Thursday, April 22, 2010
Pray for the Soul of Archbishop William Borders
Today there was a CNS obituary piece on Archbishop William Borders, the 13th Bishop of Baltimore who served from 1974-1989. He died on April 19th at the age of 96. The sub-headline of the obit said he was "known for social justice and [a] pastoral approach to leadership." I couldn't hold back a derisive snort when I read that. My dad, career navy, made his last home in the Baltimore Archdiocese when he bought a home in Elkridge in 1964. He and my mom became very active in their local parish, St. Augustine's, where Dad was a volunteer organist for a number of years and Mom was the pro-life chairman and organized buses for the March for Life. She was still doing the March in her 80s pushing a walker because of her bad knees. My parents had first-hand experience of Borders' record of "social justice" and "pastoral" leadership since they served the Archdiocese longer than he did.
Archbishop Borders almost drove my dad out of the Church after he appeared with radically pro-abortion Jesuit Fr. Robert Drinan on a talking heads program. I don't remember the specifics but that may have been the year the priest was selected to keynote the archdiocese's social ministries convocation (1982). The archdiocese was notorious for the dissenters approved by Borders during those years. Among the annual speakers for the convocation were Monika Hellwig, Fr. Richard Rohr, and Fr. Richard Fragomeni. Yes, Borders was an expert at advancing those who used "social justice" as a platform for undermining the faith. His work with the Campaign for Human Development (CHD - later Catholic Campaign for Human Development) set the roots in place for the on-going scandal that still exists today. The first speaker for his convocation was Msgr. Jack Egan who helped Saul Alinsky get his hand in the collection basket in the first place.
I can certainly understand my dad's frustration with the Archbishop that made him angry enough to want to leave. I've felt that way myself. (As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.) Fortunately for my dad, my mom shrugged over the archbishop's betrayal and, like St. Peter, said, "Where will we go?" And, not surprising for two cradle Catholics who raised their ten children in the faith, they both died in the heart of the Church consoled by the sacraments and surrounded by their children and grandchildren. No thanks, I might add, to Archbishop Borders.
Daddy died in 1985 and Mom died in 2002. I'm asking them both to intercede for Archbishop Borders who did all he could to advance dissent during his tenure in Baltimore. May God have mercy on his soul.