Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Full Circle

Condensed, elapsed, and selective run-through of a discussion held on this blog in the last week, re: Father Robert Barron's "Catholicism" series:

Me:  "Everything about the "Catholicism" series - what I've seen of it so far - is renewing my faith in the Catholic Church. It is giving me hope...It is reminding me that Christ is bigger than the petty arguments between the liturgy police and the uber-orthodox, etc....The sad thing is, I'll bet many Traditional Catholics have refused to watch the "Catholicism" series. I've had thoughts like this through every episode...I hope I'm wrong, because there is a big, beautiful wide world of Catholic faith out there, and I get the sense that some dedicated Catholics are missing it. I share these thoughts because they are just that, my thoughts and impressions, and not to enflame a liturgy/rite war."

Eulogos: "Why would you think that "traditionalists" would not like it?"

Me:  "I can't specifically identify exactly what it was about the handful of "Catholicism" episodes that I believe the Traditionalists would dislike. I wasn't taking notes. It was just a sense and feeling I got, at times overwhelming. Perhaps it was the presentation of the Church as broad, open, living, and loving. That shouldn't be at odds with any form/rite of Catholicism, but I am convinced that it is."

Love the Girls:  "...if it's popular among the common Catholics odds are it's likewise very annoying and well worth avoiding."

Commbox in General: Long, drawn-out discussion re-hashing what is or is not a Traditional Catholic. People making arguments FOR Traditional Catholicism. People trying to point out that not everyone is a stereotypical, judgemental TRAD. Me responding to all of this, cringing the whole time because I know from previous experience this is all going down a rabbit hole and fast. This is all spinning off topic from the intended praise I had for the "Catholicism" videos.

Me:  "I would just like to point out here that this post wasn't supposed to be a discussion on the TRAD thing. Far from it. I simply mentioned it because it was a personal thought, just a thing floating through my head as I watched....REALLY wish this discussion hadn't veered in this direction. My thoughts in the original blog post were, again, as if I were just airing out a few stray thoughts in my happy, warm lovey-dovey feelings for Father Barron's video series. Just goes to show that if you mention "Traditional Catholic," there is ALWAYS a price to pay for it."

Dave, trying to more specifically outline the long-held issues I have with some Traditional Catholics to another commenter:  "If you want a concrete example of all the [Traditionalist] tendencies I've listed (and then some), I invite you to visit . And then get out of it as soon as you can."

Allison (who prefers and mainly attends the Latin Mass):  I'm impressed with what Fr. Barron is doing with Youtube from a Catholic social media perspective. He is reaching people where they are...Perhaps most interesting to this conversation is that my Latin Mass pastor is hosting his Catholicism series videos weekly and having discussions afterwards."

Me:  "Allison, that's what I want to hear: Latin mass crowd being open to the universality of the Church. Not being afraid. Not throwing something out without trying it first. Not pre-supposing that because it's something new that it's total trash. Good for your pastor and good for you."

Dave:  "If you could believe it, I have come across a sedevacantist website which had some grudging praise for the Catholicism series...strange but true..."

Love the Girls:  "I asked my good friend Patrick, a Feeneyite and occasional writer for Tradition in Action about the Fr. Barron series. And his reply fits with what I would have expected. Fr. Barron is a creature of the new orthodoxy who toes the company line very well."


OK, I know that Love the Girls is just one human being on this planet. But here is proof positive of the loose, floating thoughts that I had all the while I was watching the "Catholicism" series. Though some wanted to argue with me about how my broad-brush picture of TRADS is totally off-base, I think this one, final comment brings the whole thing full circle.

It's also proof that maybe those who want to diss it the most are the ones who ought to watch it.

Tempted to close the commbox on this one, but oh well, I'm all for free expression and all that, even if it makes me question my sanity in wanting to blog again.


  1. Charlotte screams.

    Currently there are a number of substantive issues where there is serious disagreement within the visible Church. The leftists have pushed hard for a number of years and their influence can be clearly seen in the new orthodoxy, for instance the quasi universalism now accepted by those who consider themselves orthodox, or conservative.

    An example of the new universalism currently in fashion is the position that all aborted and now miscarried babies go to heaven. are nuanced to a fault, where the bottom line argument is God's ways are not our ways. It's a position grounded in false charity. We've had 5 miscarried babies, and while it would be wonderful if they were in heaven, there is 2000 years of previous understanding that says they are not. Those previous 2000 years matter and we can't simply throw them aside.

    The new orthodoxy say they are not throwing them aside, but their qualifications leave much to be desired. And I suspect their position will within a hundred years be looked back on as a forgettable fashion.

    Fr. Barron appears to be very fashionable, and rather harmless, but not someone I want to listen to.

  2. I would say we don't know about the aborted and miscarried babies, but there is hope. I think that is all the Church says now. The previous theologumenon about Limbo as a place of 'natural happiness' ignored that it is not within human nature to be happy without God.

    What I am afraid of is that our blog mistress in rejecting some extreme attitudes of some trads, will also reject the riches of our tradition, one of which is the EF mass. I have been very very slow to appreciate the EF mass as I am one of those enthusiastic sing-every-song-and-make every-response people who hates it when the choir sings everything and I don't get to sing. I was not able to move from the OF to the EF without my five year stay in the Eastern rite, getting me used to a more solemn celebration, but one in which I could respond and chant. Only recently have I begun to grasp interior participation. I am not sure whether we want this to be the only way Catholics celebrate the mass,(although I think the EF in English except for some well known parts like the Agnus Dei, and outloud, would be way preferable to the NO as currently celebrated in most place, and that that is pretty much what the VII council fathers envisioned.) But I think it is worth learning how to enter into the relative silence of the EF as celebrated now. I mean, doesn't it move you that so many of the saints worshipped at mass celebrated that way? I was reading an autobiography of St. Thomas More and thinking that if he suddenly showed up in Binghamton, NY, the one mass he would recognize was the EF mass I was attending. Cars and electric lights would have blown his mind, but that mass he could have entered into as if he had walked into church in London in his time. ( Except he would have been surprised I think by how many people go to communion.) To me it is a powerful reflection that this is the mass the English recusants risked, and often gave, their lives for.
    So-I don't know about "trads" but don't completely rule out all thought of worshipping at the old mass.
    Susan Petereson

    1. Now, to Susan specifically:

      First, it is not a requirement of Catholicism that I appreciate anything, especially older rites. It's only a requirement that I obey. Besides, appreciation is a process, and it ought be an organic one. You, yourself, describe above a process where you moved through the Eastern rite to get to where you are now. I'm not going to criticize your process and personal tastes as long as they are true, authentic, and don't make other people feel like crap for not doing the same as you.

      Second, the question, "Doesn't it move you that so many of the saints worshipped at mass celebrated that way?" is on every introductory brochure or website that is written or promulgated by Traditionalists. It's probably the #1 canned point made and it's not an arguing point, as far as I can tell. I could pose similar questions about lots of stuff in Catholicism: Doesn't it move you that so many people have had a devotion to the Infant of Prague? Doesn't it move you that so many pro-lifers pray the rosary every day?

      Three: I was just reading yesterday the story of St. Natalia. Pretty sure she wasn't attending mass in Latin. You were reading about St. Thomas More and he would recognize the EF mass. Well, if I died tomorrow and become a saint and come back to earth 150 years from now, the mass I'd recognize is the Novus Ordo. So what?

      It's THE MASS either way. Christ is present in the Eucharist either way. The priest is there offering the mass on our behalf either way. And if you don't believe that, well, then we're moving into sedevacanist land, because people who think like that ultimately end up there one way or another.

      Four: The idea that the Novus Ordo could be better (which I agree with) as an arguing point for moving over to the TLM/EF is again undercutting the basic, foundational beliefs we hold as Catholics about mass - as I stated above - that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, etc., etc. Maybe the Novus Ordo could be - and should be - better, but let's trash all that's right and true and real about it in the process? I know it's not that simple, but I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

      Five: The interior silence thing. Could 21st century Christians of all denominations use some interior silence and reflection? Of course. But the Latin mass is the best way to achieve this? Says who? And if that wasn't what you were getting at, then why say it all? There's LOTS of ways one can develop and move toward interior silence - the rosary, personal prayer, meditation, Eucharistic adoration, devotions, reading of Holy Scripture, reading Catholic books, taking a walk in the woods. The possibilities are endless.

      As I see it (and I've said this soooo many times before), in the end analysis, despite all the talking points, despite all the protestations about liturgical abuse, and on and on and on, it almost always boils down to personal preference, and usually made on the basis of aesthetics or an intense need/desire for silence and reverence. All of which is great and some of which I intensely desire (at times), as well.

      But it needs to be left there - as personal preference, and not as a club to beat other Catholics over the head with.

      I am not immune to the arguments and points made by people who get fed up with post-Vatican II Catholicism. Anyone who knows me well understands that. But the answer, in my opinion, is not a wholesale move to the Latin mass and pre-Vatican II Traditionalist practices. The Catholic Church is truly massive and truly universal. There is no possible way that the Latin mass answers to this universality in the modern era, rife as it is with problems and sin and contradiction.

    2. eulogos (Susan Peterson) writes : "Only recently have I begun to grasp interior participation."

      I would be much happier if the Latin Masses were dialogue. There much to said against how the Novus Ordo is commonly celebrated, but at least they get that part right.

    3. Well, that's a surprise.

  3. I want to make it crystal clear, just in case anyone is confused, that any attempts to evangelize me to the TLM will be met with total deafness. I recognize that not everybody reading this has been on the 4-year ride of my old blog, but in case you missed it, I've been through this whole TLM discussion, I'm tired of it, it never goes anywhere, and I don't want to go there again.

  4. eulogos writes : "I think that is all the Church says now." Now, go compare that response of the New Catechism with the Catechism of the Council of Trent on infant baptism.

    Both Catechisms are fully in force, and while there can be hope, nevertheless the Trent is far from the quasi universalism now commonly accepted by the new orthodoxy.

    1. LTG, I KNOW I'm treading somewhere I really don't want to go when I say this, but I'm going to say it anyway:

      Why is your response to something like Father Barron's "Catholicism" series to respond by bringing up an item of minutiae like whether or not still-born, aborted, and miscarried babies are in heaven? And you back it up with, I'm sure, some great knowledge (that I admittedly don't have) about various Church councils and documents, etc. OK fine. But do the gears in your head ever stop working long enough to realize that in the end, the only thing that matters is how much love we show for God and our neighbor, so that we all get to heaven?

      I am NOT trying to sound all lovey-dovey and "Jesus is love" and all that. I'm being serious. None of this micro-topic arguing matters if the guy down the street is starving, I don't love my spouse and show it on a consistent basis, I don't demonstrate the Gospel to my kids, and I don't work the sacraments to achieve enough grace to gain salvation. THIS is why I can't handle the Latin mass always boils down to throwing out examples like this and never trying to be humble.

    2. Charlotte,

      What does watching Fr. Barron have to do mercy and charity towards our neighbors down the street?

      This discussion began with a comment of your where you said both that you had a kneejerk reaction against watching it, as well as the expectation that traditionalists would not be interested in the show.

      I simply explained why I would not have an interest in the show because there would be issues brought up that annoy me. I also said Fr. Barron is rather harmless and would be good for you to watch.

      Further, the disagreement is not micro, but extremely important. It also happens to be an issue that is likewise unimportant unless people take the arguments to their logical conclusion of not baptizing their babies because salvation is their's regardless. But since most people will not take the arguments to their logical conclusion, and because we are inculcated to baptize our babies, I don't wring my hands over the quasi universalism currently in fashion.

      Further, I also don't like praying the rosary, (a private devotion), and have close to zero interest in most sacramentals but am glad that others do have an interest and that they do pray the rosary. Catholic stores and others who make a living off the Faith would go under quickly if I was the typical customer, since my interest doesn't really go beyond books and the Mass.

      But if others obtain what they need from EWTN, have at it and I'm glad the network exists, but I don't want to watch it.

    3. Let me expand this into something bigger:

      Maybe you SHOULD have to watch that series. Maybe you SHOULD have to be annoyed?

      I'm saying this because in many ways, various TRADS (and I'm not saying you, specifically) feel that us Novus Ordo types ought be exposed to all the Traditional Catholic stuff, even if our initial reaction is to be annoyed by the very thought of it.

      Anyway, as you suggest that Father Barron has nothing to do with charity and the starving guy down the street, I am suggesting that the "new universalism" you decry (as expressed by a very, very specific example relating to unbaptized babies) has nothing to do with the merits of Father Barron's Catholicism series.

    4. 1) Limbo was never doctrinal, and the fate of unbaptized babies has been the stuff of divergent opinions over history. Some, like the lovely people at, prefer to believe that they burn in hell. Others, like Aquinas, believed that they were separated from God, but still subject to natural happiness (Limbo). Others believed that God's mercy would intervene, as He is not bound by the sacraments.

      2) The Feeneyites (and the TAC crowd) reject the Baltimore and St. Pius X Catechisms, and have no problem in stating that a saint or pope who contradicts their positions is wrong.

    5. Correction: I meant TIC (Tradition in Action), not the fine folks at Thomas Aquinas College.

  5. Charlotte- I never said it was mandatory. Really just sharing how it is for me. However I hope in 150 years we will have something a bit more more like a dialogue EF and a bit less like the current NO. But I am not prescient.

    "love the girls" I am aware of the issue of the necessity for baptism and where this led relative to the issue of the fate of unbaptized infants.

    In fact, it led to the development of instruments to try to get some water up inside the vagina to baptize a baby who got stuck and wasn't going to be able to be delivered. This is an example of an undeniably logical consequence which is so extreme and bizarre that it makes one question the premises. At least, I am enough of a modern for it to seem extreme and bizarre to me.

    I do believe in the development of doctrine. Unlike the Orthodox, we can do this because we have a Magisterium to tell us what is development and what is unfaithful to the deposit of faith. I would say that VII's Decree on Religious Liberty-the one the SSPX hates worse than it hates the NO-is an appropriate development of doctrine. I would also apply the idea of development to our ability to hope for salvation of the unbaptized. It could of course be the case that we have just to pleasant and optimistic an idea of God, and that He is a curmudgeon who says "I said you have to be reborn of water to be saved, and I meant it, and you should just count your blessings that any of you are saved, as you had no right to it in the first place, and not go complaining about unbaptized miscarried babies!" But, I can't see God that way. I admit to the possibility of my just being too much shaped by the ethos of our times, but there is is, I can't.

    1. eulogos (Susan Peterson) writes : "I admit to the possibility of my just being too much shaped by the ethos of our times, but there is is, I can't."

      We're all creatures of our time.

      CS Lewis has a wonderful passage on the subject in an introduction to On The Incarnation :

      "Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it. Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united—united with each other and against earlier and later ages—by a great mass of common assumptions."

    2. I would just like to say here that the very idea that someone would try to baptize a dead baby or almost dead baby via the vagina is really, really creepy.

      My husband and I talked about this last night. I admit that if I had a still-born child, etc., that I would probably worry and fret for awhile about where he/she was - heaven, etc. But to go to that point shows such little faith that it astounds me.

      This is why some Protestants accuse Catholics of hokey-pokey superstition. There is a point where you need to stop sticking religious statues in your fridge and burying rosaries around your house and just trust in the promises and mercy of Christ.

      People can argue about whether or not we are living in the most wicked times in history or not. Whatever the answer, this is truly, truly a valley of tears and sin. I trust that God gets that, and that he has given us the modern state of our Church as the best tools to cope with that. If it's not enough for some folks, fine, I don't begrudge anyone looking for extra help in the form of Traditional Catholicism. But that's what I see it as. To look at the "new orthodoxy" (as LTG calls it, and a label I might consider blogging about) as empty and devoid of content and purity is entirely off-base. Catholicism is so overflowing with help that it overwhelms me.

    3. Charlotte writes : "I would just like to say here that the very idea that someone would try to baptize a dead baby or almost dead baby via the vagina is really, really creepy."

      It also happens to not be how it was traditionally instructed to be done. What was done, and what we did do with our miscarried babies was to attempt to find the baby in the placenta and baptize it. The odds of the baby being alive are close to nil, but we do what we can. Now no one would even try to baptize because they would instead talk about their little saint in heaven. But what if Limbo really does exist, and that baby was alive? The error made is eternal.

    4. I really don't know why I get into this with people.

      I'm not asking this to be an a-hole, I'm asking this out of sheer curiosity because I can't believe it: Can you provide any evidence or documentation that baptizing a dead child via the vagina is "how it was traditionally instructed to be done"?

      Your premise on all of this is "what if." I think you and I know there's a LOT of what if's about our lives and faith. Further, your premise is additionally based on a whole lot of reading and study of stuff (like old councils) that 99% of all average Catholics are never going to be exposed to, taught, or really have any need to be exposed to. All backed up by current Church practice/teaching.

      If the modern Church hasn't felt the need to make a totalitarian blanket statement/teaching on where dead babies go, limbo, pre-born infant baptism, etc., why would you care? (Note, I understand EXACTLY why you care.) But even then, why does you need to be totally sure and have every "what if" answered trump trust in God, His mercy, his promises, his love? That's how I see it.

      The only answer I can come up with is either: A.) a belief that the modern-day Catholic Church is totally wrong (and you know what I think about that and where I'm gonna go with that) or B.) certain personality types (including, possibly, me) tend towards scrupulosity, guilt, OCD, and the like, and the only way to satisfy these disorders is to cling to old-time teachings that give us such comfort.

      Which is all fine and good. I can totally respect the effort to want to make sure about a dead baby. However, it all goes bad when one suggests that other Catholics must do the same, and if they don't, then they are modernists or universalists, or worse.

    5. Charlotte writes : "Can you provide any evidence or documentation that baptizing a dead child via the vagina is "how it was traditionally instructed to be done"?"

      Not in the vagina. In the afterbirth stuff that comes out.

      Charlotte writes : "why does you need to be totally sure and have every "what if" answered trump trust in God, His mercy, his promises, his love? That's how I see it."

      Let me put it this way, how far do you want to take it? On the face of it also seems rather extreme that someone would have to suffer eternally for a sexual indiscretion that just happens to be a mortal sin and the person dies in that state of sin. The ratio at first blush looks rather off balance because the punishment is just a bit harsh especially when we look at it thinking about real flesh and blood people. And so, should we likewise say God's mercy trumps mortal sin as the universalists are wont to do?

      The problem is, that those in a state of mortal sin will go to hell, and it's false charity to not help them avoid that state by talking about God's Mercy, because that false charity is a path eternal damnation.

      Truth is not relative, nor in the end are these light matters. They also happen to be matters I have no control over except the formation of my own children. Which is typically the limit of my consideration of such matters.

    6. What is rather humorous is that I'm typically on the other side of these discussions. Whether it be the those who think every falsehood and deception is an evil worse than if the world stopped spinning and all the children upon it died miserable deaths. as Cardinal Newman and one of the Popes speculated.

      Or let it be those who consider it an intolerable evil to torture some guy for information who's planted a bomb that will kill in a miserable death those same million children.

      The world isn't black and white and not all apparent evils are in fact evil. Some are actually goods required of us.

    7. What I was talking about was a picture of an instrument that I saw which was designed to baptize full grown babies stuck in the birth canal,( ie deep transverse arrest, or a breech with head entrapment or a true cephalopelvic disproportion ) situations in which both the mother and the baby was going to die. This is rather a long time ago I am talking about, way before the safe C section, before C sections were even considered in desperation. I am talking medieval. I can still visualize the instrument, a sort of covered spoon on a long stem, with a mechanism to open the spoon and release the water. I can't give you a reference right now. It might have been in one of my old obstetric books that unfortunately have disappeared. The book wasn't that old of course (no printed books then) but it had a "history of obstetrics" chapter which included pictures of all sorts of old birth related instruments. You can see that if you really believed that getting some water on the child's head while saying the words of baptism was the ONLY way it was going to get to heaven, then the absolutely most urgent thing about this obstetrical and human tragedy would be finding a way to ensure that the child went to heaven. The mother would recieve annointing, absolution, and viaticum. I do admire this as a perspective that can look to beyond this life as to an utterly settled reality, even while I can also see the instrument as bizarre and surely not what God intended.

      This definitely was not for miscarried babies (if I had one that I recognized as a baby I would baptize it too, without necessarily thinking God had no other way to bring it to heaven, but just because after all, He told us to do this.)


  6. I could never have this kind of blog and Char, I appreciate that you can persevere.

    Each parish has its own personality within each diocese that has ITS own personality. Fortunately, our parish is rather tame and our Masses, in English, are very devout. The Life Teen Mass is a bit over the top, but well. . . I hope our pastor stays with us forever.

    A few weeks ago, my husband and I ventured 8 miles west to a Latin Mass. It was the first one I'd been to since they changed the Mass to English. It isn't a Latin Mass Community, which might make a difference, but I was disappointed. I like having Mass in English. However, I also like having the Mass be devout. That casualness that came in to our worship after Vatican II has become a distraction. During Advent, we had the sung parts of the Mass in Latin, at all the Masses, for unity. At the 5 o'clock Saturday Mass, the schola sings the propers in Latin. Sometimes it sounds good, other times it sounds a bit ragged. If I could make ONE change to the Mass, I would have everyone receive Communion on the tongue. I think that would make a big difference in bringing back reverence. Too often it seems like people approach the Eucharist like they are grabbing a Dorito. Too many people these days no longer even BELIEVE in the Real Presence.

    I think there are valid arguments on both sides but because it depends so much on where one lives and what the alternatives are, it's hard to make generalizations. I absolutely abhor the narrow-minded intolerance and condemnation on some of the schismatic trad websites. On the other hand, I fear that the shallow happy clappy "Jesus is all love and we're all gonna go to heaven, just because," fails to challenge us to even be our best selves in a secular sense, much less saints.

    1. Kay, I agree about communion on the tongue, and I agree that it would make a big difference. It really annoys me when I go to communion and I can just tell by the slightest eye movement or smirky muscle movement that the priest is annoyed that I am receiving on the tongue.

      I also agree that individual parishes and dioceses make a difference. I have often held up as my "excuse" for making bold sweeping statements about homeschoolers and the Latin mass crowd that I live in the Milwaukee archdiocese, which was run by, arguably, the most liberal bishop of modern times, Rembert Weakland. As a result, there is a local knee-jerk reaction of uber conservativism. Totally understandable, but I still say stop once in awhile and think through decisions and actions. Responding with a bunker mentality to extreme liberalism isn't healthy or productive.

  7. I looked up St. Natalia. There are people who could tell you what sort of liturgy she is likely to have attended with greater detail than I can. I am guessing it would have been in Greek and would have shared elements in common with both the traditional Latin mass and with the Liturgy of St. John Chrysosom. (For instance both have the "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. Both end many passages with "and for generations of generations" or "unto ages of ages" which we usually translate "forever and ever" ) It would have been a solemn celebration, with the celebrant facing East, whether that led him to face the congregation or turn away from them. It would most likely have been celebrated with special vessels kept specially for that purpose, probably gold vessels, even if it had to be done in secret. (In the Shape of the Liturgy, Dom Gregory Dix lists the possessions of a house church in North Africa found out by persecutors around that time which included gold vessels for the celebration of the eucharist). So no, it would not have been exactly like any mass we have now, but it certainly would have been done in a "sacral" manner. Susan

  8. PS I hope I am never about making other people feel like crap.

    1. Not that I can tell, Susan. :)

    2. Char: Have you gotten to an Eastern Rite Liturgy yet?

    3. Nope, don't know where one is, I would totally go.

      Although I do recall recently meeting someone who talked about a church in Milwaukee where almost everyone there was Iranian?, and it's Catholic?

      Hey, you wanna go, we'll come with.

    4. Charlotte, If they are Iranian they would be either Melkites or Maronites, I am pretty sure. Melkites are Byzantine and use the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Arabic is their liturgical language. They correspond to and are very close to, the Antiochian Orthodox.
      Maronites will tell you strongly that they are NOT Byzantine. They cross themselves like Latin rite Catholics. They use the Liturgy of St. Mark, one of the oldest extant liturgies. Their chant has a really driving rhythm and they swing the censors absolutely around in circles! At least that is what I remember from the Holy Thursday Service I attended at a Maronite parish in Scranton. Their original liturgical language is Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, and even when the service is in English, the words of consecration are always in Aramaic, so they are using the exact words Jesus spoke.


    5. The Melkites here are from Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. The Liturgy is sung in English, with bits of Greek and Arabic.

  9. Wow, what a comment thread.

    All I know this week is that my heart is broken because our bishop has been letting a confessed sex offender drive around the diocese and serve Mass, and the spokesman won't tell us where he is doing this. This is three years after the bishop got caught trying to pawn him off as a chaplain at a hospital without telling the hospital (spoiler alert: the hospital was not happy). Hospitals generally don't like when sex offenders are given free rein to walk about their facilities with chaplain badges.

    I wrote to my pastor, he wrote me back a curt response when clearly I am hurting. Does he care if I leave? No. He's good at communicating when he needs more money though.

    I want to know when this is all going to finally end, when the bishops are going to do what they agreed to in Dallas, and the answer apparently is never.

    So what do I do? Do I stay? I don't even feel like trying anymore. Can I see God without the Church? Yes, yes I can. Is this the time where I say enough is enough, I can't contribute to this anymore.

    Anyway, sorry to dump that here, but it's kind of how I feel about this stuff at this point. It's just not important. We need to learn to live and let live within the Church and focus our energies on the people who are really destroying our faith.


    1. Fair enough, Catlady. I don't know how to respond to that except to say that so many of us have been disillusioned with the Catholic faith at various times and for various reasons. All that time I wasn't going to mass in the last 2 years and I still kept saying to myself - stick it out, Jesus is really there in the Eucharist.

    2. Thanks Charlotte :)

    3. Catlady, One thing that helps me keep trudging on when the bishops and priests are failing like you describe yours as doing is to remember that they come and go, Christ remains. I figure there's a bunch of schmucks like those who abandoned Jesus when the teachings or circumstances got tough to accept, several who are actively undermining the Church or only mindful of their stake like Judas was and, thankfully, some true lights who stand strong and faithful like St.John and Our Lady. As Char said, Jesus is really there in the Eucharist. He allows even those schmucks and Judases the glory of bringing him to us in the sacraments, because we need the physical reality of HIM so very much.

    4. Anonymous, If you are sure of your facts, you might want to write to the Bishop and ask to meet with him so he can explain his reason for doing this and why he thinks it is safe. Give him a deadline; if he does not get back to you by such and such a date you intend to notify the newspapers. A month should be long enough. I assume the man isn't prosecutable or he would be in jail or on a sex offender registry. But I suspect the newspapers would be interested. We laypeople do have a right to try to get our bishops to do what they ought to do. I say this of course, assuming that the facts are as you state them.

    5. @eulogos It's already been all over the newspapers, that's how I found out about it.

    6. @Maureen, thanks. Yes, that is what I have been trying to tell myself, but it's hard sometimes especially when it hits so close to home.


      (previous comment was me too)

    7. Yeah, I understand. I grew up in the Albany diocese. Suffice it to say that there have been many opportunities for disillusionment.

  10. I am so sorry that a blog post about the Catholicism series got pulled in this direction. Pope Benedict asked priests and bishops to use the new media to evangelize, and Father Barron and others have answered the call. Good for him! As someone on the other thread noted, his 10 minute You Tube videos (through Word on Fire) are easy to posting Facebook.

    Maybe some Catholics didn't need to watch the series because they couldn't learn anything from it. I, for one, am so thankful he made the series because I learned so much! Even with the sound down, the visuals are beautiful. PBS has been showing the series, we'll never know how many people are called to the Church because of this.

    Char, it's easy for me to,say, but please ignore the negativity. I think if you look at your combox, you will see far more encouraging folks than the negative.

    1. Thanks, Zbar.

      I have been happy that the "Catholicism" series has been shown on PBS, too. Although I notice not here in Milwaukee, where I think we really need it because of our history.

  11. Anonymous, I live in the Rochester diocese, and we all know Hubbard and Clarke were great friends. Clarke is gone and Hubbard soon will be also. This too shall pass.

    Luckily I live on the border of the Syracuse diocese so my options are less limited.

    If it has been in the papers, with the guy's name, I guess people are aware, and can watch out, no?