American Papist has the text of a column by Archbishop George H. "Mr. Magoo" Niederauer, to be published Oct. 19th in the Catholic San Francisco. His column is an apology for his action of giving Communion to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in that they were there as a provocative gesture. He says that he did not recognize them and we will leave it at that.
I would have been happier to see him explain why this was wrong in terms other than that this group should be denied Communion because of the "manner of dress" and that this is offensive to women’s religious. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence by his column are guilty only of "abuse of sacred things." No mention is made of the homosexual agenda of these mock sisters or that they promote "goddess worship, transcendental meditation, radical fairy-ism." Shouldn’t the priority be the worry about the souls of those in objectively grave sin receiving Communion? Instead this column is only about the scandal caused.
Though my real question is what is worse 1) A Catholic politician who is ardently pro-abortion and always votes that way or 2) A group with an offensive "manner of dress." If you are the Archbishop it is #2.
speaking of such things you should take a look at this and probably post a link to it, since you featured the bogus Abbott report on this “scandal” fairly uncritically:
It’s time to let this go…the archbishop has apologized…any further speculation on his motives, etc. is a form of gossip and a egregious violation of charity. Be very careful here…
Fr. Philip, OP
Re: Fr. Philip
With all due respect, he may have apologized but it appears that this is simply for getting caught. The public act of profanation remains and so is the justice due for it and the profound scandal it has brought to our Church. It would be a profound insult to true Charity to not decry the wolf shepherding the fold.
If his actions met his words, he would resign and enter a life of prayer and penance. As it is he must still be deposed and “his office let another man take.”[Acts 1:20]
As someone with first- and second-hand knowledge of the goings-on of the Miami Archdiocese, I don’t feel Matt Abbott owes anyone an apology.
Nearly every Catholic in the know down here knows our seminaries for what they are: virtual brothels. Abbot was right to assume what he did.
I am saddened you cannot find a more charitable perspective for sharing with your readers the conditions in which my Archbishop, Archbishop Niederauer, ministers. I hope you will read and link my post to offer another viewpoint. “A Fool For Us: Archbishop George Niederauer” at http://www.dealwhudson.typepad.com/
You are right only if his explanation is a lie. Do you know that his explanation is a lie. I mean, do you KNOW? Or do you merely suspect or assume it is a lie? The failure always to presume grace is one of the quickest ticket to hell. It leads to nothing but constant paranoia about other people’s motives, anxiety about our neighbors’ sins, and an almost complete inattention to our own failures. This is not something we need to be messing around with! To assume that he is lying about what he knew and then refuse to accept his apology based on that assumption and then fail to forgive him his mistake is unthinkable…and borders on a mortal sin against charity. Like I said: time to let this go for the sake of our own souls.
Fr. Philip, OP
Amen, Father Philip.
As someone who receives pardon so quickly in the confessional, I must grant it just as quickly outside of the confessional.
I just want to second the comments by Fr. Philip and the burnt marshwiggle, and briefly add further perspective.
I have known Archbishop Niederauer for 20 years and know him to be an honest man. We might disagree with particular decisions he might make, which is our prerogative so long as any such disagreements are expressed, if at all, in an appropriate, godly way. But it crosses the line to question the sincerity of an apology when on the face of it he appears to be doing the right thing.
Over the years working for Catholics United for the Faith, I have seen firsthand the importance of avoiding rash judgment. It’s so tempting and easy to think we have some “dissenter” or “weak bishop” or “schismatic” all figured out, only later to learn that there was more to the story.
I really recommend–for myself and others–frequent reading of Catechism, no. 2478 on the importance of interpreting our neighbor’s (even our bishop’s!) thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way.
Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice that Fr. Philip is a Dominican. On today’s posting at CUF’s blog, http://blog.cuf.org, I noted the role of a sound Dominican priest in St. Teresa of Avila’s spiritual development. Great to see Dominicans still at the forefront of helping us feeble sinners to become saints.
I am fully prepared to take the Bishop’s apology as sincere and such. But if I remember correctly, a component of apologies is a resolution not to let it happen again. If the bishop has done this, I am not aware of it. Since it is a public scandal, I would suggest that there not only needs to be a clear resolution to keep it from happening again, but also minimally a sketch of how it will be kept from happening again.
That’s right, Father Phillip: “Pray, pay and obey!”
Give me a break.
Bishop Niederauer has a LOOOOOOOONNNNNG track record of being heterodox, liturgically abusive, and pro-sodomy.
It’s exactly the passivity you enjoin that was responsible for the cover-ups of the sexual abuse crisis.
Keep up the good work, Father; you’re the stuff bishops are made of.
Yes, you’re exactly right. When I said, “We have no way of knowing what the archbishop was thinking at the moment he made his mistake and so we should grant him the mercy of charity,” what I really meant was “Pray. Pay. And obey.” Oh, and “Cover up all sodomy.”
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Next time you pray the “Our Father,” pay careful attention to that nasty line that goes something like “…forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” meaning “Father, forgive me my sins in the same way that I forgive the sins of others.”
Not going to be pretty…
Fr. Philip, OP
Surely, you MUST know that it is one thing to give an otherwise good man the benefit of the doubt, another to constantly excuse the behavior of a bishop with a disgraceful record. Do you need me to document for you that of Niederauer?
I forgive this poor excuse for a man. I pray for his eternal salvation. Neither of which preclude me from demanding he resign or. better yet, be removed by the Holy See, and neither preclude my believing that he is heterodox and in some serious need of sound catechizing.
Enough is enough.
In short, Father: You HAVE to tow the party line; otherwise, you’ll miss out on a nice ecclesiastical promotion and.or lose your nice retirement benefits.
Just don’t insult the intelligence of we laity, which is what you have done above in suggesting that we have no place to demand Niederauer’s resignation or doubt the sincerity of his apology.
Scott W wrote: I would suggest that there not only needs to be a clear resolution to keep it from happening again, but also minimally a sketch of how it will be kept from happening again.
My confessor recommends I make a sketch of how to prevent my sins from repeating. But strangely enough, he doesn’t demand that I reveal it to him nor does he suggest that my confession is invalid if I fail to make a specific plan – even if my sin is mortal. While he commends efforts that go beyond a generic resolution to sin no more, he does not require them. Common courtesy demands that I be at least as merciful as my confessor.
On what grounds can I withhold forgiveness from someone who apologizes? Scripture is quite clear that a poor track record does not allow you to withhold forgiveness. It even threatens hellfire for those who do not forgive.
Far from insulting our intelligence, Father Phillip gives us counsel so wise that to ignore it places our souls in jeopardy.
I wonder what would happen if my confessor said: the Lord forgives you, I forgive you, but given your sorry track record I do not believe in the sincerity of your apology and I demand you resign from any position of parish activity.
Though I suppose if this happened, it would make resisting all the arm-twisting guilt-trips of stewardship Sunday a little easier.
Depending on the gravity and the publicity of your sin, your priest would be justified in removing you from parish activities, yessirrreeee.
Eric G, what part of “a priest is not allowed to act upon any information learned in the confessional” was missing from your catechesis? Are you part of SSPX or something?