Sunday, May 25, 2014

What Some Miss

I originally wasn't going to post this, but given the current environment and how things are going, I changed my mind.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf posted an item from a priest at Holy Innocents in Manhattan, which, by the way, is a wonderful parish. May God grant it many years. Anyways, here is the relevant part:

Pastores dabo vobis, the Lord promises Jeremiah: I will give you shepherds! Fundamentally – and this is something about which I urge you to think well and pray much about – as a priest, I have to say: I worry about the situation of traditional Catholics in the Archdiocese. Yes, the archdiocese ‘permits’ a traditional mass here or there — but responsibility for the matter continues to rest upon the initiative and resourcefulness of the laity, who with enormous difficulty have to source priests hither and thither as though we were seemingly still living in Reformation England or Cromwellian Ireland. Isn’t it high time for the Church to take pastoral responsibility also for these sheep? Do they not deserve a shepherd? a parish? or at least some sense of juridical security? What happens to you when the parish you are harbouring in closes its doors? 

What will become of the priestly vocations aplenty I see in these numerous young men of such quality as we have in abundance serving here at Holy Innocents, St. Agnes and elsewhere – remaining as they do at the mercy (and sometimes, caprice) of ‘landlords’ who, for one reason or another, ‘permit’ their presence in their parishes? Doors everywere seem closing to them. Our Saviour has closed its doors to them. St. Agnes, for its part, guards its doors vigilantly to make sure they don’t enter the building 5 minutes too early or don’t overstay their welcome by 5 minutes more. Now, it seems, the doors of Holy Innocents will be closed to them, too. Taken together, this is, in my view, a clear instance of exclusion: an injustice which you should bring to the attention of your shepherd, I think. You are fully-fledged members of the baptised Faithful, for heaven’s sake: why are you scurrying about like ecclesiastical scavengers, hoping for a scrap or two to fall from the table for your very existence? The precariousness of your community cannot hinge on a church building being available to you as though you were a mere sodality or guild. The days of renting space in hotels and the like must surely be over. You are not schismatics! Are you schismatics? 

Whatever happens to Holy Innocents – and this will be the decision of your chief-shepherd here, who will base his decision on more information than any of us has at his or her disposal – you need to assert that you belong to the Church as fully as any other community. You have found a home here, largely through your own hard work and perseverence: no good shepherd could dispossess you of your home without providing safety and good pasture elsewhere. Parishioners of a Novus ordo parish closure might easily find another ‘home’ nearby; but what of you? You have a right to find the Mass (and not only on Sundays); and not only the Mass, but the other sacraments and rites of the Church. Closing this parish is more akin to closing a linguistic parish or a Oriental rite parish. What becomes of you?

I point this out because it is usually ignored. Sure, "traditionalists" can be a glum and even prideful lot. What most don't realize, understand, or care about is that they are also usually suffering from some sort of spiritual trauma from where they have come from. Hearing stories about clown Mass, Halloween Mass, priests ripping rosaries apart during homilies, having RCIA directors quote directly from the fathers of Modernism, listening to priests deny that Christ knew the future, hearing pastors preach universalism, etc. are all things that we have been through. Many others have not.

This is all important now for a couple of reasons. First, there is the obvious difference between how groups like the LCWR are treated vs. the FFI and the FSI. One is allowed all sort of dialogue and leeway. The others are sanctioned, censured, calumniated, and spiritually brutalized. Second, you have a growing number of prelates who seem to enjoy insulting any Catholic who tries to hold to the faith. Take a look at Cardinal Kasper's recent comments and those of his defenders. These are not kind words.

"Traditional" Catholics are convenient punching bags, yet their misery either goes unnoticed or is a cause of celebration.

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