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Archdiocese needs Solomon

June 19, 2015
Mike DeNunzio
San Francisco

The 108 “committed Catholics” who petitioned Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Cordileone have been committed to every San Francisco archbishop – including Archbishop Cordileone. Their distress over the teachers’ handbook and employment contract deserve hearing. Bishops are ordained to listen and to teach the joyful and the distressed. The American bishops are not listening. If “ex-Catholics” were a religion, they would be the third-largest in the United States, exceeded only by Catholics and Baptists (Pew Research 2015 Religious Landscape Study).

Clinicians diagnose as a manic disorder the compulsion to publicly preface one’s identity with a salutary adjective such as “committed” and relate to higher authorities – the pope – or politicians who presume power to take life with assisted suicide and abortion. “Committed Catholics” and less noble Catholics both should heed the wisdom of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput in “Render Unto Caesar” (Random House, 2009): He reminds Catholics that the Pharisee in the temple also proclaimed he was “committed” to his faith. The bold archbishop wrote: “We can’t talk piously about immigration, health care, poverty, homelessness if we are not willing to act on our beliefs. The church in the USA has done a poor job forming the conscience of Catholics … It gave no mandate to retool marriage, family, sexuality, bioethics, religion.”

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