By Tom Quiner
He lived in a land of pagans.
By the time his life had ended, he lived in a land of Christians.
St. Patrick taught the Gospel of Jesus in Ireland, planting 300 churches and baptizing some 120,000 souls.
This remarkable evangelist for Christ is honored to this day with a famous parade in New York called the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Al Smith is the 4-time Governor of New York. He was the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 1928, losing to Herbert Hoover. Mr. Smith was a Roman Catholic who is honored to this day by an event called the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a big fundraiser for Catholic Charities.
Something strange happened along the way. The parade was hijacked by neo pagans, and the dinner welcomes enemies to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
A priest from the Archdiocese of Washington, Msgr. Charles Pope, has spoken out against what he considers the defilement of a legacy:
“The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific.
Decades ago the “Al Smith Dinner” was a time for Republicans and Democrats to bury the hatchet (even if only temporarily) and come together to raise money for the poor and to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us. But in the old days the death of 50 million infants was not what divided us. We were divided about lesser things such as how much of the budget should go to defense and how much to social spending. Reasonable men might differ over that.
But now we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love and that LGBTQIA… (I=intersexual, A= Asexual) is actually a form of sanity to which we should tip our hat, and with those who stand four-square against us over religious liberty.
Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.
In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.”
Msgr. Pope’s remarks are refreshing.
In these politically-correct times, the good Monsignor should inspire Christians everywhere on the need to “re-evangelize” the neo pagans, some of whom call themselves Christians, even as they embrace the tenets of paganism, including child-sacrifice, sexual license, and nature worship.
Monsignor Pope has even more to say on the subject. Read it all here.
[This post originally ran on September 5th, 2014. I reposted it in light of a Quiner’s Diner reader who questioned the inclusion of radical abortion advocates at a Catholic event.]