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Hocus-Pocus Catholicism?

The name “Fr. Kevin Codd” should ring a bell. He figured in Michael S. Rose’s account of the questionable goings-on at the American College of Louvain seminary in Belgium (NOR, Dec. 2002). Fr. Codd is currently the seminary’s Rector.

So when we saw an article by Fr. Codd in Commonweal (Oct. 25, 2002), we perked up and read it. Codd tells about a recent visit to Lisieux to see the home of Thérèse of Lisieux, a saint beloved of his family. When he visited the Lisieux basilica, he took a seat and closed his eyes. Why he closed his eyes, he doesn’t say. He continues: “Then, behind my closed eyes, I became aware of a change of light. I looked right and upward, following the shaft of light that was striking my face. It led to a stained-glass image of Thérèse…. What struck me immediately was that the light was emanating from her face alone. Her features were brilliant. A break in the clouds was producing this singular beam that poured down on me.” He admits it was a “natural coincidence.” Indeed.

But continuing, he says, “In this coincidence, I sensed that there had just been a gracious break in the clouds separating me from Thérèse. French existentialists sometimes write about le regard. I felt regarded by Thérèse…. I have chosen to believe that Thérèse of Lisieux looked at me….”

Really now?

Were that all he had to say, we’d just chalk it up to Fr. Codd’s luxuriant imagination, and sigh that St. Thérèse deserves better than this.

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