Friday, February 5, 2010

Jesuit Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Really?


Last night, my husband sat down to peruse our diocesan weekly newspaper. He was turning the pages quickly scanning the headlines, then he stopped and laughed out loud.

"Kath, come listen to this," my husband called, "the Jesuits gave the Campion Literary Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

"Are you kidding?" I responded.

He just laughed again. No, he wasn't kidding. The Jesuits had really bestowed this honor upon the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

"This is the same man who called the infancy narratives fairytales not too long ago," he mused.

"Not to mention," I offered, "St. Edmund Campion was a martyr for the Faith in England in the 16th century during the persecutions of Catholics. Plus, it seems a bit ridiculous to give a Catholic honor to an Archbishop who is causing such division in his own Christian denomination."

We both shook our heads and moved on with the evening.

This morning, however, I was curious and did some reading to get a better perspective on the matter. There was definitely an air of sarcasm on several of the blogs I read. The Catholic Culture piece, by Diogenes, that I am linking to here had me laughing at the satire in the last paragraph. Several other blogs questioned the intelligence, or lack there of, within the Jesuit order. Those I found harsh, as the Jesuits are certainly not an unintelligent order, requiring extensive study before ordination. However, they seem to be rather misguided in their formation and, perhaps, not as adherent to the Magisterium as they might be; the Vatican has had to intervene on several occasion in the last century.

I think this award may qualify as a supreme lack of judgment on the part of the Jesuits. What exactly are they saying in honoring an Anglican Archbishop, whose tendency it is to fly in the face of orthodox Christianity with his pronouncements, ultimately resulting in the exodus of a good portion of his congregation and clergy to Catholicism and other Christian denominations. What matters in the end is that their position makes a Catholic, and maybe even some non-Catholics, wonder about what the Jesuit order really believes and wishes to promote.

What do you think? Intelligent commentary is always welcomed and valued.


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