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Selling the Mansion – Part II

by Christopher A. Ferrara

In my last column I reported the news that Chicago’s Cardinal George wants to sell the mansion that houses the archdiocesan chancery in order to defray legal fees accruing in multiple sex-abuse suits. The Cardinal also claims he is motivated by a "search for simplicity". An article in The New York Times, however, provides more information about this development.

The Times notes that George first broached the idea of selling the mansion on Saturday, May 18, during an ordination ceremony. The Cardinal wondered aloud: "How can I call on my priests to display humility in their lives if I’m living in a mansion like that?" Ah, the old liberal bromide - "humility" requires that the Church divest herself of her worldly goods and became a "pauper church." This was basically the objection of the disciples to Mary Magdalene’s "waste" of precious oil to anoint Jesus, instead of selling the oil and giving the money to the poor. We know our Lord’s response to this objection: "Why do you trouble this woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you, but me you have not always." (Mt. 26:10,11) Immediately after this rebuke, Judas went to the Pharisees to ask how much money they would give him to betray Our Lord - an early example of rank liberal hypocrisy.

George’s embrace of the liberal canard of the "pauper church" raises an interesting question: Does George contend that the Pope himself is failing to provide an example of "humility" because he lives in a magnificent place in the Vatican, surrounded by priceless works of art? Perhaps George thinks the Pope should sell the Vatican.

But there is more to the story. The Times reports another reason for selling the mansion. Archdiocesan spokesman Dwyer says that the Archdiocese has so far had to pay out only a "relatively modest $6.7 million in legal settlements" in sexual abuse cases, and that there are only "a few pending lawsuits." Only a few! At least as of today. No, the real problem, says Dwyer, is the lack of money for Archdiocesan schools. This year the Archdiocese will be closing 16 of its 268 schools, as opposed to "the typical 5 or 6 per year."

To assist in the "search for simplicity" in Chicago, I would propose this simple proposition: the reason Archdiocesan schools are closing one after another is that there are no Catholic children to fill them, and that many among the tiny minority of Catholic parents who have large families are home-schooling their children to protect them from the filthy "sex-ed" courses and heretical religious instruction in the remaining (but soon to be closed) "Catholic" schools of the Archdiocese.

Perhaps it has never occurred to Dwyer - or indeed to the Cardinal - that the solution to all the problems of the Archdiocese of Chicago is not to sell off real estate, but rather to acquire an entirely new asset: the authentic, traditional Roman Catholic Faith that was abandoned in the course of the post-conciliar "renewal" of the Catholic Church. It is this Faith, and none other, of which Our Lady spoke when She promised that "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph."