Thursday, September 4, 2014


 A well know priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Msgr. Charles Pope seems to think so. New York and Boston have huge Saint Patrick Day parades and are number 1 and 2 in terms of turnout. Number three, if I am not wrong, is in our See City of Savannah.

Saint Patrick's Day in these cities is a Lenten long celebration of eating, drinking and being merry, as well as drunkenness and debauchery. In Savannah it has given the Catholic Church a bit of a black eye in the eyes of the more staid and upright Protestant community because of it.

And of course it is during Lent. But Lent isn't very well observed, all the more reason to return to the pre-Vatican II Lenten fasting and abstinence each day of Lent except for Sunday, but I digress.

But here is Msgr. Pope's brilliant suggestion:

Time to End the St. Patricks Parade and the Al Smith Dinners?
By: Msgr. Charles Pope 

The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific.

Decades ago the “Al Smith Dinner” was a time for Republicans and Democrats to bury the hatchet (even if only temporarily) and come together to raise money for the poor and to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us. But in the old days the death of 50 million infants was not what divided us. We were divided about lesser things such as how much of the budget should go to defense and how much to social spending. Reasonable men might differ over that.

But now we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love and that LGBTQIA… (I=intersexual, A= Asexual) is actually a form of sanity to which we should tip our hat, and with those who stand four-square against us over religious liberty.

Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.

In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.

It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world.

But don’t go to the parade; stay away from the Al Smith Dinner and all that “old school” stuff that hangs on in a darkened world. And as for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades and dinner with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools.

End the St Patrick’s parade. End the Al Smith Dinner and all other such compromised events. Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

How say you?


Holy Joe said...


Pater Ignotus said...

What's next? Cancel Christmas parades because people go into debt buying gifts? Stop celebrating Easter because people overeat and non-practicing Catholics go to mass and receive communion? Shall we ban Catholics from wearing ghost and devil costumes on Halloween? Are we ready to cancel every St. Joseph Day dinner during Lent, instead gathering out on the Church parking lot for mutual flogging?

The Catholic community in Savannah gathers before St. Patrick's Day for the Celtic Cross mass and procession and holds a family-friendly, alchohol-free Tara Feis celebration.

If Charlie Pope is consistent, he'll call for Catholics to stay away from professional sporting events where Catholic must mingle with people who scoff at our teachings make money off us. He'll call for every Catholic to cancel internet service since the internet is full of opportunities for sin. He'll call for and end to candy canes, Easter eggs, and the abolition for the frivolous zeppole di San Giuseppe.

Shutitdown said...

To compare the stench of sodomy with sins like overspending and overeating has no moral equivalence. This is an event that is supposed to honor one of the great saints of the Church and to be so "inclusive" that we have to have groups proudly marching who despise what the Church teaches and have no intention of repenting is cooperating with evil. If someone presents themselves for a sacrilegious Communion, the priest cannot possibly know (barring a miracle) the disposition and state of that person's soul and such Communions are received every week. But bishops and cardinals know darned well what they are giving their implicit endorsement to by opening up a parade honoring the patron SAINT of Ireland to be exploited by people who hate the Church and hate Christ's teachings. The Bible does not mince words about homosexuality. Many of the Church fathers did not mince words about homosexuality. The gospel of tolerating evil and patting it on the head is a trendy innovation that has no place in the pedigree of our Church.

We need to pray for bishops with a healthy level of testosterone.

John Nolan said...

There is of course a greater feast that usually falls during Lent, namely the Annunciation (25 March). If it falls during Holy Week or the Easter Octave it is transferred to the Monday after Low Sunday. St Patrick's Day cannot fall after Easter Sunday, but occasionally falls during Holy Week, in which case it should be transferred. There was some controversy over this a couple of years back.

This year St George's Day would have fallen during the Easter Octave and so was transferred to 28 April. Of course all the flags came out on the 23rd. I suppose it's better to celebrate these occasions in a secular fashion than not celebrate them at all.

Tevye said...

Get a life holy hypocrites...

George said...

I would be in favor of canceling the Al Smith dinner being that the divide on important moral issues that separates primarily the Democrat party from Church teaching is so much greater than in days gone by. At the very least, it could be a teaching moment for the general populace in which the Cardinal declines to attend and subsequently declares in a public statement that God's law supersedes political camaraderie. At which point he would in short order be drug over the coals by the media, both local and national, and this of course would make for a good penitential offering up.
As far as St Patrick' day, I am in complete agreement with John Nolan that when it occurs during Holy week, it should be moved. Just like a secular holiday such as New Years, it has been co-opted (at least in places) by corporate sponsorship and has become an outlet for all kinds of rowdyism and saturnalian debauchery. Where this is the case, the local churches could sponsor a more proper and circumspectful alternative

Gene said...

You can expect other gay groups to show up. Expect to see guys in nothing but jock straps and women with nothing but green paint on their boobs...lots of lewd gestures and sexual behavior. I expect to see dikes dressed as nuns or guys dressed as priests, wearing only clerical collars and jock straps. Probably guys dressed as nuns, as well. Any outrage they can get away with will be committed. I wouldn't be surprised if one of 'em runs up and tries to mount Dolan…hey, I love this inclusiveness and diversity. Ain't it great? Ignotus, why don't you drive up and join them. No one will ask you if you believe in the Real Presence...

Joseph Johnson said...

According to Rorate Caeli, this piece was pulled from the Archdiocese of Washington website sometime after it first appeared. Apparently, somebody didn't like Msgr. Pope's suggestions?

Anonymous said...


Reading and participating in these kinds of discussions IS part of our lives…just as it is OBVIOUSLY part of YOURS.

I once heard an anecdote where a man complained to a priest that he did not attend Mass because "there were too many hypocrites." The priest replied, "That's not true, we have room for lots more!"

PlainCatholic said...

Like all other holy days and feast days, the secular has overtaken the meaning: Christmas, Easter, All Hallow's Eve, St. Patrick, even Ash Wednesday is overshadowed by Mardi Gras.

Sad but there it is. We can only hope to set an example of devotion by refraining from these events and going to Mass.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Most parades that celebrate the secular side of religious holidays, such as Christmas parades and Easter Parades, really give no hint of Church participation or endorsement, unlike the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in New York.

Bishop Raymond Lessard threatened to withdraw any semblance of Catholic support from the Bishop's office in the late 1980's when a street vendor decided to sell condoms with the image of Saint Patrick on it. The Parade Committee in Savannah which is made up of exclusively Catholic men and who elect the Grand Marshall who is always of Irish heritage and a Catholic, acted quickly and perhaps through the Irish Mafia to put an end to it and the bishop hosted the Grand Marshall for the annual breakfast with the bishop in the Cathedral rectory and the bishop blessed the Grand Marshall who exited his vehicle as the parade passed in front of the Cathedral.

The further away from River Street in Savannah the more family friendly the parade is.

I ride in the Cherry Blossom parade in Macon with our parochial vicar. But the Catholic Church does not sponsor the parade, but we have hosted parade officials who are predominantly not Catholic for a normal Sunday Mass prior to the parade and offer them a brunch in our social hall.

This group in no way portends to be a religious group of any denomination and all are respectful of the surroundings they are in and participate as they are allowed.

It is clear that the Catholic Church is not the sponsor of the parade and that the parade in no way is Catholic.

Rood Screen said...

First of all, this is not Ireland or Nigeria. Second, all that's really needed to celebrate the patron saint of a parish, nation or continent is (a.) a day of fasting before the feast day, then (b.) Mass in the morning, followed by (c.) a procession with an image of the saint around the parish church, and finally (d.) some sort of meal and recreational activities on the grounds of the parish church.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, JBS, you sound like a regular party animal.

JusadBellum said...

What we really need to do is regain the control of these lay committees and make sure they never slide off the reservation again.

If the parade committee wants to ban them next year, they could do so and there's no legal recourse an anti-Catholic, aggressively hostile cultural enemy can do about it. Nothing the LGBTQIA stand for honors St. Patrick's legacy. So why do they want pride of place? To once again put their private lives on public display and demand acceptance of their moral choices.

That's not a "live and let live" thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Dolan should back out. He is creating scandal and confusing the sheep and the goats. His participation is approval in the eyes of the world and the laity.

Clergy have to be above reproach. It is shocking to me to know Marine Officers are held to higher standards than priests. I know of a Marine Lt. who lost a man. The private died. The LT was immediately relieved, tried and imprisoned for 20 years. Why is it that when Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Deacons commit acts that threaten or destroy peoples faith the most that can be mustered is a weak....meh?

As usual red herrings are fished for and straw men created to deflect. If a parade is identified as catholic, like St Paddies, the Church has the responsibility to enforce Church teachings. If unable, shut it down.

As to Christmas or Easter....most location have now changed the name to Winter Holidays or some such tripe. But Christians and the Church leading, should be taking back that which is ours. Christ Mass. Oh and St Nick slapped or punched the sin out of a denier of the faith at a certain council that gave us a certain prayer. Where or Where are those Bishops or a Fulton Sheen.

It seems Anglican and Catholic Bishops for the most part are hirelings. Very few stand for the faith, most go along with the culture. The faithful are not leaving, and attendance is down across the Christian spectrum, because we are so inclusive, pastoral and accepting. They are leaving because we do not stand for the gospel and we do not tend or feed the sheep. If being inclusive, pastoral and accepting drew people...the Episcopal Church would be packed.

I hope the Cardinal takes the correct stand, the hard stand, the stand the world will hate. I hope the Cardinal wants the world to hate him because it first hated his Master....Jesus.

I can hope and I can pray.

The Anglican Priest

Gene said...

Dolan will probably just eat another pie and in honor of his dear old Irish mother...

Anonymous said...

Yep, the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. did indeed pull Msgr. Pope's article you see Wuerl and Dolan are of the same mold both modernists and both have an intense hatred of The Traditional Latin Mass. Case in point the proposed closing of Holy Innocents Church in New York where the TLM is celebrated.