Friday, September 05, 2014

Hot topics: Fighting over the bodies of saints and parades for Irish gay people.

And they both involve Cardinal Dolan.

and the Catholic hierarchy.

Body, Body, Don't you doubt my body, body...

Archbishop Sheen's cause has been held up because there is a dispute over the body.  This is nothing new in the history of the Church and there is even a scriptural precedent for it.  There was a dispute over the body of Moses: "When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee." [Jude 1:9]  And yet not a few Catholics online durst rebuke Cardinal Dolan for withholding the body of Fulton Sheen from Peoria.

The Cardinal is doing nothing wrong in this case.  He is also showing great sensitivity to the family of the deceased, as well as abiding by the rules in the process.  As soon as I read the 'reactions' to the announcement of delay I knew there had to be more to the story.  Cardinal Dolan also wants to avoid dismemberment of the body for relics.  This happened in the case of Pier Giorgio Frassati as well - the body was not violated because it was uncorrupt during the recognitio.

In earlier times the bodies of the candidates for canonization were dismembered for relics - and their bodies were fought over.  St. Teresa of Avila is a perfect example, the body was fought over and subsequently dismembered.  It happened to other saints as well.  In fact the body of St. Francis had to be guarded and hidden lest it be stolen by factions within the order.

This stuff happens and it is simply a delay.  It's not a conspiracy.  Strange as it seems, in this case it appears Cardinal Dolan is actually willing to be faithful to the letter of the law.

UPDATE:  More on the transfer of relics here.

Did I ever mention I hate parades?

I think they are dumb.  Having come from shanty-Irish stock - nasty when they are drunk - I have never liked celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  My dislike for holidays and parades can be linked to what I experienced as phony celebration - an excuse to call in sick and get drunk and fight.  Therefore, the fact Cardinal Dolan is taking a place in the St. Pat's Day parade in NYC isn't really a big deal - for me.  However, the participation of the gay group from NBC and Dolan's imprimatur taints my perspective - even though it is just a stupid parade.

I think it would be better if Dolan dropped out - I'm not scandalized that he consented to be Grand Marshall gig - I just think it's stupid - however, I am disappointed that he endorses the participation of the gay marching unit.  Pope Francis didn't take part in the Corpus Christi procession in Rome because he didn't want to be the center of attention...  So I think it might be better for Cardinal Dolan to stop making himself the center of attention, and drop out of a much more vulgar procession.

As for the participation of a gay group?  To me it has become a more secular event - and as I said, I don't like parades or the boisterous celebrations of St. Patrick's day.  As a secular event, I really don't care.  However, in my opinion, it could have been-should have been, an excellent opportunity for the Archdiocese to bow out.  Nevertheless, on account of the fallout after these announcements, there is still time for Cardinal Dolan to drop out and for the Archdiocese to no longer support or participate in the parade.  Sadly, I doubt that will happen.

That said, it seems to me that Cardinal Dolan's participation and his attitude towards the gay marching unit participation, at the very least, dishonors the memory of his predecessor, Cardinal John O'Connor.

Cardinal O'Connor was very clear on the issue of gay participation in the parade.
In 1993, Cardinal John O'Connor opposed the campaign by the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization for permission to march under their own banner. More than 200 gay rights protesters staged a countermarch that year and were arrested.
"Irish Catholics have been persecuted for the sole reason that they have refused to compromise church teaching," O'Connor said. "What others may call bigotry, Irish Catholics call principle." - abc
In 1993, then-Cardinal John O'Connor, facing gay protesters who staged a sit-in during the parade, vowed that he "could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching" by entertaining their admission as an identifiable group in the event. "Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles' Creed," O'Connor declared in his homily at a Mass for St. Patrick's Day that year. - NCR
I'm sorry to say it, but I think Cardinal Dolan has betrayed not only the patrimony of the Archdiocese of New York and traditional Irish Catholicism, he has betrayed faithful Roman Catholics - especially Roman Catholics who strive to live chaste and celibate lives in obedience to Catholic teaching.

So what's the big deal?

This is exactly what Cardinal Dolan's imprimatur means to the LGBTQ collective:

Catholics and LGBT advocates are welcoming both the parade committee’s decision and Dolan’s acceptance of it.
Lifting the ban on lesbian and gay organizations in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (front page, Sept. 4) is one more step toward the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Catholic circles. Too often, Catholics are told that the church cannot change its practices and policies about lesbians and gay men. The parade committee’s decision shows that even long-held and deeply entrenched prejudices can be overcome.
This decision is a victory not only for lesbian and gay groups but for all Catholics, and indeed for all Americans. - FRANCIS DeBERNARDO

All I can say is that I have to agree with what one priest wrote:  Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! - Source


  1. "I'm sorry to say it, but I think Cardinal Dolan has betrayed not only the patrimony of the Archdiocese of New York and traditional Irish Catholicism, he has betrayed faithful Roman Catholics - especially Roman Catholics who strive to live chaste and celibate lives in obedience to Catholic teaching."

    More confusion to deal with.

    In my family alone, I have some family members who think the Church is going to support full on homosexual marriage based on what is being reported in the news. I try to explain that the Church will not ever bow to such pressure and then this.

    Can Courage have equal footing or will they as faithful Catholics who are faithful to Church teaching rock Dolan's pc boat?

    Just askin....

    1. Courage will survive - they have good leadership and excellent sponsors. I doubt they'd be interested in a parade - but who knows? Dolan supports Courage - I just don't know what he's thinking on this. I reespect the office he holds, but that's about it.

    2. Same here. The office he holds is an important one so everything he says and does is viewed as all American Catholicism when in my opinion, it is not.

      Ah be honest this whole story about the parade is trivial when there's so much more important stuff happening in the world that require so much least that's how I see it.

    3. Cardinal Dolan is on the Board of Courage:

      He has always been very supportive of this ministry. It should also be noted that Cardinal Dolan was the first bishop of New York to forbid the people of St. Francis Xavier Church from carrying their Church banner in the Pride Parade. Neither Cardinal Egan nor Cardinal O'Connor, both of whom were bishops when St. Francis Xavier was marching in the parade - did anything about it. This is not to cast aspersions on either of these two cardinals, but to show that Cardinal Dolan is not a "sodomy loving liberal" who is out to destroy the Church.

      I think he has been much maligned. And I know absolutely no one agrees with me. We need to look beyond all of the screaming headlines and the rhetoric and see what is really happening.

    4. It's hard to take Cardinal Dolan's support of the ministry seriously when he in other contexts applauds a man for 'coming out', blurring the real meaning of judgment (of actions) and not judging (condemning others as if we can read their souls).

  2. I have no problem with diocese contending over a body so long as it doesn't get out of hand, but the problem of course is that the NY diocese gave repeated assurances that the body would be re-located and then reneged at pretty much the last minute (after most of the man-hours and dollars had brought the cause to near completion). I'm just glad my wife is not the Mommy-blogger whose new-born was miraculously cured by the intercession from Sheen. It would be an angry house...

    Phillip Blosser (a professor at Detroit's Sacred Heart Seminary) has sponsored around 20 evangelicals into the Church over the years. Most have since left. They fell in love with the teachings, devotions and history of the Church, and then of course discovered that what they fell in love with isn't the norm in the real world. In other words, they couldn't endure lukewarm parishes and clergy who act as though the Church believes something other than the ancient faith. There but for the grace of God go I. If I had read my way into the faith I probably would be Orthodox by now (which I in no way endorse, btw).

    1. Scott - that is very sad to hear. It is exactly what scandal means - to cause others to sin or fall away. "If I had read my way into the faith" I'd fall away too. We met Christ though. Stay the course!

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