Wednesday, May 2, 2012

YIKES, I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE IN THIS PARISH AS A PRIEST OR A PARISHIONER

One of the worst subversions of Vatican II is the loss of Catholic Charity in stressful situations and playing the blame game. READ WHAT'S HAPPENING IN A WISCONSIN PARISH BY PRESSING HERE FOR THE NCR'S ARTICLE: Wisconsin bishop threatens denial of sacraments for 'rumors and gossip'.

UPDATE: FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, READ BISHOP MORLINO'S APRIL 25TH LETTER BY PRESSING HERE. YIKES AGAIN.

Evidently a group of very conservative priests have dismantled post-Vatican II practices in a somewhat conservative town and parish creating division and hostility amongst the parishioners there. It has become so bad that the collection is down dramatically, the elementary school was forced to close and now the bishop is threatening to excommunicate parishioners.

I think that most of this could have been avoided and that the priests in the parish may have brought this on themselves. But it does beg the question, have we since Vatican II so emphasized the horizontal nature of the Church and maybe to the neglect of our vertical relationship to God that when the horizontal aspects a lay involvement in the parish are taken away, so too their faith? So the question is, where is their faith, in lay participation and decision making or in God and the salvation of their souls and their rightful place at home, work and play? Power plays that cause people to cease being practicing Catholics is very odd, especially since being Catholic is the way God saves our souls from hell and damnation. We're not a civic club where we pay dues, we are the Church and the Church is about love, forgiveness, reconciliation and the promise of eternal life. Do Catholics today prefer a "civic club" approach to Church where they can do good and is salvation taking a backseat to that? Just asking.

But let me say emphatically that in terms of lay participation and the theology of Catholic Stewardship, whatever a parish can do through the leadership of their priests to keep people actively engaged in the life of the parish will translate into a vibrant, active parish and giving will increase, not only financially but in time spent with God in prayer, meditation, Mass and catechesis and one's talent shared with the Church.

I'm aware too, though, that while this NCR story appears to be fair and balanced, it may not contain the whole story, but from reading it I think that the priests acted a bit too fast and alienated many people. But the Lord does test the faith of people and maybe these priests were sent to them to test their faith and to see if their faith is in the right place (in God) or somewhere else. Just wondering.


20 comments:

Jim said...

Father, Before you swallow what the NCR reports, you had better read Bishop Morlino's letter here

http://www.madisondiocese.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=H67WXKB7CA8%3d&tabid=325&mid=5357

ytc said...

Oh God.

Whine, whine, whine. "Vatican II Vatican II Vatican II eCUMEnISm Vatican II EnneAGRams SiSTEr CHIttEsTEr Vatican II MISOGYNY Vatican II Vatican II Vatican VATICAN TWOOOOOOOOOO VATICAN II WOMEN HATING moNARchISTs, men IN red DRESSES, VatiCUMENISMmmmmmmmmmmmm socIAL JustICE wyMyNpRYSTS NOWWWW personhood ACTIVE PARTICIPATION VATICAN II ACTIVE PARTICIPATION VATICAN II ACTIVE PARTICIPATION ACTIVE PARTICIPATION ACTIVE PARTICIPATION VATICAN II, NU AGE SISTERS, CUZ VATAKEN TUU SEZ VATAKEN TUU SEZ VATAKEN II SEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!"

What crap. I swear, the above paragraph is just about all you hear from the libs these days. I'm tired of it.

Kyrie, eleison.

Father Shelton said...

This all sounds very familiar to me. Priests who simply preach and practice Catholicism are deemed deeply offensive by opponents who haven't the integrity to admit that such struggles are not about manners, but about truth.
When revolutionary priests stripped old sanctuaries and instructed their congregations to laugh and hold hands at Mass in the '70's and '80's, there were no mass protests or defections, just patient suffering on the part of many who recognized such nonsense as foreign to Catholicism. Why can't revolutionary congregations show as much patience with obedient priests today as well-intentioned, revolutionary priests were shown then?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It does all sound very familiar, the things our parents generation went through in being told that they were now neanderthals for being "pre-Vatican II" and that they needed to get with the program by receiving on the hand, standing, and from Eucharistic Ministers and that everything devotion, art work and way of thinking they had been formed in was passe and they needed to get with the program--and they did liking it or not. They were and are the greatest generation.

Father Shelton said...

Indeed, Father McDonald.
It may be worth noting that you post this on the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, who defended the incarnational nature of Christ. Those interviewed in the NCR article describe themselves as good Catholics, but define Catholicism in limited terms of pious exercises, relativist ecclesiolgy and lay clericalism, thereby "over-spiritualizing" the Church. The Church, however, is also incarnational, with a visible structure of shepherds who lead a visibly obedient flock. To call one'self a good Catholic while revolting against legitimate Church authority is not really very Catholic, novenas and candles notwithstanding.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Oddly enough I was going to write a post today on Saint Athanasius and how the Church deals with heresy then and now and do we have a lot fomenting in that regard today! But I didn't have, don't have time to do it today.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

The Priests may have been a bit heavy handed, I don't know. I know the changes Fr. has made at St. Jo's were done patiently and gradually (too much so for some of us...LOL!) and we are seeing a steady return to a more traditional Catholic identity and worship. Priests have different personalities and may try to accomplish the same goals in very different ways. I cannnot imagine Fr. MacDonald making that kind of a mess, however, even he has had his critics. I am glad that the Bishop is publicly supporting these Priests for being true Catholics. He may have a private butt kicking session with them at a later date, however...

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

ytc...LOL! Stop...you're killin' me. LOL!

Anonymous 5 said...

"They had a reputation of upsetting another parish with their very conservative ways," Anderson said of the order. "Right away, they said no girl altar servers, only priests could give Communion and they disbanded the group that took Communion to the homebound. They said the basis for what they were doing was that Vatican II had been misinterpreted." Now, really. If you're going to leave the Catholic Church and go to a Protestant for nothing more than a ban on EMEs and altar girls, aren't you making a god out of the liturgy? ;-)

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Anon 5, You are certainly correct, although I believe it is also a power issue...and don't discount the possibility that some of it is just petulance over not getting their way. They probably also wet the bed...

Joseph Johnson said...

WISCONSIN BISHOP THREATENS DENIAL OF SACRAMENTS FOR "RUMORS AND GOSSIP"

If you've already been following the situation at this parish (and Diocese) as I have since these priests arrived, it's pretty obvious that this is not a "fair and balanced" article in what Fr. John Zuhlsdorf regularly refers to as the "National Catholic Fishwrap." That Diocesan spokesperson was absolutely right not to cooperate with this article.

At least I can agree with the St. Mary parish finance council member, Myron Tranel, on one thing--when Mr. Tranel says that "It's about power and control." Yes, it's about certain members of that parish wanting to use the leverage of the collection basket (power) to get what they want (control)rather than accepting the bishop's legitimate decision about pastoral assigments. They are trying to get rid of those "traditionalist" priests!

Now I had always thought "traditionalist" was a term reserved for those fraternities or orders of priests who only celebrate the Extraordinary Form, such as the FSSP, The Institute of Christ the King, or (God forbid if things work out!) the SSPX. The priests at this particular parish are still celebrating the OF (as well as the EF, which shouldn't be a problem). Given the clue of the innacurate headline, I'm not so sure I'd be inclined to believe the "often-repeated" story about one of the priests teaching third-graders that non-Catholics go the hell when they die. If that is true, that would be the only thing that I can see as a problem with what these priests are doing.

No, I'd be very happy to have these priests at my parish or in our Diocese. They (like the FSSP) add a little sharpness and "zing" (strong Catholic identity) to what has otherwise been a long period of decline and "milquetoast" Catholicism!

Anonymous said...

Banning altar girls and EMHC and criticizing nuns doesn't help convince people that there really is no war on women in this election year. What _are_ they thinking?

Anonymous said...

If I were to campaign against my parish, conspire to withhold funding and raise up dissension against the priest, who was following allowable Liturgical practice, would I deserve less? Many of us had had to endure foolish manifestations of our Liturgy and were scorned and derided for asking for simple dignity and respectful prayer. We are accused of denying people full communion by suggesting intinction is adequate. Neither is this the big get even from conservatives, either. It is the tantrum one gets from coddling a child and expecting him to grow into adulthood with out being taught respect of any kind.

rcg

Joseph Johnson said...

Anonymous at 9:35,
Is this story about some lay people involved in a wrongheaded power struggle with their bishop over priests who teach the Faith in an unvarnished manner and attempt to restore traditional Catholic piety and identity or is this story about the Church testing the media-driven political wind in secular politics to guide its own internal practices?

Joe Shlabotnick said...

Solution:

Let's petition Bishop Hartmayer to do a swap! He can send some two very liberal priests from our diocese there (shouldn't be too hard to find) and send the two "offending" priests here. I'd love to have them in my parish.

ghp said...

Edit:

"Evidently a group of very conservative priests have dismantled post-Vatican II practices in a somewhat conservative town...."

Fr. McDonald, did you mean to write "liberal town?"

--Guy Power

Anonymous said...

The word "prudence" was mentioned in the Bishop's letter a couple of times. Prudence or practical wisdom (or simply good judgment) is a cardinal virtue, perhaps indeed THE master virtue that conducts the entire ensemble of virtues and other qualities, when dealing with the "crooked timber of humanity" in churches or elsewhere. As Father seems to suggest in his comment that "most of this could have been avoided," one suspects that there was a distinct lack of prudence in how this situation was handled initially by both the priests and and laity. Perhaps there are important lessons here for how change, which to many may seem too radical and/or too rapid, can be better managed so as to prevent such tragic situations from repeating themselves.

Templar said...

Good riddance to bad trash. THIS is reform. You want hardened steel Catholicism? You have to get the steel fiery hot and dip it in cold water. Take you tainted money and donate it to the Methodists, God will provide as He always does. Smaller and more Orthodox works just fine. The Church can accomplish more with 100 Orthodox Catholics than she can with 1000 Catholics in name only.

Huzzah for the Bishop for installing the Priests in the 1st place, Huzzah again for the Priests giving that congregation shock therapy, and Huzzah once again for the Bishop supporting them.

And Father, no disrespect but boo hiss for another link to the NCR. If you must read something called the NCR try National Catholic Register, it's actually Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Templar, but I beg to differ. As we heard in the homily at our church this past Sunday, we sheep are wayward and stubbborn. You cannot so easily blame the sheep for becoming confused if the shepherd suddenly changes his voice. The wise shepherd surely will attune his sheep to his new voice gradually so the sheep will continue to follow him and not scatter or run after other shepherds. As I recall, Jesus was very concerned about ALL his sheep. Would He so easily have abandoned some of them as "bad trash" or would He have tried to lead them all back into the fold, or at least as many as possible?

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Anonymous, What if some of the sheep are wolves....