Thursday, May 06, 2004

Good News, Sort Of

Here's a story about a bishop with a spine, and layman with a conscience. McGreevey didn't make the right choice, but it's a choice that can be respected. I tend to think McGreevey's sincere; only someone to whom communion matters would make this choice. But even if McGreevey's hoping to draw some shallow PR boost from being a "noble martyr" to the True Faith of Modern Constitutional Jurisprudence, it's still a respectable choice. This is the Roman Catholic Church; we don't get to make up the rules as we please and as we go along. McGreevey, whatever his motivations, has accepted that fact. May God grant Governor McGreevey the grace to pursue this course of integrity all the way back to the holy altar of Jesus Christ.

It's interesting to wonder whether the same progressive outcome would have happened under a former bishop. I'm speaking of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- now of Washington, D.C. -- who thought then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman's public support for the Culture of Death unobjectionable enough to allow her to use his Cathedral during her inauguration. When it comes to rulers who use state power to promote abortion, and who then approach the altar for the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord, Cardinal McCarrick's motto is: "What they do, is really their business and not mine."

It's interesting how apostolic toughness makes a difference; the bishops of New Jersey end up with Catholic layman McGreevey, who makes a choice one can respect, if not approve -- a choice which publicly upholds the Church's teaching that Christ has nothing in common with Belial. But in Washington, Cardinal McCarrick has produced Catholic layman John Kerry, who's made a choice no one can respect -- a choice which publicly upholds the apparent sacredness of "having it all," having it any which way, whenever one wants to have it. If the Kingdom of God is a place where choices have meaning and consequence, then it's a lot closer to hand in New Jersey than Washington. May God grant Cardinal McCarrick the grace to see that even McGreevey's choice is better than the status quo.

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