Thursday, June 08, 2006

Just retire and say good-bye, already...

Excerpts from a transcript of Wolf Blitzer's conversation with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington:
[Wolf] BLITZER: So just explain. You think that you could live with -- you could support civil unions between gays and lesbians, but you wouldn't like them to get formally married, is that right?

MCCARRICK: Yes. I think -- I think basically the ideal would be that everybody was -- was able to enter a union with a man and a woman and bring children into the world and have the wonderful relationship of man and wife that is so mutually supportive and is really so much part of our society and what keeps our society together. That's the ideal.

If you can't meet that ideal, if there are people who for one reason or another just cannot do that or feel they cannot do that, then in order to protect their right to take care of each other, in order to take care of their right to have visitation in a hospital or something like that, I think that you could allow, not the ideal, but you could allow for that for a civil union.

But if you begin to fool around with the whole -- the whole nature of marriage, then you're doing something which effects the whole culture and denigrates what is so important for us. Marriage is the basic foundation of our family structure. And if we lose that, then I think we become a society that's in real trouble.

What a guy! We could live with "civil unions"??? Maybe he can, but as I recall the Church has said no. Such statements as this tend to show support for committing grave, mortal sins against chastity.

This ongoing failure of the cardinal to speak clearly and unambiguously brings to mind this from Revelation (Apocalypse) 3...

Letter to the Church of Laodicea
[14] And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God: [15] I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou were cold, or hot.

[Note on 14] "The Amen,"... that is, the true one, the Truth itself; the Word and Son of God. The beginning-- that is, the principle, the source, and the efficient cause of the whole creation.

[16] But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.

The Navarre Bible commentary on these passages states, in part:

14. Laodicea was a city on the border of Phrygia, about 75 kilometers (45 miles) south-west of Philadelphia. It is also mentioned by St Paul when he suggests to the Colossians that they exchange his letter to them for the one he sent the Laodiceans (cf. Col 4:16).

15-16. The prosperity Laodicea enjoyed may have contributed to the laxity and lukewarmness the church is accused of here (Israel tended to take the same direction when living was easy: the people would become forgetful of Yahweh and adopt an easy-going lifestyle: cf., e.g., Deut 31:20; 32:15; Hos 13:6; Jer 5:7).

The presence of hot springs close to the city explains the language used in this passage, which amounts to a severe indictment of lukewarmness. It shows God's repugnance for mediocrity and bourgeois living. As observed by Cassian, one of the founders of Western monasticism, lukewarmness is something that needs to be nipped in the bud: "No one should attribute his going astray to any sudden collapse, but rather [...] to his having moved away from virtue little by little, through prolonged mental laziness. That is the way bad habits gain round without one's even noticing it, and eventually lead to a sudden collapse. 'Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall' (Prov 16:18). The same thing happens with a house: it collapses one fine day due to some ancient defect in its foundation or long neglect by the occupiers" ("Collationes", VI, 17).

Spiritual lukewarmness and mediocrity are very closely related: neither is the route Christian life should take.

As Monsignor Escriva puts it, "'In medio virtus'.... Virtue is to be found in the middle, so the saying goes, warning us against extremism. But do not make the mistake of turning that advice into a euphemism to disguise your own comfort, calculation, lukewarmness, easygoingness, lack of idealism and mediocrity.
Perhaps, it's time for the good cardinal to go into seclusion for prayer and reflection and stay away from cameras and microphones. This way, he can avoid speaking in ways which are either contrary to that which the Church professes or, at best, so 'nuanced' as to be worthless, 'lukewarm' platitudes of ambiguity.

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