Sunday, January 14, 2007

At Long Last, a Cardinal-Pundit

Speaking of the 49th parallel, some readers will remember Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's October address to the Canadian bishops on questions of the church's engagement with Catholic politicians.

At the time, the archbishop-emeritus of Washington (now on a continuing international goodwill tour) was quoted in the Canadian press as saying that public officials who run afoul of church teaching "need to be recatechised." (Which article you can now find here in full.)

However, anyone who thought that Ted the Beloved was going bombastic in retirement would surely be mistaken.

Just like John Paul the Great reaching out to both sides of Newark's cathedral-basilica from the dead center of the aisle, the cardinal briefly resurfaced from his low-profile retirement to offer his assessment of newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, in an interview with CNS.

(Warning: No ideological grenades were lobbed/sanctions levied in the course of His Eminence's copy.)
McCarrick... said he has known Pelosi in his role as a member of the bishops' Committee on International Policy since she first came to Washington. He said he's always found her to be "a very thoughtful and committed defender of human rights."

"We don't always agree -- on life and education issues especially -- but my experience has been that you can always talk to her," said Cardinal McCarrick. "You can't always change her mind, but you can always talk to her."

He said Pelosi is "a very bright lady who understands politics more than most people in Washington do."

In his capacity as chairman of a bishops' task force on Catholic politicians, Cardinal McCarrick also met with congressional Democrats after Pelosi and others asked to begin a dialogue about the role of their religious beliefs and political responsibilities.