Jul 30, 2007

She says Cardinal Mahony said, "The Catholic Church is not the only church"

Today's (July 30) Los Angeles Times carries an article (click on this post's title) about Cardinal Roger Mahony's meetings with clergy sex abuse victims.

Here is an excerpt:

"Two sisters, Elizabeth, 56, and Mary, 51, arrived full of anger for their February meeting. But they said they felt a real connection with Mahony as he looked through old photographs that showed them, as children, with their abuser, Brother Joe Stadtfeld. In one, the monk was holding Elizabeth, then in grade school, on his lap, giving her a kiss.

"They also shared with the cardinal several letters from Stadtfeld, who died in 1995, asking for their forgiveness. 'No longer did it feel like we were alleged victims,' Elizabeth said of the meeting. 'We felt that [Mahony] believed, that he believed that this happened.'

"Mary also told Mahony that she hoped to return to some form of spirituality but that because of the abuse, she could no longer believe in the Catholic [C]hurch.

"The response from the leader of L.A.'s Catholics surprised her. 'He said to me, "The Catholic [C]hurch is not the only church,"' Mary said."

If this sad lady's recollection of their conversation in February is accurate, don't you think our Prince of the Church could have said something better to her, something that would help her return to the Sacraments and to real spiritual help and solace?

Perhaps the Cardinal or his spokesman Tod Tamberg could respond publicly to the L.A. Times article in order to clear things up about what His Eminence said, or meant.


Blogger Paul said...

That confirms my suspicion that the Cardinal does not read documents issued by the Vatican. He's obviously missed the clarification on what is a
"Church" just issued by the CDF and we've heard as much about the Motu Propio as we heard about Redemptionis Sacramentum.


10:20 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

that was me

Paul in Long Beach

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tamberg said the conversations were private. Whatever the cardinal said was between himself and the victim. Some victims cannot look at a priest or the sacraments without being reminded of their abuse. That is tragic, but true. So maybe the cardinal was suggesting an approach that might lead the person back in steps? You weren't there. (Maybe you'd prefer that he told them to forget Christ altogether?)
It is amazing and telling that some would read a story like this and think immediately of a Vatican document! No wonder so many people continue to say that the church is hypocritical and clueless.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Fred C. said...

There's a difference between taking steps to heal and being shown the door. A pastor telling someone under his care to go try something else might as well be admitting he has no desire to support or help them after this ordeal, and is just as ready to write them off as losses. There's something very, very wrong about that.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dgkyykj"She says Cardinal Mahony said, "The Catholic Church is not the only church""

Mahony, ought to know!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church is not the only Church. We have Sister Churches among the Orthodox who, although they do not have the fullness of revealed truth, are nonetheless Churches because of Apsotolic Succession and the Eucharist. It seems Paul may have read the CDF document but failed to comprehend it.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is true that the Orthodox churches have valid Sacraments because of Apostolic succession, but they have cut themselves off from the bark of Peter and therefore likened to a withering branch fallen from a tree. What so often happens when one remains in schism for some time, one falls into heresy. And this is precisely what has happened to the eastern Church. They deny purgatory and argue that one only enters the beatific vision of heaven after the final judgment. There is only true Church founded by Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church. Out of her there is no salvation save for the invincibly ignorant who live according to the dictates of the natural law and sincerely seek God. If you refer to the eastern Churches that are in communion with Rome, then they are part of the one true Roman Catholic Church. God bless and Mary keep.


5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous2 said...

Anonymous mentions in the 5:28am post that "Out of [the Roman Catholic Church] there is no salvation save for the invincibly ignorant who live according to the dictates of the natural law and sincerely seek God." Just to amplify, there is no salvation for anyone outside the Roman Catholic Church, unless, before death, they are united to that Church in baptism (in which case they are no longer outside the Church). No ignorance is invincible to God - it is only invincible to man. If God gives grace to a man to know, and the man rejects that grace, his ignorance is willful, it is "overcome-able" or "vincible". Vincible ignorance is a sin which will be punished; invincible ignorance is not a sin, and so will not be punished. Invincible ignorance is not in itself a means of salvation outside the Church. Rather, a man who is ignorant, but lives according to the dictates of natural law and sincerely seeks God, does so live and search because of that grace of God which is calling him to conversion. My understanding is that it is a permissible theological stance within the Church that if, by God's grace, that man has perfect (out of love for God, not merely out of fear of hell or desire for the joy of heaven) contrition for sin, that man is united to and within the Church by the "baptism of desire." However, it is worth noting that such contrition must at least implicitly include sorrow for any sin - including the sin of believing in a false god or false religion. If a Catholic were to willfully think "God, I am sorry for all my sins, including the sin of being a Catholic if that is not Your way or Your will", then that Catholic has just committed a sin against the Faith, a sin of infidelity. On the other hand, for that man outside the Church, who is ignorant, but lives according to the dictates of natural law and sincerely seeks God, in order for such a man's contrition to be "perfect", such that it suffices for him to receive the "baptism of desire", he must at least implicitly embrace a sorrow for sin, i.e. "God, I am sorry for all my sins, including the sin of being a Mustlim/Jew/Buddhist/animist/[fill in the blank] if that is not Your way or Your will."

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of points:

The Catholic Church teaches that the one true Church of Jesus Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. The Eastern Catholic Churches are indeed Cathoic, but they are not Roman Catholic. Their being in communion with Rome does not make them Roman Catholic...only the Latin Catholic Church can be considered Roman Catholic. But the one true Church of Christs subsists in all the Catholic Churches, east and west.

The Eastern Orthodox Churches are indeed in schism but they are truly Churches, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. This distinguishes "Sister Churches" from "ecclesial communities" which is what the Catholic Church calls Protestnt denominations. While Protestant bodies may refer to themselves as "churches," we do not consider them such because they departed from Apostolic Succession, the sacrificing priesthood, and hence, the Eucharist.

But the Orthodox Churches are indeed Churches, albeit separated from the fullness of revealed truth found only in the Catholic Church.

The Second Vatican Council clearly teaches that God wills all people to be saved and that the Sacrament of Salvation for all people in all times in all plcaes and under all circumstances is the one true Church of Jesus Christ which subsists in the Catholic Church.

This does not deny the salvific activity of Christ in other Churches and ecclesial communities, but this activity flows from the one Faith and one Baptism Christ entrusted to the one true Church he founded which subsists in the Catholic Church.

God wills all people to embrace the Catholic Church; if anyone outside the Catholic Church be saved, it is because God knows that that individual wants to do God's will and would embrace the Catholic Faith if he or she were to know that this is God's will.

The bottom line is: being Catholic does not assure salvation any more than being non-Catholic assures damnation. In the end, only God knows. Hence Jesus' admonition, "Do not judge let you yourself be judged."

10:06 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Anon (whichever one you are),

I guess you struggled with my attempt to be a bit cheeky. Yes, I understood the CDF's clarification (pretty simple as it said nothing new). The point being that Mahony is off doing whatever it is he wants, regardless of what the Church Universal has to say about it (hence the reference to SP and RS).

To the point about what is a "church" - I don't think the cardinal knows or even cares. He said something in the moment to get himself off-the-hook. From what I observe, that's at the top of his agenda.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Michael Scully said...

The white type on the black background on your blog post pages is very difficult to read.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Michael S.,

Thanks for the input. I hear ya!

I hope you like the posts and comments here anyway. God bless --

8:50 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 3:12 p.m.,

My point was and still is that once the conversation got into the newspaper, the Cardinal should have Tamberg elaborate so the faithful and all Angelenos do not get the wrong impression and think being Catholic is not necessary.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Fred C.,

Yes, and it would be nice to hear the Cardinal or Tamberg clear up the confusion that the quote in the Times might well cause.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymouses,

Thank you for all your points.

I will only add that we even say in the Creed, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church..."

That speaks volumes about what our attitude toward Holy Mother Church must be -- love, and a desire to bring others to Her.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 3:12 p.m.,

Isn't it good, though, that when a basic question about the Faith comes up, such as the nature of Holy Mother Church, we Catholics can always turn to documents from the Popes and the Holy See for guidance and illumination?

That is not "hypocritical and clueless" but a sign of faith.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Paul in Long Beach,

Don't worry, it's okay to be a little cheeky now and then.

I imagine the Cardinal has read the documents. But he could make us all feel better, and give us much-needed guidance, if he would comment favorably on them and tell us all to absorb and uphold them.

When he does not do that, it is understandable that people wonder what he thinks about the documents.

9:13 PM  

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