Saturday, April 18, 2015

Requiescat in pace, Cardinal George

Cardinal Francis Eugene George, OMI once said, "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."

I don't know how true that will turn out to be; I'm sure Abp. Blase Cupich isn't in any danger of residing in the hoosegow just yet. Nevertheless, for a man who braved many dangers in his seventy-eight years of life, that Cdl. George passed away in his own bed must seem as strange as John "Doc" Holliday dying with his boots off in a Colorado Springs sanatorium.

I’ve always said that the only thing I’d like people to remember about me is that 'he tried to be a good bishop.' I think I have been a good bishop, in many ways, and I take some pride in at least having tried my best. That’s enough. (from a 2014 interview)

I think it's fair to say that, in the seventeen years he reigned as the archbishop of Chicago, the first such archbishop to have been Chicago-born and -raised, he was a good bishop. Certainly he was a culture warrior; however, fighting the culture wars wasn't at the top of his priority list — it was just something that came with the seat and the miter. More important to him was the revival of the spirit of faith that lies at the heart of the Marian Oblates' mission. If more of our bishops were like Cdl. George, the conversion of the nation would follow quickly.

Euge, serve bone et fidelis. Intra in gaudium Domini tui!