by Fr Richard Heilman | October 12, 2015 11:32 AM
The image I included for this article has always struck me. This is a photograph that was released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and is from the 131st annual Knights of Columbus convention on 6 August 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. Here we see the bishops concelebrated and only Cardinal Burke in the more traditional “in choir” vestments. But notice Cardinal Dolan is the only one looking over at Cardinal Burke. This is what struck me. It almost seems he is admiring Cardinal Burke for being unafraid to remain constant to his desire to be true to the hermeneutic of continuity. At least that’s what it said to me.
I know many precious devout Catholics struggle with Cardinal Dolan with his “Bravos” and “Parades” and “Liturgical Antics,” but I have always been hoping and praying he would come around. And, there are indications he may be making that turn.
Just realeased today, it appears he has joined a group of Cardinals – including some of the most powerful figures in the Catholic Church – who have written to Pope Francis telling him that his Synod on the Family, now meeting in Rome, has gone badly off the rails and could cause the church to collapse (read article HERE). The resounding response from many has been, “Cardinal Dolan signed?”
Then came the following blog post just today by Cardinal Dolan. Let’s not count him out yet …
A very refreshing, consistent theme of the synod has been inclusion. The Church, our spiritual family, welcomes everyone, especially those who may feel excluded. Among those, I’ve heard the synod fathers and observers comment, are the single, those with same-sex attraction, those divorced, widowed, or recently arrived in a new country, those with disabilities, the aged, the housebound, racial and ethnic minorities. We in the family of the Church love them, welcome them, and need them.
Can I suggest as well that there is now a new minority in the world and even in the Church? I am thinking of those who, relying on God’s grace and mercy, strive for virtue and fidelity: Couples who — given the fact that, at least in North America, only half of our people even enter the sacrament of matrimony– approach the Church for the sacrament; Couples who, inspired by the Church’s teaching that marriage is forever, have persevered through trials; couples who welcome God’s gifts of many babies; a young man and woman who have chosen not to live together until marriage; a gay man or woman who wants to be chaste; a couple who has decided that the wife would sacrifice a promising professional career to stay at home and raise their children — these wonderful people today often feel themselves a minority, certainly in culture, but even, at times in the Church! I believe there are many more of them than we think, but, given today’s pressure, they often feel excluded.
Where do they receive support and encouragement? From TV? From magazines or newspapers? From movies? From Broadway? From their peers? Forget it!
They are looking to the Church, and to us, for support and encouragement, a warm sense of inclusion. We cannot let them down!
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