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April 24, 2004

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Comments

Sandra Miesel

This just sooo droll. It reminds me of the situation under the previous archbishop when the chancery denied any knowledge of Dignity meeting in Indianapolis, when it was long established in the parish adjacent to the cathedral.

Stacey

"I would be astonished to find that some of the abuses are actually happening in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis"

I find that statement simply astonishing. I will now pick my jaw up off of the floor.

David Kubiak

I emphasize that the Archdiocese of Indpls., and especially its Vicar General, have been extremely generous to our Indult community, for which much thanks is due. But this is really very funny to me, since just last week I was talking to a student from Indpls. whose family left the parish they were in because they could not convince the pastor that it was not permitted for women to read the gospel in alb and stole.

Lynn

"Daniel M. Buechlein said he was asking priests, liturgy committees and the Archdiocese's Office of Worship to study the instruction for a few months..."

in other words, ignore it...?

Obedeinet Son

"study the instruction for a few months "

May I just say, "WHAT THE F@?#??$??%??!????????&?"

Really? It'll take a liturgy committee a couple months to figure out whether that woman reading the gospel is ordained? to decide whether or not "Song of Myself" is Old Testament or New? Maybe they'll need new prescriptions, to SEE whether or not a communion plate is being used?

Pathetic.

Todd

Peace, all.

I've heard very little from my friends in progressive-land on this one. But I do read a lot of whining from the other side. Given the glee I was seeing from folks who were all-fired sure we were returning to mandatory Tridentine Rite and altar girl and Precious Blood bans in every parish, I have to wonder how this is all spinning out in the rinse cycle. Telling is that this topic will fade out over the next few days and we can get back to John Kerry will full gusto.

Mark Cameron

This document is in effect as of now. It gives every Catholic not only the right, but the duty to report liturgical abuse, first to the bishop and, if nothing happens, to Rome. (See s. 183-184) Don't wait for your bishop or liturgy committee to act, act on your own. It will be interesting to see if the CDW will act to enforce discipline in cases where the local ordinary will not. Given what we have seen of Cardinal Arinze, I wouldn't bet against it.

Steve Skojec

You know, I really think this confirms the fact that most of the American Bishops live in cryogenic suspension tanks locked inside vaults in subterranian bunkers.

They just thaw them out for the occasional Catholic doublespeak, and during the Bishop's Annual Appeal.

Steve Skojec

You know, I really think this confirms the fact that most of the American Bishops live in cryogenic suspension tanks locked inside vaults in subterranian bunkers.

They just thaw them out for the occasional Catholic doublespeak, and during the Bishop's Annual Appeal.

Fr. Brian Stanley

I am surprised that the Archbishop didn't announce the formation of a study group that would make recommendations to the liturgical task force that would develop an outline with guidelines to give to the liturgy commission of the archdiocese, which in turn would provide copies of these guidelines to interested pastors and parish liturgy teams, who could then study them and implement them for the Advent of 2007.

I've read the document twice, and made the appropriate adjustments at this evenings five o'clock vigil Mass: no biggie, and I doubt anyone even noticed the adjustments. The "major" adjustment I made in this evening's Mass was the pouring of the wine into all the smaller chalices during the preparation of the gifts, rather than pouring a little wine into the large chalice and consecrating the rest in the flagon. Formerly, we [that is, the deacon and I] had poured the Precious Blood from the flagon into the smaller chalices during the fraction rite.

michigancatholic

Yes, of course, go thru the chain of command to get it fixed, but you have ways of your own. Clog the phones, bitch up a storm, give your $$$ to the food bank and put a "you coulda had my money" note in the collection. And when they ask you why, you tell em. You don't need a committee to think.

michigancatholic

The fact is that this document calls the archbishop's dishonesty by its proper name....it's stealing and lying from the Church. Church officials, when they choose to represent their own views and actions instead of the proper actions of the Church, are stealing from the church and lying about it. They are given their sustenance by the church and what do they do in gratitude? Nothing. It's sick.

Getting to be ashamed to be a liberal

"I've heard very little from my friends in progressive-land on this one."

Of course not -- they are pretending it didn't happen, so they can go on. So they can persist in their abuses.

I would have told you I was a liberal, until maybe a year ago.
Now, I guess I'm a recovering liberal.
I know I would be a pariah, amongst the denizens of these blogs. (I am still a liberal, social, fiscal, in many ways.)
But the crap that I am seeing going on in the liberal wing of the Catholic Church, the cake-eating and contradictions -- it's enough to turn my stomach.

Jeanne  Schmelzer

Our bishop in Columbus OH has done that with GIRM because he didn't want the abuses of sloppily implementing the directives without proper catechesis about it. So far, he's prepared us that it will happen. That's all probably til after Pentecost. He's being cautious so as to do it in an orderly manner. So I assume he'll do the same with these or our parish priest will if "allowed" to by the bishop at this point. I understand that it WILL happen. Maybe the bishop in Indianapolis will do the same. Giving him the benefit of the doubt until we see otherwise.

Michael

Jeanne, that's right. Please notice that the document calls for charity, and I've seen precious little charity among the commenters on this blog. Many of you would have been more at home in Calvin's Geneva (culturally, that is, not theologically).

Elizabeth

This may be a little off topic, but in defense of the Abp. of Indy...he came to speak to us Religious Ed. Majors at Stuebenville 2 years ago and I was very impressed by not only his concern with the deficiencies in the Catechetical practice in the US over the past 30 years (that was his topic), but also very aware of what crap was going on in the Church and the concrete, necessary measures he and we needed to take to correct it. I was impressed by his talk and I got the impression that he was HARDLY a lazy bishop with his head in the sand. Crazy things happen even where there are good bishops...we have our occasional wacky people here in Pittsburgh too, even though we have an excellent bishop with good people working for him (and, even thought it always takes a little time, most of those wackjobs do get dealt with eventually, a la Fr. Hausen). I'm sure that things are similar in Indy...crazy people get dealt with eventually. The Church has ALWAYS worked slowly because she doesn't want to rashly judge those who are rebelling against her from the inside, but rather goes through a LONG process that attempts reconciliation. Remember, even Luther and Calvin and Henry VIII weren't IMMEDIATELY removed but went through a long process of failed dialogue and footdragging. So give the Bishops a break, they can't be everywhere at once and they are already fighting a war on multiple fronts with masses of ignorant Catholics, a scandal, a generally hostile secular society, mass murder of the unborn in our nation, etc. Give them a little more support.

Todd

Peace, Michael.

"Please notice that the document calls for charity, and I've seen precious little charity among the commenters on this blog."

Nailed it. Some people are very selective in their interpretation of church documents.

Fr. Brian Stanley

And then there are some who choose to ignore church documents altogether, and encourage people to dissent from instructions because it doesn't fit with their personal interpretation, or even better, they've judged the instructions to be faulty and so undeserving of obedience. Right, Todd?

Maureen

Re: liberals being pariahs

Um...no. Most of my friends are liberals, actually. Some of them are way out there. It doesn't make me love them or like them less, although sometimes it makes respecting each other somewhat of a challenge.

But how often do people actually talk in person about politics and religion, anyway? Heck, my parents always said _not_ to discuss politics and religion.

That's what's great about email and the like; you _can_ talk about stuff like that, with time to consider what you really think and space for everyone to chat. Having a nice stiff discussion of politics and religion in person is a lot tenser situation.

Rod Dreher

Please notice that the document calls for charity, and I've seen precious little charity among the commenters on this blog. Many of you would have been more at home in Calvin's Geneva (culturally, that is, not theologically).

Oh, give me a big fat break. The bishops could be picking your pocket to tip their rent boys, and you could always depend on quietists caterwauling about charity, charity, charity. Why is it uncharitable to refuse to play this damnable church game anymore? Why is it uncharitable to stop pretending and tell the truth?

Colleen

Isn't it true that the Magisterium/Vatican/Rome only issues documents after much lengthy consideration and noticed confusion on particular issues (like why issue a document on a subject that is well understood and well followed)?

So if a document is issued by the Vatican, is the Vatican being uncharitable? What some Catholics seem to not understand is that there are dioceses where abuses, big and small, of the Mass and Christ's Body and Blood are rampant or prevalent and have been for years - and that is a point of sorrow and hardship for faithful Catholics. Especially those trying to raise Catholic children to be faithful to the Magisterium (which is sometimes at odds with what they are taught and what they see at their parishes). Pointing those abuses out seems to me to be a charitable mission, as long as it is done in a loving way and not in a oneupmanship tone (which a faithful and orthodox Catholic wouldn't have anyway).

Take John Kerry. Can't stand his politics but I worry for his soul and it pains me that he does not have the fullness of the faith - for his sake, not mine. His priest(s) and his bishop have a duty to lead him to heaven and part of their duty is teaching him the faith he obviously misunderstands.

Rod Dreher

Here's a great example of what I'm talking about, courtesy of Diogenes at the CWNews blog. A priest of the Diocese of Toledo has been arrested and charged with the 1980 murder of an elderly nun who was ritually sacrificed on Holy Saturday. She appears to have been raped. Her body was discovered in the sacristy, posed by her killer(s).
The priest who was arrested is the same priest who celebrated the poor soul's funeral mass.

Know what the episcopal vicar of the diocese told the local newspaper about this? "We're very saddened by the whole experience," said the Rev. Michael Billian, Episcopal vicar of the Diocese of Toledo. "It certainly saddens the diocese that any one of its ministers would be in this situation."

Gosh, maybe I'm uncharitable, but it seems to me that that's the kind of reaction one would expect when a priest of one's diocese gets picked up for drunk driving or shoplifting, not ritually sacrificing and raping a nun in the sacristy on Holy Saturday. But that's how these people are. They are men without chests, totally sold out to the Firm. Notice that he didn't say that it's upsetting that a priest might have committed such an unspeakable crime. It's upsetting because a priest finds himself mired in a spot of unpleasantness.

They are contemptible, these ecclesiocrats.

Rod Dreher

(Obviously, a relatively blase' attitude toward a priest being charged with ritual murder of a nun is very far from a bishop pretending to be shocked, shocked that liturgical abuses may be going on in his diocese, but the sense of clerical disconnect from reality is the same.)

Kevin Miller

It's not just the "ecclesiocrats," Rod. Notice from the same article:

"I'll be damned," said Ray Vetter, a retired deputy Toledo police chief who was in charge of the detective bureau, after hearing about the arrest.

He said he has mixed feelings about Father Robinson's arrest, partially because he is Catholic.

Which is understandable. It's not like one wants someone else - perhaps especially a Catholic priest - to turn out to have been a murderer.

Additionally, I think that the episcopal vicar's reference to "this situation" could refer to - the priest's being alleged to have committed an unspeakable crime. The "mired in a spot of unpleasantness" business is your interpretation.

See, charity does not preclude telling the truth about things that have been done (sexual abuse, coverups, liturgical abuse) - about saying that they have been done, and about saying that they are evil.

It does require telling the full truth, though - about good as well as evil that has been done - and about the possibility that things that have been said by bishops or priests might have been intended in something other than the most damning possible sense.

And those who claim to be orthodox Catholics are not immune from failing in that regard - or, what's worse, from then trying to rationalize and otherwise excuse those failures rather than repenting and amending their own lives too.

Cornelius

Thanks Roddy-one-note. All Michael said was that the tone of the discussion regarding the liturgy could be more charitable, which somehow led you to think of sexual misconduct and to suggest than anyone who calls for more charity on this blog is, however remotely, part of the cause of sexual abuse crisis.

Rod, for your own good, you need to step back. From what I know, you and I have a lot in common -- about the same age, converts to Catholicism, orthodox in belief, fathers of young children, conservative Republicans. You're an excellent writer, but if your frequent nastiness won't convince me (it actually repels me), you should consider whether a different tone would be more effective.

Charles M. de Nunzio

In defense of Mr. Dreher: Righteous anger is actually a noble sentiment, not a vice. The danger presented by times like these is for the soul to lose equilibrium when there is so incredibly much, and so often, to be rightfully angry about — particularly when a great portion of the populace is unmoved at the sight of such spectacular outrages, or else even try to discredit the legitimacy of such anger under the pretext of a milquetoast, sentimentalist bowdlerization of "charity."

Charity (properly so called), as any decent catechism teaches, is the love of God on account of His own infinite goodness, and the consequent love of neighbor as oneself for the love of Him. And what is "love" as meant here? It is the willing of what is good for a particular someone. It is this classic definition of love that is at the root at the teachings and work of our Lord, and therefore also at the mission of His Church.

Whereupon those contravening this mission, particularly by malicious deeds or the mercenary's indifference to the mission itself, arouse rightful anger because of deeds and/or attitudes that are worthy only of contempt. The respect that would normally be due them on account of their office is forfeit through their own fault by such malfeasance, for it is they who have brought that office into infamy.

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday on the traditional Roman liturgical calendar. Anyone can read the pertinent passage of St. John's Gospel and see for themselves what little regard our Lord Himself has for those he called the "hirelings" in his metaphor.

Dale Price

One would have thought that the ritual murder of a nun in a sacristy on Holy Saturday would compel more than "tsk, tsk, how sad" murmuring from the Diocese. Once again, more solicitude for the priest than for the victim. For all Det. Vetter's mixed feelings, he comes closer to getting it right by calling it an outrage.

"No comment" would have served the Toledo Diocese better than Fr. Billian's pablum sluice.

James Kabala

Dear Mr. Dreher and Mr. Miller,
I think that you have finally achieved the point where, whenever either one of you enters a previously civil and useful discussion, it will immediately take a turn towards vitriol, name-calling, and personality squabbles instead of issues. Did it ever occur to either one of you that you don't have all the answers and you aren't always right?
To Mr. Dreher in particular,
In a way, Michael asked for it, since he was rather rude himself, failing to be charitable to the uncharitable, but I think that your over-the-top reactions belies your claim that you do not paint all those who disagree with you as coddlers of pedophilia. Who was the first to bring up sexual abuse in this thread? It wasn't Michael, it was you. When someone says, in effect, "Gee, maybe we shouldn't have a heart attack every time the priest leaves the sanctuary during the sign of peace or someone holds hands during the Our Father," and you immediately bring up pedophilia, I think that you are actually trivializing the sexual abuse scandal.

Meggan

There's a lot of venom being produced here all due to our reading of an article in a newspaper. I'm not saying people here aren't making some valid points. (And, it seems that the discussion has veered off from the original topic of the Bishop in Indianapolis.)

It's just that I've seen commentors on other occasions at this blog and other blogs make snap judgements about a diocese they 1. don't know and 2.have heard about from a secular newspaper article

The newspaper in my own town has produced lots of ill will from articles about our diocese that either didn't tell the whole story or put a sensationalist spin on things or just was constructed in a way to get a reaction from folks. A couple of those articles have appeared around at St. Blogs. The harsh and uninformed judgments that people made in those situations really upset me.

Elizabeth and Jeanne in the comments above have given us a different perspective of this bishop in Indianapolis. As Jeanne says,
how about "giving him the benefit of the doubt until we see otherwise."

Michael

James, my remark about Calvin's Geneva was a bit snarky. I still think it's true, but I should probably not have said it. The rest of my comment, however, stands.

Rod, my comment had nothing to do with sexual abuse. I know you're in pain about the lives hurt and destroyed by the priests and bishops who abused or abetted, but your response to my comment was more than a little odd.

Steve Skojec

What about the cryogenic suspension, though? And the vaults? I find it convenient that no one has responded to my post about those. Could it be because no one wants to admit that they might be true? Hmmm?

;)

William

I would be careful about making rash judgements about my bishop. I am sure it is not easy to manage a diocese; especially when it comes to the matter of how liturgy is celebrated. Decades of confusion and mis-directed speculation have formed divergent mindsets of the priests concerning liturgy (I wouldn't make rash judgements about them either).

In my experience, the source of this tone is more often a personal sense of pride ("My interpretation of the Church, liturgy, wehtever is right and should be adhered to") rather than anything that could properly be called "righteous anger."

I just finished perusing this new document again. The Holy See, being more charitable than has been correctly observed about some in this forum, point out two causes of liturgical abuses:

"Not infrequently, abuses are rooted in a false understanding of liberty." and...

"Finally, abuses are often based on ignorance, in that they involve a rejection of those elements whose deeper meaning is not understood and whose antiquity is not recognized."

Both of those causes assume that there is an ignorance or a false understanding, even among the clergy, that needs to be corrected. In providing a rememedy to abuses, the document calls first for a biblical and liturgical formation. Only after does it call for disciplinary action.

In order that a remedy may be applied to such abuses, “there is a pressing need for the biblical and liturgical formation of the people of God, both pastors and faithful”, so that the Church’s faith and discipline concerning the sacred Liturgy may be accurately presented and understood. Where abuses persist, however, proceedings should be undertaken for safeguarding the spiritual patrimony and rights of the Church in accordance with the law, employing all legitimate means.

The clarifications provided in this document was probably long overdue. Hopefully, it will lead to a more meaningful experience of the liturgy for countless Catholics.

In the meantime, those of us among the laity ought to just be thankful for these clarifications and refrain from personal attacks on our bishops and priests.

James Kabala

Preemptive strike to Rod Dreher:
Yes, William's last sentence, where he says that we should "just be thankful," is badly phrased and does come across as quietist and overly passive. If he had to write it over again, he might see the problem and express himself differently. Or maybe he is an effeminate caterwauler without a chest, unfit to loosen the sandals of Rod Dreher. Either way, please don't blow a gasket at him; I don't think that it will do any good.

Cornelius

James: LOL. I myself was contemplating writing a warning to William to keep his head down because he probably didn't realize the wrath that is now likely to be hurled his way. He probably just doesn't yet realize that he suffers from Stockholm Syndrome (as I've been told here that I do).

Sam Schmitt

It's like those other drivers on the road - you know the jerk who cuts you off on the interstate, and the senile granny crawling along in the left lane. Then there's the clueless soccer mom in her SUV on her cell phone who almost rear-ended you and didn't even notice. Don't fall into the old trap of believing these people are fellow human beings who maybe are having a bad day - that's just quietist "charity" preached by pious weaklings. And please, driving more carefully yourself isn't going to do anything; these dirtbags don't deserve your courtesy anyway. The only way you're going to change things out there is to be convinced that they're just pond scum and not worthy to live, let alone share the same road with you.

So go ahead, grind your teeth and scowl at them. And don't just keep it to yourself: live the joy of your communte with others, spreading it far and wide what a buch of pathetic losers they are. You'll be surprised at how much everyone else improves their driving skills the next time you're behind the wheel. They'll all be driving just like you.

Michael

Sam, that's just excellent.

Stacey

"It's just that I've seen commentors on other occasions at this blog and other blogs make snap judgements about a diocese they 1. don't know and 2.have heard about from a secular newspaper article"

"I would be careful about making rash judgements about my bishop. I am sure it is not easy to manage a diocese; especially when it comes to the matter of how liturgy is celebrated."

Well, I know that I was not intending to make a rash or snap judgement in my earlier comment. I know nothing about the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. However, having been to masses all over the country since my conversion (in 1987) of which only a handful probably did not have some sort of liturgical abuse, I was merely expressing my astonishment that anyone, particularly a bishop, could think that what I experienced was anything other than the norm. And, I suppose given the way things are today, it would be unrealistic to expect an entire diocese to be completely free of liturgical abuse.

James Kabala

You know, something just occurred to me:

The Archbishop said, "I would be shocked to learn that some of the abuses are are actually in the Archdiocese of Indianopolis." Everyone here (including me at first) interpreted that to mean, "I don't believe that any abuses are going on." However, it could also be interpreted as meaning, "There are some abuses that I don't think are going on here, although there may be others that are." I am not trying to make excuses, or suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or whatever. I am just trying to get at the truth

Cornelius

But Stacey, the archbishop didn't say he wasn't aware of ANY liturgical abuses in the archdiocese; he said, "I would be astonished to find that SOME of the abuses are actually happening in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis." That's probably a true statement, and especially in light of the comments above from people who have direct information about the archbishop, I fail to see why people are so hellbent on reading his statements so uncharitably and in the worst possible light.

David Kubiak

A couple of observations on the bright side of things in Indpls. There is a major church downtown that managed to avoid the wreck-ovations, and is the most attended by visitors to the city. For years it had a really dreadful liturgical style -- the priest used to tell the congregation "please join our community in its practice of standing during the Eucharistic prayer"; you can fill in the rest.

I was there just last night for the vigil Mass, and the church is now in the care of a Benedictine who celebrated with great dignity and absolutely by the book. The hymns were very good and played on the organ; there were servers in cassock and surplice. So things can change for the better.

Also one of many edifying stories I could report about the splendid Vicar General of the Archdiocese, who usually helps out giving Communion at our Indult Mass, with the Latin prayer beautifully said to each communicant. In a sermon once he was remarking on the fact that some people had started bowing to the tabernacle, and he had this choice comment for them: "This is the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, where our sign of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is to genuflect -- save your bows for the next time you're in Japan."

Sandra Miesel

Yes, St. John's in downtown Indianapolis (opposite the RCA Dome) is a beautiful Victorian church and more beautiful since the previous liberal pastor retired. And their Vicar General is a fine man who'd be a good bishop. Nevertheless, abuses including women homilists and invalid matter for Mass (not to mention New Age nonsense) have occurred on Archbishop Buechlein's watch and he gets quite hostile toward laypeople who complain about such things.

Thomas2

In all charity, (leastways I think I'm being charitable) perhaps the Bishop in Indy is so misinformed and distanced from his flock that he believes that the abuses are few and far between. Perhaps he really doesn't understand the Rites governing proper celebration of the Sacraments and is too reliant upon Liturgists he trusts to prepare for him. Perhaps ther are many who are misinformed and poorly instructed. I could go on making excuses, but the bottom line is that this has got to end, PERIOD. I can tell you that once more I left Mass today in tears at the lack of reverence..... I am literally praying for change to happen every day. I've taken my own hits for orthodoxy too. Quite a few in fact. I'll probably take a few more before its all over with. What gets me is that all of the Documents governing Mass are readily available to the laity in print and on the net. If more folks took the time to read these things, alot less abuse would get by. Most folks trust their priests and liturgists to deliver authentic Liturgies. Once you start finding out the Truth about what the Church really requires in same, your eyes will be opened to the abuses. It really is up to us who go to Church and witness the Mass to firstly find out what is proper and what isn't and make regular reports to our Bishops and anyone else wiling to listen about how things are or aren't being done. I'm eight years a Catholic and to be honest, I wasn't really aware that certain things were being done wrong until I asked someone, "Why is it that when I go to Mass in a different place, they do things differently?" It wasn't until I was in the Church a few years before I found out just how seriously wrong it is to dismiss the Liturgical laws of the Church. Now I know better. And I still believe it is my obligation to speak up when things are done that shouldn't be or parts are omitted that shouldn't be. I hope that more folks get informed and become courageous enough to challenge the abuses. Until we stop permitting it, it will go on.

Greg Bourke

Ritual sacrifice of a nun by a preist??
Maybe Jack Chick IS right!
I think that deserves more imagination than saying you are "saddened".
Saddened is what you are when your puppy dog dies not when it turns out one of your preists is a homocidal nut case.

I've also had a guts full of irreverant Masses. All they do is confirm that ignorance is bliss.

Todd

Peace, all.

Fr Brian, "And then there are some who choose to ignore church documents altogether, and encourage people to dissent from instructions because it doesn't fit with their personal interpretation, or even better, they've judged the instructions to be faulty and so undeserving of obedience. Right, Todd?"

That would be wrong. If you've brought this discussion aspect to a personal sphere, to say that I ignore church documents is far from factual. I'm not beyond criticism of the hierarchy or its documents, very much like others who criticize on this very thread. When I disagree with someone, I strive (and not always successfully) to treat the person with charity, and not think the worst right off the bat.

Michael's core point should be taken to heart by some Catholics who cannot resist putting a bad interpretation on just about anything some people do or say. I should mention that you are usually above such commentary, and hardly ever express the bitterness we've come to know and expect from folks such as Rod Dreher, for whom the spiritual life seems to have turned into a slug of bad vinegar.

The sharing of such elixir seems to have led to a feedback loop of sorts for St Blog's. Even a document widely regarded as a crackdown becomes an occasion for more frustration and bile. It leads me to two conclusions:
- Perhaps the document is not dealing with the real challenge of Catholic liturgy, and has missed the mark by not underscoring the many positives which can be found in parishes that take liturgy seriously.
- Perhaps the more serious problem is not with the liturgical abuses reported over these past thirty years, but with the lack of charity and presumption of ill will presumed by those who complain.

Greg Bourke


With regards to the murdering preist the diocesan spokesman had this to say:

"The human condition is sinful and priests are human, Father Billian said."

If that is not whitewashed burbling then what is? The guy killed a nun, he wasn't shoplifting or sneaking into a strip club!!
Gee, I'm sinful but I haven't killed any nuns!!

Jimmy Mac

Deck chairs.

The Titanic.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ........

Good night, George. Good night, Gracie.

Jimmy Mac

Greg Bourke: in your glee at believing everything untoward you read about priests, you have overlooked the fact that the priest has been ARRAIGNED on the charge of murdering the nun. The trial hasn't happened yet nor have all of the facts been introduced into evidence. You might wait until the guilty SOB has a fair trial before you hang him.

Greg Bourke

Hey Mac,
I am "saddened" by your lack of charity. Why do you presume I am "gleeful"?
I note noone, including you Macca, seem to be "saddened" enough to remember the slaughtered nun.
What seems most important is the projection of disinterestedness by spokesman. The problem is that the response does not reflect the degree of the situation. Like I clearly said above, "saddened" is a word that describes a dead pet, it is inappropriate because it is indifferent. It's a Teflon comment.

Good one Macca! you got me overlooking an American legal term. Just as you shouldn't assume I am gleeful, you shouldn't assume all readers are North American fans of Alley MacBeal. The Internet works outside of America!
Back to my deck chair of blind indifference...

James Kabala

Cornelius,
Great minds think alike. (We made posts with the identical point at the exact same time.)

Sandra Miesel,
Thank you for the word on the ground from Indianapolis.
By the way, I find "invalid matter" to be one of the strangest and least excusable of all the abuses. There are companies that exist just to make and sell hosts; why does any priest feel the need to get his bread from anywhere else? What is wrong with the right kind?

Greg Bourke,
It's a small matter, but I think that it was pretty clear from the article that the priest had not been convicted yet, even for those unfamiliar with the term "arraigned."

Final comment on Fr. Billian:
I don't think I like the phenomenon of judging someone's whole character on one quotation. Fr. Billian might have been in a state of shock about the whole affair. We don't even know if the reporter quoted his entire statement. I know I wouldn't want to have my whole character judged from a thousand miles away based on one newspaper story.
I think that one of the most interesting results of the recent scandals* is what might be called
"orthodox anticlericalism." After all the crap they've put us through, it's certainly an understandable reaction, but we should still fight against succumbing to it.

* (And didn't people use to call it "the Situation" without being condemned?

michigancatholic

"Some people are very selective in their interpretation of church documents." You nailed it too, Todd with this statement alone. If I hear one more proof-texting job on the documents of Vatican 2, I'm going to scream right in the guy's face. I've seen those documents twisted til they're ragged.

Get this and get it straight: It would be impossible for the moderates to be more intolerant than the progressives have been with all the moderates in the pews for 40 long years.

By and large, we will treat you much better than you treated us. Why? Because we're not nearly as interested in anything you do or think as we are in restoring the Church to reverence and decency. That is our goal, plainly. You will get off scott free in this world, I expect. You just won't get your way much longer. That's fine.

Fr. Brian Stanley

Todd,

If the shoe fits...
Go back and reread your previous statements about feet washing on Holy Thursday. You applaud those who depart from the duly promulgated liturgical rubrics and the further responsum to the dubium about the rite in question. "Applaud" is your word, not mine. You've also promoted the notion that rubrics [that are questionable in your mind] need to be substantiated in some formal or academic way, or they should be ignored upon failure of the Congregation for Worship to explain themselves adequately to you.

I happen to agree that there's been a lack of charity shown here in the commentary. But there also seems to be a lack of memory as well. And if it is uncharitable for me to have you recall what you applaud, then slap my cheeks and call me Rosie, because then I would be uncharitable by that definition. If reminding you is uncharitable, then in all charity, use your memory in the selective fashion you choose.

michigancatholic

And it's laughable, that now, now that we have the internet and we're onto the whole progressive politic together, that now they are mouthing this interest in charity--after the way millions of people have been treated with complete contempt. I wish I had a nickel for every elderly lady who was made to feel guilty for saying her beads, for every convert who was made to stomach RCIA to get into the church, for every school kid who deserved to learn the faith and was fed mush instead, for every prayerful catholic who was made to watch liturgical abuse so bad it made them weep.... Charity, my fanny.

But let's not talk now about the past; let's talk about the present. Charity is when the Church takes care of us liturgically which is what it is now attempting to do, with this document (and the ones to come in the next few years). I would suggest that progressives not interfere with the rightful charity in the church by being scrooges, obstacles and naysayers about this. That would be plain nasty, and judgmental of them.

michigancatholic

Unless, William, they show no inclination to to understand that "proceedings should be undertaken for safeguarding the spiritual patrimony and rights of the Church in accordance with the law, employing all legitimate means." Indeed, up to this point, many of them have been downright arrogant about this point.

Refusal to heed the teachings of the document is a choice. It says "NO." Foot-dragging is also a choice; doing nothing is a choice. They are all "NO." "NO" is not an acceptable option. YOu understand that, I trust.

Stacey

"I fail to see why people are so hellbent on reading his statements so uncharitably and in the worst possible light."

Cornelius (and James, too!),
while I suppose that James' version of an alternative interpretation is within the realm of possibility, I really don't think that it's being uncharitable to interpret what was said in the most obvious way. If I said to you, "I would be surprised to learn that some people steal," the most obvious interpretation of that statement is that I would be surprised to learn that there is such a thing as a thief. Now, of course, it could mean that it would not surprise me to learn that other people steal, but I really do think that most people could be forgiven for thinking me a bit naive to have made such a statement.

Steve Skojec

I had a feeling it was foolish of me to try to introduce levity into this thread before it became a screaming mob.

Usually I've got a torch or a pitchfork, and a copy of some vintage encyclical, but today, I just wanted a laugh. Just one. And I've failed you all.

Guess I'll go back to being a grumpy traditionalist tomorrow. Goodnight.


PS - I'm with michigancatholic: the only charity progressives seem to understand is the kind that fails to confront evil when one sees it. Last time I checked, that wasn't charity, but moral cowardice...but then, I said I wouldn't revert to grumpy trad until tomorrow...

Todd

Peace, Fr Brian.

I don't mind sharing a cobbler with such august company as my sister and brother Catholics of St Blog's. Certainly I have a memory of offending against charity in the past. But I don't pretend to be something I'm not: a 100% perfect Good Little Boy. The caution against charity is there in black and white. Already today I've read about an archbishop getting fisked for an off-the-cuff remark, and I've seen another blogger who is otherwise sensible muse about his parish's not using gold chalices. As if these things have just been put into storage for just such an occasion.

I would not suggest you are uncharitable, my friend, for the document in question speaks of people who send liturgical complaints, not of "fraternal correction" among those who discuss matters with vigor.

Alton J.

The only thing I find more tiresome than "Peace Todd's" self-indulgent blog spam rhetoric is the predictable whining from the anti-charity crowd. The very moment you disagree with these thin-skinned debutantes they run behind their mamma's skirts and cry about how uncharitable you are. Will any of them ever get over being picked last for the kickball team in elementary school? C'mon Todd, admit it, I bet you had a pretty rough time of it in your formative years? It's O.K. though, it's never too late to redeem yourself.

michigancatholic

Todd,

You said: "Certainly I have a memory of offending against charity in the past. But I don't pretend to be something I'm not: a 100% perfect Good Little Boy." LOL, no kidding?
And so you should even try, because you are destined to fail, is that *it*? What a cop out.

What makes you think that people who register complaints don't do it with *vigor,* as you say? Do you think all the people in the pews are ignorant? (Like many liturgists do!)


michigancatholic

Fraternal correction, as described in scripture, does not only apply to peers in the liturgical business. We, as laypeople, can practice fraternal correction too. The problem is that, no matter how well informed we are, you browbeat us. Well, no more.

Scripture gives a sequence for fraternal correctors to use. When problems are not handled one-on-one, we are obliged, yes obliged, to take it to more than one, and then to the wider church, even if it means taking it to the church in Rome, if need be.

Rod Dreher

Heh heh. It's just, well, kind of bizarre that after two years of learning that those in charge of the Church know so very, very much about what horrible things are taking place on their watch, ranging from liturgical abuses to more than a few members of the presbyterate being hauled out of the bushes and the public bathrooms by the vice cops, to the sexual molestation of children to who knows what else -- that after all that, there are still folks who give us the full Aunt Pittypat when someone suggests that HEY, the Archbishop is full of, um, beans when he makes like he's innocent of liturgical abuses going on in his archdiocese.

I mean, honestly, people, how big a chump do you have to be?

Greg Bourke

does anyone actually want to be a saint any more and strive a little higher than "I'm not 100% good little boy"?
Or are we comfortable with sitting on "Step one", "the acknowledgement of our sinful nature" [scattered indifferent clapping].

Funny how the people who make a big "singing and dancing" deal about thier imperfection, like thery're the only ones, are often the same ones pleading for acceptance of mediocre liturgies.

Charity does not equate to mindless permissiveness.

OK, so I misread the news article, in fact I admit I didn't read the whole thing - I skimmed it, so for the first time in history a blog commenter gives a mistaken opinion. Sorry.
Like poor ol' Fr. Billian and the accused nun-slasher and Todd, I'm human too.

michigancatholic

*scattered indifferent clapping* ROFLOL

FBC

Rod Dreher:

You've nailed it as usual. Except that in my utter lack of "charity", I highly doubt that the objectors here are chumps. No one who has seen a newspaper in the last two years should be able to use the "invincible ignorance" dodge.

No, they're more like accomplices.

Deck chairs on the Titanic, indeed.

James Kabala

Mr. Dreher:
If your latest remarks bore even the slightest connection to anything that any poster said, I would bother making a full reply to them.
Look, I know that most American bishops are a__h__s. I don't need you to tell me that. However, I refuse to believe that the Eleventh Commandment is "Thou shalt hate all bishops, and judge everything they do in the worst possible light," and I refuse to believe that Rod Dreher is the Voice of God and that anyone who dares to differ from him is a chump, a caterwauler, a quietist, an ecclesiocrat, effeminate, passive, full of cant, etc., etc. No one who posts here regularly molested anyone or covered it up - not even Kevin Miller, believe it or not - and I'm sick of seeing innocent people treated as the moral equivalents of those who have. You have every right to be angry at the bishops, but you still have a duty to conduct yourself like a civilized human being.

Todd

Peace, all.

Once again, I thank many of you for reinforcing my thought that some are enamored of their own suffering. Neil quoted Rowan Williams on my blog earlier tonight,

"It is so hard to come to the point where we are free to say, ‘I must make something from my suffering that will build bridges into the suffering of another’. How much easier to say, ‘My suffering is greater than yours; my needs must override yours.’ And so we never come to a place where justice for everyone can be worked out because we want first of all to have the justice that is ours alone, whatever the expense to anyone else."

People who dwell on the cruelties inflicted upon themselves at liturgy, but who miss the cruelties they inflict on others can try a saint's patience. Maybe that's why so many clergy just tune out.

Inhabitants of bloggerville have made their opinions of me, and of peace, known many times over. I have no complaints against your good "charity," I receive what I expect to get from you. When some of us point out the incongruities of your approach to Catholicism, you dodge, name-call, and whine just like any other human being confronted with their less than graceful behavior.

This thread began with a chuckle at a bishop's comment. It proceeded to a frowny-face session on the Poor, Persecuted, Underground Faithful True Believers (TM) who have to receive hosts from something glass or brass instead of gold. You have your direct line to the Vatican; what else do you need? They responded to your suffering; now what do you want?

Your reaction to this document cheers me. Seriously. It can't be as bad as the lefty doomsayers suggested if MaChurch is still swiping and sniping away.

Good night.

Greg Bourke

I'm just wondering, but why it is assumed that most Catholic bloggers are right wingers?
In particular, why do self described "progressives" assume that those who adhere to church rules are probably right wingers?
Does leftist politics equate to being "progressive"?
Can you be left wing and orthodox?

Do "progressive" see adherence to church documents such as RS as a weakness due to the conservative's "natural" desire to be ruled by the fascist heel?

In contrast, is flouting Vatican documents seen as libertine, creative, and democratic?

William

Wow! And the sparks keep flying!

To tell the truth, I am having a difficult time following who in here is holding what position on the liturgy and on the new document (and the Archbishop's response to it). I guess I'm just too overwhelmed about how tuff everyone is. After all, it's still up in the air whether I am an "effiminate caterwauler." *LOL* Actually, I had to look that last word up in the dictionary; so maybe I don't even belong in this blog.

I only guess, though, that if lex orandi est lex credendi, and if our faith is shown by our works, then there is ample evidence in here that A LOT of people had to endure some very bad liturgies lately. After all, many of these posts were typed on Sunday. I am assuming -- though I know that's not always safe -- that we all participated in the sacred mystery where the Word of God humbled himself and became man, accepted death on a cross, became the first fruits of the resurrection and made himself fully available to us in Holy Communion.

Now I don't happen to have a copy of Sacrosanctum Concilium on me right now. But if memory serves correctly, that document does say something about needing to take that Mystery with us into the world when we leave the Mass. I don't see much mystery in here, though. Just a lot of ranting. But, then, that's a danger when the liturgy is so bad that it fails to effectively communicate its Mystery. Or when the participant is too busy, during Mass, thinking about what his next blog rant is going to be that he fails to receive the communication of that Mystery.

I don't hang around blogs, so I don't really know how this blog compares to more secular blogs. But by what I have seen so far, I doubt I would be able to discern much difference.

As for the call for charity, that is not a sign of weakness. That is a Divine command. And in the Christian (or Catholic) life, that is what seperates us from our more wordly peers. That is also one part of Catholic life that everyone of us has control over regardless of how much control we do or do not have in our parishes' liturgies. It does no good, then, to complain about the sins of our priests and bishops when we can't seem to stop sinning ourselves.

And it is moot to complain that "liberals", "progressives", or whatever they're being called these days didn't show charity to you when you were praying your rosary. God did not command you to show charity to your brother if your brother did not show charity to you. He just tells you to grow perfect in chartity. Period. In fact, Christ commanded you to "love one another as I have loved you." And in one of the letters of John -- I believe it was the first -- we were reminded that Christ loved us even while we were yet sinners. He loved us even when we hated him. That is the charity you are commanded to. It's not conditional.

Someone earlier in the comments to this blog post spoke of the importance of 'fraternal correction'. Well, there you have it folks! My fraternal correction for this evening.

William

Correction:

I'm typing too fast. In the 7th paragraph of my last post is the following sentence:

God did not command you to show charity to your brother if your brother did not show charity to you.

That sentence was mistyped. It should have read:

God did not command you to show charity to your brother if your brother showed charity to you.

Cornelius

Amy,

Your blog is really suffering for the lack of civility in the comments. The name calling is unbelievable for what should be a Christian weblog. The verbal bullies are driving away anyone who disagrees with them. I think I'm going to stop participating, and I've been e-mailed by at least one other person who has already done the same. Living a real Christian life and spending time with my children is so much more productive than wasting my time with people who don't seem to leave their computer keyboards and who honestly seem to think that it is their Catholic vocation to call even fellow, orthdox Catholics "chumps," "accomplices," "caterwaulers," etc.

Whitcomb

Just wondering:

How much of the disagreement on this thread and this blog stems from whether you're a cradle Catholic or a convert?

I sense that it matters a lot, but maybe I misread it.

Thoughts?

I of course welcome all converts to the fold--and yet....there is an air of superiority among *some* converts on everything ranging from apologetics to liturgical abuses to the priest scandal.

I even got an impromptu lecture one day--after remarking how much I enjoy Notre Dame football--from a former Lutheran who said I should not be rooting for ND football since "everybody" knows ND is heterodox.

I went back to my Irish and my beer.

So is cradle v. convert the subtext of St. Blog's, more so than lib v. con Catholics?

Michael

Well, Whitcomb, I'm the one who called for charity, and I'm an adult convert.

Yann The Frenchman

Actually, Whitcomb, I am a cradle catholic and I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with converts (and reverts), because they revitalize and bring new blood to the Church. They fully and really appreciate the Catholic Church and bring back meaning that was buried under self-serving dissent from the Church's spoiled children.

Whitcomb

Yes, Michael, you did and good for you.

I hope my post isn't perceived as lacking in charity. I'm just trying to figure out if cradle v. convert underlines the discussion here. Some posters i.d. themselves as one or the other, and some don't.

For the record, I think there are plenty of uncharitable and defensive cradle Catholics out there.

Rod Dreher

The Christian obligation to charity does not mean having to lie to themselves or others for the sake of politeness, comity, and for the sake of keeping up appearances.

I found out recently that a priest I recall from my childhood, a man I thought had left the priesthood because of alcoholism -- he had been sent out to a treatment center in the desert southwest (Jemez Springs? Please, Lord, let it not be true) -- in fact fell in love with another man in town -- a guy who was married, with a family -- and they ran off together. I had no idea! Nobody dared to talk about it. I bet if you go to that town today, you'll find people who know the truth, but assume it's more charitable not to talk about it.

Is it? I don't live in that town, so I have no direct interest in this. But in light of the past two years' revelations, if my son were involved in any of the youth activities that Fr. X. led back in those days (the 1970s), I would damn sure want to know what kind of treatment facility Fr. X. had been sent to, and for what reason. Is it uncharitable to want to find out these things, even if it makes the pious uncomfortable? I think not.

Cornelius

Nice job, Rod. Once again, you knocked the living heck out of a strawman.

cs

I'm sorry I read this thread.

James Kabala

Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

James Kabala

Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

James Kabala

Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

James Kabala

Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

James Kabala

Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

James Kabala

Sorry about the multiple posts; it was an accident.

William

Rob,

You said:

"The Christian obligation to charity does not mean having to lie to themselves or others for the sake of politeness, comity, and for the sake of keeping up appearances."

It never ceases to amaze me that some people can be so sure of themselves that they will argue a case for the "honor of truth" in defense of their lack of charity.

I have yet to see anyone in here argue a case for lying about anything. I have, on the other hand, heard the argument for civility and christian charity.

The TRUTH is you don't know what is going on in the hearts and minds of the clergy regarding the liturgy. You may know that some liturgical practices are wrong. But you don't know the motives of the person engaging in those practices; unless you ask them and they tell you. So you are NOT faithful to the TRUTH when you assume knowledge of their motives.

The TRUTH is you don't know the motives of others who respond to you in this blog; unless you ask them. So you are NOT faithful to the TRUTH when you assume knowledge of their motives.

Ignatius de Loyola said:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

But then maybe Sant Ignatius was being an effeminate caterwauler when he said that.

You're right. We should not lie for the sake of politeness, comity and keeping up appearances. But we should be polite to those with whom we engage in conversation.

Now to the other point you raised... about a priest who left the priesthood to hook up with a man. You inquire about whether it is more charitable to not talk about it. I answer, and Holy Mother Church answers, yes it is.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

"Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved."

2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 220 No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy.

Unless that ex-priest has done harm in the community that has yet to be remedied, what he did back in the 1970s is none of your business... unless, of course, you are, out of christian charity, going to look him up to talk to him and help save his soul. But, even then, you don't have any reason, being faithful to the Christian command of charity, to share that ex-priest's sins with us.

Michael

William, thank you.

Rod Dreher

JK: Rod, everything you said is true. Unfortunately, the point of view being replied to has not been expressed by anyone on this thread or, as far as I know, anyone in the Catholic blogosphere. If your actually tried to refute your opponents' arguments instead of strawmen of your own creation, you probably would have more fans.

First of all, I don't care if I have fans or not. Secondly, I got into this debate by a) mocking the Archbishop's "I'd be shocked, shocked to discover liturgical abuse going on in my archdiocese" comment. I believe the Archbishop is not telling the truth here, and I believe it's a conscious attempt to mislead the faithful, to pretend that everything's just fine. That's my belief, and some of you find that uncharitable. So be it. I brought up the sex-abuse scandal because we have proof that over and over in the last 15 or 20 years, the bishops put forth a public pretense of being concerned about the situation, and acting like they were doing their very best to stop the abuses.

And as we found out in the past two years, in so many cases they were lying through their teeth.

This is the game they play. I'm not a traddie, but the title of "The Great Facade" is quite apt. It is laughable at this point that anybody would take an archbishop seriously when he expresses surprise at the idea that liturgical abuse would be going on in his archdiocese. If the archbishop is not deliberately lying, then someone should check him for a pulse, because he may not actually be alive (or perhaps he is being held prisoner in a dungeon, where no news of the actual world reaches him).

The episcopal denial and public-relations strategy that we saw employed in the Scandal will be deployed in the liturgical abuse mini-scandal. Of course liturgical abuse is not remotely as serious a problem, and it won't be something that the mainstream press cares about because it doesn't involve a crime. I still can't get over how many of you are willing to assume the very best about our bishops, despite everything, and indeed to consider taking the Pollyanna position as a default matter to be the only morally correct one.

Michael

Rod, I am not "willing to assume the very best about our bishops" in every situation. I've known too many of them. I am not, however, willing to assume the worst about a bishop based on one quotation in a newspaper, especially if I don't know him. You apparently are. If you can take that position, and insult me for mine, I feel sorry for you. Yours is not a "morally correct" position; it is, in fact, an unchristian position.

Ben

Pax Omnes,

Just a couple of points I'd like to make. (1) The Church Militant are people who can be in-gratia or sin-gratia. Nobody in this Church is guaranteed of salvation. Even the saints had scruples about their state. (2) Rod D, it looks like Peter did the same thing, he lied three times and also cut-off the ear of the guard. But he was forgiven and was able to continue despite the attitude. (3) I studied in elementary and high school in a monastic all-boys environment. And I understand what some of the charges here make sense. But then again, this is the Church Militant, even monks and priest are human, they have limits too.

Ben

(4) The community where I grew up had this practice of respecting brothers, monks and priest wearing the cloth. We had this obligation, being part of the laity, to protect and care of them. As such, there will be people who will protect them no matter what.

Fr. Brian Stanley

The archbishop's comment echoes that wonderful character, Louis, chief of police in Casablanca, who was "shocked, shocked" to learn that there was gambling going on in Rick's Cafe Americain, expressing that shock as a cafe employee none-too-surreptitiously handed Louis his winnings from the baccarat table.

Rod's a journalist, and it is his job to investigate comments. Mr. Kubiak, our faithful correspondent and Hoosier, has given some witness to liturgical abuses occuring [metaphorically] right under the archbishop's nose. Rod has had his fair share of run-ins with bishops who have been obfuscating [to put it politely], and others who have been obstructive and down-right deceptive. That he speaks from that experience is no revelation to the regular readers of this blog.

Amy posted this for a reason, and I would be loathe to put words in her mouth. But I suspect that she had just a wee bit of incredulity at Indy's archbishop and his shock. And that's the real story here, isn't it? It might be helpful if we all took a breath, chuckled at the archbishop's shock, and moved on to other, more productive speculation, like is the archbishop [or any other bishop] going to take this document seriously. I know that I do and I have.

Rod Dreher

It's not just a Catholic thing; it's a human tendency. Eight days ago, the Dallas Morning News published a special section called "Dallas At the Tipping Point," which focused on how there are several downward trends in the city starting to converge, and if the people here don't take strong action to reverse them now, Dallas may "tip" over into an all-but-irreversible decline.

It was rather shocking to read the section, and see how several city leaders reacted to the data with which they were presented. They were quoted as either refusing to look at it, saying the newspaper was engaging in bad faith by bringing it up, saying the newspaper was making the city look bad in front of other cities with whom we're competing for business, etc. There's been some of that reaction too within the city.

Others, however, have written to tell us thanks for being brutally honest, because the only way we can arrest the decline and make the city healthy again is by telling the truth about what's going on, and what we need to do to save the place we all love.

Yet, as I said, there is, and always will be, a strong all-boosterism, all-the-time segment of the population. The kind who say, "There's not a problem, and we're working as hard as we can to fix it."

Todd

Peace, Fr Brian.

"Rod's a journalist, and it is his job to investigate comments."

If that is the case, Rod should practice journalism, not speculative commentary. Even an editorial staff has standards about what hits print.

A wee bit of incredulity I can appreciate. If it's wee, we can just move on from there, as you say.

James Kabala

I don't know why I care about the Archbishop or this thread anymore, but before an apocryphal quote starts making its way around the blogosphere, it should be noted that "shocked" was Amy's word, deliberately echoing Captain Renault, not the Archbishop's. While I think that the Amy/Rod interpretation is probably the correct one, I still think that the more ambiguous interpretation advanced by me and Cornelius is not out of the question. (Stacey: Your comments made a good point, but I think that "some of the" is a little different from just "some." If someone said, "I can't believe that some of the posters here are heretics," it probably does mean "I believe that none are heretics," but I think that "There are some who I can't believe are heretics, although others may be" would not be an impossible reading.)
Rod: Those last posts were (relatively) calm. If you had taken that tone from the beginning, there would probably be thirty fewer posts and everyone would be happier and more relaxed

James Kabala

Actually, as I re-read the original quote, I see that he did say "astonished," which is pretty much the same as "shocked." So I take back my first sentence, but not my remarks to Stacey or Rod.

Rod Dreher

By happenstance, I heard tonight from an old priest friend. Fr. N. mentioned to me that he had recently run into Fr. X. Fr. N. said to me, "When Fr. X. was ordained and assigned to be an assistant at [name] parish, under Father [notorious pedophile priest, later exposed and convicted], I warned him about Father's reputation. He looked at me with disgust and said, 'Shame on you for your lack of charity.' But he found out that I was telling the truth, and it's all but wrecked his priesthood. He refused to believe me, though, because the truth was too ugly for him to take."

James Kabala

Isn't there a difference between knowing something for a fact (as Fr. N apparently did) and insinuating based on scanty evidence (as others have done in other cases)? Don't the old-fashioned sins of rash judgment and detraction (not to mention self-righteousness toward us lesser mortals who apparently can't handle the truth) count for anything anymore?

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