Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Day of Catholic Frustration

Hello everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving weekend is going well.


I am feeling quite frustrated as a Roman Catholic right now. The most predominant Catholic story right now is what is going on in Ireland, with the release this week of the "Murphy Report," outlining decades of sexual abuse of children and the subsequent cover-ups by Irish bishops and those in ecclesiastical authority in the Archdiocese of Dublin. In a poll in today's Irish Times, readers were asked if the Catholic Church has a future in Ireland. The results are 3-2, with the no votes leading. People use words like "shameful," and "despicable," and "deplorable" to describe what has gone on. I don't believe our language contains words strong enough to describe this appropriately.



Why am I feeling frustrated? Another prominent story in the Catholic world today is that at tonight's celebration of First Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict XVI will premier the use of a new pastorale, or a gold pastoral staff that was made for him.

Ours is a Church suffering at its core because of the sexual abuse scandal and the scandal of the cover-ups. People feel that the Church has lost credibility and its foundation on which to preach and teach about moral issues. In the midst of this appears a new golden pastoral staff. Are we back at the base of Mount Sinai?

Not feeling much like singing and praying today, but, even in the midst of the frustration, I gotta sing, I gotta pray.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep singing, Keep praying, Keep the faith Jerry ~ You are Great! Thanks for your passion, insight, and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

I remember one year, Richard McBrian was speaking out about the needs of the church - He said something akin to - And the last thing we need right now, with all this going on, is a new catechism...

As I wrote to someone on XT the K, The trappings of kingship and the festivity therein get more press, more followers, more commitment... but understanding service, honest humility, daily living, and truth telling are the actual point to any celebration of XT the King, beyond the cerebral concepts and festivity laid upon it or used to hide behind the actual living of it.

Keep singing, Keep praying Jerry, Keep promoting the truth...

anne said...

Many of us are feeling the same frustration. I believe that the true church of Christ can be found at the parish level. That's where we "average" Catholics can and do make a difference. At the same time an intentional Eucharistic communities could be an option. Someone said recently (I can't remember who it was) "I did not leave the church. The church left me." Hoping it doesn't come down to that.

Anonymous said...

Some would say that the two issues are actually quite connected. A Church that has lost it's way in the acceptance of modernism, and a Pope that sees a rejection of modernism and return to continuity with tradition as a part of the solution.

What would detractors say the appropriate position should be? So long as there are poor, so long as there are abused, so long as there is war, so long as humanity is, well, humanity then it's innapropriate to give attention to worship? Or should we don vestments made from rags and say Mass in a pre-fab portable building instead of a Cathedral?

It is a mistake to say that it is a one-or-the-other choice. Without being snarky, there are many who would say that the thousands of dollars a year the average parish spends on "worship aids" and music resources could be better spent on the poor. But wasn't that what Judas said?

Chironomo said...

Anne;

You might be hard pressed to identify exactly who said - "I did not leave the church. The church left me." It has become something of a throw-away line now, a way of shifting the blame for an individuals loss of faith to the church. It seems to have originated with Bp. Lefebvre (SSPX) who meant it in exactly the opposite way that it is most often used now. For him, when the Church abandoned it's adherence to tradition and core beliefs, it left him, in other words, he did nothing and the church changed. Now it is usually meant to mean that when the church doesn't change and instead adheres to tradition and core beliefs, it leaves progressives behind. Now that's irony...

Anonymous said...

Many of us are feeling the same frustration. I believe that the true church of Christ can be found at the parish level.

Be careful... Martin Luther thought that as well! Check the Catholic definition of the "true church of Christ" and see if you agree. If not, then you have just self-defined your own church. Congratulations...

Greg said...

Anyone think we'll see a break from the Roman Church here in America (or elsewhere?)

Chironomo said...

Greg;

Why is your question phrased in the future tense? We already have a break from the Roman Church here in the US.

From a strictly liturgical point of view, take a look at the liturgical norms for the Roman Church:

http://musicasacra.com/pdf/vaticannorms.pdf

...these were approved in 2006 and fully implemented this past Spring. Take a look at the Mass said by Pope Benedict today:

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2009/12/pope-celebrates-ad-orientem-in-pauline.html

In perhaps a year or two, unless there is a considerable turn around (here, that is) the Church in the US will be barely recognizable as Roman Catholic.