What Support?

Jimmy Mac’s archbishop is taking heat for attending a political rally. In turn, he offers a challenge to those who think his participation is imprudent:

Cordileone also turned the tables on his critics, claiming that “there is plenty of offensive rhetoric” against same-sex marriage opponents. He said that while gay people have historically been subjected to violence and retribution, now gay marriage foes are losing their jobs for their views or even suffering physical assaults.

His point is well-taken. Do advocates of new causes take too many cues from their oppressors and persecutors? Is it always about getting even, settling scores, and half-blind persons plucking out others’ eyes?

His conclusion:

In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible … When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen.

These are laudable words, certainly. But they can be applied anywhere in human relationships. Retrouvaille comes to mind. Fans of opposing sports teams. Parishioners. Clergy and their bishops.

Is this political event truly a positive statement for and about marriage? Because I’d like to know the archbishop’s ministry priorities. Each of his brother priests likely witnesses many marriages a year. Maybe as many as forty. How much of that duty does the archbishop share at St Francis Cathedral? Or in faith communities in his diocese that lack a resident priest?

Or instead, does he focus his vocation time on single men, gay and straight, who happen to be thinking about priesthood or in formation for it?

How often does he speak at Marriage Encounter retreats? At Retrovaille gatherings? And if he does officiate at the marriage of a non-nephew or non-niece, how often does he or his brother priests check in after the wedding is conducted?

Words are wonderful. And words about love, understanding, and miracles are often full of grace. But I would want to know where the work, where the actions, and where the discipleship is for clergy who claim to support marriage, who declare a willingness to love and understand, but who cannot be moved to roll up their sleeves and labor alongside married women and men where marriages need the real support.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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