Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Correct quote on St. Francis of Assisi by Mr. George Weigel !

Adapted from this source: The Courage To Be Catholic, by George Weigel.

Pages 228 - 230.

"A recently ordained priest preaching during the first weeks of the [sex] crisis [of 2002] recounted a story of St. Francis of Assisi.

"In Francis's time, the thirteenth century, clerical sexual morality was abysmal and lay sexual morality was even worse.

"Once, one of his brother Fransicans, a man very concerned about scandal, came up to him and asked, Brother Francis, what would you do if you knew that the priest celebrating Mass had three concubines?

"Francis replied, When it came time for holy communion, I would go to receive the sacred body of my Lord from the priest's anointed hands.

"Francis of Assisi (for all the saccharine sweetness of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and similar cinematic confections) was no naif.

"In the last years of his life he bore the stigmata, the wounds of the crucified Christ, in his own flesh.

"His answer to his disturbed Franciscan brother was theologically orthodox and deeply insightful: It is Christ's Church and it celebrates the sacraments through Christ's grace.

"This is terribly important to remember when, as must happen, the people of the Church call the priests and bishops [or locally here at St. MM, even wayward deacons!] of the Church to account for their stewardship, and to make sure that it is heard.

"The people of the Church must always remember, though, that it is Christ's Church, not ours.

Now, for the George Weigel solution!

"Priests and bishops have been much on the minds of U.S. Catholics during the crisis, but Catholics would be very mistaken if they thought that this crisis of fidelity doesn't have something to do with all of us.

"Christ, whose Church it is, has a particular way of dealing with times of scandal and reform:

"Through the Holy Spirit, Christ deals with the failings of the Church's sons and daughters by raising up saints to renew the Church in the fullness of Catholic truth.

"That means that the only adequate response to the crisis of 2002 is the response that is always called for when the Church is bottoming out.

"The call to holiness must be lived more intensely by every member of the Church, in whatever state of life.


"The crisis of 2002 is, in this respect, like every other crisis in the Church's history.

"It is a crisis caused by an insufficiency of saints.

"That is a wake - up call for every Catholic -- a call not to take back which is not ours to begin with, but to live holier lives..."


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