Firing a Priest

The prayer petition of Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, SJ, that Congressional leaders heard sometime before voting on a corporate tax cut that will explode the deficit was not that different from those I frequently hear at Mass in the Atlanta suburb where I worship.

That he invited an Imam to offer Muslim prayer is consistent with the ecumenism I have seen practiced in my own and other area Churches.

That a priest is not qualified to speak to the needs of families is an interesting argument for his dismissal. However it flies in the face of the gravity the Catholic Church places on the Sacrament of marriage and the role of the family in the life of the Church as the body of Christ.

It is also laughable considering it has been a mere three years since Pope Francis attended the Church’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and the incubator for our system of government. (This meeting will be held in 2018 in Dublin.)

Simplified, the Catechism says this about family: (2204-2206) “The Christian family is “the domestic” church…The Christian family is a sign of the communion of the Trinity. In procreating and educating children the family reflects the Father’s work of creation. The Family must pray together, read God’s Word, and Evangelize.” (2207-2208). “The family is the original cell of social life. The stability of family relationships constitute the foundations of a society.”

Yes.  Priests who spend years in seminary and often pursue higher level master’s and doctoral studies are inculcated with the centrality of family in the Christian life.

Speaker Paul Ryan clearly dismissed Fr. Conroy for a reason.  But I doubt it was legitimately any of those outlined above.

Perhaps he was laying ground cover for his successor, who – if not a Democrat – will likely be a highly conservative member of the Freedom Caucus with an evangelical bent.

Ryan is good at carrying out actions that shouldn’t be in keeping with his Catholic moral sensibilities. I could point to any one of the many scandals of Donald Trump since he became POTUS where Ryan should have been critical and wasn’t; but there are too many and I don’t know where to start.

Perhaps they thought a Catholic firing a Catholic priest had better optics than an evangelical House Speaker doing so at a later date.

It doesn’t.

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