Is that the real story?

Is that the real story?

On the Texas Catholic web site today, everybody’s favorite Dallas diocese deacon/spokesman/editor writes a story about the criminal probe of the diocese and headlines it: “Bishop rallies staff, defends actions in midst of allegations.” Doesn’t it betray a kind of mindset when it’s your staff you rally about you when you’re under siege and not the tens of thousands of Catholics in your diocese? In the photo accompanying the article, Bishop Charles Grahmann is standing at an ambo, presumably in the chancery chapel, rallying his staff. He has gathered them about himself in front of the tabernacle, using the pulpit for what?

Observe the very careful statements made by the bishop:

vated by antipathy toward the Holy Father, but by (misplaced) sympathy. He looks at the totality of the Pope’s life and his accomplishments and believes that he has accomplished all there is to accomplish, and that, like a good and faithful servant, it is time to be welcomed to his eternal reward and all the earthly plaudits to which he is entitled.

But Buckley evidently doesn’t see what the Pope himself, and others, see as the value of the witness of the cross. As I said yesterday, there is a teaching in the example of the suffering servant, such that even if he nevers says another words, he can teach more about the Via Crucis than that which is contained in all his writings.

So, I don’t criticize Buckley for his column, but I would encourage him to see beyond the worldly categories and see that, like Christ’s suffering on the cross, a suffering Pope is a contradiction to the world and a sign of the mercy of God.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
11 comments
  • Prayers are needed for Mr. William F. Buckley, Jr., as his column this week is titled “Death for the Pope”.  It is quite disturbing.  I hope that many will be disturbed by it and wake up and see where our society is moving to.
    I understand that the column has appeared in newspapers around the country.  His column continues to display our culture of death and how we DON’T deal with suffering!
    http://www.uexpress.com/ontheright/

  • Yes, it says that the conditions envisioned by Canon 1335 (which CORPUS and Rent-A-Priest often cite as justification) do not apply.

    One point of clarification, Roberto. The exception for confession in danger of death is not dependent on whether a “regular” priest is present or not.

    Canon 976 states: Any priest, even though he lacks the faculty to hear confessions, can validly and lawfully absolve any penitents who are in danger of death, from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.

    So if the dying person asks a suspended or laicized priest to hear his confession, that priest may do so regardless of whether a priest ‘in good standing’ is present or not.

    Granted, it is hard to envision such a situation – but Canon Law allows for it.

  • “Many of us could wish that the Pope had been stronger in the past in governing the Church, more forceful with bishops, more intolerant of abuses. But thated priest for the celebration of sacraments.  The only exception is for confession to a person in imminent danger of death (and provided no “regular” priest is available).

    While the document begins by referring to priests who have been suspended because they got married, it later states that the rule applies to any priest who has been suspended (for reasons explained there)

  • Thanks for the clarification.  I also cannot envision how this could happen (unless a dying person makes the choice in an attempt to bring the suspended priest back? Who knows).

    But that goes to show that there is lots of flexibility in these rules.  They don’t go as far as some people would like because they can’t!  But that seems to be an idea inconceivable to some people

  • It is difficult to see the Holy Father so laid low by illness ement, free from the burdens his successor must face. Meanwhile, that successor can attack problems with vigor and energy (we hope).

    Resignation would be a better sign of Christian humility than this intense need to “carry a cross” that, quite frankly, has already been taken from him.

  • This is the same Buckley who went as keynote to the Human Life Review dinner last year and told them all how Terri Schiavo needed to be starved to death? Ohh, yeah, that Buckley.

  • “Denny”  What do you mean, a cross that has been taken from the Pope?  He is carrying a cross in his illness that IS his illness. 

    I lived in SF fifteen/twenty years ago and just recently found an old San Francisco diocesan newspaper in my stuff.  It’s a powerful witness to how far the church has come in the last twenty-five years and how global the problems were/are.  In other words it almost made me sick to reread it.  This pope has done so much that we simply forget how bad it was because, surprise, surprise, we still have problems.

    I hesitate to even write this because over on Amy’s blog Mark Shea commented that he believes that you are really Joseph D’Hippolito and if that is true I’d like to know why you are commenting under this name.

  • Jane M, the “cross” I refer to is this pope’s ability to govern effectively while ill. Considering that he would have died had he been admitted to the hospital 10 minutes later, it’s obvious to all but the most sentimental Catholics that he has ceased to be able to do that.

    It might be a “powerful witness” for this pope to continue to carry such a cross. But that “powerful witness” is hurting the church, not helping it. How has the pope’s cross-carrying helped those who were molested by priests who were enabled by malfeasant bishops? How has that cross-carrying resolved the financial malfeasance afflicting many parishes, not to mention the confusion regarding theology and liturgy that has merely grown under his reign?

    Remember, Jane M, even this pope’s most ardent admirers (such as George Weigel) admit that his concern for governance is minimal. That was true even when he was Archbishop of Krakow.

    What would be so bad about this pope having the humility to relinquish his position for the good of the church? Remember, he was called to be a steward of what ultimately belongs to God. Do you seriously believe that this excessive dedication to “cross-carrying” displays good stewardship of God’s church?

  • So Denny, would you say that Our Lordt blasphemous, as well. First, the “powerful witness” of the Church was based on Christ’s resurrection, not simply his crucifixion. St. Paul himself makes this point in I Corinithians 15: 1-34. What do you think would have happened if Christ had not been raised from the dead? For starters, his already discouraged followers would have abandoned him entirely; why else do you think the risen Christ went to St. Peter before the other apostles? If Christ hadn’t risen from the dead, He would have ended up just like all the other self-proclaimed messiahs: as historical footnotes, at best.

    Do you seriously believe the Gospel would have been promulgated worldwide and the Church formed had Christ not risen from the dead?

    Christ’s suffering and death were necessary to atone for human sin and redeem humanity, just as the Mosaic Law pre-ordained. For whom is this Pope suffering? How does his suffering help a Church in need of vigorous leadership? It certainly doesn’t redeem a Church that (ostensibly, at any rate) has already been redeemed by Christ Himself.

    Christ’s relinquishing of his rights as God’ son to die a miserable death for our sake is the ultimate act of humility. This Pope’s continuing to grasp at papal power at the expense of the faithful—something that Christ never did, btw—is anything but Christian humilty.

    There is a moral here, GOR. The moral is that Catholics like you should not equate the Pope for Christ. The Pope is (ostensibly, at any rate) a servant like anybody else. Right now, his grasping to power is hurting God’s Church.

  • You completely ignored the quote from Colossians. Until you answer how to reconcile your view with what St. Paul said, then it isn’t worth discussing this with you.

    “In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ8220;Jesus did not come down off the cross.”

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