Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fr. Z: A few musings about Card. Levada’s homily in Nebraska

I can see why some traditionalists might be offended by the homily -- by lecturing the seminarians and priests of the FSSP, it seems to question their fidelity and charity. An occasion for humility and respect of authority? What does the cardinal think of his office as the head of the PCED?

Edit. Some reactions by readers of NLM. Would reactions have been different if he had said things differently, more as a warm shepherd or spiritual father, rather than as a [Roman] bureaucrat "enforcing the line"? Cardinal Levada isn't known for his pastoral or personal qualities -- I have heard that as a bishop he was less than successful in those respects. People criticize Pius XII for being aloof, distant, and cold, but I think photographs do not convey his personality. Such criticisms might be warranted though for certain bishops, especially certain American bishops. American bishops seem to range from one extreme to another, cold and impersonal to soft and "nice." If Cardinal Levada had rewritten the homily and delivered it (not necessarily with an "all smiles" approach) as a geniunely concerned pastor, reaffirming the Fraternity's charism and mission and exhorting them to be good priests working for the Lord, how differently it would have been received!

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