Yesterday, I wrote about the death of Irish Catholicism in America, mentioning that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York is on it’s way to becoming the Gay Pride Parade--St. Patrick’s Day Edition, but that that’s not stopping Cardinal Dolan from enthusiastically agreeing to be the parade’s Grand Marshall.
Msgr. Charles Pope wrote about it much better than I did. But if you want to read his post today, you’ll have to go somewhere else for it. The Archdiocese of Washington apparently considers it unseemly for a priest to criticize a cardinal even when that cardinal is doing something demonstrably idiotic.
And Cardinal Dolan is being criticized, too, for refusing to release the body of Fulton Sheen to the Bishop of Peoria, thus grinding to a halt the cause of canonization for Archbishop Sheen. I won’t bother linking to the Archdiocese of New York’s official statement, as it makes no sense at all--why on earth would the Archdiocese of New York have concealed from the Bishop of Peoria an alleged directive from the Vatican from ten years ago ordering that Sheen’s body not be moved? On what possible grounds could the Archdiocese of New York have hidden such important information from Peoria while allowing Peoria, a diocese of much smaller financial resources, to bear the full costs associated with the cause for Archbishop Sheen? Cynical speculation that this was intentional, to let Peoria pay until there was a good chance of success and then take over all the honors and tourism associated with the resting place of (eventually) a canonized saint may seem uncharitable, but in the absence of any reasonable explanation at all as to why one of the wealthiest archdioceses in the nation would let Peoria pay while in possession of an apparent directive that would eventually take the potential saint’s cause completely out of Peoria’s hands it is not at all unexpected that such poor motives would be imputed to New York in all of this.
In the light of all of this, the ongoing controversy regarding possible church closings in New York and the impact those would have on the only church offering a daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form takes on a different hue. I am not one to impute to malice what may be caused by ignorant error, especially when it comes to bishops, who are not exactly a watchword for savviness these days. But it is hard not to wonder what is motivating a cardinal archbishop who apparently sees nothing wrong at all with giving the Church’s stamp of approval to a parade that will feature people advertising their pride in their sins against the Sixth Commandment, or who was willing to let a smaller and poorer diocese carry the financial burden of a cause for sainthood while knowing full well that Fulton Sheen’s remains had to stay in New York. There is simply no explaining these things, except by the observation that something is rotten in the archdiocese of New York.