Wednesday, May 04, 2005

PHILADELPHIA DIGEST (aka Clericalist Quarterly): Man Bites Dog

The archdiocese of Philadelphia has done something smart.

Now, as something of this nature does not happen very often, soak that up for a second.... The cogs have finally found something productive to do with their time and clout, as opposed to:

1. Continuing their crusade to silence me ("Witchcraze is a testament to the brain's ability to ignore evidence");

2. Throwing a monkey wrench into every little girl's wedding dream, only to take it back when the bridal stampede away from the church could be felt on 17th Street.

I refer those who have judged Cardinal Ratzinger's CDF to be the more pastoral enterprise to the statement of Fr. Joe Tracy, Secretary of Catholic Human Services, marking "National Cover the Uninsured Week," which runs from 1-8 May.

Re the personals, Tracy studied in Rome (Italians love him like one of our own) and bunks at Maison Pharaoh (because our Justin likes a good conversationalist around). From my limited experience with him, I find him to be a good, stand-up guy. Unlike some of his friends, Joe doesn't wear contempt on his sleeve; he's kind, attentive and everything one should expect in one who's job is Christian compassion. But, you ask, isn't that the job of all priests? Hmm-hmm.... we could use a performance review on that.

In short, this simple statement of Tracy's is an example of the culture of life stuff that means something. You can pack all your seminarians and third graders onto buses and ship them off to Washington for a day in January, but it means nothing if it's simply lip-service. (Too often, it is just that.) I'm hoping this statement is a public part of a concerted, in-and-out-of-season effort to work toward the goal of easing the load of the poor, the unemployed and all those who suffer needlessly -- and I'm willing to believe Tracy will follow through when he says that "Justice demands that something be done."

Go on, Tracy, go on.... And while you're at it, mind passing around that justice memo at the Office? It'd be news to some.... Grazie mille, caro.



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