Here's an interesting bit of news. Billy Graham is having a crusade at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Nov. 18th through Nov. 21st. Cardinal Mahony is encouraging Catholic participation:
While there are some doctrinal differences in our theologies, we can certainly support Dr. Graham?s core message of the need for conversion of life and the establishment of a personal relationship with Jesus.I don't have huge problems with Billy Graham, but I'm not sure how I feel about openly encouraging this. The Cardinal clearly recognizes that Catholics consistently fill the stands at Graham's crusades -- that they do is undeniable. And it's admirable of Graham to refer them to the Church for further guidance, but I do have questions about how effectively this is done. Does everyone in Graham's staff uphold his personal belief and policy? Understanding that Catholics will be there, I guess there is no serious harm in supporting this, and encouraging pastors to be aware of this. It allows the Church to actively reach out to those who respond to Graham, rather than abandoning them into separation from the Church.
When the Crusade was held in other locations, many Catholics responded to Dr. Graham?s message and came forward for Christ. Crusade officials expect the same for the Los Angeles area. These officials have assured me that, in keeping with Dr. Graham?s belief and policy, there will be no proselytizing, and that anyone identifying him or herself as a Catholic will be referred to us for reintegration into the life of the Catholic Church. We must be ready to welcome them... Dr. Graham preaches the Gospel with great eloquence and with a true ecumenical spirit, and I encourage your parish to pray for the success of his efforts in our community.