While I could live with the architecture of the building in the picture below, its accoutrements for altar, candles, ambo and pews are so minimalistic and sterile as to be more puritanical than the Puritans, more Calvinistic than the Calvins and more Masonic than the Masons. In my seminary in the early 1970's (about four years before I got there, there was actually a "liturgical ceremony" to strip the seminary's very traditional high altar and install a box like "free standing" "table" to be used for the new, stripped down Mass. The ceremony used a wheel barrow and seminarians placing the ornate altar cloth, six magnificent candlesticks and (empty) tabernacle into it and wheeling it off.)
What was unseen at that time in that seminary and many others of the late 1960's and 70's was the stripping down of Catholic sexual morality and substituting it with something else altogether different. Here, though, it wasn't a Puritanical, Calvinistic or Masonic morality being adopted, but the sexual, free love, do as you please and if it feels good morality of the raging 1960's sexual revolution. It's one thing when "normal" people express their sexuality in wild ways, but when abnormal people are given a license to do it because of the prevailing culture, either in the seminary or the world at large, you have a recipe for disaster and the potential for horrible abuse. The active disobedience by many seminary personnel and other priests and religious toward the Magisterium of the Church and Catholic teaching is what has brought us to such a low point in Church history. We need strong Catholic reformers like St. Teresa of Avila, Saint Francis of Assisi and St. John of the Cross to "rebuild my Church." Now read on below this and you'll see why I posted this photo!
Former Catholic, turned traditional Anglican, Archbishop John Hepworth, who was sexually abused by Catholic priests when in a Catholic seminary, now is seeking to be reconciled to the Catholic Church and is bringing 400,000 disaffected Anglicans with him. Is this the power of God's grace and reconciliation that a stripped down Catholic Church of the 1960's fomented, with architecture like that above and immorality like that described below? Isn't the story of each of us and of the Church about sin and reconciliation, death and new life? Is this a parable of such, but in real life and with real consequences?
Faith transcends desperation
From: The Australian
September 10, 2011 12:00AM
FEW people are better placed to assess both the virtue and venality of the Catholic Church than Archbishop John Hepworth, who after 36 years in exile is seeking his peace with Rome.
He was raped at 15, a month after entering Adelaide's St Francis Xavier Seminary to fulfill a childhood calling to train for the Catholic priesthood. After more than a decade of predatory physical and emotional abuse, he fled to England and drove trucks before defecting to the Anglican Church.
In an extraordinary act of forgiveness and reconciliation, he is leading a breakaway faction of some 400,000 Anglicans who want to reunite with Rome and submit to the teaching of the church that served him so badly.
Archbishop Hepworth's private story, revealed today by The Weekend Australian, is on one level a dispiriting reminder of human depravity and the church's institutional failure to exercise its duty of care.
But it can also be read as a narrative of redemption, a story about courage, faith and hope on the part of a dedicated priest whose love for the church is not diminished by human failings.
His story will make no sense whatsoever to the growing band of radical secularists who see religion as a dangerous throwback to a less-enlightened era. The separation of church and state, a founding principle of Australian governance, is not enough for them. They will not rest until religion is driven from the public sphere altogether, since, as Richard Dawkins maintains, religious faith has the characteristics of a mental illness.
You do not have to be a signed-up member of the Catholic Church - or any other religion, for that matter - to recognize scientific rationalism has its limits when it comes to understanding human complexity, our ability to love and our appreciation of beauty. Nor do you have to bother God to realize that while religion is a private matter it is also a public good. One of the few heartening aspects of the English riots was to see people standing shoulder to shoulder to protect their communities and businesses and call for calm. Unless we missed something, none were communities of atheists; they were Hindus, Muslims and Christians united and inspired by faith.
None of this disguises the fact that the official delays and denial that met Archbishop Hepworth's allegations are an all-too-familiar indictment of the church's failure to redress the wrongs of the past. It is encouraging to note, however, that the Melbourne process created by George Pell 15 years ago, which is independent of the church, resolved the relevant part of the case swiftly and efficiently. It is an indication that some in the church have learned from past mistakes. Other parts of the church have much to learn from it.
We strongly reject the argument that these individual failings, terrible as they may be, are evidence of a culture so rotten that the church is beyond redemption.
That argument - practically an article of faith for many modern progressives - does not recognize the broader contribution Catholicism has made and continues to make in Australia and around the world in the fields of health, education and charity or the personal peace many find through its ministry and liturgy.
Archbishop Hepworth's step of faith in returning to an institution that failed him badly is one not everyone would be prepared to take. Only he can decide if it is the right one, but we recognize the message of hope it sends to the wider world about the true purpose and place of religion in a modern, secular society.