Monday, May 9, 2011

Where's the focus?

A reporter noted that Francis Cardinal George has written books reflecting on the role of God and the Church in the world and asked the Cardinal if he had considered writing a more personal memoir. Cardinal George responded: (full story here)
I'm not very good at that. A priest is supposed to point to Christ, not to himself. I really believe that firmly. … I found that strange when I first got to Chicago. They were all very interested in my personality and all the rest. … All of a sudden charisma became the qualification for leadership. If you're not charismatic, you can't lead. Whereas the church is very different. It's the office that counts. I'm going to be gone. It's the office that's important, not me the officeholder. … Priesthood is an office, and we're trained, well trained, to disappear behind the office.
This seems to have a tone strikingly different from that adopted by Fr. Michael Pfleger, another Chicago-based Catholic churchman, who went to a nationally broadcast radio show to express his thoughts on the possibility that he might be asked to change assignments at the request of the local ordinary to whom he made a promise of obedience: (full story here)
"I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church," Pfleger said. "If they say 'You either take this principalship of (Leo High School) or pastorship there or leave,' then I'll have to look outside the church. I believe my calling is to be a pastor. I believe my calling is to be a voice for justice. I believe my calling is to preach the Gospel. In or out of the church, I'm going to continue to do that."
There certainly seems to be a difference in focus.... just sayin'.

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