15 January 2014

By Way of Explanation...

Sorry for the blog blackout.  I waited three hours for a 45 second hearing today.  Then, as you might imagine, I had not accounted in my schedule for a three-hour, 45-second hearing.  So, I was slammed.

First world problems, yes.  Though that level of judicial/administrative efficiency is also a classic third world problem.

Aaaaaanyway, I just have to report on two recent items concerning American Cardinals-- one whose trajectory with the current regime is pointing up, and one whose trajectory, well, isn't.  Both stories I came across at Rorate Caeli.

The first, concerns Sean Cardinal O'Malley:

Someone must explain to me why this is OK, or at least why this does not violate the First Commandment.  From Rorate:

Now we have learned Cardinal O'Malley proactively asked a female Methodist minister to "re-affirm" his baptism with an "anointing" at a Protestant church this month in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

The local newspaper, the Patriot-Ledger, reported on the female Methodist minister's "completely unexpected" request from the cardinal here:

    “What moved me was not so much that I was anointing him,” she said. “It was him being willing to accept that from my hand – to ask me, as a woman in ministry, to do that.”

    A Rhode Island native, the Rev. [Anne] Robertson was the only female clergy member who assisted at a special 50th anniversary worship service at Sudbury United Methodist Church.


    As part of Sunday’s anniversary service, the 500 who filled Sudbury United Methodist to overflowing were invited to receive a drop of consecrated water on their forehead and be told, “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” The ritual resembles the ceremonial receiving of ashes on Ash Wednesday, but isn’t a formal United Methodist sacrament.

    Cardinal O’Malley and New England United Methodist Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar led the ritual in the sanctuary. The Rev. Robertson and a Catholic priest were on their way with small bowls of water to a side room, for others watching the service on a large-screen TV.

    She paused with the priest at the cardinal’s pew, so they could receive the baptism water from Cardinal O’Malley. The next moment, the cardinal quietly asked the Rev. Robertson to administer the water for him.

    “My heart immediately went to my throat,” she said. “To be asked that by the man who might be pope someday – I was stunned. I was choking back tears for hours.”

Same here.

The second item concerns the great Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.  Far from "playing dress up", this guardian of the liturgy is also out leading the flock in the great moral fight of our times.  A true shepherd, indeed.

  From Rorate:

Yesterday [Saturday, January 11, 2014], there was a public demonstration in the Piazza Santi Apostoli led by “Manif pour Tous—Italia”*, in defense of the natural family and against the approval of a law concerning homophobia, now in discussion in the Parliament.  The purpose of the demonstration (just like those in the past organized in the whole of Italy) is to safeguard freedom of thought and opinion (Article 21 in the Italian Constitution), and to safeguard the natural family, of which the Constitution speaks in Articles 29, 30 and 32, based on marriage between a man and a woman.

As always, we were present and helped with the organization.  The demonstration was marked by a great number of families, a great number of young people, and also priests. But as the jounrnalist, Marco Tosatte, sagely commented on his blog on “La Stampa”, of all Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals that fill the city of Rome, there was only one who was present at the demonstration: the American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.

Yes, you understood correctly.  That Cardinal who has been criticized so much because he is a lover of tradition and of beautiful liturgy, deeply held personal positions that today seem to be seen as something negative, to be thrown out and condemned.  Meanwhile, the only one present, the only one to make the support of the Church felt, the only one to give moral support in a battle on principles that are non-negotiable, being fought for by laity who are vigorously leading the battle against oppression of the spirit and of freedom of expression—the only one was Cardinal Burke.

At this point permit me a historical digression that offers a parallel to this situation.  We go back in memory exactly thirty years, in 1984, when another great Cardinal, Giuseppe Siri, gave an interview to Msgr. Virgilio Levi for the weekly magazine, Oggi.  On this occasion Msgr. Levi asked the Cardinal the following question in a provocative way:  “Your Eminence, why do you parade around in a pectoral cross made of gold and precious gems, when nearly all bishops at this time have restricted themselves to a simple cross of silver, metal or wood?”  The answer, quite lucid, was as follows:  “I do not parade around with this cross.  I wear it.  First of all because I am not a hypocrite.  I have seen wooden pectoral crosses encrusted with gems on the back facing the cassock.  What is the sense of that?  Secondly, because this cross was given to me as a gift when I was consecrated a bishop by the emigrants from Liguria living in Argentina, who number about 5 million, exactly twice those in their Motherland, and in wearing this cross I honor them, and I remember them.  Thirdly, because poverty is not about these things.  Finally, because I was praised by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, who, on the occasion of my trip to Russia recognized the honesty of a man who dared to visit that country wearing clerical dress and the signs of his rank without hiding them.”

Now we could write a long comment about this, but we are firmly convinced that it is not necessary, intelligenti pauca.

In the anomalous current trend to avoid clear positions on anything and to play down even the memory of the rituals associated with the Church in favor of dramatic, dialectical, and combative statements about poverty, no one finds the time to go down into the street and give living witness as asked for by the Pope in a loud voice during the Chrism Mass of March 28, 2013.  The words of Pope Frances echo in our hearts:  “…I ask this of you: be pastors who smell of the ‘smell of your sheep’.  May you hear these words!”  To this we say: Would that these words were heard! Would that these pastors were seen!

And we today have seen and heard only Cardinal Burke, a true pastor down among his sheep.


traddadof4 said...

"Someone must explain to me why this is OK, or at least why this does not violate the First Commandment."

I'm sure there will be some normalist along in about 5 minutes to parse why this is just fine. The normalists sure are busy beavers these days though!

Elizabeth said...

May Our Lord bless His Church and give us more faithful shepherds like Cardinal Burke.

Christophe said...

So Cardinal Sean can get rebaptized by a Protestant minister, but the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate can't say a Latin Mass. Makes perfect sense.

thetimman said...

Christophe, I realize you are short handing it to make a point, but just so there is no confusion to others, he wasn't re baptized, or attempting to be. A renewal of baptismal promises more like. I know you know this. But at least, bad though it is, it is not sacrilege.

Christophe said...

Don't go all Mark Shea on me now, Timman.

excalibur said...

First thing I thought about when I ran across the O'Malley travesty on another blog. Violating all sorts of things, including Church law. Then I ran across a video that Voris has regarding homosexual priests.

We really need the Fatima request to be fulfilled, otherwise this is only gonna get worse.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal O'Malley, you are a sorry soul. You lead the Faithful to Hell. The least you can do is to leave the Church before you take more souls with you. More people need to call out bad shepherds like you.


JBazChicago said...

As Uncle Frank says:
"A shepherd with the smell of his sheep" but he wasn't referring to H.E. Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church I'm sure.

Funny, I bet he's the only prelate in all of SCV who actually knows what the smell of sheep smells like because he grew up on a humble farm, and I doubt they sound like Argentinian street hookers.

thetimman said...


Boom. I'm roasted.

Steve said...

JBaz, you evidently have a problem with Pope Francis--back when he was Cardinal Bergoglio--hanging out among the people on the streets and the buses, including "Argentinian street hookers." Clearly, JESUS did not socialize with prostitutes, or tax collectors, or women who had been married multiple times and were now cohabitating with yet another man. Thank goodness our church was not founded by someone who did such things!

Oh. Wait a minute. I just finished reading the gospels. Hmm. Well now. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

FYI--I know you (& I) have differences with Shea. He just posted that his mother has stage 3 cancer. Expected to die, I suppose.

Please offer prays for his mother and his own sorrow.

(Am I really supposed to be able to read those #s so blurry!! We shall find out when I click.)