NCR published a letter from a priest of the Kansas City, MO diocese, Fr. Michael Gillgannon to Bishop Finn. The letter reveals the thought processes and categories of the deeply entrenched left-leaning Catholic liberal democrat now evolving into a mean-spirited whiner in the face of a shifting American episcopate.
As a little followup, you might want to see what some of the comments say on the NCR site in support of Fr. Gillgannon’s positions.
The deeper aims of NCR is to pit the laity against faithful bishops and "John Paul II priests" – who terrify the editors into incontinence – and pit "discontinuity and rupture priests" of yesteryear against faithful bishops and "John Paul II priests", and pit disconunity priests against faithful priests, etc. You get the idea.
A WDTPRS reader made a selection:
Submitted by Fr Francis O (not verified) on Sep. 19, 2009.
Did you not see the famous painting by DaVinci based on a genuine photo of the Last Supper. Brown and Howard made a film of it [And we're off to the races!] and turned St. John into Mary Magdalene as the token female priest of the Twelve who seduced Jesus according to some true-fictional stuff based on a fgake List in the French National Library (Brown explained it both ways) Judas was so shocked he did the Opus Dei (Work of God) and turned Jesus in to the Hierarchy. Peter was ashamed and used very bad language and denied knowing Jesus ( maybe still angry that He cured Peter’s mother in law?). Only John was at the Cross with Mary, Jesus’ Mother and the same Mary of Magdala to be with Jesus when He died. Nothing much has changed since. The Hierarchy are not there for Jesus so often, but [Here it comes!...] they probably would object if the Magdalene wanted to use birth control or have an abortion. The Holy Spirit finally got to their hearts and they did the GOSPEL OF LIFE and protected Life from Womb to Tomb – did not selectively decide who received pastoral care. [And Paul VI issued Humanae vitae...] Jesus served them FISH for breakfast Easter morning (John 21) – McDonald’s one assumes so Domino’s Pizza was not on the menu. [!? ... huh?] Way to go Father Michael.
ROFL! The writer identifies himself as "Fr". Fun!
Submitted by Fr. Bill Taylor (not verified) on Sep. 22, 2009.
Re Anonymous Sept. 15. When I was in the seminary, I learned that the most solemn Spirit-filled moment in the Church occurred at an ecumenical council. There was no council as spectacular as Vatican II, where the pope gathered in consultation with thousands of bishops from throughout the world. It never happened before on such grand scale. Its impact on priest of my generation was like a thunder-clap. The Church had become a narrow medieval curiosity spouting answers to questions nobody was asking. Because of the Council, I felt liberated and a whole new future seemed to be opening in the Church. Pope John Paul did everything possible to diminish its impact. This put me into a spiritual quandary: If the Spirit was not present in a great council, and its powerful aftermath, why should I believe the Spirit is present in the almost unreadable ponderings of Pope John Paul? And above all, why should I listen to a mere bishop who seems to imagine that he is the voice of God?
This guy passes these judgments, but admits that he doesn’t understand the writings of John Paul II. Smart, huh? If he can’t understand John Paul II’s writings, he probably doesn’t have a clue about what the Council’s documents say.
Here is a real winner. Just sit back and read this with a beer, or cup of tea, or something. Enjoy!
Submitted by Aileen (not verified) on Sep. 21, 2009.
After reading through all of the comments again this past weekend, I was struck with a curious thought. [A thought curious to whom?] It would be most revealing if everyone who made a comment had included their year of birth and the year of their first holy communion… and whether they are laity or ordained. My real life experience has been that those who so fervently desire to return to the old traditions and ways of pre-Vatican II (or how they imagine it), are too young to actually remember it, and just how burdensome and depressing it could be to live under such repressive and unforgiving rules. [LOL! Excellent. What she doesn't understand is that people want "continuity" with our tradition, not rupture.] Today’s retro-uber-orthodox would have a rude awakening if they achieved their wish. Most Catholics today are not aware (or perhaps have forgotten?) just how oppressive the situation was. One example among many (for those of us who do remember): ANY divorced person was formally excommunicated for the mere fact of divorce; [Really?] even the wronged spouse who had been left for another person through no fault of their own, nor had they remarried. [?!?] Marriage tribunal to address such an injustice was virtually unheard of for the average Catholic in the pew. [Why would they? People would have recourse to the tribunal if they were thinking about divorce.] Pope Paul VI (post-V2) changed that unjust rule, thankfully. [What rule was that?] Because laity were considered an inferior sub-culture below clergy, the list of misery perpetuated upon them was long and final. ["misery"?] One reason there was a bumper crop of clergy in those days was because, for Catholics, it was the only game in town. Being ordained, or having a child or sibling who was ordained, provided some modest ‘status by association’ for their family members among the laity. [Ahhh... that's why men were ordained!] Some folks today have the illusion that people in the old days were just "more spiritual". Actually, they were pragmatic. In those supposedly good old days, laity "paid and obeyed" without question… and got their ticket punched for Mass. They got ‘zero’ input on anything (forget any pastor/parish council). A woman’s only Catholic badge of honor was hinged to remaining continually pregnant during her entire reproductive span. Infertility had the reverse effect, and was considered a disgrace… even carrying a ‘suspicion of secret sin’. Babies born dead (and so unbaptized) were denied a funeral Mass or burial in consecrated ground… the same denial held true for the mentally ill who committed suicide (they were consigned to hell). [Wow... lot's of baggage here.] For women, the only ‘holy’ alternative to marriage and marathon procreation was to ‘take to the cloth’ in a convent. Those are just a few of the nostalgic “goodies” of the good old days that some in today’s Church long for so fervently. There was much more than just the "old" Mass in Latin or the happy black and white Bing Crosby movies. Like so many romantic notions, they tend to fade in the harsh light of day and actual practice. No one was a bit more “spiritual” as a result — only intimidated and guilt-ridden. To desire a return to those former ways actually approaches being pathological… possibly masochistic. [ROFL!] When Pope John XXIII “opened the doors and windows of the Church” and convened the Second Vatican Council, it was this dark oppression and joyless legalism that he sought to remedy. [Ahhh....that's what he did.] How ironic that today there are some who would take the Church back to that dark, enclosed place where only those who could perfectly keep the rules were welcome, and the hierarchy’s imposed unjust suffering on laity was believed to be the will of God. I can understand why certain bishops would love that arrangement. I cannot understand the appeal to laity.
I bet you can’t.
There is more baggage in these comments than in the hold of a 747.
Okay… this is the opposition lined up against those who desire continuity and reform, rather than discontinuity and rupture.
There will always be one or two of these last types in a parish. They will rise up against anything that does not fit their total rupture model, which is usually fueled by anti-clericalism and low theology, if any theology at all.
Forget the dopey errors. People on both sides get things wrong about details of Church law or the Church’s teachings.
How do you bring people like this around?
I propose that the Five Rules could be of use. You know the Rules? From when Summorum Pontificum was released?
Fr. Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:
1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because "we win". Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a "zero sum game".
2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".
3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.
4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.
5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.