Cardinal George's remarks to the Pope


Cardinal George addresses the Pope on the state of the Church in the U.S.

Here's the full text from Zenit. The following are some excerpts. I've seen the Cardinal speak and celebrate Mass several times. He's truly a brilliant man, and I agree fully with his diagnosis. I've bolded one particular passage which I think those of us in St. Blog's ought to take to heart.

The Church's mission is threatened externally by an erosion of institutional freedom. The scandal of the sexual abuse of minors by some priests and the failure of adequate oversight by some bishops has brought with it a more overt expression of the anti-Catholicism which has always marked American culture. In this context, courts and legislatures are more ready to restrict the freedom of the Church to act publicly and to interfere in the internal governance of the church in ways that are new to American life. Our freedom to govern ourselves is diminished....

The public conversation, like the political, legal and economic systems, is based on the generation of conflict between individuals and groups. Culturally, the right to sexual freedom is now the basis of personal freedom.

In this culture, the Gospel's call to receive freedom as a gift from God and to live its demands faithfully is regarded as oppressive, and the Church, which voices those demands publicly, is seen as an enemy of personal freedom and a cause of social violence. The public conversation in the United States is often an exercise in manipulation and always inadequate to the realities of both the country and the world, let alone the mysteries of faith. It fundamentally distorts Catholicism and any other institution regarded as "foreign" to the secular individualist ethos. Our freedom to preach the Gospel is diminished.

The Church's mission is threatened internally by divisions which paralyze her ability to act forcefully and decisively. On the left, the Church's teachings on sexual morality and the nature of ordained priesthood and of the Church herself are publicly opposed, as are the bishops who preach and defend these teachings. On the right, the Church's teachings might be accepted, but bishops who do not govern exactly and to the last detail in the way expected are publicly opposed. The Church is an arena of ideological warfare rather than a way of discipleship shepherded by bishops. The freedom of the Church is now threatened by movements within the Church and by government and groups outside the Church. The Church's ability to evangelize is diminished.

Here's the text of the address the Pope gave to the Cardinal and the bishops from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin who accompanied him.

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on June 1, 2004 8:38 PM.

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