28 June 2008

Money Quotes

I woke up this morning to excellent coverage of the decision to name Archbishop Burke as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura--from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Not only was there fair coverage of the main story, but there was also a typical Catholic-reaction story that was devoid of the type of puerility and slander that was so common on the radio yesterday.  In this post, I will intersperse quotes from this story  and this story in the Post.

This Archbishop is greatly respected and admired by most practicing Catholics in St. Louis, and loved by many.  

We have been blessed with a shepherd who truly imitated Christ-- all the way to the cross.  He spoke the truth, and was opposed.  He loved his flock enough to refuse to allow false shepherds to steal souls.  He was, contrary to the unfair portrayals by the Church's opponents inside and outside the Church, a tender-hearted, kind, compassionate and warm man.  A good man.

Mary Beth Rolwes of Kirkwood said she cried when she heard the news early Friday... "People who don't know him think of him as an intimidating steamroller who's intent on having his way," Rolwes said. "But to spend five minutes with him is to know that he is a humble, loving and gentle man."

People who have met the Archbishop almost uniformly relate what a kind and genial person he is.  His steadfastness in testifying to the truth comes from his love for Christ and the Church. The Good Shepherd demands from his Bishops that they imitate him, and guard the flock from wolves.  And, after all, Christ came not to bring peace, but, as He said, the sword.  The truth is divisive only because it is unchanging, and forces each person to choose to believe it, to follow it-- or to reject it, and oppose it.

Terry McHugh of Kirkwood said being a good leader sometimes means stepping on toes.

"Was he diplomatic? Probably not," McHugh said. "But people of faith are not looking for a diplomat."

[Sister Charlotte Rigali, sister of Cardinal Rigali, the man Burke replaced]  shrugged off the criticism that has come Burke's way, and she believes he did, too.

"I don't think he cared," Rigali said. "His priority was being a bishop, to keep the faith."

Those who claim the name Catholic, yet opposed or hated Burke, did so most often for one of two reasons--1) they were ignorant of what Catholicism teaches and were surprised by the ardent defense of those teachings by him; or, 2) they knew exactly what the Church teaches and oppose those teachings.  Of course, it is entirely conceivable that forty years of poor catechesis, crisis in the Church, and Bishops who have not always been vigorous in the proposal and defense of the faith could produce many Catholics in group 1).  But what is noteworthy is the size of group number 2).

The recent decrees dealing with those who advocate the ordination of women-- which is not ontologically possible, according to the infallible teaching of the Church-- highlights this point. The plaintive wail goes forth about the mean, cold, unloving Archbishop who won't dialogue with those who lead souls into mortal sin.  

And this quote from the most classless man in St. Louis, the "Reverend" Marek Bozek, the schismatic, bachelor-pad owner and part-time television personality (cue accent):

"Rejoice, St. Louis, beware, rest of the world."  

In Luke, Chapter 7: 31-35, Christ said:

And the Lord said: Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? And to what are they like?

They are like to children sitting in the marketplace and speaking one to another and saying: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have mourned, and you have not wept.

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine. And you say: He hath a devil.

The Son of man is come eating and drinking. And you say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners.

And wisdom is justified by all her children.

Wisdom is justified by her children.  Consider two more quotes.  The first is from Bishop Hermann, the new administrator:

"He made us stronger by emphasizing church teaching and by applying that teaching," he said. "He is inspirational, he is kind and he is bright, and having him here was a tremendous blessing for all of us in the archdiocese."

And, finally, from Archbishop Burke himself:

"Like the father of a family, there are times when you have to make tough decisions for the good order of the family, and I've had to make some difficult decisions during my time here," he continued. "And those decisions I've made according to the best light of my conscience with only the good of the archdiocese, and of the church, in mind."


GOR said...

It is interesting to note the similarities between Archbishop Burke and our Holy Father - and how both were viewed very differently by those who had contact with them versus those who did not.

As Cardinal, Pope Benedict was seen by many from afar as the Enforcer, the cold, rigid, legalistic keeper of the gate. Yet those who had actually met him spoke of his kindliness, gentle disposition and humility.

So too, with Archbishop Burke. Those who have met him speak of a kind, gentle and humble man doing a difficult job. Those who have not, excoriate him from afar.

Come to think of it, wasn't that how Our Lord was seen by different people 2000 years ago - Scribes, Pharisees, Mary Magdalen, Peter, Judas...?

Anonymous said...

Now that he will be a cardinal, could he please be assigned to Los Angeles? :) I'm sure we could find another ministry for Cardinal Mahony...

Anonymous said...

response to gor comment:

That's ironic, I would compare Sister Lears sooner than Archbishop Burke. I believe Jesus was persecuted by the Pharisees and legalistic establishment of the day not the other way around. I believe he was preaching and caring for the poor and sick not attending events in Ladue News with the wealthy.

thetimman said...

Anon, when will you realize that teaching people that it is ok to engage in mortal sin, as Sister Lears did by her actions as described in the decree, is not loving them? Even if we take as true your preposterous assumption that Abp. Burke cared nothing for the poor and sick, and Sr. Lears was Florence Nightingale herself, it is Burke who was the more loving Catholic leader.

This world, with all its sorrows, is not the end, and in light of eternity, is as nothing. People led to hell by false teachings won't be grateful to the one who withheld the truth that may have saved them.

Think about it.

Latinmassgirl said...

Dear most recent Anon,

Why do you falsely claim that Burke didn't care for the common folks, insinuating that he was an elitist?

I know of at least ten examples of the kindness and thoughtfulness of Archbishop Burke, many of which I have experienced personally. He takes time for ALL Catholics, and you are just a media sycophant to say otherwise!

GOR said...

Anon: we have become a society of 'victims' and I suspect that you would argue that Judas was a 'victim' also. But Our Lord didn't mince words. Consider his warning about the sheep and the goats at the Last Judgment. He called sinners to repentance. Some repented, some didn't.

Then, as now, each will have to face the Last Judgment - as will we all.

Archbishop Burke follows Our Lord's example, as he is called to do by virtue of his office. Would that we had more like him!