Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cleveland Priest Defying Vatican II

Remember that Vatican II stuff we've been talking about? Specifically, this part from the Constitution on the Liturgy:

Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the "sacrament of unity," namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops.

That last part. The one about the people being united to their bishop. Apparently, the folks from St. Peter's (how ironic) in Cleveland would just rather not do so. Basically, their parish was closed. In response to the bishop's directive, they have decided to form their own parish.

Defying the authority of their bishop, parishioners and their priest from the closed St. Peter Catholic Church in downtown Cleveland celebrated Mass Sunday in leased commercial space they transformed into a church independent of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

The move by the new Community of St. Peter puts members in danger of excommunication because they had been warned by Bishop Richard Lennon, who shuttered St. Peter's in April, not to hold worship services in places without his approval.

Still, about 350 people, joined by their spiritual leader, the Rev. Robert Marrone, gathered for their first Mass and communion in their new home -- a newly renovated, century-old building on Euclid Avenue and East 71st Street.

So much for being united with the bishop. Anybody want to guess how many of these parishioners would probably use Vatican II as their justification for getting away with this? I'm betting at least 1/3 would do so. Logic and reason clearly aren't the strong points here. Note the comments/commentary provided from the Plain-Dealer article:

"This feels real good," said parishioner Bob Kloos of Cleveland Heights. "This is the handiwork of hundreds of people over many, many months."

The reporter apparently misspelled "handiwork of the Father of Lies." But, hey, if it feels good, it can't be wrong.

Group leaders emphasize that they see themselves as traditional Catholics and are challenging the closing of St. Peter's, not the tenets of their faith.

You mean except for that part about being united with the bishop, right?

"I feel wonderful at this moment," said parishioner Suzanne Joseph of Shaker Heights. "It's a little scary. We're kind of going into a new way of being within the Catholic church, but I'm very happy we're on this journey."

A new way. A journey. But not really breaking from anything. We know where this journey ends. It's not a happy thing.

Now Marrone had to decide whether to be faithful to the congregation he had inspired and nurtured for more than 20 years, or to the bishop who closed his church.

He chose . . . poorly.

"I see this as an act of disobedience, not a schism," Marrone said in an interview before the new space was opened. "But I suspect we'll get accused of schism."

Oh, well, hey then, I guess it must be ok. After all, if you don't see it as an act of schism, then things must be alright. Thanks for clearing that up. I wonder what his position on the SSPX is. All Archbishop Lefebvre claimed was a danger to the faith of the entire world. I mean, this guy's parish was closed down. He couldn't just stand by and do nothing.

"The Community of St. Peter holds to the fundamental teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church," said parishioner Bob Zack of Independence.

Again, with the lies. At least be honest about what you are doing.

"We consider ourselves neither a focal point of dissent nor a schismatic organization."

Except that you are. Your opinion doesn't change reality.

"We do stand, however, in opposition to the closing of our church as well as so many others in our diocese," Zack said. "The bishop says the church is his real estate. Fine, take it. We have no control over that. But we have decided we want to keep our community together."

Together. Outside of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Unity. In a common ruin.

Asked whether the congregation fears excommunication, Zack said, "That's something each individual has to consider. I have a hard time understanding why we need the bishop's permission for us to worship together."

Did Vatican II say that? Or any other Church teaching for the last 2000 years? Have you ever tried to understand why?

Parishioner Norbert Koehn of South Euclid, a sculptor who designed and built the new altar and baptismal font, said he didn't expect the bishop to retaliate or push for excommunications.

"This is a new beginning, a new start," he said. "It has nothing to do with the bishop any more.

"Yes, there could be excommunication, but I don't think that once you've been baptized it can be taken away from you by anybody."

Who the hell has been teaching these people? Does baptism guarantee their salvation? Does he even know/care what an excommunication is?

"It's an ongoing story. It's an evolving story. In my last sermon at St. Peter's I said, 'The exodus begins. Come, let us go.'"

And so you went.

We close with some counter-proposals from St. Ignatius of Antioch:

Now, therefore, it has been my privilege to see you in the person of your God-inspired bishop, Damas; and in the persons of your worthy presbyters, Bassus and Apollonius; and my fellow-servant, the deacon, Zotion. What a delight is his company! For he is subject to the bishop as to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ. . .

Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and with the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest. . .

Be subject to the bishop and to one another as Jesus Christ was subject to the Father, and the apostles were subject to Christ and to the Father; so that there may be unity in both body and spirit.- Epistle to the Magnesians

Indeed, when you submit to the bishop as you would to Jesus Christ, it is clear to me that you are living not in the manner of men but as Jesus Christ, who died for us, that through faith in his death you might escape dying. It is necessary, therefore—and such is your practice that you do nothing without the bishop, and that you be subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, in whom we shall be found, if we live in him. . .

He that is within the sanctuary is pure; but he that is outside the sanctuary is not pure. In other words, anyone who acts without the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons does not have a clear conscience.- Epistle to the Trallians

It was the Spirit who kept preaching these words, ‘Do nothing without the bishop, keep your body as the temple of God, love unity, flee from divisions, be imitators of Jesus Christ, as he was imitator of the Father.- Epistle to the Philadelphians

This is the old way of the saints and martyrs. The narrow gate. It is a shame that these parishioners have chosen a new way, through the broad gate.

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