What Would Jesus Do?
As I practicing Catholic, I am glad to see the new Archbishop of Baltimore is cracking down on his priests. Sure it would be nice if Archbishop O’Brien would identify, defrock and encourage prosecution of homosexual priests that prey on little boys. But no, our head of church is drawing line when it comes to a much more serious issue. Believe it or not, a Baltimore priest had the gall to celebrate the life of a departed Locust Point resident along side an Episcopal priest (at the request of the family) at Our Lady of Good Counsel on October 15th. Oh the horror. As a Catholic, I am just mortified over this.
Sarcasm aside, I think the Archbishop needs to get a grip. As penance, he’s ordered the offending priest, Fr. Ray Martin, resign from the three churches he leads and sign a statement apologizing for “bringing scandal to the church.” Funny, I don’t recall the predator priests ever having to apologize for their despicable behavior. Fr. Martin has also been sent to Pennsylvania for an extended retreat and counseling. He has also been barred from saying mass publicly.
I understand the need to respect canon law. In the same way, the church should have some flexibility in cases such as this. The Catholic church comes across as no better than militant Islam when it enforces it’s rigid teachings to the letter of the law. After all, we’re not talking about allowing people to preach anti-Catholicism in our midst. We are talking about celebrating the life of a community icon. A tolerant church should be opening it’s doors for such a celebration.
It’s clear from the linked article that some miserable soul called the archdiocese to complain about this. First of all, that person essentially spit on the deceased by even being outraged over this. Secondly, it’s fundamentalists like that who, by their actions, turn more people off to religion than the prince of darkness could ever do himself. Shame on the Archbishop for even entertaining these folks.
The church should find ways to make itself more inclusive. Certainly, that would not only put more people in pews on Sunday, but also encourage more men to enter to priesthood. With the current shortage of priests, one wouldn’t think the Archbishop wouldn’t be so petty.
After all, especially in cases such as this, what would Jesus do?