Tuesday, December 16, 2014

COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS


11 comments:

Robert Kumpel said...

Nice. Can I finally come home to my parish for Christmas?

Gene said...

"You can't go home again…" Thomas Wolfe

How sadly true of the Church. I think Vat II made us all orphans.

Tevye said...

Can't go home again....

So Gene...one might think that you don't believe in forgiveness, redemption, salvation.... You don't buy that "prodigal son" BS?

Joseph Johnson said...

Robert,
How long must your exile continue? The people your exile was intended to "protect" are long gone from that parish. Someone (or, maybe, multiple people involved) need to practice what Jesus taught about forgiveness, sheesh!

Gene said...

Tevye, Wolfe was not talking about theology. Read the book.

Robert Kumpel said...

Joseph:

Compare these words of Pope Francis:

"May the church be the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel. And in order to make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the church must have open doors so that all might enter. And we must go out of those doors and proclaim the Gospel.”

…compare those words with the reality I face week after week for 7 years now:

• I cannot set foot on parish grounds.

• I drive a MINIMUM of 30 minutes just to attend Sunday Mass (I used to be a daily communicant).

• One of my children attends the parish school and I cannot set foot on the grounds to talk to her teachers.

• If it's pouring down rain, my daughter has to run across the street when I drop her off.

The last pastor of the parish informed me that he had been handed a thick file about me after he arrived. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE KEEP A FILE ON THEIR PARISHIONERS?

One person is behind this and it isn't about "protection" or any other virtuous intention. It's about revenge.

One other person has the power to do something about it and he does nothing, pawning it off on those below him so that he never has to take responsibility.

In the absence of the proper exercise of authority, the bullies will always take over.

"All are welcome." Yeah. Right.

JusadBellum said...

Robert, what kind of penalty could keep a parent literally off parish grounds? Sounds like a restraining order with police, not a canonical sanction (I know of no canonical sanction that would involve physical distance like a leper).

If you got a restraining order or other civil measure meted out to you, then sure. Maybe. But then that calls for a lawyer to solve not a "pastoral" solution.

Gene said...

Sounds like an ex-wife thing…a vicious species.

Robert Kumpel said...

JusadBellum, you are perceptive. I am indeed the defendant in a very suspiciously-gained permanent restraining order. A civil action was brought against me in 2007 by two people in the parish who are no longer there and have not been for years. However, the attorney who represented them decided to enhance the punitive nature of the thing by requiring that I could only attend Mass with the written permission of the bishop. We wrote the bishop (A very close friend to one of the plaintiffs), seeking his permission and he replied through his benevolent attorney that not only was I forbidden to attend Mass in that parish, but if I so much as set foot on parish grounds, I would be trespassing. Isn't that clever?

But wait! It gets better: The old bishop retired and several attempts have been made to the new bishop (see video above) to gain permission to once again attend Mass at said parish. The new bishop graciously said that he needed a year to review everything and would revisit it then. That was three years ago. He has since left all subsequent correspondence unanswered. When I met him at a different parish's function last summer I politely asked him what I needed to do to gain his trust and get permission to attend Mass in my parish again. Without committing to any further possibility of granting me such permission, he referred me to the new pastor, suggesting that gaining his permission would go a long way. So I used an intermediary to request a meeting with the new pastor and GUESS WHAT? He refuses to meet with me!

But wait! IT GETS EVEN BETTER! Instead of sending me a letter, he had the attorney pen a high-handed little warning to reassure me that the restraining order was permanent and not to bother trying to get any mercy or consideration from the parish ever again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have kept extensive notes on all of this since 2004 and the Vatican has an entire dossier on the affair in their possession. The bottom line is, I have committed no crimes and since there were no grounds for canonical sanctions, those involved used a stretch of civil law aided by a friendly judge to do what they couldn't do with canon law--ban me.

If I had been excommunicated, I would have more rights than I do now. At least an excommunicate can meet with his bishop and appeal to him. I have no such rights and no one in the diocese is going to show me any consideration any time soon. I am an uncomfortable reminder of an embarrassing episode long past and those who enjoy earthly power prefer to just sweep me under the rug.

Yes, Pope Francis gives great advice and those who did this to me applaud his talk while doing the exact opposite in their dealings with me.

The saddest thing of all is that these bitter people think they are punishing me. But they are in fact punishing my children. I have four daughters and the lesson of a few bitter peoples' punitive, hateful attitudes and the clericalism that supports the indefensible is not lost on them. No matter how much I tell them to be patient and forgive, this shameful episode will color their view of the Church for the rest of their lives.

Gene said...

Wow, Robert! That tops any ex-wife stuff I ever heard.
Most of them eventually go away or find another man to make miserable. This sounds like a really strange confusion of Church and State and the usual spineless suspects. Sorry for your difficulty…if I insulted you with my ex-wife speculation, I apologize.

Robert Kumpel said...

Gene:

No offense taken. Thanks for the kind words.