Friday, November 21, 2014

60 Minutes and Cardinal Sean

I've watched 60 Minutes since its debut in the '60's.  I only missed it when I was in a monastery or being a hermit.

This past Sunday, I watched Cardinal Sean's interview.  I thought it was fine, but could have been better.  He wasn't speaking 'ex cathedra' - obviously.  Of course we know the interview was edited down as well.  Interviews are usually edited for time and content.  I think even Fr. Z experienced that and had to do a post explaining what he really said.  (Go here.)  Cardinal Sean expanded upon the content of his interview as well.  (Go here.)

I am continually appalled by what Catholic commenters write in reaction to everything and anything which comes out in MSM on what this or that religious figure said.  I came across a comment calling Cardinal Sean a slime ball.  Worse things have been said, but that is an evil thing to say.

Anyway.  Rorate Caeli has a very good take on the 60 Minute interview.  I cite it because it is a respectful and dignified response to a Catholic who was obviously confused by what the Cardinal had to say in response to some very tough questions.

Cardinal O’Malley apparently resisted being interviewed on 60 Minutes for a long time but finally gave in. In so doing he put himself into an impossible position of trying to make sense of Church doctrine in a purely secular context, that is, a context that sees everything through the lens of personal rights and equal opportunity. When Norah O’Donnell, his interviewer, first brought up the question of why the Church denies the priesthood to women, the Cardinal’s answer was solid: he referred to the Incarnation and the maleness of Christ. He did not follow that through, however, for he was immediately forced to respond to the question in the secular way of thinking as set by the interviewer: power, fairness, exclusion, discrimination against women. O’Donnell, using “gender” terminology as a preface, asked the Cardinal the set-up question: Do you think the exclusion of women in the priesthood is “immoral”? The Cardinal was put in the position of having to respond to the question in terms of “gender”, gender discrimination. And that is where he stumbled, for Catholics do not believe in the ideology of gender theory. We believe in sex: male and female. He could have gone back to the Incarnation and the maleness of Jesus Christ, but that would be talking about theology, about doctrine, something of no interest to secularists, even Catholic secularists. - Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

Read the rest here - it is a charitable and respectful commentary. 


  1. Thanks for posting this. The thing I still struggle with is that the question itself is absurd. I realize the secular world doesn't believe that the Catholic Church is THE One, True, Faith, but that doesn't mean they have a right to be so ignorant about Catholicism. I wouldn't make a good Cardinal, I guess, because this is how I'd answer the question:

    "The question 'if its immoral' is absurd on its face- it's a tacit denial of the Incarnation, of the God-man. It's a question of reality, really. The modern world doesn't believe in God- even many who claim to do so, but the Church believes it gets its doctrines from God, not man. To be a Catholic is to believe that The One, Eternal God of universe, who willed the universe into being through His Eternal Being, and continually wills every single galaxy, solar system, planet, asteroid, plant, animal, human, -indeed, every single atom- is known by this God and willed by this God to exist for every moment of its existence. And this God has created a Church through which all creation is saved by the salvific action of the God-man on the cross. And that God-man made it clear, even amongst all the pagans nations WHO ALL HAD PRIESTESSES, that His Church's priests would -indeed, CAN- only be male. So no, it's not immoral at all to follow this God's commands, even if I don't fully understand it."

    At least, that's what I say on the Internet. In person I would just come off like even more of an ass who insults the intelligence of the interviewer- and that would be before the inevitable editing of said interviewer. Thanks for all your thoughtful posts Terry! God Bless!

  2. errr.. inevitable editing of said interview... not "interviewer"


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