Monday, May 11, 2009

Cardinal Mahony on the State of the Church

In his geography, at least. Thanks to Fr. Z for providing this and for his accompanying comments.

Whatever you may think of Cardinal Mahony, it is always a good thing to pay attention to his comments, if for no other reason than they give a good barometer for what prelates of his ilk are thinking. Here are a few “greatest hits” from his recent address to the National Federation of Priests’ Councils convention in San Antonio. This is just my shpiel. Fr. Z's, as usual, are much better.

Challenges cited by the cardinal include:

“Some really harsh generational divides” among priests, “with the younger generation often quite openly challenging the orthodoxy of older priests.”

Yeah. I wonder why that is.

In light of the priest shortage, deacons are increasingly being formed to administer priestless parishes. Does that risk “undermining the integrity of the diaconate as a ministry distinct from the ministerial priesthood”?

Of course, the actual shortage isn’t the problem. Recall that not having enough priests and the accompanying numbers of faithful cut off from access to the sacraments is a good thing. Just ask His Eminence. It’s really a great fruit from Vatican II.

“Too many liturgies and homilies are not what they might be, often because of a lack of a good grasp of Scripture as the basis for homilies and for liturgy planning.”

What planning do you really need? It’s why we have a missal. Surely, we aren’t talking about encouraging sacrileges like this:

Threats to parish unity from “the re-introduction of the Latin Mass and more ‘sacred’ liturgies, which have the effect of creating two parallel communities.”

God save us from liturgies that are too sacred. Is anyone actually seeing or hearing about polarizations from the Traditional Mass? I mean besides anonymous calumny. We have people in our parish absolutely terrified of a Traditional Mass even once a month. Other than complaints about “turning back the clock” or “moving backwards,” though, everybody still gets along and supports the church.

Training laity to provide spiritual direction, “as part of a larger spiritual renewal ministry in the parish.”

How many laity have spiritual directors at all? This is something that priests and religious have enough problems with. How about training them first?

Anyways, take heed all. These ideas could very well be coming to a diocese near you.


Jane said...

Sometimes I wonder how much Mahoney really knows about his own diocese. I live in Los Angeles, and my parish doesn't at all resemble what he's talking about. We have two elderly priests in residence, and a number of younger Norbertines and Claretians who rotate coming to help (plus very young Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who come once a month for "Catholic Underground" youth night)--but there are no clashes between our pastor and these younger priests.

We've just had our first Extraordinary Form Mass (set to become a monthly occurrence), and no complaints or divisions have arisen because of that.

As for lay spiritual directors...blech. No thanks. I'll go see the one of the church ladies if I need a shoulder to cry on, but I'll see a priest if I need serious spiritual advice.

Chants a Lot said...

Of course, none of this is surprising, as His Eminence has been spewing these inane opinions for years. What is most laughable is his reference to the generational divide among priests. It does exist, but that is because the younger priests realize that, by and large, the older generation sold them a bill of goods about the meaning and intent of Vatican II. And this ties in with his reference to the Traditional Mass and those who desire to have it available. I don't have any scientific data, but my friends who have an affinity for the Extraordinay Form are all between the ages of 30 and 50. Perhaps this should make it clear to Cardinal Mahoney and those of like mind that his generation's experiment with the Church has failed to do anything other than give us a generation of uncatechized Catholics whose children are insisting on something more real and beautiful than what has been foisted upon them for the past forty years.

Throwback said...

I agree. The average attendee at the TLMs my family and I attend, regardless of the location is under 35. If you averaged the ages, it's probably in the low 20s given the fact that the couples there tend to have 5+ kids all under the age of 10.