Many years ago, before Fr. Z., posted this on his blog as a daily read, I heard this quotation from someone in Chicago I knew who was living there and involved in the Church.
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
By the time Cardinal George, RIP, said this, I was already writing on both of my blogs about persecution. To have a highly respected and major Churchman underscore my perceptions made me sure of my own sense of things-confirmation, in other words.
We are down to the successor dying in prison now... and things will happen very quickly.
For me, the turning point regarding Cardinal George was way back in 2002, when my son and I were watching the USCCB meeting on sexual abuse cases. This was live on tv in Canada where we were living. At that time, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, was rude to both George and Bishop Fabian Brusketwiz of Lincoln, Neb. as they were asking for a real examination of the role of homosexual priests in the sexual abuse cases. Bishop Gregory told them to shut up and sit down that the issue would not be discussed and had nothing to do with sexual abuse cases. The two brave bishops tried several times and were dismissed rudely.
I watched it happen and was shocked, but then realized, the Church at the very top was divided on the gay issue. I said to my son, then 14, that this was the state of the members of the hierarchy in 2002. He went into the seminary with his eyes open.
The fact that Bishop Wilton was so rude to Cardinal George astounded me and proved what I had accepted earlier, that the bishops in America were not willing to discuss homosexuality among the clergy. This is still a problem and not only in America. Some shield their priests. Some, most likely, are gay.
Cardinal George and Bishop Brusketwiz's courage in standing up against the majority feeling at the USCCB meeting gives authority to his famous saying above. He had already experienced persecution and rejection among his own brother-bishops.
His famous quotation comes out of his own striving for truth and from his own suffering. Sadly, he inherited a huge problem from his predecessor, Cardinal Bernadine. More on this later...
Pray for Cardinal George. Pray for the Archdiocese of Chicago.