You may have heard about the controversy. Some groups, including the Catholic League, wanted New York City to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed “Mother” Teresa of Calcutta on August 26, 2010, by lighting up the side of the Empire State Building to show her picture. Apparently, this has been done to honor various figures, .
Thirteen “Dissenting” Groups, including Call to Action (excommunicated by Archbishop Fabian Bruskewitz in 1994 and upheld by the Apostolic Signatura), New Ways Ministry (officially censured by the Vatican), Women’s Ordination Conference (supporting a heretical idea that was declared off limits ex cathedra by John Paul II, not to mention condemned by one of the early Church Councils), and of course “Catholics for Choice” (a wholly owned subsidiary of Planned Parenthood), have sided with the Empire State Building, saying that the Catholic League does not represent all Catholics, and they don’t like Mother Teresa, since she opposed “gay rights,” “reproductive rights” and “women’s ordination.”
So some guest columnist at the Washington Post’s anti-Catholic “On Faith” column named Tracy Grant has suggested that this “in-fighting” is embarrassing and would be offensive to Mother Teresa, whose concern was helping the poorest of the poor. Grant refers to the 13 groups as “Dissenters” and “progressives” and seems to presume these 13 groups want to honor Mother Teresa by doing acts of charity. Even if that is the case, Grant and the 13 Ghosts of the Spirit of Vatican II seem to forget that Mother Teresa herself said the absolute “poorest of the poor” are the unborn.
Danielle Bean, a bit surprisingly, agrees that this situation is embarrassing. On Facebook, she replied to my concern by admitting that, yes, “in fighting” was probably a bad choice of words but, to the average “outsider,” this is what it looks like.
Is Bill Donohue over the top and bombastic? Sure. So were Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Is it hypocritical of the Empire State Building to honor Communism, the Salvation Army, the Grateful Dead, Mariah Carey, Blue M&Ms, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but not Mother Teresa? Sure.
Would Mother Teresa *want* to be honored by the Empire State Building? No.
Would energies be better served elsewhere? Yes.
Does this constitute in-fighting and an embarrassment to Catholicism? Hardly. The only embarrassment is that these 13 groups can claim to be “Catholic” without being called on it. Why isn’t the USCCB stepping into this fight to say these 13 groups aren’t Catholic?