Action Alert!

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: Defender - Jun. 19, 2010 1:20 PM ET USA

    Doesn't it seem that "Catholic Identity" has a different meaning for some (e.g., cardinals, archbishops, bishops, lawyers/deans) than for the majority of us? Haven't they read their catechism (if they can't afford it, they can look on-line)? Would this have happened before VII (I doubt it)?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 19, 2010 1:08 PM ET USA

    This is not just any Catholic university. It is THE university of the USCCB - supposedly the beacon of Catholic higher education in the US. Unless Garvey is made of the same courageous stuff as Fitzgibbons, choosing him as president of CU may reveal how out of touch the American bishops are with Pope Benedict and other faithful Catholics. Considering how quiescent most of our bishops are, this choice may not be surprising. They desperately need our prayers!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 18, 2010 11:39 AM ET USA

    Also listed on the website as members of the Board of Trustees: Archbishop Timothy Dolan Archbishop Jose Gomez Cardinal Justin Rigali I am very surprised.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 18, 2010 10:53 AM ET USA

    Oh darn...and I had such high hopes for the Archbishop.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jun. 17, 2010 9:05 PM ET USA

    Is this the best we can do? How long O Lord??