Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.
Christus resurrexit! Alleluia!
Vere resurrexit! Alleluia!
Yesterday started out as a great day. It was Annunciation-mas, aka “Lady Day,” since the solemnity was transferred from Holy Week. A friend and I were going to Theology on Tap in Detroit with a talk by our favorite Archbishop, our own Archbishop, Allen Vigneron of Detroit. Those two things alone made the prospect of the day ahead quite exciting.
Then, reading through my blogs and watching the local news in the morning while getting ready for Mass made it all the better …
My Archbishop did something that possesses so much WIN that to try to quantify it, it would be hard to do it justice.
What was so great and possessed so much WIN-ness?
He stood up for Holy Church and acted like the shepherd of souls that he is.
He didn’t cower. He didn’t take off his miter and put down his crosier in the name of being “nice.”
He wasn’t a milquetoast when it came to the Truth.
He said, in no uncertain terms, that a Catholic who believes in the slippery slope of sin that is same sex “marriage” should not present themselves for Holy Communion because it would … wait for it … it’s beautiful with its blatant Truth … “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”
Translation (not that it needs it): “Ummmm, you “Catholics” who think that same sex “marriage” is all honky-dory. Well, if you value the salvation of your soul, don’t want to be a hypocrite/liar, and if you truly have reverence for the Real Presence … then you probably should not come up to receive Communion. You know, you’re not “in union” with the Church. That whole thing. So either, straighten up and fly right or your soul be in danger, yo.” (My translation, not his btw)
I first heard about it from the local news, which, being the bastion of “fair and balanced” took it upon themselves to find the most disgruntled Catholic with SSA and have him caterwaul about how the Church didn’t “support” him.
Whaaaaa??? Why would Christ’s Church “support” someone in committing a sin that puts their immortal soul in danger?!!?!?! Oh yeah, because feelings trump Truth nowadays. *facepalm* And people wonder why our society is in the dire straits it’s in. *headdesk*
At the end of the video in that link, the reporter quotes the Archbishop by talking about a “personal disaster” that would result from such a person receiving …
What “personal disaster” is that?
Oh, I don’t know … the loss of their immortal soul because of their lack of unity with Christ’s Church and the fact that they unworthily received Communion? Just a hunch about that one. It’s not just a symbol, people!
This same Archbishop whose words were being dissected and analyzed, praised by the faithful and derided by the worldly, was speaking at the very Theology on Tap that I would be at that night!
My friend and I were/are so proud of him!
Because he did his job!
He was a shepherd of souls. He didn’t lie down and let the intrinsically wrong actions of some go on unchecked. No. Out of care for the souls in his charge, he reminded all of us that in order to receive Communion, one should be “in union” with the Church on all of her integral teachings … marriage being one of them … marriage as in solely between one man and one woman.
And his wasn’t a fiery “You’re all going to Hell” statement. No. He stated the Truth. Not watered-down. Not laden with qualifiers. Straight. Just the way the Truth ought to be served.
If only we had more bishops and priests like that. God knows we need them. I think Archbishop Vigneron’s amazing statement also reminds us of one other thing (among others):
Prayer and penance are powerful. No prayer is wasted. No penance is wasted. The Lord takes it all and gives grace to His Church and her leaders.
Here is a quick little listing of where you can get information on all of which I am talking:
-The Detroit Free Press article that is cited constantly so it’s pretty much the source (I have not been able to find an official text from the Archdiocese. Kinda assuming they came from a homily or something.) Also, if you feel like having fun with vitriolic anti-Catholic trolls, the Freep comboxes are the place to go!
-Dr. Edward Peters (who is a prof over at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura) was also quoted in the Freep article. He gives his analysis of the situation from his point of view as a canonist.
-I would possess major FAIL if I didn’t include Joe’s own post on the situation here.
-Creative Minority Report’s Patrick Archbold covers it here.
-Diane over at Te Deum Laudamus does a great job breaking it down by looking at what was said, who said what, and what it all means.
Seriously. Archbishop Vigneron is my hero. I am so proud of him. I wanted to say something to him last night but being the oh-so-reserved person I am … lol … I didn’t.
The best thing we can do for our priests and bishops is to pray for and encourage them to be fearless defenders and promoters of the Truth in its fullness. Remember, for every bit of encouragement they get from us, they also get a huge chunk of vitriol from haters. We have to shower our shepherds with love, support, and prayers.
I am so proud of Archbishop Vigneron and I only hope that his words and actions serve as a catalyst for others in leadership in the Church to follow his example of boldly proclaiming the Truth, whether in season or not (mostly not).
His Excellency could have just as easily (more easily) not said anything and just stood by while members of the Church who are not completely in union with her present themselves as such when they approach for Communion. He could have been a milquetoast. Thank the Lord he wasn’t.
I think one of the problems that contributes to this attitude that the Church has no right to talk about who can and cannot receive Communion is the entitlement mentality that has crept into the minds of many. “We have a right to receive Communion.” “I am entitled to receive Communion.” No. You’re not. Nor am I. Receiving … not “taking” as the secular media articles put it (semantics are a powerful thing and they speak volumes) … Communion is the highest privilege this side of eternity. You don’t just schlep up to the priest with an air of “I’m entitled to this because of who I am.” One should think, “I am a fallen human being, and yet the Lord loves me so much that He freely gives Himself to me in such an intimate way.” To receive Him unworthily then would be thought unthinkable.
But yeah, I am so proud of my Archbishop. I’ve been a big supporter of his since he came to Detroit back in 2009. I even got to go to his Installation in an absolute work of Providence (I got an email from the AOD the night before during my 4 hour Christology class)! The picture at the top of this post is actually from when he was made the Archbishop of Detroit.
Some may be wondering why I am spending all this time writing about this but I think that those of us who are ardent supporters of our leaders in the Church (aka the priests and bishops) need to speak up more. How often do you hear or read of someone promoting and lauding the good work of a solid priest/bishop? How often do you hear or read of someone deriding the Church and detracting from one of her leaders? We have to outnumber the detractors. We have to shower our shepherds with love. One of my ways of doing so (besides prayer and all that) is by writing verbose blog posts on my EPIC Archbishop.
Why is he EPIC? Really … in the end, it’s because he is a shepherd of souls who is doing his best to follow the example of this Shepherd:
Just like how Christ set the example of a shepherd willing to put his neck on the line to save the flock entrusted to his care from the wolves, so is this dear Archbishop of Detroit is trying to do the like. He sees an error that can cost souls their eternal salvation and he tries his best to encourage those erring souls from falling into that error with most dire consequences, fully aware of what will most probably be the result: decrying from within and without the Church. But when souls are on the line, it is better to suffer than to allow one soul to be lost.
Did I mention that he’s TLM-friendly? Oh yes. Yes, he is.