Friday, May 06, 2005

Archbishop grows gumption

Apparently the election of His Holiness Benedict XVI, the Pope with more guts than Patton, has also caused local Catholic leadership to show sudden fits of intestinal fortitude.

A controversy seems to have erupted over the graduation ceremony at Summit Country Day School, a school of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Cincinnati. Apparently, Headmaster Joseph Devlin made the decision to uninvite Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Summit alumnus, after previously inviting her to address the graduating class. The reason? Sebelius is pro-abortion, and the Catholic school decided that it would be inappropriate to invite someone to speak whose position is blatantly contrary to the Doctrine of the Holy Catholic Faith. It has also come to light that some "pro-choice" trustees are angry about the decision. (So what? If someone thinks killing babies should continue to be legal, they obviously aren't too Catholic are they?) However, Summit is thus far standing by their decision to uninvite Sebelius.

What prompted the sudden uninvite? Apparently, Headmaster Devlin had the foresight to inquire what Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk thought of the fact that Sebelius was coming, and would address the graduating class and receive a special award. Because Summit is run by a religious order, they are not bound by the decrees of the Archdiocese, yet Devlin sought the advice of the local Ordinary anyway. What was that advice? The Archbishop told Devlin in no uncertain terms that if Summit were an Archdiocesan school, Sebelius would not be invited, and "would not receive an award." His Grace also reminded Devlin of the U.S. Bishops' joint decree last year that people who blatantly defy the teachings of the Church should not be invited to speak at Catholic institutions. Devlin apparently took the Archbishop's advice.

What makes all of this surprising is that His Grace is, quite frankly, not known to the wider orthodox Catholic community here as a prelate with lots of intestinal fortitude. He comes across to many who meet him (including myself on several occasions), as heady and high-minded, too intellectual for his own good. It isn't so much that he is not a nice man (he is, very much so) he just often seems to be in his own little universe. I have questioned his willingness to take a public stand in the past, but he did this time, and I am very proud of him for it. You go, Your Grace!


At Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments are a bit late as I just came across this post. One thing you did not comment on is WHY Mr. Devlin invited a pro abortion governor in the first place? As the head of a Catholic school Mr. Devlin should have done his homework and checked into the background of the governor before inviting her. Devlin should also have known that Church policy is against inviting such individuals to speak at Catholic schools, though in press reports Devlin showed siurprise that this is Church policy. Strange that a Catholic school head could be so uninformed of church policy. In the end Mr. Devlin was fired a couple of months before the end of the school year. One has to assume that this debacle had something to do with it.


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