Slowly but surely, I’ll be putting up thanks to benefactors, not as quickly as I had imagined — but bit by bit! Today, I’d like to emphasize one item from my chicken benefactor, who sent in something with the monitum that I not open it until Christmas:
It’s an unexpected book, a joy… who would have thought? All the unedited pastoral letters of the great Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan (R.I.P.), a hero of mine throughout my seminary years and through the years of my priesthood until today:
I’ve been advertising his charitable but firm fatherly governance of his diocese of Baton Rouge for decades. He refused Catholic dissident Father Charles Curran’s bid to come to the Diocese so as to spread his heresy. Curran pretended to teach Catholic Moral Theology at C.U. in Washington, but really just replaced Catholic Doctrine with his own bid to change the morality of the Church for the convenience of self-congratulating fallen human nature, selling out the Death of Christ for… what? Dunno. Ask him. He was booted out of Catholic University and ran off to the Protestants.
When Bishop Sullivan didn’t grant him permission, underling knuckleheaded politically correct officials of the Holy See (it’s always about half and half of Church minded or worldly minded in Bella Roma) pretty much kicked the good bishop in the face. But he stood his ground, and won.
The Wanderer acquired 3000 copies back in 1988. Dunno if they sold them all. Check it out. If you get a copy, know that you have a treasure of teaching that is at the same time intensely catechetical, deeply theological, practical, and — despite the attacks of knuckleheads — beautifully pastoral.
Thanks, M.M. May the Lord bless you for your generosity. I know this copy means a lot to you. Very generous.
Just a note on the motto of the Bishop’s Coat of Arms: “Serviam” is a verb meaning “I will serve!” Not only is this a statement of humility and goodness and kindness, but it is the undoing of Satan’s statement: “Non Serviam!” (I will not serve). Those who serve manifest the goodness and kindness of Jesus. Those who do not manifest the diabolical anti-Christ selfish of those stuck on themselves. Thanks, Bishop, for setting a good example of Mary’s Son among us.
Another hero of mine along these lines is Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle of Washington, D.C. But that’s another story.
Update: Decades after I was out of the seminary, and some 27 years after the death of Bishop Sullivan, an accuser came forward to eventually get some hundreds of thousands of dollars in a settlement with the Diocese of Baton-Rouge. So, no trial. Cases like this — involving those who are dead – are often “settled” just to avoid court costs. I don’t know if that was the situation here, but it happens frequently.
Today, 13 March, 2012, an anonymous (as expected) comment came in condemning the bishop, without proof (as expected). I don’t know the real story of this particular accusation or of these particular chancery officials. I don’t know if Bishop Sullivan did anything untoward or not. The commenter boasted, effectively, of having proof. But this has not been brought to the police, has it? No? Why haven’t we heard about it? That kind of comment, if made with no proof or proof which is not reported, is already a crime in itself, is it not, on various levels?
If such anonymous comments sport no proof do they not amount to internet bullying and, indeed, hate speech, at the very least? I think I’ll start collecting such comments tracable by way of the emails, and see if friends at the FBI are interested in investigating whether such comments are made by people who have a vested interest in accusing priests and bishops, that is, if such commenters are liable under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). It would be quite the sting operation. This commenter may already be in deep trouble for writing the kind of comment that was posted in the comment queue. Yesterday, I noted that a certain town, which is home of an anti-Catholic group, visited the blog. Probably no connection…