Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Big Question about the Pope’s Thursday Homily

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1017324_631622540182687_751624733_n.jpgOn Thursday, Pope Francis preached against scandal and harm caused by corrupt clergy when he concelebrated Mass with two cardinals.

One of the cardinals was Roger Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles. 

A fair evaluation of Mahony’s ecclesiastical career would suggest, among other things, that he showed greater interest in fashionable causes than in the counter-cultural moral demands of the Catholic faith, that he conveyed a noticeably “thin” understanding of the Mass, that he had no qualms about showing ecclesiastical approval of pro-abortion politicians, and that at the very least he handled cases of sexual abuse extraordinarily badly, deliberately protecting abusive priests.

In a move clearly connected to the abuse scandal, Cardinal Mahony was relieved by his successor early last year of all his remaining duties in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

Years earlier, his lack of opposition to abortion had angered the American Life League enough to call for his resignation. 

Similarly, the absence of any clear sense of the Eucharistic Presence of Christ in his worship guidelines so infuriated Mother Angelica of EWTN that she (unwisely) publicly counseled disobedience to his episcopal authority.

So here is the question: Knowing what you now know about Pope Francis, including his characteristic bluntness, should the focus of his homily on January 16th be taken as an indication of the closeness of the concelebrants—or of the enormous gap which separates them?

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