Friday, October 1, 2021


 I read this commentary this morning by a Jewish Rabbi. He hits the nail on the head about how so many in our culture do not want to face the grief that comes with death and thus choose to forgo funerals and substitute a “celebration of life” instead, so they won’t feel bad about their loved-one’s death! Of course, as Catholics, we encourage the full “requiem” experience for the deceased (we pray for the dead and the happy repose of their souls) and for the living to express their grief even if they cry publicly and feel bad about the death of someone they love. Feeling bad and sad at a loved-one’s death is a sign of love!!!! Thus the full funeral arrangements of the Church includes prayers at the hour of death, the wake service the night before the Requiem Mass to either pray the Rosary or the Vigil for the Deceased and to meet and greet family and friends and to gather by the body and form a relationship with the person now dead. It’s all very healthy! The next day is the Funeral Mass followed by the Rite of Committal or Christian burial at the cemetery either of the body or the “ashes” of cremation. Catholics are required by Church law to buried the mortal remains of our loved ones be it the complete body or the “ashes.” While it is permitted to forgo the wake or even the Funeral Mass and simply have a grave side “rite of Committal” the complete rites of the Catholic Church allow us to experience God’s grace to assist the deceased as he faces his personal judgment and the purification needed to enter heaven. It helps us to experience God’s grace of healing as we mourn and mourn we should. Read this article—the good Rabbi makes perfect sense even for Christians.

 By Brad Bloom

Some time ago I officiated at the funeral of a person in their nineties. One of the children of the deceased rose to address those gathered at the funeral home. The individual, fighting back tears, expressed the hope that this funeral service would be a celebration of life. At the same time I watched the other siblings break into tears, and guests also wiped their eyes. Somehow, that ceremony did not feel like a celebration of life.

I have officiated at many so-called celebration of life ceremonies. They are usually held after some time has passed, allowing the family to get through the initial period of grief. I find that to be totally appropriate. The tone of the service, the readings, the speakers and the music are different from a funeral service. There is a much more relaxed atmosphere, where friends and family have had time to reflect on the deceased and console themselves and other mourners. I can sense the comfort that celebration of life ceremonies have when they are held in the right framework.

Do these ceremonies replace the funeral service? My view: Funerals are for mourning and to express our heartfelt emotions when someone dies. Sometimes humor is appropriate, depending on the circumstances. But I wonder if, by avoiding funerals, people are trying to avoid dealing with the realities of losing a loved one.

Some funeral home directors have noted that an increasing number of families want to forgo a funeral service. Some families will say, ‘Dad didn’t want a funeral service at all!’ The result is that Dad is cremated, mostly for financial reasons, and no service is held. Does that show more about what Dad wanted, or what the family is trying to avoid?

Best way to grieve?

People grieve differently. There is no one way to mourn a death. Clearly, family history and past relationships play an important role in determining how people not only react to the death of a close friend or family member, but in how they observe the passing in a ritualistic sense.

Families have discussions, and sometimes disagreements, about how their loved one should be buried. How many times have those discussions led to arguments about where they should be laid to rest? “We live in Florida now, so if we bury Mom here, then we can visit her, as compared to burying Mom with Dad [her husband for almost 50 years] in their joint plots up North.”

Facing our own mortality is not an easy task. Many plan and purchase services as a preparation for death, but many others do not, and the families are left to figure out arrangements, in addition to the expenses of the funeral itself.

Shouldn’t there be a way for people to express their emotions, rather than hide them or avoid the outpouring of grief that can come during a funeral? Does such a service help the surviving family come to grips with Grandma’s passing?

Perhaps the bigger questions: Are we living in a world where we don’t want to expose ourselves, let alone our children, to death? Are we also uncomfortable with the emotions and the challenge of bidding farewell to our loved ones?

Celebrate life with the living

The celebration of life ceremony has its place in the proper time and context. I question whether it is a suitable substitute for the more difficult funeral experience that forces us to visit our sense of loss.

A few years ago I buried my mother at age 98. When we lowered her casket into the grave, I said to her, “It’s OK, Mom.” I think about her every day, as I do my father. The funeral was painful and, yet, I felt good about what we did for her and how we reminisced later about her life and even laughed a bit. Her burial and the rituals that went with it were as much for us, her family, as for her.

Funerals are rituals which can have a lifelong impact. Learning how to mourn and grieve is also about setting an example to the younger generations about life and mortality. This is an important part of growing into adulthood.

What if, instead of dispensing, we have a celebration of life for the loved ones while they are still alive and let them know how much we appreciate them? Then, let the funeral do what it was supposed to do: allow us to honor, mourn and grieve their passing. That is part of the cycle of life.



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

A "Jewish Rabbi"... You were expecting maybe a Methodist Rabbi...?

I think the questions the rabbi poses, "Are we living in a world where we don’t want to expose ourselves, let alone our children, to death? Are we also uncomfortable with the emotions and the challenge of bidding farewell to our loved ones?" are worth considering.

Death has never been a welcomed guest and, for most of us, yes, we'd rather not "be exposed" to that reality. That's fine - but it worth doing anyway. Most us us would rather not expose ourselves to a colonoscopy and the prep that comes the night before, but we do it anyway.

The more basic question is, I think, "Why are we unwilling to expose ourselves to that which challenges us or makes us uncomfortable?" We don't want to hear oppoosing viewpoints on politics, we don't want a Muslim family moving in two doors down, we don't want to hear music in church if it was composed after 1945 (or earlier).

We have a sense that the world ought to be tailored to our tastes and our preferences. Along the way a generation, maybe two, was not given the opportunity as children to encounter frustration and to learn to deal with it appropriately. So today we have Road Rage, Fast Food Restaurant Rage, Parent to Teacher Rage, and a record number of Ragers being dragged off airplanes because the rules are the rules and, yes, Federal Law requires passengers to follow them.

Yes, different people react differently at the times of the death of a loved one and we, as ministers of the Gospel, have to tailor our response to the circumstances. Some people would be VERY offended if the air of solemnity and the pall of grief were breached by even a mildly humorous anecdote spoken of their Dearly Departed.

Our family, on the other hand, lauhghed and cried all the way from the hosital to the Catholic Cemetery following our mother's death. Her funeral and burial were on a wicked cold and wet and windy Saturday morning, 4 February 1995. The funeral director handed out blankets at the graveside and some folks wrapped themselves in them. I kept my heavy coat on under by alb and stole. As I began the Rite of Committal, I said, amending the official text in a way that was entirely appropriate, "We bring the body of our sister Celeste, who would never have come out on a day like this, to be buried in its imperfection."

We also did the work of closing the grave, shoveling in the soil using extra shovels we'd all brought from our homes. Our Jewish next door neighbor, Izzy Reuben, pretty crippled with arthritis, stepped up and said, "Michael, this is what we do!" "I know Mr. Reuben," I responded, and handed him my shovel. A great personal moment and memory, one that I recalled with tears as I helped bury Mr. Reuben's body a few years later.

Teach children to deal appropriately with what frustrates them or makes them uncomfortable. And sometimes that means letting them figure it out on their own.

ByzRus said...

Seems many anymore ignore death and, therefore, ignore the reality that life is finite. Perhaps that is why so many have so little respect for life.

People need to mourn, need to acknowledge a passing and particularly for Orthodox and Catholic Christians, pray for the repose of the soul of the dead. Corporal work of mercy: Bury the dead. Best thing we can add to our prayer regimens: Pray for our beloved dead and particularly for those who have no one to pray for them. Offer it up, folks. Only think we can do to help them after their dignified burial accompanied by the rites of the Church.

Funerals/funeral planning has become like so many other facets of "life": Facebooked, Instagramed, video collages, little acknowledgement of loss, our own mortality, prayers for the dead "Aunt Effie wouldn't have wanted dark colors and crying at her funeral", as Fr. or the Rabbi mentioned "Dad wouldn't have wanted a funeral" and then back to video games and Door Dash meal deliveries. Family members competing with clergy for time to speak with one saying something more amusing than the last. I get that people want to remember, tell a funny story, celebrate and have a good cry. Perhaps repurpose the repast to enable that to happen rather than a quieter meal, maybe open bar at 12 pm with a line 10 deep, maybe not and everyone going back to "normal" life after their ice cream parfaits.

Without rambling on too long, I think people can live better happier lives by acknowledging death, loss, their own mortality. Don't obsess over it, but don't live not appreciating things and people thinking they will always be there.

Sorry for the ramble. I'm working and don't have more time to organize this.

ByzRus said...

"A "Jewish Rabbi"... You were expecting maybe a Methodist Rabbi"


Fr Martin Fox said...

Father Kavanaugh said:

we don't want a Muslim family moving in two doors down.

Who's "we," kemosabe? I suggest you go to confession for your admitted bigotry against Muslims.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. Morocco Mole Fox, "We" is the same "We" as in "Why are WE unwilling..." and "WE have a sense that the world ought to be tailored..."

Try re-reading the post.

John Nolan said...

I think that when Fr K uses the first person plural he is taking a swipe at what he considers reprehensible attitudes in society generally, and (being an older person) the younger generation(s) in particular.

Sixty years ago many people would have objected to a Black or Asian family moving in two doors down; few would nowadays. At the same time the idea that a Catholic funeral could be tailored to suit the tastes and preferences of individuals would not have been countenanced.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, and speaking about Jewish Rabbis, what about Jewish priests and technically a Jew who converts to Catholicism and even becomes a priest remains a Jew in terms of ethnicity and so can't we say African American priest, Indigenous priest and Jewish prieest regarding Jews who become Catholic priests?

And the Jews do not recognize Messianic Rabbis, so, Jewish as a description for this Christian sect's rabbis would not be appropriate, no?

TJM said...

Fr. K correcting anyone is laughable. He votes for the party of intrinsic evil

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - Judaism isn't an ethnicity, it is a religion.

A Jew who becomes a Catholic is no longer a Jew.

"Messianic" Jews are not Jews, they are Christians. Jews await the coming of the Messiah. "Messianic" Jews believe the Messiah has come in the person of Jesus Christ.

"Messianic" Judaism, sometimes known as "Jews for Jesus," was created about 60 years ago in an attempt to reduce the stigma attached to the concept of conversion. Jews who converted to Christianity were often shunned by their families and friends, excluded from events and celebrations in Jewish communities, thought to be "dead" by their parents.

Have you found that Methodist Rabbi you yet?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father Kavanaugh:

I read the post. You admitted you are bigoted against Muslims, and that's bad. But you seem to think that everyone feels that way. That is projection on your part.

And by the way, my middle name is pronounced "MOE-lay," like the Mexican sauce. I'm multicultural!

Michael A said...

Father K missed the most important/obvious intolerance we see today. We declare an ancient rite Mass to be a violation of invented rules and forbid its use.

What we don't do is object to music produced after 1945 simply because it comes after 1945.

Speaking from my personal experience, we do object to the black drug dealer living next door who brings his gang friends with him.

Interesting how the bad guys in a liberal's mind is always the harsh stupid redneck who hates things for no reason other than that they are different.

Fr Martin Fox said...

To our genial host's larger point in this post...

Although I've certainly heard people use the phrase, "celebration of life," I'm not actually familiar with any set plan or design of such events. In my experience, it is a phrase that comes up in talking to the grieving family, which I take to mean they want things more cheerful or even just brief. I honestly suspect that people don't want too much talk about sin or eternity, but given the sensitivity of the moment, when such verbiage is offered, I've never chosen that moment to explore my suppositions.

There are a lot of reasons people shy away from a funeral Mass or, for that matter, anything all like a formal funeral. The deceased, and/or his or her survivors, may have been very loosely connected to the practice of their faith; the deceased may not have given very clear directives and the mourners don't really want something like a usual funeral. Some people just don't know it is an option.

And, of course, so much of our society avoids dealing with ultimate questions. It sure seems as though lots of people just take for granted that God will take everyone into heaven; and if that's what you believe, then it makes sense that you focus instead on what a good life someone had. Also, a lot of us harbor Pelagianism -- meaning, we think we get to heaven on our own steam -- so that pushes even more toward a focus on the merits of Aunt Petunia. (Hint: we don't go to heaven because we're good enough; we're good enough because we're going to heaven. Cause and effect gets reversed.)

If folks aren't comfortable dealing with those ultimate questions, of course they will want to avoid anything that probes them, as a Catholic funeral ought to. Alas, too often the homilist will indulge in the same sentimental, just-about-everyone-goes-to-heaven slop. It's very easy to do.

One of the things I tell families when I meet with them is that while I'm happy to include features of their loved one's life in my homily, the focus of the Mass, including the homily, is not on the deceased, but on Christ and what he does for us. That seems to help.

John Nolan said...

'Judaism isn't an ethnicity, it is a religion.' Actually, and possibly uniquely, it has elements of both.

When Edith Stein (St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was beatified in 1987 and canonized in 1998, Jewish organizations including the ADL were highly critical of JP II and claimed that the nun, who died in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, was killed because she was Jewish.

Benjamin Disraeli, who was baptized into the Anglican church at the age of twelve, was intensely proud of his Jewish heritage, which he saw in both ethnic and religious terms.

Leonard Bernstein regarded Gustav Mahler as an essentially Jewish composer, although the latter had converted to Catholicism in 1897 for reasons which were not altogether pragmatic. An earlier composer, Felix Mendelssohn, had parents who were non-practising Jews and was never circumcised. Baptized a Protestant at the age of seven, he proudly acknowledged his Jewish ancestry and the fact that his grandfather was the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.

Unless one is a racialist who believes that ethnicity can be scientifically determined and categorized, it is best seen as perceived origin and inheritance.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. Martin MOROCCO MOLE Fox - Come now, you're really not that dense. Re-read my post AND read John Nolan's 7:37 post.

ByzRus said...

"Blogger John Nolan said...
I think that when Fr K uses the first person plural he is taking a swipe at what he considers reprehensible attitudes in society generally, and (being an older person) the younger generation(s) in particular."

For what it's worth, that's how I interpreted that particular thought as well.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Actually, I find that those belonging to the "we" category in my post can, unfortunately, be found in most age categories. Maybe I am hoping, though without much evidence, that the older crowd, in which I fear I must include myself, has developed a little more wisdom...

TJM said...

Fr. K is pretty dense. He votes for the party of intrinsic evil and cannot see the massive contradiction in that and his role as a Catholic priest. Anything Father Fox writes is superior to what he pontificates about

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father K:

Are you now claiming that your statements using the first-person-plural pronoun -- i.e., "we" -- were intended not to include yourself?

Pardon me, but you are too far along in life not to understand basic English grammar. The pronoun you needed was "they"; we means including me, the maker of this statement.

Or you could have said, "other people," or "everyone else" or something like that. It's good style to be specific rather than general, and pronouns are often a poor choice without a very clear referent; and you can usually just drop the pronoun entirely and be crystal-clear.

So now we know that you meant everyone else is bigoted against Muslims? Not you, of course?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. Morocco Mole Martin, baloney. John and Byz understood the clear meaning of my use of the first person plural pronoun. I suspect you do now, but can't bring yourself to admit it.

And why cherry pick the reference to Muslims? Do you REALLY think I include myself in the "we" who don't want to hear church music composed after 1945? Really?

It's baloney, and you know it. Now, go to confession yourself and mention detraction.

rcg said...

The pronoun “we” is often used to isolate someone from the speaker in a mocking way while accusing that person of something considered obviously wrong or foolish. “So do we chew with our mouths open, young Mr. Johnson?” I think it is derived from the stilted self referencing attributed the Queen Elizabeth, “WE are not amused.” I think in the USA, at least, people can consider themselves Jewish by both ancestry and observance to suit themselves. My good friends who take this approach can cause a little confusion, especially when planning a party menu, but it is no worse than their vegan counterparts or a as bad as a Catholic politician.

TJM said...

Father Fox is now experiencing the pettiness that is Father K. Enjoy

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father Kavanaugh:

I initially asked you to clarify your meaning, up-thread, and you refused to do so, pointing back to what you said. You said "we" don't want Muslims down the street, and "we" includes the speaker.

Then I said, OK, do you mean everyone BUT you? Again, you decline to clarify.

It is true I suspect I know what you meant, but that isn't the same as actually knowing; my suspicion may be wrong. Instead of guessing, I gave you several opportunities to clarify. Yet you still haven't; you just call me names, which is amusing, but not at helpful. "Morocco Mole"? Is that a cultural reference of which I am unaware? What does that even mean?

Either you are that stubborn, or your thinking is so muddled with cliches and cant that you aren't really able to do more than you've done. Sad to think you can't (or won't) do more than huff and puff about how terrible I am, as opposed to restating your point with greater clarity.

I have no idea of your musical preferences, and don't care. I do care about your sloppy comments that tar people indiscriminately with being anti-Muslim. WHO? Instead of that ridiculous "we," perhaps you will try again and be a lot more specific. Broadly labeling lots and lots of other people -- but not you, oh no, not you! -- with being bigots isn't nice and it isn't true.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Well, Fr. Morocco Mole Martin, I suggest you get in touch with John Nolan and Byz for a little lesson on understanding the many meanings and uses of the first person plural pronoun "we."

No, I didn't clarify my statement since it needed no clarification. It's not up to me to guide you through a remedial reading course.

And if you think there is not anti-Muslim sentiment about, think again.

TJM said...

John Nolan has corrected Father K more than anyone on this blog. Father K is definitely anti-life, based on his voting record

TJM said...

If Father K were in 1930s Germany he would argue Adolph is doing so much for the working man that I can overlook the other thing! Except with the modern day Dems they are not doing anything for the working man so even that fig leaf is gone!

Fr Martin Fox said...


Yes, Father K is willing to slander everyone else, or at least, LOTS AND LOTS of indeterminate others, as being anti-Muslim, except himself, when he says "we."


Yes, I'm well aware, but that only works when it's clear the speaker is addressing one other person or a very specific group, perhaps even a room-full of people -- but, in that case, the comment is on a specific action taking place right there, such as you cited: i.e., chewing with ones mouth open. Well, that doesn't work here, so that explanation of Father K's meaning won't work.

So that leaves a very sloppy, lazy "we" that generalizes about pretty much everyone. It's innocuous when the generalization is innocuous; but when the generalization is slanderous, then it's wrong. Some people don't like Muslims; but it's not a generalized "we."

Hence my question, which Fr. K couldn't or wouldn't answer: "who is WE"? Is it everyone commenting here? Is it everyone in a particular nation -- i.e., the U.S.? But is everyone here from the U.S.? I have no idea, so that doesn't work, either. Is it everyone in all the countries of all the commenters? Is it everyone in the world? Sloppy, sloppy.

Here is perhaps what Fr. K might have said, and who knows, it might actually be what he believes: "Far too common is a reflexive rejection of Muslims, because for so many of us, we really don't know them, only stereotypes." But even that statement might not work in, say, Europe, but I think it would be true in most places in the U.S. But notice the first-person was qualified; and my statement doesn't sweepingly accuse almost everyone of bigotry.

I think it's a good idea to think a little before making sweeping, derogatory statements about lots of people; and if challenged, a good idea to clarify. And I also happen to think it's right to presume good faith on other people's parts (i.e., they aren't all bigots), rather than bad faith, as Father K's statement did. Notice, I didn't say HE presumed bad faith; only his sloppy statement. Hence my attempts to have him clarify it.

John Nolan said...

I actually corrected Fr K's bald statement that 'Judaism isn't an ethnicity, it is a religion'. He has not replied, so presumably he accepts the correction.

'We' meaning (in a mildly derogatory way) people in general is perfectly acceptable usage. However, had Fr K bothered to read the whole of my comment of 7:37 (2 Oct) he would have noticed that I was taking a swipe at some of his prejudices and inconsistencies. For instance, he doesn't rebuke those who will not tolerate church music composed before 1965, and while ctiticizing those who expect their tastes and preferences to be taken into account, admits that as a 'minister of the Gospel' he panders to this when it comes to arranging funerals.

ByzRus said...

I hadn't heard of said mole before, so I went to see what I could find.

John seems to have assumed the role of resident grammarian for this blogging community. I will therefore leave those chores to him as he seems much better skilled in that regard than I will ever be.

I'll just say that while I understood Fr MJK's thought, I can see Fr. Fox's position as well. Wishy washy? Maybe. Fair? I'm trying.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - No, I don't accept the correction. Judaism isn't an ethnicity, it is a religion. There are people of many, many ethnicities that are Jews.

No, Fr. Morocco Mole Fox, when a person uses "we" he does not, without exception, include himself in the statement. Nor does the word "we" include everyone. Were I to say, "We, in the presbyterate of the Diocese of Savannah, welcome our the newly appointed Bishop Elect Martin Fox" for example. Surely, there is room - no, indeed, there IS room - for the fact that I and other might not be included.

Or were I to say, "In America we suffer from the corrupting influence of consumerism." Plainly, I am not saying that each and every American is so afflicted.

As for the reference to Morocco Mole, look at your use of "kemosabe" and consider the silver screen circumstance in which it appeared regularly. Then, there's a little program you might employ called "Google," perhaps you might have heard of it, we have.

You didn't presume that I included myself in the "we" statement about those who don't want to hear music composed after 1945, but you INSIST that I have included myself in the "we" statement about those who don't want Muslims moving into the neighborhood. Why the difference?

ByzRus said...

Agree with Fr. MJK. To my understanding, Judiasm is the monotheistic religion. A Jew, or, a Jewish person is an adherent of Judiasm; or, one who traces their roots back to the ancient Jews.

John Nolan said...

From the Jerusalem Post:

'A Jew is a member of the people formerly known as either Hebrews or Israelites. Judaism is the religion practised by that people ... If a Japanese person practises the religion of the Jewish people, does he become a member of the Jewish people? The written Torah is quite clear: the answer is no.'

So to state that there are people of 'many, many ethnicities' who are Jews would not be acceptable to the Jews themselves. Fr K would have his work cut out convincing them otherwise.

TJM said...

Here's another "win" for Father K:

The Biden Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule Monday that reverses the Trump administration’s policy of prohibiting taxpayer funds to family planning clinics that refer clients for abortion.

“This rule is a step forward for family planning care as it aims to strengthen and restore our nation’s Title X program,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a longstanding ally of Planned Parenthood.

Aren't you proud of your vote? Now go to confession

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Jews come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and nationalities. There are black Jews from Ethiopia, Chinese Jews from Shanghai and Indian Jews. There are Jews from Morocco and Iran, Jews from South America and Oceania. The practices and beliefs held by Jews range from those who openly identify as Orthodox and strictly observe ancient precepts to those that have nothing to do with the religion or culture."

"Of course, Judaism is a religion, and it is this religion that forms the central element of the Jewish culture that binds Jews together as a nation. It is the religion that defines foods as being kosher and non-kosher, and this underlies Jewish cuisine. It is the religion that sets the calendar of Jewish feast and fast days, and it is the religion that has preserved the Hebrew language.

Is Judaism an ethnicity? In short, not any more. Although Judaism arose out of a single ethnicity in the Middle East, there have always been conversions into and out of the religion. Thus, there are those who may have been ethnically part of the original group who are no longer part of Judaism, and those of other ethnic groups who have converted into Judaism.

If you are referring to a nation in the sense of race, Judaism is not a nation. People are free to convert into Judaism; once converted, they are considered the same as if they were born Jewish. This is not true for a race."

Michael A said...

I like how Father K tries to evade the central point of making himself out to be the better person because it is others who are bigoted hogs and not him. He prefers to focus on the silly argument about the definition of the word we. Reminds us of Bill Clinton and the word is.

The straw man tactic is a favorite of the political and religious left. It comes naturally to them as seen in Father K’s original post. He claims many rotten people exists to persuade others to have a feeling of guilt for things of which they are innocent.

Senseless Muslims racists and haters of post 1945 music are imaginary characters from the liberals’ fantasy books. What we do have hard evidence for is suppression of free speech of religious and political conservatives and a pope who outlaws the TLM. These are not straw men but are very real.

Racism and philistines are not what ails our world, with possibly the exception that I realize that black people hate me now more than ever and it (hatred of white people) is becoming a systemic problem fomented by government decrees.

Father K should direct his concerns to why so many people sit at home on Sundays and if WE can move the needle on that problem then WE might solve other real problems.

This dancing act by Father K reminds me of the one he did with Father McDonald about why the priest who leads his diocese’s office on ecumenism has no interest in extending an olive branch to traditional Catholics but claims to want to bridge huge gaps with other faiths that have little respect for Catholics. An honest person would have given a direct answer to his clear hypocrisy. You should recognize your fault and not let your ego get in the way of accepting what you feel is a humiliation. Personally, I find the Litany of Humility to be a very good prayer to recite.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Michael A - Among the many things you don't know is that Catholic-Catholic relations aren't "ecumenism." The Blog Owner created that straw man, knowing I would not respond.

Another thing you don't know is that we are ALL traditional Catholics, whether we attend the EF or the NO. The word "traditional" has been hijacked and is misused by the folks who prefer the EF.

Another thing you don't know if that the number of xenophiobic attacks on Muslims, not to mention Jews, are a reality that those communities have to deal with on a disgustingly regular basis.

Another thing you don't know is the meaning of "hard evidence."

Etc., etc., etc...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think you are being presumptuous and mean-spirited about what you think Michael A. doesn't know. As it concerns ecumenism, certainly that starts at home and graciousness to the SSPX and those who prefer the Ancient Order Traditional Latin Mass is but one example. And are you telling us that Protestants with which you would be more cordial and tolerant are not in a problematic relationship with Catholics, Jews and Muslims? Come now!

ByzRus said...

"What is the main purpose of ecumenism?
The ultimate goal of ecumenism is the recognition of sacramental validity, eucharistic sharing, and the reaching of full communion between different Christian denominations."

Not sure that what should, but isn't starting at home, is textbook ecumenism or simply acting charitably to others within our communion. We all already do (or should) recognize sacramental validity and have eucharistic sharing etc.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

No, Fr. ALLAN McDonald, discussion between factions within the Catholic Church is not ecumenical undertaking.

I am telling you nothing about relationships among Catholics, Muslims, and/or Jews, because those would be interfaith, not ecumenical matters.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

"No, Fr. ALLAN McDonald, discussion between factions within the Catholic Church is not ecumenical undertaking."

THEN STOP YOUR FAUX "ECUMENISM" WITH PROTESTANTS. They are factions in the Catholic Church but not in full communion, just like the SSPX and Orthodox, although the latter two are in more full communion with the Catholic Church. Protestants subsist in the Catholic Church but are not in full communion.

Come on, you know this stuff!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Sorry, Fr. ALLAN McDonald. The Protestant denominations are not "just like" the SSPX and the Orthodox.

They are not "factions" in the Catholic Church, they are separated brothers and sisters.

The Church doesn't say that Propestant denominations "subsist in the Catholic Church" and I have no idea what you mean by that.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am shocked you do not know about subsists:

Lumen Gentium: This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other Apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth". This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

ByzRus said...

Fr. AJM,

I've understood there to be a concept for lack of a better word that essentially makes Christians, regardless denomination part of the Church, capital "C". The reason? There is only one Church that was founded and those that have drifted away are still, though at arms length, part of the Church, capital "C". Catholic Pastors have pastoral responsibility for those Catholics that are outright under their car as well theoretical pastoral responsibility for those who would technically be part of the Church (capital C again) had their groups not left. Are we talking about the same thing, what I mentioned vs. subsists?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, I would think so.

Michael A said...

Looks to me like someone (Fr. M) knows more than somebody else.

I'm waiting to see if an honest answer will appear this time.

Better clear your ecumenism calendar and make some room for some traditional Catholics on it Father K.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - Save your faux shock.

I am very well aware of the passage from Lumen Gentium. The word you use - "subsists" - refers to the Church founded by Christ, not the Protestant denominations.

(Note that Saint Pope John Paul II said in an address to the bishops of the United States, "The Catholic Church herself subsists in each particular Church (diocese), which can be truly complete only through effective communion in faith, sacraments and unity with the whole Body of Christ."

Now, if you want to talk about the unicity of the Church and the relationship of the various other denominations to the Catholic Church, I suggest you take a look at Dominus Iesus from the CDF, 6 August 2000.

TJM said...

Father K still votes for the party of intrinsic evil. That’s all you need to know about him!