Fr. Rutler’s Weekly Column
November 10, 2019
|Life in New York City can be hard for anyone who has difficulty accommodating paradoxes. For instance, the same City Council that has just banned the sale of foie gras on the grounds that it involves cruelty to force-fed geese, previously made New York the first city to pay mothers from other states to come here for abortions. |
With all due respect to Mother Goose, it seems hyperbolic to treat the over-feeding of ducks and geese as more inhumane than the destruction of the most helpless humans. Babies are human, yet there are those who do not see anything inhumane about killing a human child right up to birth.
Another curiosity that becomes “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice described Wonderland, was the recent decision of our mayor’s wife to include among proposed statues honoring women, two men who attained fame by pretending to be women. By sane logic, that would be like honoring the women of the Revolution with a statue of Benjamin Franklin dressed as Martha Washington.
Another proposed statue celebrates a woman notorious for her promotion of infanticide, the majority of infants killed being female. In a poll to decide who should deserve a statue, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini won first place by a landslide. But in her 67 years of humanitarian work, she established 67 institutions, all of which promoted the dignity of life from womb to grave, with no aborting of babies or giving poison pills to the sick and elderly. The saint’s broken English would have been at a loss to describe men with husbands or women with wives.
Mother Cabrini’s labors were too exhausting for her to worry about foie gras, which she probably could not afford anyway. Yet the mayor’s wife defied voters and eliminated the saintly woman from the list of honorees. That is no problem, though, because the same Catholic Church that “social progressives” slander as sexist, has more statues of women than the profligate City Council—with its hundreds of millions of dollars of unaccounted funds—couldever hope to match, and they include countless images of Mother Cabrini.
Saints are the greatest people who ever lived, but to acknowledge their existence means that you have to acknowledge God, who alone is the source of heroic grace that raises human nobility to the level of sanctity. This is why the saints are nervously ignored by cynics who hold holy innocence in contempt.
The newly canonized John Henry Newman preached: “What if wicked men took and crucified a young child? What if they deliberately seized its poor little frame, and stretched out its arms, nailed them to a cross bar of wood, drove a stake through its two feet, and fastened them to a beam, and so left it to die?”
Perhaps our mayor’s wife might explain why Christ, more innocent even than an infant, was crucified, or how his suffering for our sins compares with foie gras.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Father George W. Rutler