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Via Media


Ministers of Annoyance

posted by awelborn

If you were confused by the press coverage of the disruption of the celebrations of the Feast of the Assumption at the shrine in Carey, Ohio, you’re not alone. However, David Hartline of the Catholic Report took a trip over there yesterday and reports more details on what happened. Apparently the disruptive group was composed of fundamentalists who engaged in some serious harrassment.



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Gerard E.

posted August 16, 2005 at 9:48 am


Odd phenomenon, anti-Catholicism. What the hard left and these screwballs would mutually embrace. So these maroons saved their pennies and picked up a few camcorders at the nearby Circuit City. Wonder if they would get their productions on the handful of far left teevee channels, usually on local cable systems, that serve as havens for these whackjobs. Or feature the daily show ‘Democracy Now’ starring the illustrious Amy Goodman. Loons of a feather flying together and all…..



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Patrick Rothwell

posted August 16, 2005 at 9:55 am


There are, however, some rag-tag extremist Catholics who behave like this. One fanatic at a former parish once waged a bizarre campaign of harrassment against various enemies including disrupting services, punching a gay couple during the peace, and violently screaming in the back of the church at organizers of a Saul Alinski-esque pressure group. It took several years before he was eventually banned from the parish.



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Patrick Rothwell

posted August 16, 2005 at 9:58 am


I must say that the name “Ministry of Annoyance” has a certain kind of panache to it. It almost sounds like a send-up of a rap or hip-hop group a la Spinal Tap.



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Maclin Horton

posted August 16, 2005 at 9:58 am


Haven’t I heard some sort of radical Catholic dissenters apply that title (“Ministry of Annoyance”) to themselves?



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Maclin Horton

posted August 16, 2005 at 9:59 am


Sorry, crossed posts with Patrick.



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted August 16, 2005 at 10:01 am


A priest I know was ordained a week before the vernacular was mandated in American parishes (okay, I have my doubts if it ever was really mandated but that was his description). He was celebrating Mass a week or two after he was ordained and a guy stood up and came down the center aisle waving a Rosary around his head and began yelling about the changes that had been mandated. People in the congregation hissed back at the man. Eventually I think he left. A few weeks later Father John was told, “Your friend was looking for you?” Father John who had only been helping out at the parish was told that a few weeks later the Rosary man was hiding in the bushes at night and tackled a priest as he was walking between the rectory and the church. So Patrick is right. We have our own kooks.
But let’s be honest. This behavior was both ahistorical and despicable.



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Patrick Rothwell

posted August 16, 2005 at 10:27 am


There is also a group of obnoxious evangelicals in England that regularly protest processions of the Blessed Virgin in Walsingham, England. I think they usually target the C of E’s but I think they go after Catholics too. Here is a link to the protestors with some pictures.
http://www.ianpaisley.org/new_details.asp?ID=338



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Nance

posted August 16, 2005 at 10:31 am


These folks sound like kooks; honestly, when I read the story yesterday, I suspected it was a performance-art piece.
But honestly, the next thing I thought of was people who come to gay-pride parades to “witness” against homosexuality. Same impulse, same obnoxiousness and sometimes, same scuffling.



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Chris

posted August 16, 2005 at 12:00 pm


I live in Michigan, but … what press coverage?
Can anyone link?



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Maureen

posted August 16, 2005 at 12:11 pm


I Googled to find out if their name referred to something, and only found the following funny comment in an online sermon: “Being persecuted because you have the gift of suspiciousness and a ministry of annoyance doesn’t make you spiritual.” Heh.
http://www.pghfamily.net/moregrace/level_place.htm



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Zhou

posted August 16, 2005 at 12:12 pm


To answer Maclin Horton,
Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) lists “Ministry of Irritation” as their first of three ministries, the other two being Ministry of Walking with Women Called and Ministry of Prophetic Obedience.
If a woman is a Minister of Irritation, would you great here with “Salve!” (there is a bit of humor there).



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A Holy Fool

posted August 16, 2005 at 1:33 pm


My, my but don’t Anti-Catholics of diametrically opposed political perspectives have awfully similar methodologies? There are the kooks we read about in Amy’s post and a few commentors. Then there’s our friends, ACT UP:

Also in 1989, ACT UP/New York’s “Stop the Church” demonstration disrupted Roman Catholic John Cardinal O’Connor’s Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral to protest his opposition to condom distribution.
————————————-
In light of some of these actions, particularly the “Stop the Church” demonstration, ACT UP found itself responding to critics arguing that it had simply gone too far. The confrontational and, many felt, offensive “Stop the Church” demonstration strategy engendered considerable criticism of ACT UP from both within and outside the broader gay and lesbian movement. This and other actions exacerbated an already existing tension within the gay and lesbian movement, between those who favored more traditional lobbying activities and those who embraced the radical direct action associated with ACT UP. Many ACT UP activists became increasingly intolerant of those who worried that direct action alienated important policy elites.

When even some gay-rights activists think a group has bashed Catholics too far, is it safe to say they’re Anti-Catholic as well? Somehow, I doubt they’ll see eye-to-eye with the “Ministry of Annoyance.”
The message of the group is almost beside the point; in the end, Anti-Catholics are Anti-Catholic. Yes, we have our own nuts, but consider the scale,frequency and similarity in which Anti-Catholic Groups attack Catholics. I doubt you’ll find our kooks even come close!
Agents of evil, unwitting or not, try yet another pincer move. How shocking.



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Dave Hartline

posted August 16, 2005 at 1:54 pm


Just when you thought most of the kooks were now on the left, we get a blast from the past on the right. The reason I decided to write about it was because some that were there on Sunday implored me to do so. I was told the older Catholic people were the ones who tried to calm everyone down, but it was the younger Catholic crowd that got the most angry. Maybe because they never saw anything like it!
One young man from Detroit clad in some modified hip hop attire got me thinking when he said, “Do you know what would have happened back home if someone would have came into the neighborhood and did something like this. Why do these crazies think they can push us Catholics around? They wouldn’t do this to other minority groups on their home turf.”
He made some good points. He said he wasn’t advocating violence but felt we needed to act more like the “angry Jesus confronting the Temple moneychangers” sometimes. You can say what you want but the young man does have a point. No other minority group gets this kind of treatment and gets away with it. I don’t know if it was Jeff Foxworthy or some other comedian that said, “The only two groups you can still make fun of are Catholics and Rednecks.” Here’s that link from ONN. If it doesn’t work go to my site and click on yesterday’s news. It really isn’t any different from Amy’s link.
http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=3721390&nav=LQlCdKIl



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Chris

posted August 16, 2005 at 2:55 pm


OK I’m really confused.
If you were confused by the press coverage of the disruption of the celebrations of the Feast of the Assumption at the shrine in Carey, Ohio, you’re not alone.
Amy, were you being sarcastic and meant lack of press coverage?
Because I’m looking for a MSM link.



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Mary Jane

posted August 16, 2005 at 4:39 pm


Just an observation. In the comments, many went directly to reporting on bad things Catholics of the “conservative stripe” had done. I’m not excusing anyone disrupting Masses or jumping out of bushes at the clergy. At the same time, why are we so ready to discuss our own faults? And no, don’t jump out of the bushes on me personally. I was just struck by this when I read the comments.



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Julia

posted August 16, 2005 at 5:23 pm


“a week before the vernacular was mandated in American parishes (okay, I have my doubts if it ever was really mandated but that was his description”
A friend and I were each married in the year of 1966. I seemed to remember that the Mass was still in Latin and she swears her wedding Mass was in English.
Anybody know when the changed happened? Or did it happened slowly depending on the diocese you were in? I just can’t remember.



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Julia

posted August 16, 2005 at 5:27 pm


When I first read the report, my immediate reaction was: it must be those guys from the Ministry of Silly Walks in Cleese’s Flying Circus.
Now I have to confess bad thoughts.



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amy

posted August 16, 2005 at 5:44 pm


Chris:
I linked to it yesterday on this blog.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 16, 2005 at 6:17 pm


We should find out where the “Ministry” fellowship then pelt their church with copies of PILLAR OF FIRE PILLAR OF TRUTH & a ton of Catholic Answers tracks.
Then for good measure we should ride by their church & play Scott Hahn’s conversion story at full blast.
That’ll learn um.;-)



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Wodamark

posted August 16, 2005 at 6:56 pm


This gives a chance to defend our Mother. Don’t go talkin’ about my Mama!



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Donna

posted August 16, 2005 at 8:31 pm


I’ve never understood the charge that we “worship Mary like God.” Even if you explain that what we do is venerate her and ask for her intercession, the response is often still hostile. “Mary is just a woman, she’s nobody special.” Do they honestly think Our Lord sees His Mother as “nobody special?” Or that God just (metaphorically speaking, of course), closed His eyes and tossed a dart at a map of Israel and it just happened to land on Mary’s house – it could have just as easily been Sarah down the road?
I once told a Protestant friend, “Somehow, I just can’t believe that God will be angry at RC’s because they venerated and loved very holy and noble human beings and asked for their help.” The Protestant refusal to honor Mary and the saints has always seemed mean and stingy to me.



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David Kubiak

posted August 17, 2005 at 12:55 am


Somebody should try out the “Co-Redemptrix” idea on this bunch and see the reaction they get.
Every time I write that title I expect to be struck by a thunderbolt. I find it beyond theologically suspect — to me it is blasphemous, plain and simple.



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c matt

posted August 17, 2005 at 8:46 am


At the same time, why are we so ready to discuss our own faults?
That’s an interestng observation (not limited to this topic). It does seem part of the Western mindset that when we criticize one group’s actions we in the same breath have to point out an equally offensive action by a diametrically opposed group (eg, communists were evil for X, but capitalists also have problem Y). I don’t know, maybe its a way to establish credibility as being “objective” – to show you are not just picking on this particular group.



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Der Tommissar

posted August 18, 2005 at 11:29 am


Personally, I’m surprised at the “Ministers” restraint. I’ve been “asked” by people of that ilk, “How can you pray to some b—-?”



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