Milwaukee Catholic Herald profiles priest who "canonized" MLK

MLK at Westminster
Milwaukee’s Catholic Herald recently profiled Father George Clements. The following anecdote struck me. How about you?

Clashes with the cardinal
Then he [Father Clements] said he did something that upset many people. He took down a statue of St. Anthony and replaced it with one of [Martin Luther] King. Soon after, he received a call from the then-archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal John Cody.
“He said, ‘Are you out of your mind? You better take that statue down right now. You’re not going to make some Protestant minister a saint,’” Fr. Clements said.
He added that he argued with Cardinal Cody that King embodied many traits of other Catholic saints.
“I said, ‘I’m not about to take it down. But I want you to know, if you want it down, you send somebody down here to take it down. And when they come out here, I can’t vouch for their safety when they get into the ‘hood,’” Fr. Clements said.

Emphasis added.
continue at Cream City Catholic


  1. Not only was MLK a Protestant minister, he was named for the heretic Martin Luther. Really disgraceful.

  2. My best friend and her family left the Church for more than 20 years when a priest put MLK's picture on the altar like an icon. Did they take the statue down?

  3. Capuchin Br. Bob Smith, former Messmer president, grew up on the west side of Chicago and remembers the cardinal’s influence. “He was second to the pope,” Br. Bob said. “He was the guy.”

    Influential, but not strong enough to stand up to his own priests. Pathetic.

  4. Of course Fr. Clements was wrong. Considering what a hash the Archdiocese of Chicago became because of Vatican II, even though Andrew Greeley hated him, Cardinal Cody wasn't "all that." Cardinal Spellman was: he did NOT want the changes after Vatican II (and he wasn't hostile to blacks).


Please contact if you have issues commenting.