I've been thinking of Dorothy Day the past few days.
The Cardinal Dolan scandal is the reason why.
Over the years, Dorothy Day had her troubles with the hierarchy - especially Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal McIntyre. The quote I use for the headline is from an article by Michael Garvey. It is a short article addressing the perennial conflict between clergy and laity. The conflict is nothing new.
"There is no room for righteous wrath today.” - Dorothy Day
A good many saints have gone through such conflicts. Once when the local Bishop placed his diocese under interdict, St. Catherine of Genoa simply went to a neighboring diocese for daily Mass and Communion. Like Dorothy Day, she could be quite outspoken as well.
Dorothy Day, like the other great Catherine - St. Catherine of Siena - though she may have 'opposed' positions taken by her 'sweet vicar of Christ', nonetheless did so discreetly and respectfully. In fact, Dorothy Day never resisted her 'sweet Cardinal, the vicar of Christ' to his face, much less did she publicly and directly criticize or condemn him.
Dorothy Day always acted and spoke respectfully of her Cardinal. In fact she went out of her way to find things she admired in him. I especially like this anecdote from The Catholic Worker site:
I arrived at the Worker shortly after Cardinal Spellman had sent McIntyre down to read the riot act. What was apparently bugging Spellman was that the paper was called the Catholic Worker. What he was angling for, and didn't get, was for [Dorothy] to drop the word "Catholic." He believed [the name] was an attempt to indicate that this was a Catholic position, and he didn't want anybody else speaking for the church. This was the famous occasion when McIntyre said to her, "What would you do if the cardinal told you to shut down the Catholic Worker?"
She said, "If our dear, sweet cardinal, who is the vicar of Christ in New York City, told me to shut down the Catholic Worker, I would close it down immediately." She was dead serious. That's what drove me crazy. Dorothy really did go around referring to Spellman as "our dear, sweet cardinal" and "the vicar of Christ." - Michael HarringtonWe do not know of what spirit we are.
I think Dorothy Day may be a good example for for us these days when tempted to anger and discouragement over recent issues within the Church. In fact, Monsignor Pope's action in removing his original post reminded me of Dorothy when he said, "I am a son of the Church". Dorothy said the same thing: "I am a daughter of the Church". The proof is in their obedience and love for the Church and their superiors. As St John of the Cross said: "To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls..."
Michael Garvey closes his article with a thought that resonated with me today:
But those of us, like me, who don’t mind finding fault with the leaders of church, state and opinion, ought to remember that the need to be right can become idolatrous, that the savor of high dudgeon can become every bit as poisonous as any heresy arousing it, and that, well, we do not know of what spirit we are. - Michael Garvey