Monday, June 9, 2008

Personal Aside: Pfleger to Return June 16 and All Is Forgiven—Until Next Time.

Reprinted from The Chicago Daily Observer of Today.

The Roman Catholic archdiocese went eyeball-to-eyeball with Fr. Michael Pfleger…and the archdiocese blinked. The incendiary priest is to return to his pulpit and pastorate June 16 to a forest of high-fives from those to whom the Mass and reverent ceremonials have always meant not much more than a circus.

Not surprising.

All along the archdiocese has forfeited its authority because it has been afraid. Afraid of black anger at St. Sabina’s. Afraid it couldn’t find a replacement that could build support to succeed him. Afraid the media…headed by the Bohemian Girl reporter, Cathleen Falsani…Carol Marin’s little sister…who has Catholic antecedents but is a Wheaton College grad (even though little evangelical propriety is observed in her hippie writing) who disses Roman Catholic cardinals as “men in red dresses” would portray the archdiocese as…gasp…unfeeling, untrendy.

All along the archdiocese had seven points to consider which authenticists say doesn’t rank very high with the lay pragmatists running the p. r. show.

1. It had to understand that keeping Fr. Pfleger at St. Sabina’s far too

long was sign of a weakness, a caving in to a rambunctious mob, many members of which are not Catholic at all but have flocked there for a good show on Sunday morning to catch the local rabble-rouser flail around putting on his ping-pong balls for eyes routine as he shouts.

2. It should understand that returning him to his church would inevitably produce more of the same-old, same-old nonsense, likely to produce another confrontation down the pike in weeks to come.

3. Replacing Pfleger with a new pastor would have been the principled way to go.

4. Installing a black pastor would have been `way too cute…a needless mollification and would put the African American priest in an untenable position because the heart of Pfleger’s appeal is that he is a white man who is an anti-white bigot.

5. The archdiocese should have replaced him with a tough pastor, presumably white, and prepare to batten down the hatches to see a lot of “defections” from the largely non-Catholic congregation and a lot of articles by the Bohemian Girl. But courageously hunkering down and returning the parish to its original status of Church rather than raucous meeting hall is what’s needed.

6. But this is all academic now. Frightened of the political, social and media consequences of replacing the priest, the archdiocese has once again played into the hands of the media and the militants.

7. Once more the archdiocese has kicked the can down the road. Once again its lay leadership has shown it doesn’t have the starch to run a corner grocery much less the Chicago outreach of a Church founded by Christ. But then that it has survived for 2,000-plus years with such earthen vessels indicates it shall endure to the end of time.

1 comment:

  1. I was shocked to see the "experimental" theater performance
    which took place at St. Sabina's yesterday. Whatever you may choose to call it, it did not seem to be a valid celebration of the Mass to me. The only two things that keep this parish connected with the Archdiocese are Pfleger's ordination and the title to the church buildings.