Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

March 6, 2007


Northern Europeans display a more doleful view of whence we come. where we go, and why we are here. It is in sharp contrast with the more happy attitude of inhabitants of sunny Mediterranean lands. A travelor will be affected by changes, not only in air quality, water purity, and local diet, but by the character and attitudes of the inhabitants of his new destination.

A recent trans-Atlantic passage of a distinguished churchman showed a marked change in his thought and attitude as he moved from the western hemisphere to the eastern. Cardinal Cloudio Hummes left his native Brazil last December and traveled to Rome to head the Congregation of the Clergy. Before his departure from Brazil, the cardinal , in an interview for a Brazilian newspaper, described priestly celibacy as a disciplinary norm of the Church, not a matter of dogma and therefor subject to change. In a full page article in the February 14 issue of "L'Osservatore Romano", Hummes wrote: "Priestly celibacy is a precious gift of Christ to His Church, a gift that must be continually meditated upon and strengthened..."

Hmm! "Disciplinary norm"; "Precious gift of Christ". Perhaps some celestial gamma rays experienced in the cardinal's high altutude flight across the ocean caused the change. Or perhaps the Cardinal from Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country, had moved from a world where he had found that experience mattered to a world where experience would never be allowed to besmirch a lovely concept.


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