A lot of Catholic bloggers and pundits have spilled a good deal of digital ink on the latest controversy to come out of the Archdiocese of New York: The St. Patrick’s Day parade will, for the first time, have marchers in it who boldly and visibly support an active homosexual lifestyle. And this is to be done while Cardinal Dolan is the grand marshal.
Msgr. Charles Pope even put out a post calling for an end the parade itself, citing that it is no longer in any way, shape, or form, Catholic. He writes:
“Frankly, lets [sic] be honest, St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgrace of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors him… It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Parade, and the Al Smith Dinner and all other sorts of ‘catholic’ traditions that have been stolen by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches on their knees on St. Patrick’s day and pray in reparation for the foolishness to end for this confused world to return to its senses. Lets [sic] do adoration and pray unceasingly the rosary and divine mercy chaplet for this poor old world.”
I find it hard to argue with his assertion that a lot of the reverence has left this feast day. Once when I was in high school, some friends and I went downtown to a St. Patrick’s Day parade. My only memory of the day was the bitter cold and endless line of drunks wearing green.
Msgr. Pope also called for the end to the Al Smith Dinner, which is a fundraiser for Catholic Charities where the presidential candidates for both parties, as well as the Cardinal, are in attendance. He points out that in an age when candidates stand for intrinsic evils like abortion on demand, any appearance of collegiality with them sends out a mixed message.
Now this post is not about what side of the above issues I support. But I do want to use this to illustrate a constant dilemma faced by the Church: rejection or renewal.
You can read the entire article here.