Catholic Charities’ board has voted to accept the symbolic donation from Voice of the Faithful despite Bishop Lennon’s order not to. Once again, the group has shown that is no longer a Catholic institution, except in name only. It is certainly not Catholic in act or doctrine.
What should happen now? Bishop Lennon should bring the weight of his office against them. But he won’t.
“One of my primary efforts as apostolic administrator has been to work toward ending division and fostering unity within the Archdiocese of Boston,” Lennon said. “In light of this, I am disappointed that Catholic Charities has decided to accept money from the Voice of Compassion fund. However, in keeping with this stated goal, I will not take any steps at this time regarding their decision.”
Unity is not found in acquiesence to disobedience. What would you think of a father who said he wanted his family to remain united, so he wasn’t going to discipline his kids? How about a football team where the wide receiver refused to run his assigned routes? Would it do the team any good if the coach said he didn’t want to cause division, so he was going to do nothing?
What this does is give the Catholic Charities board a greater sense they need have no concern toward the bishop’s office—whether in this instance or even when it comes to Church teaching. Will they care about the Church’s teachings on abortion, contraception, or homosexuality? No. And it also gives Voice of the Faithful prestige because the group and its supporters now see themselves as able to get around the bishop, making him irrelevant.
What we need now, Bishop Lennon, is leadership and a firm hand. We need the strong back of St. Athanasius, not the weak one of Walter Mitty.