Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Congratulations to Vice-President Kurtz...

Archbishop Kurtz, from my own humble see of Louisville, was today elected as Vice President of the national bishop's conference. In and of itself, it doesn't seem to be coming as too much of a surprise to people out there in the "blagosphere." He seems to be well respected by all. Of course, all the buzz is not about this, but the fact that the bishops broke from their long-standing protocol and voted someone other than the standing vice president into the president's office. Naturally, much is being made about this on "both sides of the aisle" (so-to-speak).

(And now, my rant...)
I'm amused and saddened at the same time by many of the comments being posted on various blogs (try HERE): one side or the other crying victory over the other, as if this is a political election. Mudslinging, truly, is not reserved to political races it seems. Cries of condemnation. Conspiracy theories abound. Bitter name calling. I must say that I am still shocked by the vitriolic nature of it all.

Maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe I'm overly charitable, but I think enough of our bishops nowadays to trust that by-and-large they have the best interest of the Church in mind, and like your typical priest, just want to serve in the best way they know how (gasp from the crowd... did he just say that?). You can disagree with me on that (and I know some that will - you can chide me in your comments), but I guess I'm just naive enough to still believe it. We're not here to advocate one "side" over another. As Catholics, are we not one side already, witnessing to the Truth of faith? Is it not our task to conform ourselves to the gospel, as found in the teachings and Tradition of the Church, and not to campaign for one candidate over another? But alas, the kind of true openness to the gospel and the Church's authentic leaders that such requires is still lacking today. Faced with the challenge of self-abandonment to the gospel and all that it entails, we still prefer our own little lines of demarcation. We still say "I'm so-and-so type of a Catholic." I agree with this or that only, but refuse the type of "obsequium religiosum" that we must make to the entire gospel. If "your man" gets elected to leadership, then praise God. I trust that he (whoever he is) will have the best interest of us all at heart. But if "your guy" didn't get elected, then how about some openness to the guy who did, and trust that the Holy Spirit is still at the helm? It seems to me that the sooner we can get that in our heads, the better. Perhaps today we just got an important insight into why the election of the pope is not broadcast on cable news networks. And thank God, as far as I'm concerned... Can you imagine? All the political satirists and pundits sitting there in a corner of the Sistine Chapel as the Cardinal Camerlengo solemnly reads the votes aloud? Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck, voices hushed, analyzing how many votes one cardinal got compared to another, and what it all means for the perceived "triumph" of this group over that? How can that be anything other than fracturing of the authentic oneness of faith that we are all called to? Let me be counted as one who thinks that that would be a horrible idea, and suggest that the Bishops conference should give serious thought to not indulging us when it comes to vote counts and the like. Just tell me that Archbishop Dolan was elected president, and not "that he defeated Bishop X by 17 votes." Maybe what I long for is just a bit more unity amongst Catholics ("orthodoxy" in it's truest sense, perhaps?). Just my two-cents. Now, back to my little cave of canon law...

1 comment:

Robby O. said...

1) Forgive my ingorance, but what is "obsequium religiosum?"

2) At St. Martin's last December, Fr. Wade Menezes made an excellent point that really resonated with me: It was something like "Whether your boat rocks too far to the 'left' or too far to the 'right,' either way you're not in the boat anymore.

I feel as though the polarity that we find throughout our Catholic RELIGION is Satan's attempt to muddy the waters of our One, Holy, catholic, and Apostolic FAITH.

The Truth is just that, no matter what attempts are made scew it or, in this case, polarize it. The TRUTH remains.

Now let's all say a Prayer to the Holy Spirit for His continued protection and guidance.