COURTESY FOR THE CLERGY?
Dear reader, I'd like your help on this one.
Then as I stood on the sidewalk I had a flashback. It was 1954. Our family of six had duly bought our tickets for the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and had walked to the end of the line that stretched around the corner and well down the block. We had with us my aunt, Sister Paul Marie, O.S.B., in her full Benedictine habit. We had barely gotten on line when an usher came up to us and informed us that nuns did not stand on line, but were given the courtesy of immediate entry. So sister and the six of us followed the usher in a parade past all the people who’d been waiting in the cold for an hour, and waltzed right through the front door. I remember being extremely conscious of people standing on that long line watching us as we walked past and probably making all sorts of uncharitable judgments about us.
So now, some 56 years later, I had been invited to skip to the front of the long line. The second time we were asked, a woman in her thirties who was standing in front of us on line turned and said, “Really, you should go. We won’t mind.” I thought that was very kind and thoughtful of her, and then I began wondering about the variety of reactions it would have provoked.
Since it was a very Catholic crowd, many of the people would probably have been okay with their priests getting a little sign of respect, especially considering what the newspapers have been doing to the Catholic clergy for the past few years. On the other hand, I could imagine that some people who needed to get home to put the kids to bed might have thought that letting the priests jump ahead on the line was both unfair and old-fashioned.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I wonder what the readers if this blog think about that whole situation?
I’d love to hear your comments, even your advice. I want to know what I should do the next time someone says, “Father, you don’t have to stand on line; just come with me.”