The priest sacked for preaching Catholicism
Much is written about the intolerance of students banning whatever or whomever they don’t like. But Mary Wakefield, writing at the Spectator, said the real problem was the adults. “Under the guise of safeguarding students, behind a smokescreen of ethics committees, the adults in charge of universities – principals, vice-chancellors – are … getting rid of people who don’t fit their very particular ideological bill,” she wrote.
A case in point was Fr Mark Morris, sacked as chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University after leading a rosary of reparation for the “gross offence” of a gay pride march. The service had been requested by parishioners and, “more to the point, it was off-campus.” The dismissal set a terrible example to students, wrote Wakefield. Fr Morris, a popular priest known as a “gentle giant”, said nothing that wasn’t in line with Catholic teaching. “If you can’t tolerate Catholic orthodoxy, then why have a Catholic chaplain?”
Bad bishops and the two types of authority
At Crisis, Eric Sammons asked how Catholics can respond to the failings of bishops – as so painfully shown in the abuse crisis. Sammons suggested we distinguish between a bishop’s “two types” of authority. One type comes from God: a bishop “rules his diocese with almost complete autonomy … He is charged to lead his people to deeper holiness and moral living.” This kind of authority cannot be taken away.
But the bishop also has an authority which comes from his flock. “If a bishop is a holy, humble man, he will be respected by his people … If, on the other hand, he is a corrupt, immoral monster, who uses his authority for his own power and pleasure, he will lose the respect and the following of his people.”
Sammons added: “Catholics need to doggedly uphold the divine authority of the bishops”, while also being ready to “call bishops to account for abusing their authority”.
Striving to live the fullness of Catholicism
At her blog, Mary Pezzulo said it was important to place Church teaching on contraception in context. “I know of a well-to-do Catholic woman with a gaggle of children, who certainly never so much as looked at a birth-control pill in her life,” Pezzulo wrote. But this woman wasn’t supportive of poorer families. “In my area they used to have a service where people would bring free, healthy, relatively cheaply made lunches to poor children in parks over the summer because the poorest children couldn’t get a free lunch at school when school was out. She said the program was ‘wasteful’.”
A family living Church teaching should be “a Dignity of the Human Person family; a Preferential Treatment for the Poor and Vulnerable family; a Dignity and Rights of Workers family; a Solidarity family; a Stewardship of God’s Creation family.”
Pezzulo observed that in a world which worships Mammon, Church teaching asks Catholics to be countercultural in many ways. “If you are Catholic, Humanae Vitae isn’t optional. But it’s not enough to be a Humanae Vitae family.”
✣ Geraint Thomas, the Welshman who won the Tour de France on Sunday, had an advantage over his rivals – prayers of support from pilgrims at Lourdes. Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, who was leading a national Welsh pilgrimage to Lourdes last week, told the BBC: “We’ve all been praying like mad that he makes the Pyrenees, he gets to Paris and he wins the Tour de France.” An unnamed pilgrim told the BBC she was stopped by a French group who, when they realised she was Welsh, started “cheering and asking us to teach them how to say the name of Geraint”. The Tour de France passed through Lourdes on Friday. Several cyclists went to light candles at the shrine.
✣ Pope Francis has been given a football shirt signed by former Barcelona star Andrés Iniesta. The shirt, which will be kept in the Vatican Museums, is a one-off featuring lettering created by Anna Vivas, a designer with Down’s syndrome who is a friend of Iniesta. The message on the shirt reads: “To Pope Francis, with much love.” Vivas presented the shirt to the Pope.
✣ Riverdance is to be performed for Pope Francis. The dance troupe will be part of the line-up of performers at the World Meeting of Families event in Croke Park, Dublin, on August 25.
✣The week in quotations
There is just too much pain and distress being caused Adelaide’s Archbishop Philip Wilson Statement on his resignation
I don’t like starting something and leaving it incomplete Sacked auditor Libero Milone on a possible Vatican return Crux
The root of this crisis [is] a retreat from holiness Bishop Scharfenberger of Albany, New Jersey Statement on the McCarrick scandal
It was thanksgiving and pure joy Maura Peterson, whose husband was cured of Parkinson’s, on a trip to St Mary MacKillop’s tomb Catholic News Service
✣Statistic of the week
2,000 Number of performers at the World Meeting of Families event at Croke Park Source: Organisers