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Buh-Bye

posted by awelborn

Raleigh Diocesan paper editor fired.

Apparently for an interview he ran in the paper:

A retired sociology professor who served as a Catholic priest in New York, Powers approached Gossman in 1997 about writing the history. Gossman authorized the book and gave Powers full access to diocesan archives to do his research. The book was published in October.

In the article, Strange asked Powers some general questions about the state of the Catholic Church. Powers criticized the church for being unable to recruit enough priests.

“To me, the Catholic Church is sick,” Strange quoted Powers as saying. “No organization has trouble finding key workers unless there is something wrong with it. God’s giving us a message here; something’s got to give.”

Powers said opening the priesthood to women and married men would continue to be an issue. Powers also said the U.S. Church may be “following the pattern emerging” in nations such as France, Italy and Ireland, where Mass attendance has declined and “the Church no longer seems relevant.”

“It will change. It has to. The show is over unless it does change,” Powers told Strange.

Gossman’s decision to fire Strange shocked and surprised many people connected with the Church. It also sent a chill through the Catholic Center staff. None of those reached were willing to comment on the record about the decision.

“What it also did is it put an incredible pall of anxiety over the whole Catholic Center, where everybody there now feels they could have the same experience if they step out of line in the slightest,” said Powers, who spoke with friends he made while working on the book.

A spokesman for Gossman, asked about Strange’s dismissal, said the bishop would not comment on personnel matters. On the day he fired Strange, the bishop–who’s known as a liberal-minded prelate–distributed copies of Powers’ book as a Christmas gift to all the priests of the diocese during his annual Christmas party.



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Patrick Sweeney

posted January 2, 2004 at 2:39 pm


Just a reminder from a bishop that he has the unlimited power of a monarch and not the limitations nor accountability of a CEO.



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Tom Kelty

posted January 2, 2004 at 3:27 pm


“When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
This is a truism we used in mental health work to remind each other that we might be abusing our authority in clinical practice. The sad truth is that the good Bishop has many alternatives. I seem to remember that in the early church fraternal correction called for involving two or three of the faithful in the process. Christ never spoke of priests or bishops and He never layed hands on heads. Our clerical caste is a product of the early communities and of continual development. At the very least all of us must overcome our addiction to absolute power in the spiritual and the temporal order. Read the history of Vatican 1 and Pio Nono as seen by Cardinal Newman and Lord Acton. Our current crisis shows our need to examine our roots in a spirit of love and openess to change. Pray always…Given the high regard the Bishop enjoys this was probably part of a long series of disagreements. Still the timing!! sheeesh



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James Freeman

posted January 2, 2004 at 3:29 pm


I don’t hold with women priests, but I do agree with the premise that something is very, very wrong in a Church that produces insufficient vocations.
Perhaps THE key thing wrong is the sad fact that, in the Catholic Church today, the truth does not set you free. It gets your ass fired.



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Tom Buller

posted January 2, 2004 at 3:29 pm


I think this may be the understatement of the year.
“Gossman’s decision to fire Strange shocked and surprised many people connected with the Church.”
Since moving to North Carolina five years ago I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Gossman a few times and have come very impressed with him. On top of that, praise for him has been universal from liberal to conservative priests and laypeople. I have yet to hear anything bad about him until this article, which I read yesterday.
Two things, the Independent is not the most christian friendly paper (think NY Times). And, based on the bishop’s past record I would recommend not making harsh judgements until the full story comes out. For the moment I give the bishop the benefit of the doubt.



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Fr. Shawn O'Neal

posted January 2, 2004 at 7:30 pm


Doggone it — the one time I throw away my copy of the _NC Catholic_ in the recycle bin by accident….



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Todd

posted January 3, 2004 at 5:27 am


Peace, all.
Feudalism and the dark ages never died. It’s still alive and bright in the episcopal culture.
“To me, the Catholic Church is sick …”
This seems the understatement of the piece.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 3, 2004 at 2:02 pm


James Freeman:
I don’t hold with women priests, but I do agree with the premise that something is very, very wrong in a Church that produces insufficient vocations.
Perhaps THE key thing wrong is the sad fact that, in the Catholic Church today, the truth does not set you free. It gets your ass fired.

That last paragraph ought to be chiseled into the millstones prepared for You Know Who.
I am the father of a four year old son and the soon to be father of a second son. My foremost prayer is that all of us in my family be faithful to God’s vocational calling. But my implicit prayer is that God never call my sons to the priestly life. Even though I count good priests as among my closest friends, and even though their example is heroic, I can’t say that I would find the Catholic priesthood today as anything but a miserable cross. Let me make it perfectly clear that I have nothing but the highest respect for good men who choose, in the face of impossible odds, to become priests today, and I hope my remark is not interpreted as a slam on them.
Still, consider what a prospective priest has to look forward to: entering a profession that is heavily populated by homosexuals, many of whom are sexually active, and out to undermine Church teaching on sexuality; a brotherhood bound by unquestioned obedience to a bishop who is more often than not chosen not because of personal holiness or pastoral giftedness or a charism of authentic Christian leadership, but for his clubbability and conformity not with the Gospel, but with the old-boy network; the near-certainty that if the priest is treated unjustly by the chancery, that there will be no redress for him, nor for the people he serves; the presumption by many in the world that he, the priest, is probably some kind of child molester, and at least the servant of a system that enables child molestation, and maybe even mints child molesters; the likelihood that if you are innocent but accused of child abuse, your bishop will probably hang you out to dry to save himself; and the crushing loneliness of not knowing whom he can trust within parish life or the priesthood itself, the center having fallen apart.
To be a priest today is to have to have the courage of a Frodo Baggins, to undertake an impossible and deadly quest because that was your fate (or, in Christian terms, because God asked you to). God still calls Frodos, and maybe he’ll call one or more of my sons. But I hope he spares us that cross. I cannot in good conscience encourage my boys to consider life devoted to this dysfunctional institution. May they be called to serve the Lord in the Church in a way that keeps them as far away from bishops and all their pomps and works as possible.



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mcmlxix

posted January 3, 2004 at 4:00 pm


How selfish and ultimately shortsighted. You should pray that God calls your sons to the priesthood — everyone should. As a culture, because we have so few children (fallout from the contraceptive mentality) we cling to and manipulate our children in ever more ways that denies that children are in reality divine gifts.



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Todd

posted January 3, 2004 at 4:25 pm


Peace, 1969.
I wouldn’t say “selfish” but I do appreciate and share Rod’s cynicism and pessimism, even if it is on a different wavelength.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 3, 2004 at 5:00 pm


Selfish or not, that’s the way I’m going to raise my boys. If you don’t like it, why don’t you work to make the Church the kind of institution that a father could feel good about encouraging his sons (and daughters) to give their lives to.
Besides which, we do not contracept, and we will accept as many children as God will give us. If God calls any of them to the religious life, we will support that. Prior to 2002, I would have positively encouraged it. I’ve learned far too much about what good men have to face to serve God as a priest to have any enthusiasm for such a life for my children left in me. I hope I live long enough to regain my confidence.
Let me suggest MCMLXIX that you settle yourself down and try to understand why an orthodox Catholic father would come to such a conclusion rather than respond with pious cliches that have nothing to do with who I am and the kind of family I’m raising.



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Tess

posted January 3, 2004 at 9:13 pm


Is this some kind of American phenomenon? Perhaps I’m really out of the loop as far as New Zealand goes, but as far as I know we don’t have these kind of issues to anywhere near the same degree. Not to say we don’t have issues, but there doesn’t seem to be the same culture of bishop-king-CEO. I mean, if I wanted to go and visit my Bishop, I’d just go and pop over to his place and say hi.



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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted January 3, 2004 at 11:36 pm


Rod,
You should be in a few parishes where the men are good men. We have them in our diocese in Columbus, Ohio. The young priests are holy men. It bodes well for the future. There are guys looking at vocations in our small parish just because the priest takes his vocation seriously and it shows.
The way we raised our children was to show them by our words and actions that from the grassroots comes renewal in the Church. They need the strength and where to get it so they can affect a lot of people.
You’re in a position to see all the crap and crud in the Church. You’re also in a position to challenge that crap and crud. But come to fly-over country and you’ll see a lot of good shoots coming up amidst the weeds. The Church is turning around, one person at a time. I’m very hopeful even while I know how low all of us have fallen as a Church. Yes, it is sad that we need heavy Catechizing that isn’t being done. I look back in history and see the same thing that happened. St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Everyone brought us to where we got to.
My daughter homeschools her kids as do a whole bunch of people and they are making sure their kids are getting super education as well as super faith involvement. That’s just one point of evidence. Her boys would make wonderful priests and we would encourage them to add to the pool. We would also instruct them that their Church is sinful and they will run into that sinfulness. They would be well prepared. And God can work through them for the betterment of his Church.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 3, 2004 at 11:36 pm


Tess: I mean, if I wanted to go and visit my Bishop, I’d just go and pop over to his place and say hi.
That would be no more possible in this diocese, or any that I’ve ever lived in, than it would be possible to pop in on the Pope for a cup of coffee and a laugh. When we lived in New York, an elderly Catholic told me that back in his day, bishops were a lot more accessible, and weren’t surrounded by layers and layers of staff. More importantly (he said), bishops weren’t so high and mighty.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 4, 2004 at 1:00 am


Jeanne, I live in flyover country, remember. And we’re homeschooling too.
I was just corresponding with a priest a few minutes ago about this issue, and I said to him that if we were living in a situation in which the Church were persecuted by the government, like in communist Poland, I’d be almost excited by the prospect that my son or sons would consider the priesthood. But when the persecution of good priests comes from within the Church primarily, as in our country presently, I despair bitterly over the prospect. Why is that, do you suppose?
I’m kind of thinking that it might be like someone thinking of their son going into military service in a time of war against an enemy. You’d be scared for him, sure, but you’d be so proud of his courage and self-sacrifice. But what if he were going into a military in which the officer corps was corrupt, self-serving, and possibly even working for the enemy? You’d still be proud of your son for having the courage to serve his country, especially under such rotten conditions, but you’d probably worry far more about what kind of number would be done to his mind and his soul by that.



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mcmlxix

posted January 4, 2004 at 1:15 am


I’m sorry that I wasn’t aware that being bitter and beleaguered was synonymous with orthodoxy. I also didn’t know that suggesting that our children are the solution was a pious platitude. Nor did I state concern over any individual contracepting (or not as the case may be) but rather a society that contracepts. Mea culpa.



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John

posted January 4, 2004 at 5:40 am


MCmlxix:
Rod does not need me (or anyone else) to come to his aid. So this note is not for that. But I understand his bitterness. In recent times, with very few exceptions, our bishops have not served the Church well.
They have failed to protect our Children from sexual predators; they pay only lipservice to the Pope’s teachings on matters of faith and morals; they fail to correct dissidents — clerical or otherwise; (the occasional bishop who tries correcting dissidents gets nothing but cold silence from the majority;) they seem to ignore their duty to catechize unless the subject is political of which they are not experts; they give us slovenly liturgies; they are ready to abolish holidays of obligation to; they fear the secular media more than God; they fail to defend Church teaching when attacked; and on and on.
All I am saying is that Rod does have a point.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 4, 2004 at 9:49 am


I’m sorry that I wasn’t aware that being bitter and beleaguered was synonymous with orthodoxy. I also didn’t know that suggesting that our children are the solution was a pious platitude.
Two pious platitudes right there. Yes I’m bitter, and yes I’m beleaguered, but I don’t claim that has anything to do with orthodoxy; it has to do with reality. Hope is a virtue, but hope is not the same thing as a mindless optimism that fails to account honestly for the facts on the ground. And sure, “our children” are the solution just like “faith” is the solution, and “love”; these truisms tell us nothing about the nature of the problem, or what might usefully be done to overcome it.
I’m thinking just now of the seminarian I interviewed in 2002. He was at the time we spoke studying in a diocesan seminary in the Southwest, but he had been in an order seminary before he escaped, with the help of a priest friend. N. was startled by the strong and active homosexual presence in the order seminary when he began, but was determined to keep his head down and see things through to ordination. Then he entered the second phase of formation, which required that he move to another site within the order. There the homosexuality was even more pronounced. He reached the breaking point when the rector of that particular place posted a sign ordering the seminarians not to come to the Halloween dance in drag, as they had in years past. So the men came dressed as leathermen, and danced with each other. “I stood at the side not believing what I was seeing,” N. told me. He added that a few laypeople who had been invited were pretty liberal, but even they were shocked by what they were seeing.
This young man was able to get out of that seminary after that event, and found a place in a decent diocesan program. The thing he told me that sticks with me more than anything else was that he would repeatedly tell his parents what was really going on in the seminary throughout his experience, re: the homosexual corruption (men having sex with each other, the Church’s teaching being trashed in class, etc.) — and his parents refused to believe him.
Honest to God, I don’t think I could live with myself if the faith I brought my children up to pledge their lives to became the instrument of their spiritual or physical corruption in this way. I’ve tossed and turned on some nights over this. At this point, I don’t have any intention of letting my boys be altar boys. I feel bad about this, but having seen what has happened to so many boys whose parents trusted the Church, I want no part of that. If something happened to one of my children, I don’t know what I’d do with myself, but I do know that I would be in exactly the same place as poor Horace Patterson: believing in God, but unable to have anything to do with the Catholic Church. I won’t risk that, and I won’t put my boys in that kind of situation. Call me bitter, call me beleaguered, but that’s the way it is.



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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted January 4, 2004 at 10:57 am


Rod,
I guess when I said fly-over country, I meant no big cities. I never considered Dallas in fly-over country. I did spend the night reviewing what I had posted here and started being able to name Bishops who were the “good guys”. One was Bishop Carlson of Sioux Falls SD where my son-in-law is the director of Adult Faith Formation and Theology on Tap and the diocesan person to look for for Theology, etc. Carlson had an awesome homily on Pro-Life Sunday castigating our Senators etal for their stand, among other things. It was on the internet on the Sioux Falls web-site. I was so pleased to hear that. And some good Bishops are now being named by the nuncio since the scandals.
I won’t dispute your allegations of the seminaries as I know they can be as you say because our son went to Theological College at Catholic U. in DC and found it to be so, except they kept it under wraps more. There are seminaries that are good. The Josephinum here in Columbus is good and our diocese is benefitting from it. The rectors who come out of there are being selected as good bishops in Nebraska and other points west. That’s why I’m so hopeful. We can use a little good news.
I’m not naive as I hear all the drivel that comes through the grapevine. But I also hear the good. I know a canon lawyer (lay) who is helping the accussed priests (by their bishops)who are innocent but need to have their good name back. It’s dog eat dog out there.
I’ve gone through an intense time of suffering and I offered it up for the Church. I can’t believe the Lord will not hear my prayers. And as you say, you may not let your boys be altar servers – but what if you get a good priest and you KNOW he is good? Even in Boston there is some light. I have friends up there and they are saintly people. St. Thomas More said “Times are never so bad that good men can’t live in them.”



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Conor Dugan

posted January 4, 2004 at 2:37 pm


I’ve got to be honest I find Rod’s comments to be over the top and hysterical in the worst sense of that word. I agree that the Church is not in a healthy way right now. I agree that some bishops abuse their power (though I am not sure that this firing is clearly an example of that, we simply don’t have enough facts). I agree that some holy and good priests have been badly treated by their bishops. But at the same time, Rod’s comments seem so detached from the reality of my experience as a Catholic. I am 25 years old, a cradle Catholic, a newly wed and praying fervently that my future children will be blessed with priestly and religious vocations (I already have a child on the way). Reading Rod’s comments one would think that every bishop is corrupt, that having a child as an altar server is a sure ticket to his being abused (that doesn’t jibe with the good priests Rod knows), that basically the bottom has fallen out. I don’t think that’s an accurate picture of the situation. I am now living in the Archdiocese of Newark and I the sense I get of this diocese along with others in the Northeast is that there is an incredible amount of stability. The parish I am in seems typical. The pastor is a true father to the parish, is a contact person for Courage, prayers and encouragement are offered for vocations, and there are four priests stationed at the parish. Most importantly the priests seem happy and well-balanced. I grew up in the diocese of Grand Rapids which certainly is not vibrant but again still has strong parishes and Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in several parishes. I went to law school in South Bend where the diocese also seems fairly solid and healthy. I am not talking about ground breaking stuff here I just talking about stability. I am not articulating well but Rod’s words simply do not jibe with my experience or I would suggest that of many, many faithful. We don’t have our heads in the sand. Our eyes are open.
Also, when has the Church ever been that healthy. The sickness in the hierarchy mimicks our own sickness as lay people in my mind.
The other thing that irks me about such comments is it evidences too pat and easy a view about the bishops. It is very, very easy to play armchair bishop or armchair administrator. I am not trying to excuse behavior. I am trying to suggest that reasonable minds can differ. On this score, I think of Cardinal George’s response to the letter of the priests on the question of homosexuality last week or the week before. Anyhow, I need to do some work. What I mean to say is that we can let the bad actions of a few (and I still think we are talking about a few, relative to the world-wide communion and the communion of saints through time) poison us so that we cannot recognize the signs of hope and renewal.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 4, 2004 at 4:42 pm


Newark. Ah, Newark…



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Rod Dreher

posted January 4, 2004 at 6:44 pm


Conor, I respect your opinion, and in private e-mails to you — which I’d like to ask you not to discuss in this public forum — I wanted to give you some concrete reasons why I feel the way I do, despite knowing good and faithful priests at whose altar I would be proud to have my sons serve. Believe me, I hate — I hate — to feel this way. But I’m scared. I was deeply, deeply affected by talking to Horace and Janet Patterson, whose son Eric was a victim of a pedophile priest (Fr. Larsen, now in jail), and who killed himself over it. Four other boys who were also victims later became suicides. The Pattersons were solid Catholics who trusted their priests and their bishop, who knew all about Fr. Larsen, yet allowed him to serve anyway. I also know, in part because priests I trust have told me, that there are still in parishes to this day priests who ought not be there because they are a danger to children. I am afraid to trust. I don’t think my fears are unfounded. I pray that God will grant me the grace to trust again, but if I were ever wrong about a priest, just once, and one of my sons were harmed, I would want to die. Literally, to die, for having failed my boys. I cannot bear to think of that day.
What I told Conor in private correspondence was essentially this: over the past two years, a great deal of credible information has come to me, in my capacity as a journalist, from priests and laymen who testify to very serious corruption in various dioceses and religious orders, all having to do with the sexual exploitation of children, mostly, but also the sexual exploitation of seminarians and others. What I and many other reporters have found is that as credible as we believe these reports to be, we have not been able to publish or broadcast them because those with direct knowledge of the various situations will not come forward and put their name to the accusations, and there is no documentation for them (at least none that has been produced). You simply cannot go public with this kind of extremely damaging information unless at least two people in a position to know are willing to put their names to the accusations. And so vastly more than has been reported already has gone unreported.
Two of the most frustrating, and personally painful, cases I can think of involved men who are priests (or in one case, a seminarian) who had simply staggering stories to tell, but who were afraid to go public. In the worse of the two cases, the priest was terrified that he would be betraying Jesus if he went public, and showed me the documents to prove his case; the priest’s family was begging him to do the brave thing and tell what he knew, and to quit covering up for the sexual abusers in his religious order. But the priest never found the courage. In the second case, also involving a religious order, the seminarian was terrified that he would be thrown out of the order, and his lifelong dream of being a priest would end. I wish he had found the courage to tell the truth too (his story involved the rape of seminarians in his order), but I’m in no position to judge him for his fear.
The point is, the scandal is much worse than most Catholics know, or will know. I can’t unlearn the things I’ve learned. I wish I had reason to believe that the bishops, all the way to the Bishop of Rome, were serious about cleaning out the Augean stables. But I don’t. I don’t know whether you, Conor, in being so trusting are a knight of faith or yet another good Catholic who may be taken advantage of by devils posing as angels. Believe me, I would truly love to be in the position one day to ask God to forgive me for not trusting, but I have too much to lose if I do trust, and am wrong. They are my sons, and I am responsible for them.



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Tom

posted January 4, 2004 at 7:16 pm


At a Parish Mission in Atlanta a few years back, Fr. Benedict Groeschel said the he was getting tired of everyone bemoaning the sorry state of the Church. Everyone, he said, declares that things have never been worse. Well, Fr. Groeschel went on to remind us when things were really bad–when the Church consisted of 13 men, one of whom had just betrayed its founder who had just been put to death. “It’s been all uphill from there,” he concluded.
A bit sanguine? Perhaps. But it’s a good reminder that these times of difficulty are times of great grace–and a time for action by men and women of faith. Perhaps Rod’s actions fall into that category but I think his bitter words do not. As a 40-year old cradle Catholic, I am daily amazed at the fidelity, creativity, and love for the Church poured out in such places as Open Book, Eve Tushnet, Cranky Professor, and even (in a much smaller way) Christus Victor.
So, keep the faith, brothers and sisters. We are called to love one another and in that way demonstrate the reality of Christ and the Trinity.



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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted January 4, 2004 at 9:42 pm


Rod,
Since your above post, I can see where you and the Church are coming from and I wish it were better in the Church. Maybe it is better that the common person doesn’t know these things. We do our best and go ahead. People with solid faith wouldn’t be rattled but those who cling to fragility could lose all hope in their Church. It IS scary and that’s when I have to depend on God’s protection. I pray daily that Jesus’ Blood covers us and our possessions for protection from all harm and all evil. That relaxes me greatly as the kids traverse the world.
If the Church is this way, then certainly society is this way also. Priests come out of our society. So what will you do about your boys (and girls) in the general society? It’s a jungle out there but how will you handle that? Parents have to teach their kids about inappropriate touching and actions, and have an open communication with them. Looking back to when I was a kid (a long way back) I was very wary and sensitive to weird behavior and ran the other way. I learned that from somewhere. The other thing I know is for the parent to be around the children and their elders and peers to see what’s going on. I think the cases you describe come from parents’ naivety about all priests’ innocence. As Reagan said about the Soviet Union and it’s changing: “Trust but verify.” I think that applies to all of life. The trust here, though, comes from the fact you are talking to your children in an open manner and they will respond.
The earth has shifted under our feet with its morals and people aren’t aware of it happening so they don’t know how to respond to this shift. People think that now is as it always was. You are aware of this shift, this earthquake. And I hope you are able to help the rest of us know the cost.



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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted January 4, 2004 at 9:49 pm


PS.
I have a daughter who is the Compliance/Review Coordinator in one of the diocese. My question is, Can each diocese find these priests and do something about them? Her diocese is. I thought that was the idea of this review and Child Protection Act that is set up. It seems like they are working at it seriously, even in our diocese. In our diocese one priest who is probably innocent (so says a close person) is accused and let go by the Bishop. This is the fallout.



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Jimmy Mac

posted January 4, 2004 at 11:00 pm


Sonuvagun. Some of us have finally discovered that many of our priests have feet of clay. And all along we were so smug that our “ontologically different” presbyters were head and shoulders above those prod ministers. Gee, maybe because our guys ARE human with all of the panoply of faults, we will finally take them off their pedestals, see them for the humans that they are, and help them help us help us all to discover that then only one due to be put on the pedestal is the one who died on the cross.



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Tess

posted January 5, 2004 at 4:58 am


Rod: That would be no more possible in this diocese, or any that I’ve ever lived in, than it would be possible to pop in on the Pope for a cup of coffee and a laugh.
Well that’s the root problem isn’t it? In our diocese, Bishop John is just part of the local landscape. Okay, New Zealand is a very small country, but even so, if your Bishops aren’t a vital, involved part of the community then they aren’t being true Bishops. I don’t know about lawyers, I mean obviously there must be some, but I’ve never heard anything from them. As far as I know there isn’t even a PR person. Just looked at our website, nope, no PR.
I can’t offer any advice as to how to deal with your Bishops, but I have to say it seems like a very strange way to be a shepard to your flock if your flock can’t even have a cuppa with you when they need to.
Still, at least now you know it isn’t a Catholic problem per se, down here we’re doing just great…



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Jim

posted January 5, 2004 at 7:40 am


Rod, I appreciate your sharing of your experiences. It has been clear to me for some time that the lack of priests is at least partly due to the Church’s loss of trust with parents. Your depiction of what faces a young priest these days is accurate. It is not a pretty picture. But access to privileged sources is not really necessary to understand the current situation. Anyone interested in finding out the parameters of the problem from public sources can do so.
This week the Bishops’ Conference will release another report on the crisis. It will be a shock for some, given the extent of the problem. We’ll see if they choose to soft-peddle the problem one more time.



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Peggy

posted January 5, 2004 at 10:47 am


Rod, you really ought to check out Arlington VA Diocese. We have no altar girls. [Our pastor is holding an adult education session on why altar girls and male celebate priesthood are incompatible.] The young orthodox priests are our strength. Now, I don’t know of any masses in Latin, except some parishes on a special occasion, I think, but our Novus Ordo is pretty darn sacred. I don’t know Bp Loverde on any sort of a personal level, so I can’t speak to that. I have no complaints about how he’s running things around here, however. He comes to our parish on Saturdays about once a month or two to celebrate a Mass for Life, then proceeds to lead us in prayer at an abortion mill a few minutes from our parish–with only one handler and a seminarian in tow. It ain’t all bad in the church. A “liberal” or “unorthodox” parish/priest would be the odd man out, here.



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posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




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