:53 AM ET USA

    Get over it. I have been to Vegas recently and the Church is alive and well there. Masses are reverent and beautiful there and the pews are full!! That is much more than I can say for other places I have visited.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 1:42 AM ET USA

    There is more to the city of Las Vegas than gaming tables and strip shows. There are churches, school, hospitals and a LOT of Catholic people there, as well. The Bishops met in a hotel. So what? It was in Vegas. So what? If we start rating acceptable meeting towns based on one long stretch of road, the guys would have to stay - - - where? They did nothing contrary to their calling; meeting in LV. "Judge not lest ye be judged!"

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 9:25 PM ET USA

    There may not have been anything "wrong" with meeting in sin city---but there were better choices that would not be perceived in the negative light Las Vegas gatherings are.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 8:14 PM ET USA

    "Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil."The Tinsel World of Vegas is the lure of the Devil. There is nothing in"Lost Vegas" that a person needs to see. If you think that you have go to Vegas,to be among the snakes under the rocks, figuratively and literlly speaking, I feel sorry for you. It is just a "desert city" the Mafia built. They built it for one reason and one reason only, to "prey".and "exploit" human weakness.It is not prudent to go there.There are Four Seasons elsewhere!

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 5:31 PM ET USA

    Wonder what would happen if the video rental records of the Vegas room rentals of the men in red silk were made public? Just wondering. AMDG

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 4:06 PM ET USA

    "By their fruits you shall know them"

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 3:16 PM ET USA

    It is one thing for the 370 or so Catholic bishops of the USCCB to assemble in flashy hotels in their annual meetings, which was McInerny's point. It is a different thing for cardinals and bishops to participate with the laity in an appropriate venue for fundraising. Las Vegas being Las Vegas, The Four Seasons was a good choice. Let's be fair...this is a non-issue.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 1:46 PM ET USA

    We are not puritans.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 1:19 PM ET USA

    I have to agree with Prof. Ralph McInerny, he is correct. Why would these Cardinals want to meet in the "Tinsel Town"?They do not give any money away without expecting you to give your Soul away. It can cause scandal and of course that hurts The Catholic Church. I think all this is counterprodutive, what is 21Million compared to 1.5 Billion for abuse claims? The only poductive thing they are doing, is saying The Mass in a Catholic Church. It sounds like the University is "desperate" for money.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 1:17 PM ET USA

    Is prudence still a virtue or has it been "modernized"?

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 1:10 PM ET USA

    Thanks to Tominellay for clarifying that 4 Seasons is a "non-gaming" hotel; still I can't understand why a fund-raiser for Catholic University would be held in Las Vegas. Why not have it at the school, where the benefactors could see what they were donating to? Perhaps they felt the need to go where the money is? Our shepherds' lack of basic Catholic virtues, like prudence, humility or simplicity is most dishartening.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 12:35 PM ET USA

    Sure, the bishops don't seem to go out of their way to gather in simple surroundings, but isn't this the wrong example? It's a fundraiser, after all, and the venue needs to be a place that will attract donors.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 12:23 PM ET USA

    Hang on, all...Bishop Pepe celebrated the Mass at the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, a beautiful church, much more beautiful than the cathedral in Las Vegas. The American cardinals were joined by the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi for the fundraiser at the hotel. The Four Seasons is a non-gaming hotel.

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 11:59 AM ET USA

    Its just one more example of how our bishops give every appearance of idealizing corporate CEOs. Rather than giving witness to the Gospel in Sin City, they appear to give scandal to it. It isn't that they aren't allowed to 'dine with sinners' - but does one hear across the gambling halls and brothels a clear and compelling call to conversion and repentence? *crickets chirp*

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 10:56 AM ET USA

    You know, the Holy Father always stays in a monastery when HE travels. Why can't these useless bishops do the same?

  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 10:00 AM ET USA

    Good point. But remember that monasteries are a pre-Vatican II concept. We are now a Church that is open to the world pursuant to Gaudium et Spes.