Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thoughts on Archbishop of San Francisco "Joke " About His DWI Arrest

It took me a while to realize that when people write stories they are not often responsible for the headline. At least that is the case with most media.

To say the least the Installation of the new Archbishop of San Francisco has elicited some comments. Lots of headlines ANTI GAY MARRIAGE Bishop Installed is a big one. I am not sure why that headline is news. It is like saying "Anti Infant Baptism Baptist Pastor installed" in my view. That is how is that breaking news worthy of a headline in that fashion.

However in the background was the elephant in the room that the Archbishop while driving his mother home got an DWI recently. Needless to say that very good.

The latest headline we see the last couple of days is the Archbishop joke about his DWI arrest. While factually correct it sort of does not give us the information we need as to the context. See for instance this Huff Post article Salvatore Cordileone DUI: New SF Archbishop Jokes About Recent Arrest .

The full text of the Homily is here so we can see for ourselves what is not quoted:

Francis’ response was as timeless as it was simple: holiness. He focused on the universal call

to holiness, the inclusion of all of God’s people in the life of the Church and pursuing this call to

holiness each according to their vocation in life, but with a particular emphasis on the life of the

parish priest – if he lives a holy life, his people will follow after his example. First and foremost,

though, he began with himself, knowing that the work of rebuilding ultimately must start from within. It was
his personal holiness which led the way in the needed reform of the Church at that time.

These seem to be perennial themes throughout the life of our Church, and are certainly as

applicable to our time as they were to St. Francis’, as well as to any number of other periods in

the history of the Church. We, likewise, need to attend to the work of rebuilding – I will not say

“begin,” nor even “resume,” but rather “continue” this work, because we have a foundation to

build upon and lots of building material to use, just as with the little church of San Damiano.

Of course, as our Father Francis teaches us, that work of rebuilding must necessarily begin

within each one of us – clergy, consecrated religious, lay faithful. I know in my own life God

has always had a way of putting me in my place, His little and sometimes big ways of reminding

me of my need to depend upon Him and to attend to the work of my own rebuilding from within.

I would say, though, that with this latest episode in my life God has outdone Himself! (Now, I

realize I’m going out on a limb here, because I’m not sure if it’s really theologically correct to

speak of God “outdoing Himself,” and here I’m saying this in the presence of him who, until a

few weeks ago, was charged with overseeing doctrinal integrity for the entire Church. So, Your

Eminence, as your former student, I would ask, please, let’s just keep this off the record.)

I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of you for the outpouring of love, support and

promise of prayers I have received in the wake the regrettable mistake in judgment I made with

regard to my driving and for which I apologize. What I found most significant and comforting,

though, is that the very many messages of support I received came from people of different

religious and political viewpoints. This has made it clear to me that most people have an

instinctive sense of compassion, and are naturally inclined to reach out to anyone who is hurting

and in need of being bolster by the moral support that only the solidarity of friendship can

offer.So we have right here a valuable building block: people’s instinctive sense of compassion.

This good will can go a long way in rebuilding God’s house as it manifests itself in the different

communities to which we belong.

  I bolded that last part because that was of the most interest to me. It is in these times that people often find who offers true Christian ffriendship and compassion and those that use it to exact a pound of flesh.

In my life when I have done something wrong and I am fault I ,like the Archbishop,  have found where some support was coming from "significant" and in my case surprising. On the flip side it showed to my dismay some people that used the occasion for slander and gossip. In other words as the adage says you can't always judge a book by it's cover. It also taught me some lessons in making sure I was there for people even those that might be foes in some regards.

The headlines of course we are not seeing is "Archbishop thanks those for their Friendship after DWI".  The headline sort of frames the news.

The video is here and this part of the homily is very much near the start.I actually thought it was well done and done with tact. Also that it was linked with the need that for all us to be Holy and I thought it showed some humility. That's not the headline either.

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