Lessons In Freedom

Have you caught Joseph Sorrentino’s Commonweal piece on Padre Alejandro Solalinde? From the priest who ministers to migrants from Central America through Mexico, and sometimes to the States:

I see them as sheep without a pastor. Nobody helps them, they’re assaulted, many things are done to them and no one is concerned about them. I said I have to concern myself about them. If other priests are dedicated to religious service, then at least I have to dedicate myself to helping them.

Apparently Padre Solalinde does enough to threaten the powers that be:

 We are always receiving threats. Not just me. There are more than fifty shelters for migrants…. We are like a collective and are damaging the interests of drug dealers, corrupt politicians, and corrupt corporations.

I was going to comment on dotCommonweal till I saw Bill Mazzella’s:

This is the disconnect. A fortnight for freedom for well heeled monarchs who have people serving their every need while the true captives have no advocates.

Indeed. Cardinal George muses about his successors dying in prison or at the hands of a mob. He doesn’t need to travel in time to find the Church persecuted; he only needs to hop one international border. There was a time when the red of a cardinal’s robes meant something.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, Other Places, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lessons In Freedom

  1. “Cardinal George muses…” could be regarded as rather a cheap shot, Todd and to what benefit or expected outcome? Could either of us navigate waters he’s had to captain? Has he silenced Phleger? How is his example and witness in this era of ecclesial politics been more or less faithful to his office?
    Sure, there’s a huge disconnect, and cardinal red, whether on his cassock or on the flag of the USofA had more serious regard and meaning in byegone eras. But I think this may an occasion for a vision check in the mirror. I’ve confessed to my pastor my intense wish to accompany our parishes’ most prominently adopted missionary in the Peruvian Amazonian rainforest when he returns from his summer appeals tour here in CA. I know it ain’t gonna happen. But we do what we can for him and his people, and for others around the globe. Let’s take a moment to recollect ourselves before pinning the tail on the nearest donkey in red.

    • Todd says:

      “How is his example and witness in this era of ecclesial politics been more or less faithful to his office?”

      Less faithful in his appeal to victimhood.

      No doubt, Cardinal George bears a cross, as do all of us. Does bearing a cross of any kind absolve a person, a believer, from criticism?

      I think one might identify a priest ministering to migrants under the threat of death as having more of a claim to a violation of religious liberties than prelates who have indirectly threatened to cut off their employees from access to health care insurance.

      • I don’t regard his widely circulated quote from 2010 as an “appeal to victimhood” at all. To the contrary, it seems an exhortation to faithful witness.
        More importantly, Todd, you not only relentlessly ignore the difference between (unwarranted) criticism (George isn’t part of the topic story) and my questioning of your quip as a cheap shot, but you’ve now added a presumption of some sort sin or guilt by suggesting absolution. Your words are the unnecessary impetus of this observation, Todd, not anything George has/hasn’t done.
        How can you not see, understand and acknowledge this small injustice? I read the piece in COMMONWEAL, the cardinal wasn’t part of it.

  2. Todd says:

    Faithful witness is much more an aspect of everyday life than the extraordinary circumstances of death threats and imprisonment. But when a believer fantasizes or projects into the future a political opinion, it really pales in comparison to the true experience of martyrdom.

    I made Cardinal George part of my commentary. I hold such criticism to be warranted. This web site is not a news outlet. Almost always I won’t simply repeat someone else’s story without an observation of some type. Cardinal George’s words were public words, as is everything I write on this site. All fair game.

    I believe the world presents obstacles and challenges enough without our having to invent them. In many ways the confrontation with one’s ego is far more dangerous and full of pitfalls that the kill-you-quick experience of martyrdom. I would prefer Cardinal George manage his priests, and ensure he listens to his review board and advisors and refrain from making projections about American politics that have an eerie bite-back considering that he and some other bishops have not seemed to learn their lessons on sex abuse and cover-up.

    Lessons are where God presents them. And if Cardinal George or anyone else wants to present some to me, I hope I’d welcome them. As for the cardinal’s words, they were intended to be public, to be considered, and I’m sure to be commented on in support or not.

  3. Pingback: Missionary « Catholic Sensibility

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