I apologize for going silent over the past week, especially with everything hitting the blogosphere about things like the lifting of the excommunications of the Lefebvrite 4 and the revelations about Fr. Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.
Such is the life of a parish Priest. That, of course, is my first obligation and so sometimes this blog must suffer. Other times there's just so much being written about a topic that I don't see the need for writing (or rewriting) what has already been said. And, other times something is going on in my life that I know, if I were to sit at the keyboard and start typing, I'd be telling you all the lurid details about (and, believe me, you wouldn't believe me if I told you).
So I will talk about something I like to talk about - hockey. Last night I went to the Prudential Arena in Newark to see the New Jersey Devils play the New York Islanders. A great friend of mine (also a Priest), himself a fan of the Isles, suggested we go. What a great time we had! It was nice to get out and watch a pretty good game.
SO, what about those two big events I passed up talking about? At the risk of being superficial, let me say this:
On the Lefebvrite 4: The excommunication came to Bp. Williamson and 3 others, not because of any personal beliefs they have, but because, in 1988, they were ordained Bishops without a Papal mandate. The Holy Father's lifting of the excommunications had nothing to do with Bp. Williamson's opinion about the historical facts of the Shoah (read this article). Is the bishop out of line with his beliefs about the holocaust? Of course! But our Church is full of people who, though they think (and say) pretty dumb things, are still in Catholics in good standing. I myself have said some pretty odd things occasionally (I know, hard to believe, but trust me :-D).
On Fr. Maciel: Scandalous? Yes. Horrible. Tragic for the order. But I will say this: In my experiences with the members of the Legionaries of Christ, I have never found a more inspiring, intellectual, prayerfully devout group of young men (I'm over 40 now, I think I can call them "young men") living their vocations to communal religious life. They are only now experiencing the glares and stares that parish Priests have faced for the past eight or nine years of the sexual abuse scandal. The stare that says, "You're one of his followers, aren't you?" (St. Peter got that same question on Holy Thursday night). My heart breaks for these young men, and I pray they'll persevere in their vocations, which ultimately came from Christ Himself, and not from any one man.