Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Liturgical Police Sting in Kohler!

In Kohler, WI, a new blog was started by a Catholic who feels fatherless (FL). Why exactly, because Bob Lotz, the priest at St. John's in Kohler does not refer to God as Father and does not celebrate the Mass "by the book."

In one of her/his latest blog entries, FL goes point by point of the abuses and follows with a long list of addresses for concerned citizens to write to.

FL, among a few others, seems concerned that Jesus may not be coming Mass (or at least not coming to Mass happily) because Lotz celebrates Mass a little different than the GIRM exactly specifies.

There seems to be a concern that using a glass cruet at consecration means that Jesus will not become present in the wine or least disdains having to become present within in it. Jesus: "Well, the the Pope said, ‘No glass,’ so I guess I’ll skip this Mass.”

And I'm certain that in the first decades of the church, before the Mass became standardized, that people substituted all sorts of words for Father and used many non-standard materials for chalices. According to FC's logic, I bet Peter and Paul themselves said a few illicit or invalid Masses. And since the synoptic Gospels portray Jesus as using different words and rubrics during the Last Supper, perhaps two of the Gospels have taught us illicit or invalid consecrations.

This is just nitpicking legalism. In any case, the Mass is always in need of reform. If it was not, then the bishops of our church would not be constantly changing it. Where does the legalism end?

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 22, 2007

Reaching the Children

I was talking to someone working at a parish that has around 30 - 50 confirmation candidates every year. They've been helping out with confirmation there for the past five years. I asked them if the teenage confirmands they see are at all like the very conservative seminarians one typically finds at Saint Francis Seminary (which is closed).

NO! was the emphatic response. There has been varying degrees of interest by the confirmands concerning religion, but they had never seen a confirmand as conservative as most of the new priests being ordained in Milwaukee. It is these outdated teachings in our Church concerning gays, birth control, and women's ordination that is guaranteeing their disappearance after confirmation.

If the Archbishop is truly concerned about Energizing our Vibrancy (and I believe he is), it would be extremely helpful if Dolan would speak out concerning the injustice of these current "official" Church teachings. It would energize a passion and pride in their faith that the confirmands now feel themselves not able to have. I know this dream is up there with pigs flying at the moment, but the idea needs to be repeated until it no longer sounds foreign. Most Catholic teens stay religious as adults, they just do it somewhere else.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sen. Larry Craig: Meets Msgr. Stenico

According to the today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Washington Post, and CatholicNews.com, Vatican official Msgr. Tommaso Stenico & Sen. Larry Craig both have similar problems. They both like to pretend to be gay, but they are not... really.

Stenico, one of the section chiefs for the Congregation of the Clergy, was caught on camera by a private Italian TV network, making gay sexual advances on a young man. Stenico, 60, has written many books and hosts a catechetical program on TV. Taking a page from Paris Hilton, he brought the young man to his Vatican office where he uttered such phrases as "You're cute" and "You're so hot" while touching the man's thigh. The young man, after asking Stenico one too many times whether they were about to commit a sin, was asked to leave. Stenico had repeatedly told him that gay sex is not sinful.

I , of course, have no problem with gay people or gay priests, but I'm getting a little sick of U.S. and Vatican officials not owning up to their own actions and desires. It hurts a cause they obviously want to be a part of - the promotion of a view that gay sex is just as wonderful and healthy has straight sex. Instead of turning their lives around and being someone people can be proud of, they yell conspiracy.

Stenico states that it was part of his science project to investigate the "diabolical plan by groups of Satanists who target priests [to have gay sex]." If anyone discovers the Satanic faith-sharing group in Milwaukee that tries to have gay sex with priests, please let me know. I'll pass the info on to Stenico & Craig.

A Faithful Catholic

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vibrancy Document Online

I found a copy of the Vibrancy document online.

Maybe everyone else already knew where to find it, but I haven't seen a link to it on any other blogs. So here is Jim Connell's blueprint for a sustainable vision of the Archdiocese in the future. Jim Connell's plan may not win the day, but right now it's the only one out there. He, at least, has put out an idea. He refers to it as a plan for "vibrancy," but it is really a plan to deal with the shortage of priests. As he states: "in ten years those ranks (the priests) could easily be one-half what they are now." Things will change, but will anyone but Dolan and the priests of this Archdiocese have a voice in how this all shakes out?

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 8, 2007

Big Mac Known Better Than 10 Commandments

According to a recent study, more Americans can list all the ingredients in a Big Mac than remember all ten commandments. Of 1,000 participants, 60% could recall all of a Big Mac's ingredients, while less than 30% could recall the commandment to not take any false idols. Unfortunately, they did not list what percentage could recall all 10 commandments, but it must have been pretty low.

I must admit that I am not as big on the 10 commandments as I am on the seven virtues. The seven virtues are chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. I prefer the 7 virtues because they give us something to strive for instead of stay away from (for the most part). In that sense they are more positive and more inclusive of fully lived Christian life. The virtues ask: "How can I best live out the Christian life" instead of "What do I have to avoid to get to heaven?"

Sadly, I would guess that less people could name the 7 virtues than list all 10 commandments. In addition, when the powers that be put together the new catechism in the 1990's, they made a conscious choice to follow the commandments rather than the virtues in the morality section. That indicates that our church hierarchy emphasizes the avoidance of evil rather than striving for goodness. It might seem that I'm cutting hairs, but I think that in general, it's a fair assessment.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Age of John Paul II Continues...

As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Archbishop Dolan gave the homily at the annual Roman Catholic Red Mass in Washington D.C. Sunday for the Supreme Court Justices. He opened with an anecdote about John Paul II and how he changed somebody's life. Now I know I can be a complainer of sorts, but it seems that JPII is the content of a lot of Dolan's homilies. My own personal prejudice is that people are more moved by examples that are common to them. JPII, according to our official church doctrine, was ontologically changed at ordination and thus, stories about him do not always move me as much.

Our church is (I think for worse) in the age of JPII. There used to be pre-Vatican II priests and Vatican II priests, and now there are JPII priests. Unfortunately, I can't find it right now, but the Saint Francis Seminary web page used to have bios of all the seminarians that included a paragraph of their influences. Almost every single one mentioned JPII. Yes, I know, JPII was moving to them, but they're considering priesthood. The average person in the pew is not considering priesthood (and 50% of them are told not to consider it). But shouldn't our focus as a church be on Jesus and how the "lay" person can follow in his footsteps. I'm not interested in following in JPII's footsteps.

In any case, my two cents: Venerable Archbishop and JPII priests, please use examples and anecdotes those of us in the pew can relate to a bit more (someone who is not ordained or part of religious community). Thank you.

A Faithful Catholic