Archbishop Donald Wuerl has probably done enough of this to earn his red hat.
The Knights of Columbus are in the midst of their International Convention in Washington DC. Archbishop Donald Wuerl gave the sermon at the opening Mass held in DC's Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Wuerl stresses the Kof C role in Benedict's New Evangelization with the idea that the Knights are their brother's keeper. The following short excerpt is from the end of the homily as reported by CNA:
Turning back to the contemporary culture, Archbishop Wuerl said, “Our mission as Jesus’ witnesses takes place in a world profoundly in need of a New Evangelization. The threads of an encounter with the living Lord and the love that he brings into this world need to be woven once again into the fabric of our culture, of our society, our nation and our world. This, Christ and his Church entrust to us today.”
“We are our brother's keeper! in wild contradiction to all the other lifestyles, options and opinions, we are to be champions of the New Evangelization … to be a living, effective sign of the Risen Christ in this highly secular world, in which we are still called to ‘walk on the water’,” knowing that Jesus “is there saying ‘don’t be afraid, don’t doubt’.”
I read this article and I couldn't help but wonder in what sense Archbishop Wuerl was using the phrase 'brother's keeper'. The recent history of the Kof C under Carl Anderson would tend to make one think that being one's brother's keeper is taken pretty literally, and not in the charitable sense, but in the political sense.
The Kof C has been a major player and contributor in the culture wars, especially in generous funding for the anti gay marriage crusade. The whole idea in this campaign is to keep some of their brothers from enjoying certain benefits accorded other of their brothers. It seems to me the Kof C has gone from being a selfless group working local charity projects with little fan fare, to something entirely different. It now functions as more of a political PAC on the national and local level. If that's to be the definition and modus operandi of the New Evangelization, I don't expect to be seeing Carl Anderson walking on water any time soon.
As to Archbishop Wuerl's ability to be his brothers keeper, apparently he takes this quite literally as his 'brothers' keeper and does not extend this to his 'sisters'.
It is really difficult for me to write about ecclesiastical leaders like Donald Wuerl. There were eight Cardinals at this Mass and there has never been any question in my mind that Donald has been working his tail off for his entire career to sit along side them as an equal. After all, Wuerl has been at the center of a great deal of high level Church politicking. As the personal secretary of Pittsburgh's wheel chair bound Cardinal Wright, Wuerl was one of three non cardinals to be present for the conclave which elected John Paul II. From here he proceeded to accept the assignment as Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle in the Vatican's attempt to undercut and embarrass Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. In this capacity, Wuerl was not exactly successful, but he was still rewarded with the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and appointment as Chaplain to the US branch of the Knights of Malta. He has now moved up to Washington DC and added the Knights of Columbus. I'm sure the red hat is soon to follow, at which time he will probably also be made chaplain to the Knights of the CIA.
An honest in depth study of the career of this man would probably give us a great deal of insight as to what exactly goes on in the minds and methods of the Vatican. We'll never get such a study though, because the one thing the Vatican is really good at is being 'their brothers keeper'.