February 19, 2010

News From The World of Saints

If you take the set of all Australians and put the criminals and Irishmen over here, the remainder over there is your first Australian saint, Mary McKillop ("Mother" to her confederates).

It's noted in the news that during the course of a lifetime of good behavior Mother Mary of the Cross ("Mama Marie Delacroix" as the francophone would have it) was excommunicated briefly by a bishop for insubordination. I wasn't aware that the power of excommunication had devolved to mere bishops. I always thought only the pope or his designated staff could strike people officially from the rolls of the organization, but that may be due to my admittedly insufficient attention to what I'm sure are the condign rulings of the Church on the matter. Perhaps any altar boy has the authority when going about his appointed rounds.

I remember the story of the ex-seminarian who pressed the Vatican for an official certificate of excommunication, which he recieved in due course from whatever tribunal handles those matters back there on the home acres of the Roman Catholic Church, although not without a measure of bother on his part. It turns out that perhaps all along he could have just chosen one of the local platoon of bishops in the San Francisco Bay Area to get the job done with authority. Even those who've sidled away from the Church without engaging in the formalities observed by the ex-seminarian will appreciate, however, the coolness factor of having a writ directly from the pope's own penmen recognizing the sundered tie.

In the case of Mary McKillop the bishop apparently retracted his act of excommunication shortly after he issued it, retroactively nullifying its effect. Thus, after three days or so, Mary McKillip rose from those listed as dead to the Church,  it being revealed to all that she had only seemed to be gone during that time, when in fact she had been present  continuously in substance and spirit within the folds of Holy Mother the Church the whole while.

1 comment:

rampster said...

May I have your leave to nominate this piece for the Don Marquis award? (whatever I imagine that to be)