Today is the federal holiday commemorating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose efforts on behalf of civil rights for African-Americans are certainly worth commemorating. The decision to make a secular holiday is well within the competence of the secular government. It has chosen to honor Dr. King, and that's great.
Yesterday, the Archbishop continued the annual local practice of celebrating Mass in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. I have lamented this practice before (here, for example, and here). I wanted to note the event again this year, but won't beat the dead horse too much. There is no reason, and it defies logic, to justify the celebration of a Catholic Mass "in honor" of a non-Catholic. Only saints and blesseds authorized by the Church, the guardian of the sacred liturgy, may be honored by a celebration of Mass. Note again, this is not a Mass for the repose of the soul of Dr. King, seeking prayers for his soul-- offering him help. It is to honor him. This is just wrong, for the reasons I have written before. But obviously, this practice shows no signs of ending.
Then again, as this op-ed in the St. Louis Review shows, there can be a deaf ear sometimes to concerns about Catholic orthodoxy when there is a liberal social or political agenda to push. Father Art Cavitt, the Executive Director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center (the group that helps plan the MLK Mass), wrote a piece about addressing the problem of racism by gathering around the Eucharist.
Great. But he begins the piece by casually mentioning that he was the guest speaker at a JustFaith program at St. Gabriel the Archangel parish. Now, JustFaith is a group of community organizers headed by a man with ties to heterodox, anti-Catholic "Catholic" groups that seek the usual agenda of women priests and homosexual privileges at the expense of marriage. I have blogged before about the tacit approval of JustFaith that the Review's benign coverage gives. Catholic Charities in St. Louis has shown support for this group. Apparently this tacit support continues.
Why does it matter? Well, we have seen the results of divorcing "social justice" from the Church and the Truth that is Christ. Purporting to serve Christ in the poor and marginalized while rejecting His teachings and His Church is an oxymoron. When will this problem be addressed in our pulpits? And even in his op-ed, Fr. Cavitt does not hesitate to mention, among the problems that the legacy of Dr. King addresses-- in the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis-- homophobia. Yes, that malleable, tired term. It could mean simply that we treat all people with respect and due process under the law. Well, of course. But that term, in today's culture, is loaded with the implication that "gay marriage" is a cause on equivalent moral and legal ground with voting rights for African Americans back in the 1960s.
When will this nonsense stop, or at least not be tolerated in official Archdiocesan publications?
In case you might wonder where the Church stands on the issue of homosexual ersatz-marriage, check out this article in the secular press from last week.
St. Charles Lwanga, pray for us.