Outgoing Archbishop of New York Cardinal Egan demonstrates why he is a complete failure in raising the number of vocations in his archdiocese. In comments made to a radio program in Albany two days ago Cardinal Egan [may have] insinuated that because priests aren’t allowed to marry was the cause of his inability to raise the number of vocations. Cardinal Egan openly admitted it was his “greatest” failure in bringing in more seminarians.
[I am using the Cardinal’s own words in describing the issue of raising the number of vocations]
In my opinion it is his lack of enforcing Catholic orthodoxy in catechesis and liturgy. If Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz can have the largest seminarian classes in the country while still hosting the FSSP seminary (which is also bursting at the seems with 50 seminarians entering in 2008 alone) in his own diocese in the middle of a sparsely populated state like Nebraska, then Cardinal Egan should have been doing just the same if not better. Especially when he is very orthodox in his faith.
[I am explaining a possible remedy to increasing the number of vocations by using Bishop Bruskewitz as an example]
As many good things that Cardinal Egan may have done, simply blaming his inability to bring in more priests because of the celibacy requirement is a tall-tell sign that this bishop is not enforcing orthodoxy in his diocese. I have met a couple of married Catholic priests (Anglican Use) and their wives and without hesitation they categorically believe in priestly celibacy. They understand full well the demands that are placed on priests and if they were to allowed to marry they would naturally have children adding an additional burden to their parish duties.
[I made the connection between the lack of vocations and the Cardinal’s comments on priestly celibacy. In fairness to the Cardinal, his excellency may or may have not meant to offer his comments to priestly celibacy as the problem to a lack of vocations]
The canard that if Eastern Rite Catholics are allowed to marry is not the issue. Yes there are Catholic priests who are married, but those very same Eastern Rite Catholics are also suffering from a vocations crisis. I won’t go into the merits of having a married priesthood because that isn’t the issue. The issue is the lack of vocations, not a married priesthood.
Why does Bishop Bruskewitz have an (over) abundance of priests in his little diocese? Probably because he actively leads by example and enforces Catholic teaching. I know many good bishops who are as orthodox as they come, where they fail is in their utter disregard to bring in line dissident priests, parishes, and laymen. Bishop Bruskewitz is the only bishop in the United States that still doesn’t allow female altar servers, has most of the tabernacles behind the altar (where they belong), keeps his priests in line in following the correct rubrics of the liturgy, crushes dissident when they rear their ugly head, and has strict guidelines for teaching catechesis. Are there armies of mini-skirted extraordinary ministers giving Communion during Mass anywhere in his diocese? I doubt it, rare if any.
If Cardinal Egan would have even bothered to visit many of his parishes would he have put his foot down on these many abuses? Would he have disciplined priests who wash women’s feet on Holy Thursday and allow women to lead the homilies? Would he have cleaned up his seminaries of limp-handed, left-wing professors who dissent from Catholic teaching? No, no, and hell no.
[I am illustrating many of the issues that I witness around the country that go unaddressed by the local ordinaries. I will admit that the very last line to the above paragraph was a bit much.]
I am sick and tired of meeting these wonderful bishops who are orthodox in their faith, but are too timid and diffident (or whatever their excuse is) to straighten out their diocese. Enough is enough. We need more St. Ambrose’s who aren’t afraid to enforce orthodoxy. St. Ambrose publicly rebuked Emperor Theodosius for indiscriminately killing thousands of rebels in Macedonia in the fourth century. He didn’t cower behind the USCCB. He didn’t sit to break bread and crack jokes with this murderer like Cardinal Egan did with then pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Al Smith dinner. St. Ambrose did none of these things. He risked death in order to discipline Emperor Theodosius. All Cardinal Egan did was laugh at Obama’s jokes. Too many bishops want to be everyone’s best friend and avoid responsibility to “get along and go along”.
Cardinal Egan has many positive attributes and successes, leading his flock is not one of them. Remember what St. Athanasius said, “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops”.
For the article click here.
Update: I’ve clarified my comments regarding the actions of Cardinal Egan written in brackets ‘[ ]’. I was a bit over the top in one or two examples. It shouldn’t take away from the point that I am making that we need true shepherds of the Church who lead and take action such as St. Ambrose.
Update #2: I have not altered any of the content of the post. I’ve only added additional commentary in brackets. Only the title has changed, which reflects the article very well, the fact that Cardinal Egan failed in raising vocations in the archdiocese.