Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"Christ’s resurrection and the mystery of God’s mercy"

Cardinal George's latest column:

Christ’s resurrection and the mystery of God’s mercy

Christmas is easy. The lovely manger scene and the sentiment that surrounds it make an immediate appeal. Christmas tugs at the heartstrings of millions of people who may or may not understand the mystery of the incarnation of the eternal Son of God.

Easter is, literally, another story. The historical event itself is a challenge. Jesus, who truly died on the cross, just as truly rose in his body from the dead. Though the Gospels and the letters of St. Paul affirm this truth, they do not actually describe how it happened. It is a divine event attested to in human history, but it is finally beyond the grasp of both history and our human intellects.

Read the rest.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Church is changed but vital, involved - Catholic New World

From the Catholic New World, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago:

By Tom Sheridan

Cardinal George painted a picture of a vital—if reduced—Catholic Church in Chicago, a church engaging society at many levels and striving to tell people that God loves them at an April 6 talk to the City Club of Chicago.The cardinal acknowledged that the church has changed in the last half-century, but said it continues to confront important issues, within and without its own community. [More]

Friday, April 14, 2006

Matters take a nasty turn in Chicago: an overview.

A very sad occurrance occured today in the Cathedral of Chicago:

A man was arrested for criminal trespass after he reportedly yelled at Cardinal Francis George during a mass Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, according to police.

Colleen Dolan, communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, said the cardinal told her that the man carried a knife and a sign demanding the cardinal step down, but police said they found no knife or sign.

The incident occurred sometime after 5:15 p.m.

Police said that the man had been warned against entering the church, but that he went inside and created a disturbance. He was charged with criminal trespass, according to Police Officer Hector Alfaro.

According to the cardinal's version, the man stood up at the rear of the church and began shouting at him. [source]

A bit more backstory has since been revealed:

(STNG) CHICAGO A man has been charged with criminal trespass after he was arrested for causing a disturbance at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday.

Joseph Quinn, 46, was charged with one count of criminal trespass after entering and causing a disturbance at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.

Quinn, of the 7300 block of South Phillips Avenue, had been previously warned not to be on the property, Kubiak said.
Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said protesters were outside the cathedral Thursday evening, but she said she had not heard about the arrest.

A grassroots gathering of those calling for the cardinal's resignation was scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Friday in front of Holy Name, according to Blaine. A speech would be made at the gathering, she said.

Dianne Dunagan, spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, said she was aware that a group was planning to meet outside the cathedral Friday, but could not
immediately provide information about Thursday's alleged incident."

Maybe this guy got a jump on the planned activity, I don't know," Dunagan said. [source]

The group holding the protest outside the Cathedral, according to my sources, was the Louisville chapter of Voice of the Faithful,* who now join S.N.A.P. and the Rainbow Sash Movement in calling for the Cardinal's resignation.

The United Press International reports that Quinn's mother, who lives on the South Side of Chicago, said she hadn't seen him in more than a year. [source]

In recent weeks, two more groups have called for the Cardinal's resignation (as Shelray has blogged on below):

Michael Tario of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Prevention of Clergy Sex Abuse, and Paul Picchietti of the Roman Catholic Faithful lambasted George as being unresponsive to parishioners' concerns about sexual misconduct committed by priests.

They made their allegations at a press conference held outside the Archdioceses of Chicago's offices at 155 E. Superior.

"It just doesn't seem like our leadership is willing or able to do anything about it," said Picchietti, whose group condemns homosexuality and nontraditional Latin masses.
Tario asked all Catholics to withhold donations to the church during the Easter weekend because he believes the money will be misspent on payoffs to keep victims of priest sex abuse silent.

Roman Catholic Faithful founder Stephen Brady said the week's religious significance was also a factor in his group's decision to publicly call for George's resignation.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] national director David Clohessy, whose group organized Wednesday's press conference, said he welcomes the support of the conservative groups.

"We don't necessarily agree with them on a whole host of issues," he said, "but we will gladly accept the help of any organization that seeks Cardinal George's resignation."

News coverage of groups that have been supporting the Cardinal, however, seem to be relegated to last-paragraph mention:

While the archdoicese preferred to comment off camera on Wednesday, Ahern said a spokesman pointed out that a large group gathered Tuesday night at Holy Name Cathedral in support of the cardinal. The group met, she said, knowing that the cardinal is facing tough criticism. [source]

It looks like the Cardinal and the members of the Archdiocese of Chicago could use all of ours prayers, especially this Good Friday.

* Oddly enough, it seems that the Chicago-based VOTF membership has not joined in calling for the Cardinal's resignation - source.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Conservative" Catholic Groups Join in Call For Cardinal George To Resign

There are two more groups who are asking for the resignation of Cardinal George. These two groups, the Ad Hoc Committee for the Prevention of Clergy Sex Abuse and the Roman Catholic Faithful have gone as far as to call for all donations to be withheld on Easter Sunday, as it is believed that this money will be spent on "payoffs" to keep victims of sexual abuse silent.
These two groups have been assumed to be "conservative" and catholic. They join in with the other packs, including SNAP, in seeing that Cardinal George is removed from office.

For "conservative groups", I find their tactics and paranoid demands very disturbing. Withhold offerings because they believe the funds will be used to pay off victims?!! How long do they recommend doing that? Just Easter? If "payoffs" was their only concern, don't they think the "payoffs" could just wait another week? I think someone needs to "shake" themselves and come down off what ever trip they're on, and just think about what they are doing! Something is wrong here. I guess just because one has similar "conservative" opinions as the church, doesn't necessarily make one a good Catholic. Who knows, I maybe way off base and the "paranoid one".
CBS2 Chicago

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cardinal George on John Paul II

A short (~ five minutes) but very moving interview with Cardinal George (and a couple others) on the memory of John Paul II:

Click here to watch (pop-up window)