Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A number of recent MOJ postings have prompted me to return to the celebration of Pentecost this past Sunday and to reflect further on the gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to proclaim boldly the Good News.
In the times of persecution, it would appear that making this proclamation may not be a prudent thing to do. Yet, the history of the Church demonstrates that there were those disciples who boldly proclaimed the Good News in spite of harsh consequences. But I hasten to add that even in the present day when persecution of the faith and the faithful seems a relic of the past there are some who claim to follow Christ who offer so nuanced a proclamation of the Gospel that it is hard to recognize.
This does not seem to be the case with Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis when we read today’s Washington Post and article written by one of its staff writers, Peter Slevin. [HERE] All things being considered, Mr. Slevin’s article is a rebuke of the archbishop. But Mr. Slevin has misunderstood many things about the archbishop, his duties, and the responsibilities of all Catholics, as is evident from his report. The censure becomes all the more patent when Mr. Slevin questions the archbishop’s words and deeds that are consistent with and geared to promote Church teachings of the issues of the day. Maybe some of his readers of the Washington Post would agree with Mr. Slevin that John Kerry, Claire McCaskill, Geri Redden, Bob Costas, David Obey, Billy Crystal, and Sheryl Crow are right and the archbishop is wrong or is misguided or is too rigid. I, for one, think that Raymond Burke is correct; moreover, I conclude that those whom Mr. Slevin portrays in a favorable light are in error. Mr. Slevin does not grasp that the archbishop is doing precisely what he was asked to do by the Church and by Jesus—to proclaim good news and to do so boldly. I’ll agree with Mr. Slevin on one point that he makes: “[Archbishop Burke] tells his critics that he has ‘no agenda but the church.’” Yes, that is what discipleship is about: it’s not about me, it’s about the Church, the Body of Christ; it’s also about what God asks of each of us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. RJA sj