Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pushing against the age

If you've read nothing at all about the government's "preventative services" mandate, you have got to read Cardinal George's column in the Catholic paper of the archdiocese of Chicago. It is the clearest explanation yet of what this ruling means, and what consequences we may expect from it. He is not afraid to say that one of those consequences may indeed be the end of Catholic health care. (He says, if you have a Catholic hospital in your area, get a good look at it now, because it may not be there in a year or two.) He also gives a very clear teaching on the role of bishops in the Church and the mistake many Catholics make when they prefer to go by their own lights in matters of faith. They are failing to take into consideration the light Jesus had when he decided to vest the apostles with his own teaching authority. (This belief in a teaching authority that comes in direct line from Jesus is actually the reason we are Catholic!)
On the issue of the day the Cardinal is pushing hard enough that I found his column rather startling, and not just in what he said. What is most startling to me is that someone of the Cardinal's stature (both in terms of his "rank" and in terms of his stratospheric intellect) would say such things so baldly. He is not playing nice-nice, but trying to help us really get a sense of what is at stake.
His approach may cause some to bristle... but it is exactly what Flannery O'Connor wrote about in a letter commenting on her book "The Violent Bear It Away" (I read this passage last night in the biography by Gooch):
"You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you."
Come to think of it, that's a really good motto for Lent, too!


Ruth Ann Pilney said...

Thank you for the link to Cardinal George's article. I will share it with others, even my pastor.

I agree with you, Sister Anne, that the Cardinal is "not playing nice-nice..." I'm glad he's pushing hard!

Ashley Collins said...

I just posted that quote from Flannery not too long ago! I just finished her biography.

Great post btw!

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the heads up about the Cardinal's column. I would have missed it had it not been for Twitter and your blog. I've sent it on to others.

I love the line, "pushing against the age." We're called to do that in every age, in different ways. God bless you for your strength and service.