Monday, October 15, 2007

Failure to wrap

I've been reading relatively widely about the terrible incident in San Francisco last Sunday and I just can't get my head wrapped completely around it. There are two things I don't think have been sufficiently addressed in most of the coverage: 1) the possibility that Abp. Niederauer may finally have been sufficiently embarrassed by this incident that he will finally tack to a slightly stronger stance and 2) the severe damage the protagonists have done to their souls by such a terrible act of sacrilege.

For numero uno, I think it's entirely possible the Archbishop may finally have been confronted with the one thing the de facto "don't ask, don't tell" San Francisco policy was designed to avoid - publicity. I was just reading Kenneth Whitehead's piece in HPR on the Bishop's "Task Force" on Catholic politicians who advocate abortion and this point was hammered home there - the thing Bishops duck the most is high-profile attention. For those of us in the pews it seems positively counter-intuitive, with all the trappings of the office - the miter, crosier, the ever-present pectoral cross and particularly the reason for the Cardinal's red - that any Bishop could be concerned about public perception. But, well, it is what it is.

For el segundo, for the most part we've been told we need to pray for them for their sacrilegious and anti-Catholic actions, but what we haven't thought about is the non-temporal or rather the eternal ramifications of those actions. These are people who are frankly about as messed up as you can get so certainly they have some excuse, but in the end the elevator only goes one of two directions. It is bad enough to deny Christ and His Church, worse to aggressively target them. I'll leave it to St. Paul to remind us of the ramifications of receiving Christ with wantonly nefarious motives:

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
I only hope the Bishops of this country have enough compassion for such wayward souls as to protect them from walking so far down such a dark road. Lord, enlighten and strengthen them.