Friday, October 14, 2011


Hopefully this photograph is from the 1970's and not recently as one would hope this silliness has come to a conclusion, but has it in other ways?

On a previous post, "Paul" made a comment in response to something I wrote about abuses happening today rather than those from the 60's, 70's or 80's. This was his response:

Father, you asked, "What examples would you give of "radicalism" in OF parishes today, not from the '60's or 70's or even 80's?"

With my own eyes and ears:

1. A priest publicly discussing the content of a sacramental confession, including the name of the person having made it.

2. A deacon denying in a homily that hell exists.

3. A priest publicly ridiculing the Holy Father.

4. A priest telling a divorced man that an annulment was not necessary to remarry.

5. A priest ad libbing the words of consecration.

Please understand that I am not claiming to be perfect or even a good man. I'm not even that bright--just ask my wife! I do however consent to and believe all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches. If I didn't I'd go somewhere else.

Being a convert to the faith, I love the Church like an adopted son loves the Mother that rescued him from the streets. It hurts me deeply and angers me greatly to see anyone, clergy or laity, insult or harm my Mother.


My comments: I do believe there is still a lot of clowning around although no one is actually wearing a clown costume. All the the things that Paul says occurred are very serious offenses. Number 1 which is a violation of the seal of confession incurs automatic excommunication for the priest doing it and the excommunication can be lifted only by the pope after a rather lenghty canonical process. This kind of abuse needs to be reported to the bishop and immediately when one is aware of it happening.

There is also a terrible mean-spiritness out there amongst not only traditionalists towards the Holy Father and bishops in union with him but also by progressives. Sometimes they can be the most vitriolic, just read the comments on stories in the National Catholic Reporter or even the PrayTell blog, not to mention this blog (although the comments that are sometimes nasty on my blog are by traditional minded commenters)!

Ultimately the bishop should discipline priests who continue to do what is reported. It should be handled privately first and then if the priest continues to do it a "good old" suspension for a period of time and without pay might be just what the doctor ordered.

Finally, I think pastoral councils should be able to bring things of this nature to the Diocesan bishop. There should be some accountability of priests on the parochial level and by the pastoral council. Of course it is up to bishops to make sure pastoral councils are functioning as these should.


Templar said...

By Pastoral Councils I assume you mean "Parish Councils", yes? If so I think this a vain hope. Usually Parish Councils are cultivated by the Pastor to be in line with him. Even those that are elected are usually elected through "marxist" style elections (candidates limited). I can say with honesty that since the introduction of such Councils in the 70s I have only seen one Parish, and that would be yours Father, that operates a Parish Council correctly. You allow free and open candidacy, with corresponding;y open elections, and then leven that openness with appointed members to insure the Council does not become unbalanced in it's views and advice. Like a great many other things we discuss on this blog, we must remember that St. Joseph is an atypical Parish.

On the subject of abuses, let me ask you an honest question; when is it "okay" to remove the Creed from the Liturgy? I do not recall ever experiencing that st St. Joseph over the past 3-4 years, but on occassion I have had necessity to attend elsewhere and I have experienced it's removal often enough to make me thing it is common practice there. Can you tell me if this is abuse or permitted?

Anonymous said...

It is within a pastor's canonical rights and responsibilities to exclude individuals from serving on a parish council. Some reasons might be:

If that person does not attend mass regularly, has expressed contempt for the pastor or the bishop, has manifest that he/she is unwilling to work cooperatively with the pastor and other council members for the good of the parish, if the person is in an invalid marriage, if the person has shown poor judgment is his/her personal life, and numerous other reasons.

This is not Marxism - it is Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

One of the first things our 'liberal minded' Priest did when he came to our church was to ignore the presence of our Parish Council. He arrived almost a year ago & has not called for one Parish Council meeting since.

The conservative members of our Council believe that he is simply waiting for their terms to expire before calling for new elections & a new Council. He may be hoping that anyone with a conservative bone in their body will have left - he is certainly working hard to see that come to pass. -pgal

Henry said...

Having served in a liberal university-community parish as a member of a parish council that debated its decisions following Robert's rules of order and seemingly exercised real authority, it is nevertheless my understanding that parish councils are merely advisory to the pastor, who can (possibly at his peril) ignore them if he wishes (for whatever good or bad reason).

Frajm said...

Henry, you are correct about pastoral councils, these are purely advisory, however the council does have recourse to the bishop. In terms of serious issues concerning the pastor, the council should also have recourse to the bishop and thus this creates some form of accountability on the parish level with the pastor and/or priests. If the council is not functioning as it is, the bishop or his delegate should investigate. Each pastoral council is suppose to have a constitution approved by the local bishop which spells out its function and meeting times, elections, etc and any recourse council members have to the bishop.

Father Shelton said...

If I may, a word about the title "pastoral council". There are two kinds of parish councils: the parish finance council and the parish pastoral council. The Pastor/Parish Priest (Parochus) consults one about the budget, and the other about general pastoral care issues. The term "parish council" is not used because it lacks precision.

Templar said...

1st Anon: That would be great except you have it backwards. The Parish Councils are usually staffed with the types of folks you say should be excluded because they happen to agree with everything Pastor Bleeding Heart Hippy says and does. It's conservatives who are excluded.

2nd Anon: Giddy yup.

Henry/Father AJM: This is my understanding of their roles and responsibilities as well.

Fr. Shelton: No argument, I was merely using a catch all term.

So, does anyone care to answer my question, when is it "okay" to remove the Creed from a Sunday Mass? I've checked the GIRM and I can't find a loophole that would permit it.

Anonymous said...

If the A/C is broken and the temperature is 98 degrees and the humidity is 1000%, leave out the creed AND the gloria.

pinanv525 said...

No, Anon! Suffering in the heat and stifling humidity is good preparation for your eternal future!

Anonymous said...

@Pin - I would have already rode that pony off into the sunset if there was another drinking hole nearby. Unfortunately, pilgrim, there ain't!
@FrShelton - yes; I was speaking re the Pastoral Council which our pastor (in a Church from YOUR Diocese, btw) evidently sees no need for. Our Parish Finance Council does still meet because according to Canon Law, a pastor has to have one.(Canon 1280 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law). As Canon 536 'allows' a pastor to essentially 'ignore' a Pastoral Council if he so chooses, our pastor is apparently doing so, as evidenced by his choice in not calling a single meeting of the Pastoral Council since his arrival.
There was a time when 'charity' prevailed regarding the damage he has been doing, but that time has passed & my family has had to saddle up & travel long distances (over 1.5 hours each way)- along with several other families in this parish - to drink from untainted wells at least once a month.

So - we can be witty & academic about this all we want, but real families who are faithful are being damaged week in & week out with no 'official' recourse & no where to go. For us, this is not an interesting discussion of semantics & proper terminology - it has been our life as Catholics since the arrival of this pastor &, quite frankly, it sucks. -pgal

Anonymous said...

pgal, a suggestion: get with the other families who have to travel to the other parishes for respite and coordinate to meet Sunday morning in your parish parking lot to car pool to the other parish. If the numbers get big enough you can hire a bus to meet you there. That could send a message.