Cardinal-designate Dolan’s address to Pope Benedict and the College of Cardinals

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York is in Rome for a Feb. 18 consistory at which he will be made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. (CNS photo/Reuters)

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan has a great sense of humor so it came as no surprise to see his talk to Pope Benedict and the College of Cardinals this morning peppered with witticism and funny anecdotes.

His charm was so contagious he even made Pope Benedict laugh.

One cardinal told us the bit that tickled the pope the most was at the end when the archbishop of New York apologized for having to give his talk in Italian:

“Thank you, Holy Father and brethren, for your patience with my primitive Italian. When Cardinal Bertone asked me to give this address in Italian, I worried, because I speak Italian like a child.

But, then I recalled, that, as a newly-ordained parish priest, my first pastor said to me as I went over to school to teach the six-year old children their catechism, “Now we’ll see if all your theology sunk in, and if you can speak of the faith like a child.” And maybe that’s a fitting place to conclude: we need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty, and simplicity of Jesus and His Church.”

Enjoy the full text of the soon-to-be Cardinal Dolan’s introduction during the cardinals’ “Day of Reflection and Prayer.”

The Announcement of the Gospel Today, Between missio ad gentes and the New Evangelization

Holy Father, Cardinal Sodano, my brothers in Christ:
Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

It is as old as the final mandate of Jesus, “Go, teach all nations!,” yet as fresh as God’s Holy Word proclaimed at our own Mass this morning.

I speak of the sacred duty of evangelization. It is “ever ancient, ever new.” The how of it, the when of it, the where of it, may change, but the charge remains constant, as does the message and inspiration, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

We gather in the caput mundi, evangelized by Peter and Paul themselves, in the city from where the successors of St. Peter “sent out” evangelizers to present the saving Person, message, and invitation that is at the heart of evangelization: throughout Europe, to the “new world” in the “era of discovery,” to Africa and Asia in recent centuries.

We gather near the basilica where the evangelical fervor of the Church was expanded during the Second Vatican Council, and near the tomb of the Blessed Pontiff who made the New Evangelization a household word.

We gather grateful for the fraternal company of a pastor who has made the challenge of the new evangelization almost a daily message.

Yes, we gather as missionaries, as evangelizers.

We hail the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, especially found in Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, and Ad Gentes, that refines the Church’s understanding of her evangelical duty, defining the entire Church as missionary, that all Christians, by reason of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist, are evangelizers.

Yes, the Council reaffirmed, especially in Ad Gentes, there are explicit missionaries, sent to lands and peoples who have never heard the very Name by which all are saved, but also that no Christian is exempt from the duty of witnessing to Jesus and offering His invitation to others in his own day-to-day life.

Thus, mission became central to the life of every local church, to every believer. The context of mission shifted not only in a geographical sense, but in a theological sense, as mission applied not only to unbelievers but to believers, and some thoughtful people began to wonder if such a providential expansion of the concept of evangelization unintentionally diluted the emphasis of mission ad gentes.

Blessed John Paul II developed this fresh understanding, speaking of evangelizing cultures, since the engagement between faith and culture supplanted the relationship between church and state dominant prior to the Council, and included in this task the re-evangelizing of cultures that had once been the very engine of gospel values. The New Evangelization became the dare to apply the invitation of Jesus to conversion of heart not only ad extra but ad intra, to believers and cultures where the salt of the gospel had lost its tang. Thus, the missio is not only to New Guinea but to New York.

In Redemptoris Missio, #33, he elaborated upon this, noting primary evangelization — the preaching of Jesus to lands and people unaware of His saving message — the New Evangelization — the rekindling of faith in persons and cultures where it has grown lackluster — and the pastoral care of those daily living as believers.

We of course acknowledge that there can be no opposition between the missio ad gentes and the New Evangelization. It is not an “either-or” but a “both-and” proposition. The New Evangelization generates enthusiastic missionaries; those in the apostolate of the missio ad gentes require themselves to be constantly evangelized anew.

Even in the New Testament, to the very generation who had the missio ad gentes given by the Master at His ascension still ringing in their ears, Paul had to remind them to “stir into flame” the gift of faith given them, certainly an early instance of the New Evangelization.

And, just recently, in the inspirational Synod in Africa, we heard our brothers from the very lands radiant with the fruits of the missio ad gentes report that those now in the second and third generation after the initial missionary zeal already stand in need of the New Evangelization.

The acclaimed American missionary and TV evangelist, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, commented, “Our Lord’s first word to His disciples was ‘come!’ His last word was ‘go!’ You can’t ‘go’ unless you’ve first ‘come’ to Him.”

A towering challenge to both the missio ad gentes and the New Evangalization today is what we call secularism. Listen to how our Pope describes it:

Secularization, which presents itself in cultures by imposing a world and
humanity without reference to Transcendence, is invading every aspect of daily life and developing a mentality in which God is effectively absent, wholly or partially, from human life and awareness. This secularization is not only an external threat to believers, but has been manifest for some time in the heart of the Church herself. It profoundly distorts the Christian faith from within, and consequently, the lifestyle and daily behavior of believers. They live in the world and are often marked, if not conditioned, by the cultural imagery that impresses contradictory and impelling models regarding the practical denial of God: there is no longer any need for God, to think of him or to return to him. Furthermore, the prevalent hedonistic and consumeristic mindset fosters in the faithful and in Pastors a tendency to superficiality and selfishness that is harmful to ecclesial life. (Benedict XVI, Address to Pontifical Council for Culture, 8.III.2008)

This secularization calls for a creative strategy of evangelization, and I want to detail seven planks of this strategy.

1. Actually, in graciously inviting me to speak on this topic, “The Announcement of the Gospel Today, between missio ad gentes and the new evangelization,” my new-brother-cardinal, His Eminence, the Secretary of State, asked me to put in into the context of secularism, hinting that my home archdiocese of New York might be the “capital of a secular culture.”

As I trust my friend and new-brother-cardinal, Edwin O’Brien — who grew up in New York — will agree, New York — without denying its dramatic evidence of graphic secularism — is also a very religious city.

There one finds, even among groups usually identified as materialistic — the media, entertainment, business, politics, artists, writers — an undeniable openness to the divine!

The cardinals who serve Jesus and His Church universal on the Roman Curia may recall the address Pope Benedict gave them at Christmas two years ago when he celebrated this innate openness to the divine obvious even in those who boast of their secularism:

We as believers, must have at heart even those people who consider themselves agnostics or atheists. When we speak of a new evangelization these people are perhaps taken aback. They do not want to see themselves as an object of mission or to give up their freedom of thought and will. Yet the question of God remains present even for them. As the first step of evangelization we must seek to keep this quest alive; we must be concerned that human beings do not set aside the question of God, but rather see it as an essential question for their lives. We must make sure that they are open to this question and to the yearning concealed within. I think that today too the Church should open a sort of “Court of the Gentiles” in which people might in some way latch on to God, without knowing him and before gaining access to his mystery, at whose service the inner life of the Church stands.

This is my first point: we believe with the philosophers and poets of old, who never had the benefit of revelation, that even a person who brags about being secular and is dismissive of religion, has within an undeniable spark of interest in the beyond, and recognizes that humanity and creation is a dismal riddle without the concept of some kind of creator.

A movie popular at home now is The Way, starring a popular actor, Martin Sheen. Perhaps you have seen it. He plays a grieving father whose estranged son dies while walking the Camino di Santiago di Campostella in Spain. The father decides, in his grief, to complete the pilgrimage in place of his dead son. He is an icon of a secular man: self-satisfied, dismissive of God and religion, calling himself a “former Catholic,” cynical about faith . . . but yet unable to deny within him an irrepressible interest in the transcendent, a thirst for something — no, Someone — more, which grows on the way.

Yes, to borrow the report of the apostles to Jesus from last Sunday’s gospel, “All the people are looking for you!”

They still are . . .

2. . . . and, my second point, this fact gives us immense confidence and courage in the sacred task of mission and New Evangelization.

“Be not afraid,” we’re told, is the most repeated exhortation in the Bible.

After the Council, the good news was that triumphalism in the Church was dead.

The bad news was that, so was confidence!

We are convinced, confident, and courageous in the New Evangelization because of the power of the Person sending us on mission — who happens to be the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity – because of the truth of the message, and the deep down openness in even the most secularized of people to the divine.

Confident, yes!

Triumphant, never!

What keeps us from the swagger and arrogance of triumphalism is a recognition of what Pope Paul VI taught in Evangelii Nuntiandi: the Church herself needs evangelization!

This gives us humility as we confess that Nemo dat quod not habet, that the Church has a deep need for the interior conversion that is at the marrow of the call to evangelization.

3. A third necessary ingredient in the recipe of effective mission is that God does not satisfy the thirst of the human heart with a proposition, but with a Person, whose name is Jesus.

The invitation implicit in the Missio ad gentes and the New Evangelization is not to a doctrine but to know, love, and serve — not a something, but a Someone.

When you began your ministry as successor of St. Peter, Holy Father, you invited us to friendship with Jesus, which is the way you defined sanctity.

There it is . . . love of a Person, a relationship at the root of out faith.

As St. Augustine writes, “Ex una sane doctrina impressam fidem credentium cordibus singulorum qui hoc idem credunt verissime dicimus, sed aliud sunt ea quae creduntur, aliud fides qua creduntur” (De Trinitate, XIII, 2.5)

4. Yes, and here’s my fourth point, but this Person, Jesus, tells us He is the truth.

So, our mission has a substance, a content, and this twentieth anniversary of the Catechism, the approaching fiftieth anniversary of the Council, and the upcoming Year of Faith charge us to combat catechetical illiteracy.

True enough, the New Evangalization is urgent because secularism has often choked the seed of faith; but that choking was sadly made easy because so many believers really had no adequate knowledge or grasp of the wisdom, beauty, and coherence of the Truth.

Cardinal George Pell has observed that “it’s not so much that our people have lost their faith, but that they barely had it to begin with; and, if they did, it was so vapid that it was easily taken away.”

So did Cardinal Avery Dulles call for neo-apologetics, rooted not in dull polemics but in the Truth that has a name, Jesus.

So did Blessed John Newman, upon reception of his own biglietto nominating him a cardinal warn again of what he constantly called a dangerous liberalism in religion: “. . . the belief that there is no objective truth in religion, that one creed is as good as another . . . Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment, a taste . . . ”

And, just as Jesus tells us “I am the Truth,” He also describes Himself as “the Way, and the Life.”

The Way of Jesus is in and through His Church, a holy mother who imparts to us His Life.

“For what would I ever know of Him without her?” asks De Lubac, referring to the intimate identification of Jesus and His Church.

Thus, our mission, the New Evangelization, has essential catechetical and ecclesial dimensions.

This impels us to think about Church in a fresh way: to think of the Church as a mission. As John Paul II taught in Redemptoris Missio, the Church does not “have a mission,” as if “mission” were one of many things the Church does. No, the Church is a mission, and each of us who names Jesus as Lord and Savior should measure ourselves by our mission-effectiveness.

Over the fifty years since the convocation of the Council, we have seen the Church pass through the last stages of the Counter-Reformation and rediscover itself as a missionary enterprise. In some venues, this has meant a new discovery of the Gospel. In once-catechized lands, it has meant a re-evangelization that sets out from the shallow waters of institutional maintenance, and as John Paul II instructed us in Novo Millennio Ineunte, puts out “into the deep” for a catch.

In many of the countries represented in this college, the ambient public culture once transmitted the Gospel, but does so no more. In those circumstances, the proclamation of the Gospel — the deliberate invitation to enter into friendship with the Lord Jesus — must be at the very center of the Catholic life of all of our people. But in all circumstances, the Second Vatican Council and the two great popes who have given it an authoritative interpretation are urging us to call our people to think of themselves as missionaries and evangelists.

5. When I was a new seminarian at the North American College here in Rome, all the first-year men from all the Roman theological universities were invited to a Mass at St. Peter’s with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal John Wright, as celebrant and homilist.

We thought he would give us a cerebral homily. But he began by asking, “Seminarians: do me and the Church a big favor. When you walk the streets of Rome, smile!”

So, point five: the missionary, the evangelist, must be a person of joy.

“Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence,” claims Leon Bloy.

When I became Archbishop of New York, a priest old me, “You better stop smiling when you walk the streets of Manhattan, or you’ll be arrested!”

A man dying of AIDS at the Gift of Peace Hospice, administered by the Missionaries of Charity in Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s Archdiocese of Washington, asked for baptism. When the priest asked for an expression of faith, the dying man whispered, “All I know is that I’m unhappy, and these sisters are very happy, even when I curse them and spit on them. Yesterday I finally asked them why they were so happy. They replied ‘Jesus.’ I want this Jesus so I can finally be happy.

A genuine act of faith, right?

The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown.

The missio ad gentes is all about a yes to everything decent, good, true, beautiful and noble in the human person.

The Church is about a yes!, not a no!

6. And, next-to-last point, the New Evangelization is about love.

Recently, our brother John Thomas Kattrukudiyil, the Bishop of Itanagar, in the northeast corner of India, was asked to explain the tremendous growth of the Church in his diocese, registering over 10,000 adult converts a year.

“Because we present God as a loving father, and because people see the Church loving them.” he replied.

Not a nebulous love, he went on, but a love incarnate in wonderful schools for all children, clinics for the sick, homes for the elderly, centers for orphans, food for the hungry.

In New York, the heart of the most hardened secularist softens when visiting one of our inner-city Catholic schools. When one of our benefactors, who described himself as an agnostic, asked Sister Michelle why, at her age, with painful arthritic knees, she continued to serve at one of these struggling but excellent poor schools, she answered, “Because God loves me, and I love Him, and I want these children to discover this love.”

7. Joy, love . . . and, last point . . . sorry to bring it up, . . . but blood.

Tomorrow, twenty-two of us will hear what most of you have heard before:

“To the praise of God, and the honor of the Apostolic See
receive the red biretta, the sign of the cardinal’s dignity;
and know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude
even to the shedding of your blood:
for the growth of the Christian faith,
the peace and tranquility of the People of God,
and the freedom and spread of the Holy Roman Church.”

Holy Father,can you omit “to the shedding of your blood” when you present me with the biretta?

Of course not! We are but “scarlet audio-visual aids” for all of our brothers and sisters also called to be ready to suffer and die for Jesus.

It was Pope Paul VI who noted wisely that people today learn more from “witness than from words,” and the supreme witness is martyrdom.

Sadly, today we have martyrs in abundance.

Thank you, Holy Father, for so often reminding us of those today suffering persecution for their faith throughout the world.

Thank you, Cardinal Koch, for calling the Church to an annual “day of solidarity” with those persecuted for the sake of the gospel, and for inviting our ecumenical and inter-religious partners to an “ecumenism of martyrdom.”

While we cry for today’s martyrs; while we love them, pray with and for them; while we vigorously advocate on their behalf; we are also very proud of them, brag about them, and trumpet their supreme witness to the world.

They spark the missio ad gentes and New Evangelization.

A young man in New York tells me he returned to the Catholic faith of his childhood, which he had jettisoned as a teenager, because he read The Monks of Tibhirine, about Trappists martyred in Algeria fifteen years ago, and after viewing the drama about them, the French film, Of Gods and Men.

Tertullian would not be surprised.

Thank you, Holy Father and brethren, for your patience with my primitive Italian. When Cardinal Bertone asked me to give this address in Italian, I worried, because I speak Italian like a child.

But, then I recalled, that, as a newly-ordained parish priest, my first pastor said to me as I went over to school to teach the six-year old children their catechism, “Now we’ll see if all your theology sunk in, and if you can speak of the faith like a child.”

And maybe that’s a fitting place to conclude: we need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty, and simplicity of Jesus and His Church.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

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25 Responses to Cardinal-designate Dolan’s address to Pope Benedict and the College of Cardinals

  1. He’s the best…Glad to be in a suffragen diocese of his…I realize the chances are minimal to say the least but I could see him as thefirst American Pope…

  2. Steve says:

    I was thinking the same exact thing Chris! Wouldn’t it be wonderful for him to be the first American Pope?!?

  3. Walter G. Sandell, Jr. says:

    It sounds good, but does not give enough attention to the failures of the hierarchy, which have led to their diminished authority in the eyes of so many. The prohibition on even discussing the ordination of women means that even if the position of the Pope is correct, people will not become convinced. “Conversation > Conversion > Communion” must be the method of the “New Evangelization.” The smile is also necessary, but not as a mask for the denial of culpability for the institution first attitude of so many of the hierarchy.
    It might not be a bad idea for all of the bishops to wear penitential robes for the duration of Lent, and to perform true acts of humble service to individuals.
    Repent and be Saved!

  4. Marco says:

    Steve, Chris… let’s pray for that!! wouldn’t be awesome. He would be great as a pope also. May the lord keep blessing him !

  5. Tapestry says:

    I am glad Pope Benedict got to laugh, the man needs more laughter in his life. The world can be such a miserable place we need bright spots to remember that God made us to be happy.. always!

  6. I’m not at all a big fan of Timothy Dolan, but this was rather good, IMHO.

  7. Bender says:

    He “even made” the Pope laugh??

    What? What does that mean, other to falsely imply that Pope Benedict is this humorless, stern, mean old man?

  8. sam says:

    There is a big difference being humor and “joy”. The Holy Father is a man of tremendous joy – he exudes it. Everyone who has ever met him experiences it – together w/his tremendous peace and goodness. “Joy” is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Humor, on the other hand, is a human quality. I never read anywhere that Jesus or any of the Apostles were humorous or made people laugh. I’ll take “the joy of the Holy Spirit” any day. In fact we all should pray for it.

  9. I can not fully explain my joy with the fact that Timothy Nolan is now a Cardinal. I had the sheer pleasure of celebrating Easter Mass with him and when he looks and speaks to you, you feel like you’re the only on in the room. What a wonderful gift from God Timothy Nolan is to the world

  10. taad says:

    Archbishop Dolan and the USCCB blew it last week with the initial weak response to the so called compromise on the HHS Mandate. The initial positive response from Dolan when he said “It’s a positive move in the right direction.” was it. End of story. The campaign was over, the media put out a compromise was successful, end of story. This was a very serious blunder. I also tire of hearing positive remarks about the administration. Hello, this leader is for outright killing a baby if it is born by mistake during an attempted abortion. He hired a friend of the notorious late term abortion doctor to be head of HHS. Short of a miraculous conversion these people are completely against all we stand for as Christians and Catholics. They are to be blunt evil. The time for playing games with these guys ended a long time ago.

  11. taad says:

    “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, between Christ and Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…”
    Cardinal Karol Wotyla, 1976

  12. Eugene LaCroce says:

    The Second Vatican Council and the two great popes who have given it an authoritative interpretation are urging us to call our people to think of themselves as missionaries and evangelists. This is easy to say. In the last twenty years or more I have not heard one sermon on birth control or such things as mortal and venial sin and the need for weekly or monthly or even quarterly confessions. . Before we can preach the Gospel we have to know and live it. People lost belief in the authority of the Church over the birth control issue and the issue of mortal sin: Missing mass on Sunday without a valid excuse was a mortal sin. Masterbation and a sexual thought was a mortal sin. (I know for a sin to be mortal you need a grievious matter,sufficient reflection and full consent of the will). Even Cardinal Dolan concedes that the church has done a poor job in convincing catholics that the use of contraceptives are immoral. I believe we need to teach the gospel in a more compelling manner. People practice these sins and still go to communion thus receiving no grace for their efforts.
    We must realize that the Priest is offering Jesus to his Father along with all our prayers in a sacramental sacrifice and that Jesus becomes part of us when we eat his body and drink his blood. When we realize this then we cannot say that the mass is boring.
    In conclusion: A course on John Paul’s Theology of the body should be a requirement of all Catholics to learn. It should be explained to all parishoners’ even older ones so they can pass it along to others.

  13. I am so happy for Timothy Dolan. I went to Mass once in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin an came away with very much respect. He is a common Man in a not so common position. But to say he would be a good candidate for Pope is awesome!

  14. D. Morgan says:

    “Cardinal George Pell has observed that “it’s not so much that our people have lost their faith, but that they barely had it to begin with; and, if they did, it was so vapid that it was easily taken away.”

    What has passed for Catechesis since V-II is unforgivable. The average Catholic has little true knowledge of the Faith. This has been by Design! If the current Church Fathers want a true Re-Evangilization Teach the True Faith. Un-apologetically! And insist on adherence and submission by the Faithful. We need True Faith, True obedience and True Priests.

    Have a blessed Lent.

  15. Tania says:

    Future Timothy Card. Dolan is great. I also like the Holy Father laughing. These guys’ joyful attitude is hope-giving. Long live Timothy Dolan and the Holy Father.

  16. NO!! toVaticanTwice! NO!! "saint" JPII! NO!! Apostassisi I, II, III!!! says:

    The world is on the brink of destruction, mostly at their own hands and they are laughing? Jesus did not laugh while here.

    “I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day.”

    Do they have less to do than Our Lord??? This is a time for work, for fighting, for every kind of Catholic militancy they can muster. It is NOT a time for jocularity.

  17. Three cheers to His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan! Excelsior!!!

  18. DK says:

    In reply to Walter. I am a Catholic woman and your calling for women’s ordination is only understandable in light of a radical feminist view of women. For years they have pushed that the sexes are exactly the same, women need to be free to change bed partners like we do socks, and that children are a parasite to the mother. Look what this has wrought us! The total breakdown of the family, women are now sexual objects to be used by men, and men don’t value fatherhood and desert their families. No, I do not want women’s ordination or anything to do with the priesthood. We younger women now see the fruits of this ideology. The times they are a changing, Walter.

  19. Wendell says:

    Congratulations to Cardinal Dolan! I encourage everyone, laity and priests alike, to read his book “Priests for The Third Millennium”. It is faithful and a straight forward read. A good book for a Lenten meditation.

    I dare say that, if more laity and priests read his Eminence’s book, we will have better priests and, hence, better formed laity.

  20. terryfenwick says:

    I love our new Cardinal. I love the Holy Father. I love being Catholic. Reading this was such a blessing.

  21. terryfenwick says:

    Embrace the things you love about the Church and pray for anything you are unhappy about. Read the James 3 First Reading today about the tongue. We are in the Church Jesus began in Matthew 16. It is not going to fall.

  22. TtT Engine says:

    Fellow Catholics, I urge you to look beneath the surface of the Cardinals humor. Notice Cardinal Dolan’s reference to blood and martyrdom. “It was Pope Paul VI who noted wisely that people today learn more from “witness than from words,” and the supreme witness is martyrdom”.The age and opportunity for missionary and evangelization is ending.The hour glass of time is expiring. 39 years of unwavering tolerance has given us 56 million U.S. abortions which the average CINO has considered “one issue among many”. Separation of Church and State has been bastardized into the elimination of the Judaio-Christian value system and possibly the end of practicing Roman/Orthodox Catholics. You CINOs have with your modernistic swagger, stood idol, convincing yourselves that you have found religious freedom in the modern world. “re-evangelizing of cultures that had once been the very engine of gospel values” You CINOs have played loose and free with your faith for 50 years. The numbers are not good. 50 % of Catholics are CINOs and have voted us into the brink of extinction. 50% of parish clerics and church hierarchy are wearing costumes. 75% of elected Catholics in government might as well be secular pagans. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, FAST, SACRIFCE and perform GOOD DEEDS in God’s name. It is the only way to even the “playing field”. May God Bless His Soldiers for Christ.

  23. John says:

    Good words. However, we need action. Very, very few in high positions have the courage of leadership in these hard times. IMHO, the greatest crime for people called to lead is to fail in their calling.

    Again, action is wanted not words.

  24. Jonathan says:

    … These men are not credible leaders, they have lost all their authority in the last 25 years due the sexual abuse crisis. Their current tug of war with Obama will back fire on them, and they will be even more a laughing stock than now. Arrogance never works.
    The foolish comments here is to get to 1950s, Catholic scare theology,conservitive thinking, go back to Camelot. That would be the final bell. There is VERY little talk about how to go forward in the reality of the Church in modern world. Red robes and red hats and titles like cardinal only add to the monarchy, which is the real sin of the church. Or maybe go back to the Tridintine Latin Mass, that the new fixit in vogue. Ahh the 1950s.

  25. Duane Lamers says:

    Jonathan, not true that arrogance never works. It’s been doin’ just fine in the White House these three years. It is clear from your posting that you are a liberal, which is your prerogative. Now defend in your own back yard what you criticize across the fence.

    I remind you that the deterioration in our country’s culture began at the same time that the “with it” movement began in the ’60’s. If you don’t think there has been a decline, then you haven’t lived long enough to recognize the difference.

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