Sunday, October 29, 2006

Respect for the Episcopal Office

It seems I am on a theme today.

As I am sure some of you know, Cardinal Mahony from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was featured as a character on "South Park" last week. I despise "South Park". It is vile filth that has no business being on tv. However, I refrained from commenting on the episode until I was able to view it. I was able to find this particular episode on You Tube.

I am not going to comment on the episode except to say that is is terrible. Gerald has the goods on this one.

This has made me think about how we treat our clergy and the hierarchy. Some of the same people who are furious about the episode, are the same people who call Cardinal Mahony "Cardinal Kool-Aid". I think that is hypocritical. Yes, Cardinal Mahony is far from being a pillar of orthodoxy and we can disagree with him on countless issues, but in the end he is a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and a successor to the apostles. Purely by virtue of his office, he is entitled to a certain level of respect.

Why is it ok for us to disrespect the clergy and it is not ok for others? If we, as faithful Catholics, do not hold the hierarchy in high regard, We cannot we expect others to.

Jesus chose human apostles with human issues and human frailties. They didn't always do what they were supposed to. We don't always do what we are suposed to, there are many priests and bishops who don't do what they are supposed to.

We need to be careful about how we speak of our clergy, especially the hierarchy. We can be critical, but pictures of prelates celebrating Mass using glass decanters with the Kool-Aid man digitally emblazoned on the decanter and other similar things is simply disgraceful.

When the shepherd misleads his flock, and yes, there are many shepherds who are misleading their flocks, he must be corrected. Corrected...not ridiculed...not disrespected.

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