"And this is the sanctity of the Church, this joy that humiliation gives, not because humiliation is beautiful, no, that would be masochism, no: it is because with that humiliation, you imitate Jesus. Two attitudes: that of closing what brings you to hatred, to wrath, to want to kill others; and that of being open to God on the path of Jesus, that makes us accept humiliations, even very serious humiliations, with that interior joy that makes you of being on the path set out by Jesus."
Robert McElroy, who was the Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, to the current Archbishop of San Francisco who is Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
At his recent installation as San Diego's new bishop, Bishop McElroy highlighted Pope Francis’ call for mercy in the Church, saying that mercy “does not mean evacuating the moral law of its substance,” but instead emulating Jesus’ encounters with the marginalized in the Gospels.
“First embracing them with love and mercy, then healing their wounds, and only then proclaiming the moral law of reform,” he said.
From the pastoral perspective and in one-to-one meetings with people, either in Confession, spiritual direction or simply pastoral counseling, I would agree that the Church, which usually means pastoral ministers and especially bishops, priests and deacons, should embrace people first with love and mercy and strive to allow God's grace to heal their wounds.
I also agree that mercy "does not mean evacuating the moral law of its substance."
I have to wonder also, if it wasn't this ideology of mercy, that cause the abuse crisis scandal in the Church where bishops first embraced abusing priests with love and mercy to heal their wounds and only then, after having placed them in parish after parish where they abused child after child, proclaimed the moral law of reform? Are we in the 1970's again when it comes to mercy and the moral law and that has led to the collapse of Catholic moral authority?
Yet, Bishop McElroy, unless his head is buried in the sand and having been the Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, certainly he didn't do that, must know that when it comes to sexual morals, there are those in the Church that oppose the Church's moral law and want to evacuate it completely, especially the elitists in the Church, not those who are poor and live on the periphery of society. Homosexuals are some of the richest people in the world.
And thus about 400 miles up the road in Bishop McElroy's former diocese of San Francisco, about 100 elitist Catholics, many of them quite rich and influential, many of them academics, are asking Pope Francis to remove their Archbishop Cordileone from his post.
Why? Because the good Archbishop won't evacuate the moral law and speaks prophetically about upholding it. I have no doubt that in one-to-one encounters with sinners of all stripes, the good Archbishop is merciful and gives them the awful tasting medicine of mercy that can lead to authentic healing and wholeness and ultimately eternal salvation. It might mean, though, the amputation of immoral habits!
One commentator on the goings on in San Francisco opined: "So, a bunch of San Francisco elitists have gone all Henry II: "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?". I'm sure the Archbishop will be glad to know he is now seen as in the same company as St. Thomas a Becket.
And this is what Pope Francis said about Archbishop Cordileone (not by name, but by implication of the words of the Holy Father) just this morning at the Mass at the Chapel of the place of his residence, the Vatican Motel 6:
And this is the sanctity of the Church, this joy that humiliation gives, not because humiliation is beautiful, no, that would be masochism, no: it is because with that humiliation, you imitate Jesus. Two attitudes: that of closing what brings you to hatred, to wrath, to want to kill others; and that of being open to God on the path of Jesus, that makes us accept humiliations, even very serious humiliations, with that interior joy that makes you of being on the path set out by Jesus.
This is what the Associate Press reported:
SAN FRANCISCO — Some San Francisco Bay Area Catholics have gone public with their complaints about their archbishop.
KNTV reported Thursday that more than 100 Catholics signed a full-page newspaper advertisement asking Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Many disagree with, and are upset by, the way Cordileone has enforced traditional Catholic teaching.
The language said that using contraception is a sin, and that sex outside of marriage, whether it is in the form of adultery, masturbation, pornography, or gay sex, is “gravely evil.”
Of particular concern to some faculty was the prospect of punishment for behavior done behind closed doors, although Cordileone later said he had no intention of invading teachers’ privacy.
Cordileone later dropped the “ministers” designation and asked a committee to help him reword the guidelines to provide better clarity.
Among those who signed the newspaper petition are former political consultant and San Francisco mayoral candidate Clint Reilly and his wife Janet.
“The advertisement is a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, a misrepresentation of the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the Archbishop. The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for ‘the Catholic Community of San Francisco.’ They do not.”