In August we heard that Father Larry McNally, of Ascension parish in Oak Park, Illinois, had apologized to the women of his parish for the nasty teachings of the Catholic Church. In September we learn that he’s taken another step. Father Larry has added his name to a petition signed by his parishioners, expressing solidarity with women who wish to be ordained as priests. But it wouldn’t have been his style simply to add his name to the list of signatories:
McNally said he put his name on the petition "in big red print" and felt compelled to deliver it in person to the cardinal at his Gold Coast mansion on Sept. 7, just before George was to embark on a trip to Rome.When he arrived at the cardinal’s residence, Father Larry wasn’t actually wearing a bright orange sweatshirt with “Look at ME!” printed in 4” letters on both front and back. That wasn’t necessary. He had made his point. The Sun-Times (which, one suspects, got this story from Father McNally, not from Cardinal George) explains:
It was largely a symbolic move, since the cardinal has no power to allow women into the priesthood.True. The cardinal does not have the authority to ordain women. Neither does the Pope. It can’t be done.
But that’s not what makes Father Larry’s visit to the cardinal a symbolic move, really. The “symbolism” here—the message being delivered to the cardinal—is the same as the message sent by a 3-year-old who stamps his foot and glowers at his mother after refusing to pick up his toys. “I’m being naughty. What are you going to do about it?”
Father Larry reports that the cardinal was cordial.