Tuesday, February 28, 2012
On The Menu: Cold Shoulder
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny could have gone to California as part of his St. Paddy's Day tour of the States. He could have gone to Disney World.
He's going to Chicago.
The Irish Fellowship Club will play host to Ireland's leader on March 16 at a splendid dinner. There will be good food, and of course, there will be speeches.
Chicago's leader of the Catholic Church, however, has declined the invitation. Francis Cardinal George has a previous engagement at a local high school.
Not that he's been to every single dinner in his career as head of the Chicago Archdiocese, but he's been to most of them, and this is the first time he'd have the chance to dine with the man who tore into the Vatican for the sex abuse scandal......oh. Right.
So it's to be a big platter of cold shoulder from Cardinal George to Enda Kenny, to further express the Holy See's displeasure at criticism from a nation that was once under the Church's thumb.
The coldness evolved into a deep freeze when Ireland decided to close its embassy in Vatican City as a cost-cutting move. There is plenty of speculation that Cardinal George is snubbing Mr. Kenny on behalf of his pal, Pope Benedict, who doesn't take kindly to harsh rhetoric about pedophile priests and how the Vatican looked the other way while innocent children were damaged. Shuttering the embassy only served to highlight the tension, as if Ireland slammed its door on the face of the Catholic Church.
Maybe if the Cardinal were to read The Leaven of the Pharisees, he'd get a better understanding of why the Irish people are so infuriated, and why they applauded Mr. Kenny when he laid into the bureaucracy that moved perverts around from parish to parish and then covered up the whole disgusting mess that was left behind.
The Cardinal will be missing from the March 16 dinner, and everyone will notice.
Will Chicago's Catholics really care?