Friday, February 16, 2007

Charity or rudeness?

In his Introduction to the Devout Life St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, writes:

"If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him."

Deacon Tom McDonnell understands this. Read here:

Meanwhile, in a posting here:, Deal Hudson suggests that Deacon Tom "went overboard." Mr. Hudson also writes, "My thought on this homily is that normally the homilist should not mention any sinner by name. I am not sure what the rubrics of the Mass would say on the subject, but he may deserve a reprimand for that."

But then says that: "However, things are not normal when a sinner is not only publicly open in his contempt for essential Church teachings, those on which all Catholics must agree in full in order to preserve their communion with the Church, but also enacts laws which over-turn Church teachings."

Exactly Mr. Hudson. These are not normal times. Times were not normal when Blessed Cardinal Clemens August von Galen used his pulpit to criticize Hitler and other Nazi officials by name. Was Blessed Cardinal Clemens August von Galen going "overboard" as well? You cannot have it both ways. To suggest that Deacon Tom was being "rude" is to suggest that Blessed Cardinal Clemens August von Galen was also being "rude."

Rubrics of the Mass? Are you kidding me? When we place more importance on such technicalities than on God's Eternal Law (which forbids killing the innocent - read Exodus Chapter 20 - God's fifth Commandment handed down to Moses), we have a serious problem.

Such a pharisaical approach to a matter of critical importance to the common good is, well, idiotic.

Paul Anthony Melanson


Margaret said...

Paul, your posts always contain a force of logic which keeps me coming back for more.

Deal Hudson accuses Deacon McDonnell od "rudeness" and suggests that "..normally the homilist should not mention any sinner by name.." but then writes, "However, things are not normal when a sinner is..publically open in his contempt for essential Church teachings" and "also enacts laws which over-turn Church teachings."

It seems as if Deal is being torn in two different directions. Can Deacon McDonnell really be accused of "rudeness" for defending the common good in the same manner that Cardinal Galen did?

If, as Deal admits, these are not "normal" times, how then can the Deacon be held to the rubrics of the Mass?

It is my view that Deal Hudson is not being consistent here. However, as you so eloquently reminded us, if we condemn the Deacon's actions, we must also condemn Cardinal Galen's use of the pulpit to correct Hitler (and others) by name during Holy Mass.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Margaret, thank you for your kind note. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Deal Hudson and Crisis Magazine. However, I have a far greater respect for God's Commandments. I care more for God's Law than for the respect of men. This has the net effect of getting me hated by so many. As we say in my mother tongue, "C'est la vie."

I'm not here to win a popularity contest (not that there's any danger in that). But to evangelize and to try to win souls for Christ by promoting and defending the Church's Magisterial teaching.

You win a lot of enemies (and some friends) by remaining faithful to the Church. In the final analysis, it is Jesus who will judge me. Not those who may have an agenda which runs contrary to the Church.

Deal Hudson is a faithful and orthodox Catholic writer who has done so much good. Far more than myself to be sure. But in this case, I disagree with him profoundly.

Dale said...

Whenn can we expect Bishop Kmiec to reprimand Congressman Higgins? I won't hold my breath. No doubt the Bishop would consider that "rude."

Mark said...

The Pharisees criticized Jesus' disciples for picking wheat on the Sabbath and Jesus Himself for healing a man on the Sabbath.

We all know Jesus' response.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if Rep. Higgins receives Holy Communion at his parish? As one who is not in full communion with the Church, I hope not.

William said...

Why is it that almost no one in this country is ever concerned about the "rubrics" of the Mass (tolerating every sort of liturgical abuse and aberration) but is suddenly so concerned about the rubrics when deacon McDonnell names names in a homily?

Such an attitude seems almost perverse to me. Is this simply an effort to muzzle courageous pro-life witness?

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