Thursday, March 25, 2004

Archbishop To Faithful Catholics: Go Away and Shut Up!

As Mark Shea pointed out earlier today on his blog, the Archbishop of St. Paul, Harry Flynn, has recently demonstrated the pastoral solicitude, evidence of conversion, and concern for the integrity of the Faith that so notably characterizes our shepherds in the post-Dallas phase of the Catholic "renaissance" in the U.S.

A group of concerned Catholics wrote a letter to Abp. Flynn to bring to his attention, and ask him to address, a number of serious problems and abuses in the Archdiocese, such as the activities of a group called "Inclusive Catholics" that thumbs it's nose at Catholic moral teaching, and the ongoing depredations of the Flock of Christ at St. Joan of Arc Parish (The Parish Built on Human Pride). The letter is pointed but respectful in asking the bishop why he has not acted concerning these matters.

For their trouble, the Archbishop responded, in effect, by telling them to shut up:
From now on I am sending to you all the letters which assault my office because of communications which you have made...

I would ask further that you not call and ask for an appointment concerning this.

With good wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, D.D.
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

The letter is a masterpiece of peremptory and dismissive arrogance.

Compare the Archbishop's whining ("it's not fair") and self-aggrandizing ("I'm the Archbishop...") response to Catholic Parents Online with the dulcet tones he adopts in dealing with the Apostate-In-Everything-But-Name "progressives" at St. Joan's:
I have received your letter of April 18, 2003 in which you stated that my decision to cancel Dr. Mel White speaking at the Masses at St. Joan of Arc has caused much pain and sadness among your entire community. I would like to say that it has caused me much pain and much sadness but, perhaps, for different reasons.

I would very much like to meet with the Parish Council of St. Joan of Arc. Present at that meeting will be Bishop Pates, Bishop Campbell, Father McDonough and Sister Dominica. There are some other issues, which I would like to discuss.

Now, in fairness to Abp. Flynn, he did do the right thing in cancelling the aforementioned Dr. White. But in doing so, he bent over backwards to treat St. Joan's with kid gloves, and gave them the opportunity to be heard. But, when St. Joan's and other parishes, and the "Inclusive Catholics" continue to thumb their nose at Church teaching and his authority, and Catholic Parents Online point that out, he has no time for them, and literally will not listen.

What accounts for such behavior? The Archbishop says he chooses "to influence in a different manner then you and many of the people who would write to me." How is supine inactivity any influence at all?

When will our shepherds learn their office?