Mpls Star-Tribune article on parish closures: the wierdos weigh in

In the Minneapolis daily Star-Tribune there is an article on some plans underway in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis which may result in parish closings.

You should see the comments appended to the article.

There are some deeply anti-Catholic bigots out there.

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  1. Fr. John Mary says:

    Wow…you can say that again!

  2. Gabriella says:

    We Catholics will always be persecuted – whether physically or by words – but, then, so was Christ.
    We do, however, hold the power of prayer :)

    It’s so sad to see parishes, churches and schools slowly closing down …

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: There are some deeply anti-Catholic bigots out there.

    Of course, always have been. But I don’t recall seeing recently a Church-related article in a metropolitan newspapers whose comments were so one-sided in this direction. Do loyal and sensible Catholics in Minneapolis/St. Paul not read the Star-Tribune?

  4. FrDavid says:

    The internet has given people the privilege of being anonymously “hateful.” Unfortunately, this attitude is spilling into our daily life. As a priest, I now deal with this hatefulness almost daily. People can no longer simply disagree; they have to be mean and nasty at the same time.

  5. Gabriel Austin says:

    It seems to me that there is great confusion here. When the Church is not the object of complaints is the time to worry. We are not on this earth to have a nice comfortable life with nice comfortable church services. I come to believe that it was the growing comfort of Catholics in the U.S. which led to chaos and confusion. We let down our guard.

  6. pelerin says:

    ‘There are some deeply anti-Catholic bigots out there.’

    Here in Britain it is becoming obvious too. Following the newspaper articles on the visit of the relics of St Therese, there have appeared many vitriolic comments on the newspapers’ websites. And following the announcement of a possible visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Britain next year many more anti-Catholic comments can be found on newspaper websites.

    Those who may have thought that people are today more tolerant of others’ beliefs have been shocked to find this is not the case.

  7. lucy says:

    Unfortunately, there are people out there who have been deeply hurt by misguided men and women in our Church. The problem is that they tend then to blame the entire Church, rather than put that blame squarely on the shoulders of the folks who hurt them. I’m a convert and I hear so many people say, ‘well, such and such happened when I was a child or adult, so I left.’ It’s ridiculous to leave a faith because it has flawed people in it. This really shows the lack of catechism in our Churches these days. I myself attended RCIA and our teacher was (and still is there) a woman who believes in women priests and all the rest of that blather. I had to learn our faith by reading solid Catholic literature. Our Church is cleaning up it’s act and hopefully in the future there will be many solid, faithful Catholics. We homeschool our children to avoid those misguided teachers who do not know the faith from teaching heresy to our children. I guess I’m adding to the school closing, but we cannot take the risk, can we ?

  8. Mike says:

    It seems on that site that suggestions that a married priesthood or opening the door to female clergy are made in what might be a legitimate desire to “help” … yet these commenters all fail to realize the groups who have done this are by in large greatly down in membership (just as an indicator) since before these actions were taken.

    I guess “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” applies.

  9. Luke says:

    Well I’m fairly certain that my parish on the East side of St. Paul will be closed in this process…

    As far as the nasty comments by the many confused people I can only say that they gave up the good fight. Some of the excuses for hating the Church were quite lame. I’d bet that morality in every case clashes with the words of Christ that we must deny ourselves, taking up our cross to follow him. They blame Mother Church for not bending to their preferences while forgetting that She cannot because the Truth is the truth is the truth. On the bright side it seems pretty clear that people are getting that message loud and clear but they’ve chosen the wrong side of the sword in my opinion (I came not to bring peace but division -Jesus).

  10. Dave N. says:

    Is St. Joan of Arc still open? St. Stephen’s? These might be nice places to start. This Archdiocese has a lot of work to do.

  11. Larry R. says:

    I feel for the people who may be losing a parish that they love. I imagine that could be traumatic for some people. However, I did read one comment that made me think, “ohhhh, poooor baby!”. A woman complained that, if her parish is closed, she would have to drive 15 miles to the next closest parish. Crikey, the closest parish to our house is 10 miles away, and we live in a city of hundreds of thousands! We drive 40 miles each way to Sunday Mass to celebrate a beautiful, reverent, Latin Novus Ordo Mass.

    Complaining about having to drive an extra 10 miles to celebrate Mass, to receive the Blessed Sacrament, seems to me a fairly complacent attitude. For thousands of years, pilgrims used to walk, WALK, dozens or hundreds of miles to go to Jerusalem or Canterbury.

    Christ does call us to make sacrifices. I think the previous comment about complacency hits the nail on the head.

  12. david andrew says:

    Having lived and worked in the St. Paul Archdiocese, I can tell you that the local “mainstream” media loves to chum for sharks on issues like this. The timing is no surprise either, since the CHD campaign is looming on the horizon, what with the ACORN scandals and all. This is another favored target, especially by the progressivist Joan of Arc set in the area. The Church takes a stand, or those within the Church take a stand against stuff like this, and the progressivists begin to twitch and foam at the mouth.

    I also loved that among the many stupid, ill-informed comments the old saws of “wymynpriests” and married clergy came up. Maybe the folks in favor of these approaches should take a quick peek behind the curtain of the Episcopal and Lutheran churches that have adopted these ill-advised plans of action. I know of no single denomination that has employed female and/or married clergy that have an abundance of clergy, crowded seminaries, have packed pews, or are free of grave moral error.

  13. priest up north says:

    Kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt for having the willingness for such long range planning, aware of the hate and bigotry that will accompany such…AND aware that it will result in a stronger, more faithful Church. He remains in my prayers…

  14. Kimberly says:

    In the early, early days of Minnesota we had very few priests. People WALKED miles to be able to go to mass, and they felt it an honor to do so. We have so lost sight of why we go to mass.

  15. chironomo says:

    What is it about parish closings that make people feel as though they are being personally attacked by the Church… as though the Bishop is closing a parish to “get back at them” for something? And if somebody is so opposed to the Church, why do they care about parish closings? I don’t get it…

  16. chironomo says:

    If you want your Catholic church to thrive, please pressure your Pope to allow birth control; treat woman equally and allow priest to marry

    Perhaps it would be easier to “pressure the Pope” when he’s running for re-election. There really is no arguing with a true idiot. But then again, these comments are very likely from people who feel that the solution to our country’s ills is a transformation to socialism.

  17. robtbrown says:

    Kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt for having the willingness for such long range planning, aware of the hate and bigotry that will accompany such…AND aware that it will result in a stronger, more faithful Church. He remains in my prayers…
    Comment by priest up north

    Although I understand that there have been demographic changes and is a shortage of priests, the surburban mega-parishes seem to me a p-poor solution. IME, those places inevitably take on an even more Protestant character than is present throughout the Church in the US.

  18. irishgirl says:

    We’ve gone through this in my Upstate NY diocese. It breaks my heart when I’ve had to drive through my hometown and see churches-mostly in the inner city-either shuttered or taken over by Protestants.

  19. Luke says:

    I also agree, somewhat, with you, robtbrown. The other day I spoke with a priest friend who’s being moved to a new parish, and so I went to the new parish website. They’re planning for a new gathering space and with raised eyebrows I looked further. they had put together a FAQ sheet on this and I was delighted to hear someone ask “Will this new space replace our present church?” (A very beautiful one too) The answer was this: “NO. If we need more room to house our community for Mass we’ll remove the present low altar and return the pews that were once removed using the original high altar for Mass”. Good things are going on at some of these suburban parishes.

    I also see this change in our diocese as inevitable. I must wonder, though, if the Church is getting smaller in some ways if it wouldn’t be better to keep the small, very beautiful parishes? We could then house the multiple priests you used to find with a large community where four Masses were offered on Sunday. Then we could build new gathering spaces on stilts and have weather-free parking underneath!

  20. MichaelJ says:

    Lucy, I’ve got to ask…

    If you “.. had to learn our faith by reading solid Catholic literature”, and I have no doubt that you did, what was the point of the RICA class?

  21. Supertradmom says:

    My concern is all of this is the desire for “mega-churches”. My old diocese is in Iowa, and that diocese is also consolidating and going to build huge central churches. I work with minorities, and I know many elderly, who will not be able to get to these suburban churches, as they live in or near downtown areas which have no buses on Sunday. Also, they cannot get rides from other parishioners, which is a huge problem for the elderly and poor. I think the mega-church idea is a patch-job solution to larger problems. Communities once broken are not rebuilt. One of the plans includes circular churches with big screens-obviously not traditional.

  22. Supertradmom says:

    May I add that sometimes the personal feelings of church closings is based on family ties which are generations old. For example, when a beautiful church in a medium-sized town was closed, a family had just donated one million dollars for the upkeep of the church built by German immigrants, including the family’s ancestors. The reredos was hand-carved by German artisans out of oak and was destroyed by the diocese-cut up, bit by bit. The entire episode was handled badly, and the family had to watch their money go to the diocese for bankruptcy payments, rather than what was intended, the upkeep of the beautiful church. I think anger and grief must be allowed in these situations!

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