Monday, March 20, 2006

Archbishop Levada on His New Office

Time Magazine posed Ten questions to Archbishop Levada. I snipped a few of them that were of interest.

Sunday, Mar. 19, 2006
On Friday, William J. Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco, will become the first new Cardinal to be elevated by Pope Benedict XVI at a Vatican ceremony. Levada already has the Pontiff's old job maintaining Roman Catholic orthodoxy as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, making him the most influential U.S. prelate in history. He spoke with Time's Jeff Israely.

Q. How will you feel when you get your red hat from the Pope?

A. Of course, I'm honored. But you also want to make sure your hat is on straight.

I guess the Archbishop was trying to be funny but am I alone in thinking that this answer trivialized the august office that the Archbishop will be assuming? Perhaps the Archbishop was in San Francisco for too long.

Q. Your new job places you in the top ranks of the Vatican hierarchy. Does the responsibility of your new office feel overwhelming?
A. I can say that I'm past the deer-in-the-headlights phase. The biggest challenge now is the amount of reading — not only of new material, but rereading documents and decisions taken by the Congregation.

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. The Archbishop has too much homework. Wow, I bet that leaves almost no time to watch tv and go out to eat! No fair.

Q. You raised the issue in the synod about whether politicians should be granted communion [sic]if they support policies counter to Church teachings.

A. There are certain teachings that as Catholics we have to accept as part of Jesus' Gospel. When you see Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights ... you have to ask yourself how this person squares this with his personal faith. Catholic politicians need to take this seriously. Maybe they need to say I'm not able to practice my faith and be a public representative.

In other words, we will not take any action against politicians who profess to be Catholics and support baby murder at the same time. We hope (earnestly and with tightly clenched hands) that the politicians will resign their posts. Because it is common sense to assume that people who are power hunger politicians will suddenly step down and relinquish what they have for the sake of their Faith. On what planet would this might happen? The truth, he knows it won't happen but is still unwilling to act. Summary: greenlight to proabortion "Catholic" politicians.Carry on you'll meet no resistance here.

Q. As doctrinal chief, can you explain the recent instruction on whether a gay man can become a priest?
A.The document is very clear. It says a person with deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not suited for the priesthood. Somebody who comes to the seminary from a gay lifestyle cannot be a priest. But if you can show us after five or 10 years that you have been able to live a celibate life, it could be possible. But there would need to be spiritual and psychological evaluations.

I'm afraid the document is all too clear. Gays can become priests if they are celibate for 3 years. How they will prove this I'm unsure.

Q. As a bishop, you had to deal with cases of sex abuse by priests. Now you are final arbiter on some of the more difficult cases from around the world.
A. My experience in the dioceses gives me a firsthand perspective from direct contact with the people affected by these cases. You learn the details of what has happened, and how cases can differ from one to another. We have to keep our eye on what justice requires.

This is perhaps the best answer of the ten. The Archbishop says, essentially- nothing. He learns the cases and how they differ- what possible difference does that make???? He will keep on eye on what justice requires meaning what the legal authorities in that diocese require. In some diocese I'm afraid, that will mean very little.

From the Mar. 27, 2006 issue of TIME Europe magazine the rest of the article here.

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