While Ireland burns, this past week has been a dream for the faithful Catholics in America, especially ones in the San Francisco Bay Area who felt like they were going it alone with their Archbishop Cordileone. Maybe a little persecution has been healthy for us. Maybe Ireland was a wake-up call. Maybe the Church hierarchy realized the laity really does back them up. Maybe they can’t stand the thought of losing another soul to secularism. Maybe prayers have simply been answered. Who knows? Whatever it is, it seems like the hierarchy here in the United States are on a mission from God! (OK, that’s kind of obvious just based on their calling but you’ve got to quote the Blues Brothers when you can!)
In California, Bishops Barber and Vasa already won their morality clause wars. Archbishop Cordileone has the overwhelming support from the laity in his fight. He even has the support of many non-Catholics, because, well, it just makes sense that a Catholic school should BE Catholic. Bishop Vasa, in conjunction with Archbishop Aldo de Cillo Pagotto of Brazil and Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, co-authored “Preferential Option for the Family — 100 Questions and Answers Relating to the Synod” to tackle misconceptions on their three different continents in preparation for the Synod. They’re countering the silly Germans, Swiss, and French for us! To top it off, there’s revolt in those countries against those trying to influence the Synod toward liberalism. It seems that at least some Germans remember the little incident with Martin Luther.
Even more encouraging, the youth are stepping up and supporting these courageous clergy. I’m seeing more and more youth blogging, tweeting, and making Facebook and Google Plus posts in support of the perennial teachings of the Church and her cardinals, archbishops, and bishops. My own kids are chomping at the bit, too. They’re also on a mission for God! (Jake and Elwood would be proud!) The media would have you believe that the youth all think like the “100 Prominent Catholics.” Guess what? The majority of those leading the charge against the Archbishop Cordileone are the gray-haired. It’s the same usual suspects we’ve been seeing for years. I just stumbled across a petition in support of Archbishop Cordileone from an under-30 Catholic for under-30 Catholics (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-stand-with-cordileone). Help them by spreading the word. They’re hoping to get 150 signatures, but I have no doubt they’ll get more. Also, young Catholic Twitter users – why don’t you let @samsinger know just how you feel about Archbishop Cordileone. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. In fact, you can sign the petition and then let him know at @samsinger with a link. Oh, and let him know how old you are. You can also throw in #meetthelaity. That will really thrill him and the “100 Prominent Catholics” – or not.
In the past week, we’ve also had Cardinal Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) put out an awesome pastoral letter (you can find the link here: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tang-or-fresh-squeezed/ and you can send that to @samsinger too) and Bishop Lennon of the Diocese of Cleveland has explained to his teachers that they are expected to exemplify the Church in word and deed (http://bit.ly/1LVVKaX). Heck, even Seton Hall recently removed pro-same-sex-marriage priest, Fr. Warren Hall. By the way, despite the media reports, he wasn’t fired because he was homosexual, he was fired because he chose to publicly rally against Proposition 8 (the traditional marriage proposition in California).
I know there are more of the American hierarchy that I haven’t mentioned who have made good moves in the past few months and years. I’m just looking at the names from this week. It’s almost seems like light bulbs have started going on in the United States , and our Church leaders here realize the youth are the ones they need to focus on to turn this ship around, and everything is getting a bit brighter. The youth need to be protected and taught true Catholicism by word and deed. Bravo, gentlemen! Bravo! Profound thanks to those who have already made moves to clean up the schools and seminaries in your dioceses. Hopefully the light bulbs that are not quite screwed in all the way will soon be shining bright and we can have all of our cardinals, archbishops, and bishops say in unison, “We are the Catholic Church and we are here to protect, teach, and lead you!”
So, to those American cardinals, archbishops, and bishops out there who are thinking about or preparing to jump into this wave of protecting and educating our Catholic youth in this country (It’s all of you, right?), please remember there is a lot of help and safety in numbers. Don’t let the wave pass you by! Now is the time! Every time one more of you stands up, it sends a clear message to the rest of your brothers: “I AM WITH YOU IN DEFENDING THE FAITH!” Germany never seemed to learn from history and is doomed to repeat it over and over again. Their history (Church and national) shows them cannibalizing each other again and again just as they are doing today. We are America! We pull together when times are tough, and this isn’t just in our country’s history. It’s also found in our Faith. Christianity can only take back America if YOU take back the Catholic Faith here first! We are all on a mission from God!