Monday, January 15, 2007

Today is NOT the Feast Day of St. Martin Luther King

A several years ago, a priest in a neighboring parish turned the Sunday Mass into the 'Feast of St. Martin Luther King'. Prayers were offered and the pulpit was turned over to the pro-abortion, Episcopalian president of the local college. (She happened to be a Black woman.) A friend of mine from that parish asked me tongue and cheek if I had celebrate this feast in my parish. When I said no, she asked why not. I replied that last time I checked, he was not a saint and we only honor saints and the beatified liturgically.

Please do not get me wrong. Every American, regardless of race, owes a profound debt of gratitude to Dr. King for his Civil Rights work. But this does not mean he was a saint. His personal life was far from saintly. Congress has legislated a federal holiday. (I think we have too many holidays already. But, I probably think this because I don't get to enjoy any of them.) There is a tendency to popularly canonize cultural heroes, both worthy and less so. (Don't get me started on Princess Diana.) We should and must only honor liturgically those whom the Church holds up to us.
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