Nov 11, 2007

An odd remark by Cardinal Francis George from several years ago

The L.A. Times today (Nov. 11) published an op-ed piece (click on this post's title) by Jason Berry that contains an odd quote, presumably accurate, from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago from several years ago.

By citing this op-ed piece I am NOT giving approval to everything or anything in it, nor to Jason Berry himself and anything he's written or done in the past.

I just want to make you aware of what Cardinal George is quoted as having said several years ago. Here is the portion of the Jason Berry op-ed piece that contains the presumably accurate odd quote:

"In February 2003, for instance, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Father Kenneth Martin of Wilmington, Del., a consultant to the archdiocese on liturgical texts, had been staying at the cardinal's mansion during his monthly visits to Chicago. He had been staying there despite the fact that he had pleaded guilty in 2001 in Maryland to sexually abusing a teenage boy over three years in the 1970s when he was a lay teacher. Martin received a suspended sentence and was declared by the diocese to be a 'priest in good standing' in Wilmington, provided he not do public ministry.

"Needless to say, this was shocking news. The members of the 12-person National Review Board, which had been appointed by the Conference of Catholic Bishops to conduct research on the causes and context of the scandal and report back with recommendations on how to avoid future scandals, had met with George just the day before the story broke in the Sun-Times -- yet he had told them nothing about the priest's visits. What could be more telling about George's attitude than his willingness to welcome an admitted pedophile as a houseguest?

"When Sun-Times reporter Cathleen Falsani asked George why he had allowed Martin to stay in his official residence after his misdeeds had become known, and why the priest was still working for the archdiocese as a consultant, George did not apologize but defended his colleague. 'Are we saying that people with any kind of question in their past are not employable?' he responded. 'Unless we want to say these people are simply permanent pariahs, is it appropriate to put his [Martin's] life under scrutiny that way?'

"'When I read the Sun-Times,' said [pro-abortion] former Rep. Leon Panetta, a California Democrat who served on the National Review Board and was one of those who had met with George that week, 'it confirmed for me what is at the heart of this [pedophile priest] problem -- the [Catholic] hierarchy's failure to understand the seriousness of the crisis.'"

Now, ole Q has asked the question before: How can anyone, especially a bishop or other superior, think that anyone who has committed a sex crime against a child or youth could be fit to ever say Mass again?

Catholics who were around in the 1960s will tell you that liberal Catholics of that time were big on saying sexual sins were not so bad. How many bishops and priests who were in the seminary or were newly ordained at that time bought into that lie and are still under its spell today? (I am not saying this is the case with Cardinal George. But what explains his above remarks?)

Maybe Cardinal George has modified his views in the several years since that quote. It would be nice to hear that he has. I will do some research on this in the near future. If you know anything about this, please comment here; thank you.


Blogger Dad29 said...

Umnnnhhh...he's "fit to say Mass" by virtue of his ordination. That's sacramental theo 101.

Is he "fit to say Mass" in the presence of young men? Yes.

Un-watched by others? Maybe not...

11:12 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Dad29,

The Church does defrock some priests for various offenses, and that is what I meant.

Anyone who commits a sex crime or crimes against a child or youth is unfit to continue in the priestly ministry, don't you think?

9:23 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Quintero, Panetta is right, regardless of his stance on abortion (which is a non-sequitur in this issue, in any event).

Why do you think Cdl. George said what he did? He's trying to use the facade of false forgiveness (so common in our Church today) to mask his own incompetence and malfeasance.

I hold out no such hope for Cdl. George because he is the product of a self-perpetuating system that values power and privledge over transparency and accountability. So are his "brother bishops." If the clerical sex-abuse crisis didn't teach us Catholics that, then we are truly a pathetic lot for continuing to trust these epicopal wolves.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

Yes, I know Panetta was right when he said that. Brings to mind the saying, "A broken clock is right twice a day."

I threw in the adjective "pro-abortion" in front of "Panetta" because he deserves it and because everyone needs to know which Catholic public figures are pro-abortion and which are not.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. said...

Does Leon Pannetta understand the seriousness of abortion on demand?

Sorry to state, but our "Shepherds" have just passed a document that shows that they do not have such and understanding. They just passed a document that places their opinions at the same level as Church teachings. I am referring to their placing opposition to the Death Penalty on the same level as opposition to Abortion, Sad!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.,

12:08 AM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Kenneth, get used to it, unfortunately. Ever since Pope John Paul II expressed his prudential judgement against capital punishment, the Church has gone into headlong revisionism on the subject.

I wrote the following in the wake of Saddam Hussein's execution, and the disapproval expressed by Cdl. Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Commission of Peace and Justice. It shows how the Church is trashing two millenia of teaching from Scripture and Tradition on the subject.

5:34 PM  

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