As a certified Catholic pundit that means I was ordained into the internet bishopric or the e-piscopacy. This means I get to second-guess priests, bishops, cardinals, etc. A flurry of keyboard presses and my anathemas are there for all the world to see. If only bishops would read my blog, take my advice ,and solve all their problems or at least the ones I deign to comment on. Want a comment on Canon 915? I am there for you, after all I read a blog post or two on the subject at one time and I got the Canons on my hard drive – somewhere. Want to know how to deal with wayward Catholic educational institutions? I got opinions galore and they include interdiction. Want to know how to deal with dissident Catholic politicians? Aren’t excommunications pastoral?
Plus I am not alone in my vocation to the e-piscopacy and I am quite annoyed that some other Armchair Bishops don’t always agree with me. Though due to collegiality I don’t always pronounce them as heretics. There seems to be a good amount of vocations to the Armchair Bishophood and in some cases the Armchair Papacy. But I am humble enough to only aspire to the e-piscopacy.
Now what is this blog post about? Well sometimes some people need their egos deflated and unfortunately sometimes that person is me.
I’ve been quite critical about the Archdiocese of Washington in regards to the handling of the Georgetown invitation to Sec. Sebelius. It is quite easy to critique somebody who has the care of souls when you don’t have the same responsibility for those souls. When your only sources of information pass through the media and you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, it is quite amazing the conclusions you can come to based on such evidence.
I was thinking what really should be done in regards to Georgetown or whatever Catholic-Educational-Institution-Scandal-of-the-Week? Some would just have the Cardinal pull Georgetown’s designation as a Catholic institution. Kind of the nuclear-option in this regard. I can certainly see occasions when this should be done when there is pretty no hope of influencing the school. When they have so departed from Catholic teaching on the whole that they only serve to cause further scandal. I don’t see this as the situation in Georgetown myself and while they are quite maddening as so many schools are, there are still some very Catholic elements and instructors (who haven’t yet packed their bags). Though it kind of reminds me of the conversation between Abraham and God in regards to Sodom and Gomorrah. “Lord what if there is one instructor who still teaches the faith.” Kind of the “Go ahead and Brimstone Boston College, if it wasn’t for Peter Kreeft” argument.
Considering that the President of Georgetown seemed to do this quite deliberately (or at least my Armchair Bishop-senses tell me so), what could the Archdiocese do to get the invite canceled? Is this something that would really rise to the level of excommunication? Excommunication over an invite? Part of me yells “yes, yes, yes.” Of course with an understanding as excommunication used as a medicinal remedy as a call for repentance. In that light possibly. In the Culture of Death we certainly need to pick our fights, not sure if this is the one that should be picked.
Or how about Sec. Sebelius? While her bishop already told her that she should not receive Communion until she repents, isn’t it time to take the next step? I would certainly be inclined to think so since what she has done as in regards to Obamacare and the stripping of the Catholic conscience is quite serious. But on a technical point I do wonder about Catholic Politicians who maintain residence in both D.C. and their home state as to what bishop has jurisdiction? Or do both bishops have jurisdiction in this case. Though it is easier to ponder this than to realize I have jurisdiction in regards to prayer for her.
Maybe I just want the Cardinal to be vocal about this and what an outrage it really is. I don’t think the university is going to change its mind regardless of even such an outcry or the number of people that sign the petition against the invite. Notre Dame’s invite of President Oboma garnered repeated condemnations by their Bishop and a 300,000 plus petition signers. Catholic schools that do such nonsense seem to be immune to outside pressure or at least immune to pressure from faithful Catholics.
Mostly I think it is a case of us having to slowly take back our Catholic institutions and not just write them off. Though often another news story makes me want to type up another flurry of anathemas in frustration. Though like the parable of the barren fig tree, after years of producing no fruit it does come time to cut it down. Being an optimistic-pessimist I hope it is the case that as usual dissenters will die out and be replaced by people who don’t think a Catholic institution is just one that mentions it’s Catholic in its mission statement. That we can see a revival generally as what happened at the Franciscan University of Stuebenville. If note I will simply put my Armchair Bishop mitre back on.