Mission Territories

As you are probably aware, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is going through a very rough time.  Those good people, our family members in the “Household of the Faith,” and their brave archbishop, Charles Chaput, deserve our love and prayers.

In his courageous and inspired efforts to bring hope and renewal to that Church in crisis, Archbishop Chaput recently made a statement that stopped me cold:  “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia . . . is now really a mission territory.’’

Yes, I had to read it twice, too.

Uganda a mission territory?  Sure . . .

Peru a mission territory?  Yes . . .

Alaska a mission territory?  Okay . . .

But Philadelphia?  Come on now!  That archdiocese in a way was the model of a robust, intact, cohesive Catholic infrastructure!  Parishes, schools, apostolates, ministries galore!  A huge Catholic population, with cardinals as past archbishops, vocations abounding, close to a million–and–a–half Catholics proud of and fervent in their faith, right?

What do you mean a mission territory?  Is Archbishop Chaput bluffing?

No!  I’m afraid he’s right on target.

And, guess what?  Our beloved Archdiocese of New York is also mission territory! 

True, thank God, we sure do not face the tsunami of current problems Philadelphia does.  Our financial picture is tight but solvent, our Catholic population actually growing, and extensive layoffs, shut-down of parishes, schools, and services, hardly anticipated.

But, we are a mission territory, too.  Every diocese is.  And every committed Catholic is a missionary.

This is at the heart of what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI call the New Evangelization.

I was raised – - as were most of you – - to think of the missions as “way far away” – - and, to be sure, we can never forget our sacred duty to the foreign missions.

In fact, when wonderful Sisters of Mercy from Drogheda, Ireland, came to my home parish, Holy Infant, in Ballwin, Missouri, fifty-five years ago, we smiled when they humbly called themselves “missionaries.”

Couldn’t be, we chuckled:  we’ve been Catholic for generations; we’ve got a parish church and school; the Catholic Church is strong, proud, growing, standing tall!  We’re not Africa!  We’re not mission territory! 

Yes we were!  Yes we are!  The sisters were right!  Archbishop Chaput is correct!  Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are on target!

Maybe, we have gotten way too smug.  We have taken our Catholic faith for granted.  As Archbishop Chaput observed, the big problem is a dullness that has “seeped into church life, and the cynicism and resentment that naturally follow it . . .These problems kill a Christian love . . . they choke off a real life of faith.”

As my friend Greg Erlandson commented in Our Sunday Visitor, the archbishop’s sobering point was echoed by the President of the Catholic University of America, John Garvey, in his recent splendid address to us bishops.  What we’ve got, according to Mr. Garvey and paraphrased by Mr. Erlandson, is a societal crisis of faith.  “More and more residents of the Western World [you and me!]  are simply wandering away from their faith, which means that what is happening in Philadelphia is but a microcosm of a much more disturbing erosion.”

Have I depressed you yet?  I sure hope not!

Have I awakened you and challenged you!  I sure hope so.

Because, guess where we’re at:  We’re with the apostles on Pentecost Sunday as we embrace the New Evangelization. 

No more taking our Catholic faith for granted!

No more relaxing in the great things the church has accomplished in the past!

Cynicism is replaced by confidence . . .

Hand-wringing by hand-folding . . .

Dullness by dare . . .

Waiting for people to come back replaced by going out to get them . . .

Presuming that people know the richness of their Catholic faith replaced by a realistic admission that they do not . . .

From taking the Church for granted as a “big corporation,” to a tender care for a Church as small and fragile as a tiny mustard seed Jesus spoke about. . .

Keeping our faith to ourselves to letting it shine to others!

This is the New Evangelization!

The Archdiocese of New York is a mission territory!

The whole Church is!  Our parishes are!  Culture is!  The world is!

You and I are missionaries!

No longer can we coast on the former fame, clout, buildings, numbers, size, money, and accomplishments of the past.  As a matter of fact, all of this may have dulled us into taking our faith for granted.

No more!  We are missionaries.  And, it starts inside.  As Greg Erlandson concludes, “Without a conversion of heart, starting with ourselves, we may never truly address the heart of the current crisis.”

I don’t know about you, but I need the Year of Faith starting in October.

And I need the synod on the New Evangelization  in Rome this fall.

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29 Responses to “Mission Territories”

  1. Timothy Palleschi says:

    What exactly is this “mission” : where are we going and what are we hoping to accomplish along the way? What is our goal for ourselves and for others along this path? Rebuilding what has been lost or finding something that was missing? Those are the … dot, dot, dots that need to be filled in, that need to be answered.

  2. Ebeth says:

    Hip-Hip Hooray!! I’m on it Your Eminence! Writing (blogging) about the New Evangelization. Here’s part 3: http://acatholicmumclimbingthepillars.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-evangelization-part-3-focus-of-new.html

  3. Ann McLeese says:

    Pope John Paul 11 talked about the need for the re-evangelization of baptised catholics. I know over a billion people identify themselves as Catholics to others but in no way does their life show evidence of that.
    First we must look at ourselves. How does our life reflect a belief in Catholicism? Do we speak up when we hear the church or the pope criticized? Do we attend marriages of catholics outside of the church to avoid confrontation? Do we support our churches financially,throwing in a five dollar bill and then spending 20.00 on pizza the same night ? Do we pray for priests and vocations ?Do we pick and choose the teachings of the church we go along with so they don’t interfere with our real life i.e-,gay”marriage”,contraception,celibacy.
    I work with people who identify themselves as catholics yet make no secret of the fact they live with someone who may or may not have been married,practice birth control.and support gay “marriage .
    Christ would be the first one to defend their free will and so do I . What boggles my mind is that they still preport to be catholic.
    If you do not believe in the teachings of the church then leave.
    We will continue to pray for you and ourselves that we may never take our faith for granted.
    Our priests have to have the courage to speak up and tell people “the truth” Just as a good parent has to risk the fallout of telling the truth.
    Let the re-evangelation begin.

  4. Thomas says:

    99.999999% of all “Catholic” parishes are mission territory. That is what happens when the Faith has not been taught for 50 years by priests and nuns…….and nothing is done to correct it. You know it’s mission territoy when most nuns are nothing more than organized groups of radical feminists who have more in common with Rosie O’Donnell than they do with their founders. You know it’s mission territory when most “Catholics” who attend Mass go proudly up to Holy Communion without benefit of Confession or any belief in the Real Presence at all. You know it’s mission territory when a Cardinal does nothing when a pro abortion polition speaks at a “Catholic” university because he wants to see what happens. You know it’s mission territory when Jesuits cover up signs of Christ because a pro abortion president demands it. You know it’s mission territory when a Cardinal just realizes that the Church is in a state of total collapse. Wake up, get a backbone, stop being diplomatic and teach the Catholic faith in it’s entirety and stop allowing progressive priests and nuns to keep spreading their errors. You bishops don’t seem to have a problem suspending a priest who refuses communion to a self professed Buddist who is an active lesbian but you do nothing about priests who add lib the Mass at every moment (walk over to St. Malachy and see whats going on, or go to any Franciscan parish in the city and see the appalling things that they are doing and promoting and the list could go on). For god sake do something and stop allowing the Church to collapse.

  5. Padraig says:

    I am totally behind these comments. But, “brave archbishop.” Right now all we have seen is words. When we see action being taken by priests, deacons, laity and especially get bishops out of the chancery than maybe then we can talk about our brave bishops.

    Pray for Clergy
    Padraig

  6. Patricia says:

    This explains why I weep so easily these day or just keep shaking my head. Yes, I do have faith and I do believe, but sometimes, just what the good Archbishop is describing as mission territory is so all around in daily life, even in family life, one doesn’t know where to begin. It can be overwhelming and bring a panicked feeling. Thank you Jesus that we are still free and able to take ourselves to the Foot of Calvary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and drag everyone with us in our hearts and minds. There You revive the drooping and despairing, You restore the ruins and You resurrect the dead. You do make all things new. Thank you Jesus. Without You, we are done for, with You we have the victory.

  7. Deacon Ron Horan says:

    And if you think New York and Philadelphia are missions you should live here in California!

  8. Erin Patrick Hickey says:

    Thank you, your Eminence. We (I) are often complacent and self-absorbed. Let us pray for one another to be true missionaries by our lives and our words in public witness. Thank you for the wake-up calll.

  9. J. R. P. says:

    Arguably, we always been been mission territory, given our fundamentally protestant/soi-disant post-”Enlightenment” nation, despite the motion from being formally under the office of the Propagation of the Faith to not. The celebratory dance we did after the Kennedy years possibly wasn’t prudentially best, in retrospect.

    What happened to set us back into the theological and cultural ghetto in which we find ourselves? It certainly predated the Scandal. I can point to my youthful Catholic education in the 1980s, which was utterly bereft of the content of the Faith.

    Are we ready, in this upcoming Year of Faith, to move back to a faith centered on Catholic truth, instead of one where the central feature is (and remains!) affectivity?

    The focus on affectivity began back in the 60s. I happened to meet the architect of this deformation for my Diocese, who admitted it and gave the reasoning for the move. It was ubiquitous by the time I was in CCD and Catholic HS, but that reasoning was defective in that it derives from a fundamentally a protestant notion of the word ‘faith’ – a misunderstanding I hope we might at least correct in the “year of faith”.

    Are we ready to deprioritize teaching little children (and teaching older children as if they were little children), and focus instead on their parents and post-confirmation? I suggest this will especially be effective if we reject the ‘your goal should be nice person and a productive citizen’, and instead return to a hermeneutic of aliens, following Christ, travelling through a strange land, which is identifiably closer to what the Fathers of the Church and Saints throughout Her history used in the worser periods.

    Of course, there are many other theories as to “what happened”, and some other ways of reaction, but most of those don’t hold water. Many of the voices that promote those theories fall into the category _nemo dat quod non habet_. Having made the journey from lapsed Catholic to modern, heretical Catholic to orthodox Catholic seminarian, to (as the French say) _integriste_ Catholic, I root the fertility of the Church in Her mission precisely in the depositum Fidei and the compelling nature of Jesus in His radical otherness from “the world” (which includes the worldly). It is that otherness that draws us out of ourselves and our selfishness by a sort of via kenosis, to come to the full stature of the children of God. It’s intrinsically compelling to the human soul, and this is the path that the saints have by right of their baptism, and which we, faithfully, ought to conserve.

  10. Tom T says:

    I agree with your assessment, your Excellency, though, it is a difficult task given all we`ve been through in Phila. The Archdiocese is in the financial red to the tune of some 12 to 13 million. We have had repeated headline after headline and news reports of child abuse complete with a horrible detailed
    grand jury report published in local newspapers and recently a trial and conviction of an Archdiocese high level official Monsignor who is at this moment sitting in jail. To rebuild this Church, with statistics showing severe
    drops in Mass attendance, school enrollments decreasing and numbers in every other category showing alarming declines, it will take more than missionary evangelization. This Church in Phila., and elswhere I suspect, will in Our Lord`s words “Francis rebuild My Church”. have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Archbishop Chaput, God Bless him desperately needs our prayers and help. As the Holy Father stated recently, ‘the Catholic Church in the future will be a much smaller Church. Pax.

  11. Regina Marie says:

    Truly A Call From Christ Himself!

    Let the Atheists Know That they are being fooled by Evil (like Eve) They are convinced that they need not listen to God and they will be smarter for it.
    TRUTH is…They think they worship no God…Atheist is their God !

    As We Are One Body in Christ…Christian

    They Are One Body in AntiChrist…Atheist

    He is the Real and Same Evil that He has always been!
    God gave Me a photo of Him…He has Our Star in his right eye.

    Our Priests and Bishops need to Stop Stumping Politics during their Homily!!!
    Read the Gospel ! Speak the Gospel ! Love The Gospel and ALL of the People that Stand before You ! CARE ! Care for the Living ! The Hungry ! The Lonely ! The Poor ! The Sick !

    WELCOME GODS PEOPLE !!! INVITE THEM back to the Catholic Church ! CARE about Them!

    UGH!!! Find a way to calm the SNOBS! They really think that Our Lord and Savior Loves them more than the Young divorced Girl who showed up with her three children at Mass today! Call upon the Holy Spirit to Guide You in Gods Mission!

    Priests of the Past have chased many away ! Their Arrogance!

    TRUTH About MARY ! Jesus Last Will and Testament some of His Last Words…BEHOLD thy Mother!!! Why did He Say This? He Said It Because He Was Going to Send Her!

    BEHOLD-Look upon as you would a king. Or Royalty …How could we Look at Her unless He would Sent Her As He Has…Fatima…Lourdes…etc…

    THIS MAKES CATHOLICS RIGHT!

    We have a fraternity of Priests that get together to do a Healing Mass…Oh God Awesome!! The people Crowd in…They Love God…They Sing with their hands in the air! Beautiful ! I was upset with one of those Priests because He was speaking Politics at Mass and not disturbed by those who Left during his Homily. I can not dismiss him because the fraternity which he is involved is truly Awesome!!! They Spoke No Politics…They Call upon the Holy Spirit and He is Present in a way they can feel! Fun-Joyful Mass ! I Love regular traditional Mass BUT…REALLY…Bringing them in may require Super Joyful MASS Now and then! Maybe One within 20miles of combined towns every weekend. God has the Power to Heal their Hearts-Minds -Souls and their bodies…Give him the platform!

    I feel Christ in the eucharist at all Holy Mass…I Love and Adore Him…Our Lord and Savior.
    Our Bishop uses the phrase FEED your SOUL…When referring to the Body and Blood of Christ.

    Bring them in…God Bless You…Peace…Peace…Peace
    Never forget to Love really Love !

    You Can Do This Cardinal Dolan ! Leave your politics at the door…It reeps nothing but distrust and hate. Your Goal Here Is Love… Best wishes, Gina Shaffer ; )

  12. this was absolutely great and inspired writing…go get ‘em Cardinal Dolan!

  13. Mark Hopkins says:

    Cardinal Dolan,

    Thank you for the inspiration and the challenge.

    Six months ago, I visited one of the country’s you list, Peru. While walking past a building, there was, on its corner in the brick, a painting of St. Martin de Porres. I asked my fiance (her native country is Peru) what the building was: it was a public school. A little further along, we walked through a public housing project. In the center was a painting of Our Lady. While at Mass there, I noticed half of the people did not receive our Lord at Holy Communion. Why not? Because they did not feel so worthy to do so. Imagine. Places we think of as needing our missionaries!!

    We have, through His Grace, something golden and precious in our Faith. May we live it well.

  14. Bill McKenzie says:

    Greetings from St. Louis Cardinal Dolan! I started” The Everlasting Man” by GK Chesterton yesterday. It is a great book I’ve read before. I always glean something deeper with each reading.
    I think the introduction speaks directly to the challenge we face today. Chesterton says that it is more likely that someone with absolutely no experience with Christianity will look at the Church in an unbiased way than it is for a lukewarm Christian to do so. We have millions of lukewarm Christians who routinely distort, attack, disparage, conspire against and denigrate the Church of Christ. They keep their Christian identity for some reason, I guess “All the better to attack you with ,my dear” is the motivation.
    I personally came back to the Church after totally abandoning it many years ago. I had no animus, I just thought it wasn’t really what it claimed to be and went looking elsewhere. When I couldn’t find it anywhere else I was able to consider its claims without bias because I had distanced myself so greatly. It really is, as Chesterton says, the malingerers who are the most anti-Catholic, not those completely outside the fold.
    The moral for a bishop? Raise the price of admission and retention. When somebody can call themselves Catholic, yet hang on for decades as neither fish nor fowl, they never gain the outsiders perspective that will enable them to see the Church clearly. When they malinger within the Church to gripe and moan they only hurt themselves and the Church.
    If a flagrant heretic does not have the courage or integrity to leave a church that they apparently hate, throwing them out may ironically be the most charitable thing a bishop can do!
    Please read the introduction to The Everlasting Man.

  15. Excellent your Eminence! :D Daily conversion, a daily plan of prayer, so important. It starts with me, then my relationship with my family, and then reaching out to those around me, including in my Parish. I assert that many of us ARE waking up, it’s happening! The darkness cannot prevail!

    I wanted to inform you of an event we will be having in SE Michigan in a few weeks: http://www.birthchoiceresource.com our Catholic PRC- Sen. Rick Santorum will be speaking to a crowd of possibly 1500 guests (this is our capacity, and our hopeful goal)regarding the Culture of Life and our Faith. We would be so honored to have you attend!

    As our culture and our government continues to evolve, we are convinced it is becoming more important to reach out to each other and coalesce as one on the journey ahead. We believe our event can be an opportunity for this, and we would like to invite you to join with us to be a part of this event. We have been in touch several times with Deal Hudson, among others, who has been assisting us in making this event a monumental success for the pro-life movement and for all men of good will.

    God bless you, dear Cardinal in Christ! Count on my prayers always!

  16. My prayers are with the Bishops to continue to stand strong – keep it up – something wonderful is going to happen!!!!!

  17. Tom T says:

    Some Catholics have never left the Faith and suffered through dramatic and radical changes brought on from the culmination of Vat.II, the onslaught of liberalism which seems to have created deep idealogical divisions in the Church, the wide spread assaults from the liberal media regarding child sex abuse and suspensions of priests they`ve personally known and trusted, media stories and headlines about the likes of the Rev. Corapis and Cuties and resigning bishops who fathered children and still attend Mass and devoutly live their lives as best they can even with all the controversy. I personally believe they are after all they have been through and endured, entitled to some criticism and have been encouraged to do exactly that as the laity takes a greater role in the growth of the Faith. Pax

  18. John G. says:

    Your Eminence,

    You refer to the “Catholic faith” in your blog. Has it occurred to you and the other Bishops, both in the U.S. and worldwide, that what you refer to as the “Catholic Faith” has changed in the past 40 years?

    Current Catholicism is not as deeply rooted, fervent, and vibrant as it was in years past. Our religion has become, for many Catholics, superficial. This has happened not only in America, but in what were formerly deeply Catholic countries such as Poland, Ireland, Italy, France, etc. The whole world is mission territory. How can our situation have not been noticed by our Bishops when we have to import priests from Nigeria, Slovakia, Poland, etc. to say Masses in our Parish Churches? Did you really need Archbishop Chaput to raise the issue?

    What will be so special about the “Year of Faith” that starts in October? Every year should be a “year of faith”. We all need a “revitalization” of Catholicism.

    Hopefully a Committee of Bishops has been working on recommendations for “revitalization” which will be discussed at the Worldwide Synod of Bishops in Rome in October. Please skip the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Vatican II. There are more important issues to address.

    The “Loyal Laity” are praying for you and all of our Bishops, but as you can appreciate from the postings of most of the bloggers, we urgently need remedial action to breathe life back into our religion.

    Respectfully.

  19. Gina Shaffer says:

    Bill…Welcome Home !

    You Know that Our Lord Came to heal Sinners.

    How are they going to find and fall in Love with Our Lord and Savior if we kick them all out of the church?

    Interesting to Me is Your Statement…

    “I personally came back to the Church after totally abandoning it many years ago. I had no animus, I just thought it wasn’t really what it claimed to be and went looking elsewhere. ”

    You are right it isn’t elsewhere…Aren’t You glad that we let you back in? Peace…Love ; )

  20. Cindy says:

    So…we’re all missionaries…I get it…but what do we DO?

  21. Joan Sullivan says:

    There is a disconnect between the bishops’ teachings on Catholic doctrine and their continuing support of organizations that operate in opposition to those teachings. For example, the Nuns on the Bus, who sucessfully diverted media attention from the fornight for freedom, are supported by the Network (Networklobby.org). The USCCB is listed as a partner of the Network. These are leftist organizations that support issues in opposition to the Church’s teachings. USCCB continues the Campaign for Human Development. This was an organization that was started by the Archbishop of Chicago in alliance with Saul Alinsky, the leftist admirer of Satan. Is there any wonder that the US is considered mission terrritory?

  22. Steven says:

    Hi Cardinal,
    I’m proud to be Catholic but I feel the Catholic Church does not do a good job letting all the world know what good comes from the Church (Clergy, Lay, Religious) It almost feels like the Western world makes fun of the Church or has no idea all the good that comes from the Church. I guess what I’m saying is…it is sort of hard to be Catholic in the modern world when the Church itself does not seem proud and strong.

    Just one small example of how our Church does not stand up and take notice of disrespectul behavior from the Clergy. Why is it that Nuns and Priests are not required to wear the habit nor the black of a priest with the collar?? I know Bishop Fulton Sheen was very critical of this but the leaders of the Church don’t even try to instill pride in that small way.

  23. Steven says:

    Just one more idea…I would love to know how to defend my Faith. I suggest trying to really introduce Apologetics into every Catholic church in America. Catholics need knowledge about Catholicism just as much as a Nun or Priest. Let’s start standing up for our Faith!

  24. Rosario Conde says:

    Your Excellency,

    Respectfully, the laity is fervently praying that the hierarchy begin today the Year of the Faith, find interior change, and do what is right. Remove the Joe Paternos from the hierarchy! Then you will see the Church flourishing again and disaffected laity flocking into our beloved Church. Instead, it is puzzling – no, tragically painful – to read your shallow lamentations about finding “missionary territory” when the flock has been driven away by the bad judgment of the shepherds.

    As a lay person, I hope and pray that the hierarchy has the courage exhibited by the NCAA. Forbes describes it best:

    “By leveling serious penalties against Penn State, the NCAA did today what the Catholic Church has so far still failed to do. They have said they have “had enough,” in the words of Ed Ray, chair of the NCAA’s executive committee. From now on winning at all costs should not include the cost of turning a blind eye to childhood sexual abuse. The NCAA is acknowledging moral limits to excellence so that willful ignorance of abuse will not be tolerated, as it was under Joe Paterno’s leadership of the Penn State football program.

    The practical morality of this message has resonance far beyond the locker room showers of a big time college football team. All of us, everywhere, should have “had enough” by now. Silence in the face of abuse, however psychologically comfortable and appealing such silence may be, should not be considered OK.

    That predator, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno’s long time defensive coordinator, will in all likelihood spend the rest of his life in prison. But responsibility does not end with him. What these sanctions and penalties say is that moral responsibility is shared by both the abuser and those who allow abuse to take place. Penn State is being held accountable not for an act but for failing to act to protect children from a sexual predator.”

  25. Rosario Conde says:

    Your Excellency,
    The hierarchy should learn from the NCAA’s response to the Penn State Football program and Joe Paterno’s inactions. You would see the despirited faithful flocking back to churches and filling them to capacity; you would see vocations rising and gratitude to the Catholic Church restored. How can it be that the NCAA, a thoroughly secular institution, has more insight, more humanity, more compassion than the Catholic Church in protecting children, the weakest of the flock? Yes, your Excellency, we all need for the Year of the Faith to start working inside each of the members of the hierarchy today, not in October. We don’t need pretty slogans that are easily uttered

  26. Gil Brady says:

    Archbishop Dolan,

    The hand wringing does continue. Msgr Charles Kavanagh was defrocked based on allegations that have since been retracted. The Archdiocese has intentionally misled people to believe that there is more than one allegation, yet they have not been transparent in terms of the evidence.

    I say this not to be critical, but to simply raise awareness that you cannot call people to new evangelization when the institution still has clear examples of its inability to take responsibility for the mistakes it has made. I do not fault the church for making mistakes in the case of Msgr Kavanagh. The mistakes are understandable. The continued avoidance of responsibility is not understandable.

    If you truly want rebirth, if you want reconciliation and renewal, then you must right a very clear and obvious wrong. If you do not, then those of us who are informed and who were involved in the process will have to speak out and do what we can to prevent the new evangelization, because deep down that new evangelization will still be based on an unhealthy need for control more so than a genuine and authentic love of Christ.

    It is not the Western world that is wandering from their faith. When leaders of the church will not demonstrate the required humility it takes to lead, then it is not people wandering from their faith, it is people being led there by the leadership of the church.

    Continued prayers for you and the leaders that you have the courage and faith to acknowledge your mistakes and lead in a manner consistent with the example of Jesus Christ.

    Peace,

    Gil Brady

  27. Heather Wilson says:

    Well said, Gil Brady. Sadly absent from the call to evangelization is ANY acknowledgement of the fact that the reason thousands and thousands of Catholics need “evangelization” is because we are disillusioned by the hypocrisy, arrogance, dishonesty, lack of inclusiveness, and politicization (co-opted by the immoral religious right). I converted to Catholicism more than 30 years ago, taught in Catholic schools – totally involved and immersed in my Church and faith. I left the Church several years ago and despite great sadness have not once regretted my decision. On the contrary, all I have to do is read the recent blather on the politically contrived “assault on religious freedom” propaganda and my decision to have no part of this Church is further confirmed. So go out and evangelize in your mission territories. However, your energy may be better spent looking inward at how the Church hierarchy has dismayed, alienated and horrified the individuals capable of critical thinking who used to sit in your pews.

  28. Ljudmila says:

    I was impressed by this post for its sincerity, humility and realism. It shocked me, awakened. Yes Cardinal Dolan, it did.
    It´s a situation we are living everywhere. I translated it into Spanish and published it in my blog honoring John Paul II quoting all links. Hope there´s no problem. I did my best to be as faithful as possible. Thank you.

  29. MaureenMcCarthy says:

    Cardinal Dolan, thank you for your great blogs, for your insights, for your courage, for challenging us to be disciples…..and as the recent International Eucharistc Congress reminded us “BECOME WHAT YOU RECEIVE” . WE NEED TO BE ENGAGED in the world with Gospel values and continue to become in God’s will
    through unceasing prayer.

    Blessings and prayers, Maureen