When I was a Catholic boy in Texas, I could never quite understand why the Pope had all these really fine clothes and this great big house while our local parish priest lived in a little apartment in the church basement and sometimes depended on the neighbours for dinner two nights a week. It bothered me then, and it bothers me now — being a good little Franciscan, it always seemed to me that Saint Francis had the right ideas: simplicity and faith are all you need — and if you’re going to demand that of your priests, maybe you should ask that of your bishops and archbishops and cardinals and maybe even yourself as well. In my childish little mind, an offering made to God should go to help His followers, not to buy the bishop a fancy new house in Dallas.
But what did I know, right? Willfully ignoring what I already knew about my superiors, I went into the priesthood and stuck with it until I just couldnt take the innate hypocrisy of it all. To this day, I have my faith in Whatever Might Out There, but it’s not someone who talks exclusively to an old man sitting on a much too ornate chair in the Vatican. God (or whatever you choose to call that higher power) talks to all of us — all we have to do is listen. And no man in a funny hat is going to tell me otherwise: that, if you’ll excuse the pun, is just so much papal bull.
Okay, a little Saint Paddy’s Day tale over the next few days, then we’ll see what kind of decision Doc and Raid have come to about their immediate future…
Thanks for hanging in there with me.