Every once in a while I receive something so annoying, that it needs wider attention out of justice.
If you are not easily provoked to the sort of anger that is sin, as Paul warned us about Sunday in the Epistle (Eph 4:26), have a look at an entry on the blog of a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo.
The reason I bring in “bully” imagery, is because the priest writer targeted concrete priests, not theoretical cases. He hides his animus behind a smoke-screen of concern.
Fr. Don Farnan wrote a slick bit entitled “Aberrant Subculture”, about young priests in cassocks, who want Latin and to – here comes the idiot-parroting – “turn their backs on congregations” or who are “obsessing over orthodoxy”. Smarmy, he suggests that they are “spooked by their own sexuality”, which is why they stick to the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts (he calls it “lambast the LGBT community”). This is also a common tactic of angry “gays”, of course: accuse anyone who objects to acting on that affliction of being secretly “gay” too… how I have come to hate that twisted word now.
Most of us, including the pope, have grown tired of this kind of clericalism that is tolerated by some bishops and encouraged by some Catholics.
He thinks he is on the safe side and can hide behind them. He’s on the virtue-signaling band-wagon.
The thing is, there are many fine young priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph who are doing wonderful pastoral work. I know some of them. They are good men and good priests. They don’t have 60’s-and 70’s baggage about cassocks, or Latin, or being faithful to the Church’s teachings on moral issues. They have the courage to speak up rather than conform themselves to the wisdom of this world.
These young priests don’t have the 70s stuck on a loop in their brains.
If Farnan, as an older priest, who once held important roles in the diocese, has concerns about some younger priests, why did he go after them in this indirect way, with veiled references that locals will recognize – even people who are not from there will recognize? He attacked them through innuendo, publicly hinting at their identity, rather than call up a young priest privately and invite him to lunch in order to ask him, “What are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish?”
That’s what a brother would do.
That’s not how he operated.
That’s what makes us angry.
Fr. Farnan closed comments under that particular post. I get that. Sometimes I do that too, when I don’t have a lot of energy or I am short on time or can’t scan all the comments. However, people can and do reach out to me with varied, respectful, charity-informed feedback. I imagine he would welcome that too in his email. HERE
More from him about these good young priests in his diocese. Notice the clues he drops which – if you are at all acquainted with the scene there – make it possible to identitfy individuals, thus making them targets.
A high percentage of priests ordained in this young century were home-schooled and/or come from households that hold to rigid ideologies; a significant percentage also come from unstable households in which parents were married multiple times. Many of these priests crave structure and they administer unbending order. Yet many of them are quickly disappointed and leave active ministry within their first ten years of priesthood; they join a religious community for a while, take a sabbatical, fall in love for the first time and marry, or do uncharacteristic or shocking acts that destroy them and devastate others. Some are not equipped to deal with the chaos of life—theirs or those they serve, and some, after realizing that they are imperfect according to standards set by church or parents, hate themselves. Still others build psychological walls to shelter and self-protect, much as the corporate church has habitually protected itself.
See what I mean? From this even I – who don’t live in KCMO – am able to pick out a couple of priests whom I know personally. I find it appalling that, for the sake of his own virtue signaling, Farnan would exploit not only a priest’s vocational questions but also personal, human crises and mortal peril.
And he dares to ride above it? Look at his bio. His bio says he was director of vocations for some years. I wonder how that went. Maybe someone in KCMO can look that up.
I want to send a word of support to my priest friends in Kansas City, MO, who are clearly the target of this man’s condescending, clichè-laden diatribe, delivered probably because – as he is firmly clutching the bumper of the band-wagon – he thinks there can’t be any blowback.
It’s also potentially a passive-aggressive attack on the bishop who supports these young priests (aka The Future). The bishop has the unenviable task of building up a body of priests for the future. Farnan cut the knees out from under him.
Fr. Farnan is emblematic of a whole swath of priests of his time of formation and ordination. They don’t have a clue what it is like to be a young priest in the sort of Church that men like them crafted over decades, with their feckless acquiescence to secular norms and popularity, their undermining of the Faith through appeals to “compassion” in order to excuse people in their contracepting, living together out of wedlock, never going to Confession. By their empty catechism and liturgical slop – over decades – they contributed to the demographic sink-hole into which Catholics are now falling away.
Farnan’s generation created the parishes that are dying, created the terrain in which these young men are standing up and being men and priests under the hammer blows of the Enemy whom they welcomed in through those opened windows.
Talk about “aberrant subculture”!
The fact that these young priests breathe is taken by many of their older 70’s-locked-in brethren as an indictment of their entire lives as priests.
Rather than engage, they seek to “cancel”. Bullies.