Right after he disposed of Mike Pfleger, Cardinal Francis George flew to Rome for last weekend's big John Paul II beatification bash. Father Pfleger, the longtime (very longtime) pastor of St. Sabina, a poor, mostly black parish on Chicago's South Side, committed a grievous sin: He overstayed his welcome. Then he committed an even more heinous sin: He said "No" to his superiors.
Dear God, Thanks for taking the time to respond to my last column (See page 21). I know you're busy. Then again, if you're not locked into the same time-space continuum we are, you're not subject to our constraints. In which case, I envy you. (Is it a sin to envy God?)
Rev. Harry Parker has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Oak Park since 1990. In the fall of 2009, he was diagnosed with incurable cancer. In the spirit of Easter, he consented to talk about how that experience changed his life – in the hope that others might find his experience useful.
This Sunday, Christians the world over celebrate life after death. Many profess to believe in the Resurrection, but what about the rest of us? If there is life after death, as we so fervently hope, we don't know what form it takes. But we all have imaginations, so we can't help speculating.
Whenever I hear people describe themselves as "pro-life," I think, "Great! You must be an active, committed environmentalist, fighting to save the only inhabitable planet in the known universe. And your top concern is battling the forces that are rapidly destroying Earth. Since an uninhabitable planet would eliminate all of life, there can be no higher priority for someone who claims to be 'pro-life.'
Last week, I endorsed a couple of ideas that riled up the reactionaries: 1) Anyone who opposes federal funding of National Public Radio should be forced to listen to it, and 2) Tea Party members should be required to take a test on the U.S. Constitution. Judging by the responses, my comments warrant further explanation.
The election is less than two weeks away. You can read our endorsements elsewhere in this section. But as you ponder the issues and candidates, here's some perspective — from someone who knows quite a bit about local governance.
I thought of Rev. Stan Rudcki the other day. Stan was the resident philosopher and Renaissance man at Niles College, a little known and less remembered institution of higher learning that occupied the corner of Touhy and Harlem. In the early '70s, when I attended, it served as the college level seminary of the Chicago Archdiocese.