Monday, November 24, 2008
Personal Aside: Bill Brady the Expedient? Archbishop Raymond Burkes Engrossing Interview.
Some supporters of Kirk Dillard who lost the Senate minority leadership to Christine Radogno have a lingering suspicion that Bill Brady tried to have it both ways in the caucus. One of the issues dealt with abortion. Dillard is pro-life; Radogno is not only a pro-abort but pro-gay rights and is thisclose (as Sneed would say) to Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC (who may well have promised money to reward a newly pro-abort-led Republican contingent in the senate). Brady is once again running for governor in 2010 leaning toward the stance of Goldilocks not too hot not too cold just right: a moderate pro-lifer but friend of everyone.
So, Dillard people say, to Dillard people he gave a thumbs up indicating he was on their side. To Radogno supporters he gave a slow, knowing wink which they interpreted was favorable to them. Dillard people say he voted present in the caucus via supposedly secret ballot (which they say wasnt very), then hustled up to the desk to make the motion that the caucus solidify itself by voting unanimously for Radogno.
Hes very, very slick, said one Republican operative who has watched him closely. But of course, being slick only takes you so far. He views himself as his own best expert on shaping his public image.
If the Radogno deal is true, Brady had outfoxed himself with some social conservatives. They remember his strange, anti-self interest conduct in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary. Liberal pro-abort, pro-gay rights Judy Baar Topinka who was thought to have made a private deal with Dems for a tax increase (for whom tireless tax hiker Ralph Martire, godfather of the tax swap, put her lawn sign in front of his Riverside house) was in the lead, followed by pro-lifer Jim Oberweis and then Brady. The logical wisdom would be for Brady to chip away at Topinka, the front-runner.
Not so. Brady repeatedly kept zinging conservative Oberweis which from a strategy standpoint didnt make much sense (Ron Gidwitz, in contrast kept a steady steam of commercial fire on Topinka as could logically be expected). Topinka won the nomination and at the unity conference was rewarded with a Brady kisscalled the Judas Kiss by some observers. Earlier this year, when he ran the Fred Thompson campaign here which died aborning he worked closely with Nancy Kimme, the top Topinka aide who supposedly (or was it Topinka herself?) made the crack to the media that if George Bush came here to raise money for Topinkas candidacy, the president of the United States would have to bunker down in a secure, undisclosed location because of the Iraq war. Typical slur from the anti-conservative Topinka-Big Jim Thompson-George Ryan faction that blocked Reaganism in Illinois for decades.
Now comes this case, if confirmed.
At least one top social conservative leader has signified he has had enough and will under no circumstances support Bradys gubernatorial bid. Others say they have more personal reasons to withhold a Brady endorsement. Stay tuned.
Its up to Brady to clear himself on how he votedwith demonstrable proof or the center-right coalition he seeks to buildsocial conservatives plus Jim Edgar-style moderateswill lose its right front wheel. As some say, its better to deal with a out-front pro-choice candidate whom you can believe than a supposed pro-lifer you cant trust.
Archbishop Burkes Interview.
Authenticist Catholics are talking about the revelatory interview Archbishop Raymond Burke has given from Rome to The Catholic World Report magazine. The former bishop of Saint Louis who was on the way to being hard-line on pro-abort Catholic pols receiving Communion was unaccountably plucked out of his archdiocese and transported to Rome to the office of Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vaticans version of the Supreme Court. Everybody agrees a red hat comes with the job. But WAS it a promotion or was it the Curias way of kicking upstairs a prelate who was embarrassing the droves of pro-abort Dem Catholic pols like the Kennedys who dont want someone to publicize their discomfiture at being nominally Catholic? Since the 15th century, the Curia has contained nests of back-scratching, upwardly mobile, ultra-pragmatic ecclesial types who have weaseled and jockeyed without filling in busy Popes on their indirection. Niccolo Machiavelli took notes from a crowd like this in his time.
For now, lets say the plot that promoted Burke was truly Italianate.
Who knows for sure? The highly touted office sounds like nothing more than a glorified personnel court to me a far cry from the catbird seat of effectiveness the archbishopric of Saint Louis was under Burkewhere he was in marked contrast to many faint-hearted bishops who shrink from controversy including some wearing red hats, crimson being the color of martyrs blood they are sworn to shed in defense of the Faith. The only inkling well have is when the successor to Burke is picked. If hes a get-along, go-along Charlie or wimp as some of the majors are, its a cinch the Curia has struck. If hes as tough as Burke, you can bet its the Papal intention.
In the meantime, Burke answers questions in the magazine with characteristic directness. About whether hes happy with the appointment: Well, I am always happy to do whatever I am asked to do. Hmmm. Doesnt sound like hes clicking his heels in the air, does it? Another question: what kinds of cases does the Apostolic Signatura handle? Answer: The most common are...`administrative contentious cases for instance the transfer of a pastor. The pastor may make a recourse claiming that the transfer was not handled in a just way. Or a religious may have some complaint about an act of her or his religious superior and claim that it has affected him or her unjustlythose kind of cases.
Boy, those cases dont sound like theyre filled with juridical or canon law precedents do they? Not widely different from the run-of-the-mill chancery cases held down the road in every diocese. My guess until were shown otherwise with the caliber of his successor: score one for the Curia.
Other questions in the interview: Some say your statements on canon law regarding denial of the Eucharist to those who are manifestly unworthy `risk politicizing the Eucharist. What do you say to that? (Note: Cardinal Francis George made that very same comment in parsed phraseology with superb delicateness). Burke: It is not a question of politicizing the Eucharist. It is a question of showing the right respect for the Eucharist and also safeguarding individuals from committing sacrilege. And so we have to refuse Holy Communion to public officials who persist in supporting legislation contrary to the natural moral laws, after they have been duly admonished. Short, direct and sweet. Bad news for the Durbins, Daleys and 99% of the ahem Catholic public servants in the Democratic party and a few in the Republican viz Tom Ridge, Judy Baar Topinka and many others.
Further question: If I read your article correctly, you place equal responsibility on both parties: the communicant and the minister, whether he is a priest, deacon or extraordinary minister. Burkes answer: Yes, that is correct. And it is not a question of my opinion on the matter. Church discipline demands that not only the individual communicant be attentive to respect the Holy Eucharist but that also the minister of the Holy Eucharist show respect for the sacredness of the Holy Eucharistit is the most sacred reality in the Church.
The clarifying follow-up: Why do you think that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops documents on worthy reception of the Eucharist only place responsibility on the communicant? Burke answer: Because the documents are not complete. They do not report the Churchs discipline in its completeness. The Conference of Bishops did not want to take up what is clearly the discipline of the universal Church, in canon 915, placing the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the minister of Holy Communion to deny Holy Communion to a person who approaches to receive and whom he knows to be persistent in public and grave sin, after having been admonished.
Unsaid: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., now retired, the leading Democrat go-to prelate buddy-buddy of the Kennedys, the Kerrys, Durbin, Pelosi and others distributed the incomplete word to the USCCB before the election of 2004, abridging a letter from then Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, rendering a magnificent service to the Democrats at election timegetting them off the hook.