Friday, January 1, 2010

A King's view of his baptismal church

Please, read the picture. The quotation of Saint Louis -- Confessor, the King of France Louis IX, is cut upon the stone of the baptistery at the eponymous church. It suggests the importance of the church one is baptised in, this is one reason we need to hold dear these buildings, because of the momentous activities that occur therein. Not only is the parish, the particular aggregate of believers, vitally important and meant to be enduring, but the very edifice dedicated as the sacred space that these people occupy.
"I think more of the place where I was baptized than of Rheims Cathedral where I was crowned. It is a greater thing to be a child of God than to be the ruler of a Kingdom. This last I shall lose at death but the other will be my passport to an everlasting glory."

Louis of Poissy
He always signed himself thusly, not Louis IX, King of France, but Louis of Poissy. This is carved on a stone in front of the baptismal fount at St. Louis, Cleveland Heights, the next church to be suppressed by Richard Lennon. Louis' sentence previous to the chiseled words is, "Poissy is the place where I was baptized." In an homily given by Cardinal O'Connor of New York City in 1998 on the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, he quotes the french king. Bishop Lennon of Cleveland's first suppression of 2010 will be St. Louis on 9 January, beginning at 4.30 p.m.; at 6.00 p.m. he will be riding in an automobile away from the property.

Now, on the bottom edge of the metal surrounding the cornerstone of Cleveland's remodeled latin-rite cathedral, there are the words:
I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer my name upon it forever, and my eyes and my heart shall be there always. [NAB] 1 Kings 9 : 3
Now, there is painted on the wall of the choir loft of Holy Trinity, Lorain (in english and slovak), a parallel statement, for Kings and Chronicles(Paralipomenon) tell the same history:
For I have chosen, and have sanctified this place, that my name may be there for ever, and my eyes and my heart may remain there perpetually. --Paralipomenon II vii. 16.
In this regard, the only difference between the two buildings is the one has the cathedra (chair of the bishop) and the other has not. I will refrain from making an humorous but ribald comment. The argument that the 'church' is not a building is to divert attention from the issues at hand. People love not only the church universal, but their particular parish church, and the parish is meant to be perpetual.

On the penultimate day of 2009, at the 5.10 p.m. Mass celebrated at the cathedral, there was a contingent of parishioners of Saint Casimir in-exile and members of Endangered Catholics. They wore either red and white armbands or white ribbons to show unity, and a devotion to the Divine Mercy. They plea for the reversal of the suppression of parishes.

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