Looking at some of the individual complaints – I do not think it out of bounds to recommend that people consider leaving a parish that is full of abuse and heterodox views of the Faith. To continue to participate in the life of such a parish, and to support it financially, is to endorse, at least tacitly, these views. Such a parish may have many other wonderful qualitities, the people may be great, etc., but if a pastor or priest is not faithfully transmitting the Faith, or if he is even endorsing things directly counter to it, I think it acceptable to advise Catholics in good conscience to look for a parish that will provide their needed spiritual sustenance in a manner more consonant with the Faith.
I am also tired of reading that someone who looks at the Church and sees a number of problems, both structurally and with specific individuals, as setting themselves up to be more Catholic than the Pope. That is a foolish, unthinking, uncharitable statement to make in the first place, whose application I think is unapplicable perhaps outside a narrow range of sedevacantists.
Let me just say one other thing. Some of the detractors have launched their grenades by saying it is petty to walk out over a priest ignoring the Feast of Easter Sunday to deliver a "do not litter" sermon. Being deprived of your faith, depriving your children of the faith, having the schismatics marginalize and destroy the tools to keep souls in a state of grace - these things must be sacrificed because we are there to dialogue with the schismatics. That is our purpose, they say.
Hello messiah complex.
Raise your hand if you've ever said "Please sir, put away those puppets" or "Please sir, remove the priest/principal/catechist who is teaching it is ok to be sexually active outside the Sacrament of marriage, use contraception" or "Please sir, validate Humanae Vitae, I've taught it at home but what they're learning in school contradicts it and they need the back up from you as the authority".
You know what the people left in the pews do when attempt that kind of dialogue?
They do exactly what Elizabeth Scalia, Mark Shea and Lisa Grass did. They turn around and attack us for saying it.
"What are you trying to do, start a democracy?"
"You are turning your back on Jesus"
"Who do blowhards think you are, a Bishop?"
"You're mean, uncharitable, unkind ___________ (fill in the blank"
"The crucible of Ted Kennedy"
I'm not exaggerating - Elizabeth Scalia once wrote about Catholics trying to dialogue about the teachings of the Church with Ted Kennedy as "The crucible of Ted Kennedy". The 50 million children, some of them decapitated because of laws Ted Kennedy supported, endorsed, protected, funded - and his soul in the talons of the vultures and Elizabeth Scalia can turn the situation into Catholic teaching and those who proclaim it as the boogeyman.
Meanwhile, the children who needed the affirmation watch them turn all on Catholics who want the dialogue shifted to Catholic teaching.
There's something inviting for them to watch, to feel welcome. Fill the classrooms with people who oppose Church teaching and make it a place to be pecked at and ridiculed for the religious beliefs your parents taught you at home. Kids love that. And, they'll really get the message when the Scalia crowd starts attacking their parents.
This is the dynamic left in 90% of parishes. This is why when you look around at a Sunday Mass people raising children have taken flight. People who have been deprived of the knowledge of their faith have found better things to do and the few of us who found the knowledge on our own - with the help of EWTN, John Paul II and others -- we are holed up in the parishes where the priest is teaching and preaching the Catholic religion.
It's taken about 10 years but we all now realize that what is left of Catholic parishes is down to the schismatics and folks like Scalia, Shea, Grass - who really don't want the fix. These folks have a gig, a story, a schtick and they're sticking with it. No matter how absurd it gets and no matter how few people are left in the pew, they really want to believe the fundraising fiefdom, this false church, anti-church and schism these Bishops have replaced the Roman Catholic Church with in America, is something they want to pretend hasn't happened. They want to enjoy their ignorance in peace and to accomplish it, they need to throw grenades at people who are pointing out the elephant in the room -- and the remedy for parents with children.
There is a God and we are not it. He will not abandon us. There is a priest and a parish somewhere within a reasonable distance who is flying under the radar in this hostile situation. Pack up your family and head for it every week so that your children will have the tools they need for the rest of their lives. Do not sacrifice this to have dialogue with strangers and acquaintances.
My only recommendation to staying in a parish is when there is a solid priest who is at the helm and needs the back up to make the decisions he needs to make. It is worth the time to encourage him to make the right decisions and to stand beside him, bind his wounds when he gets pelted with rocks. Give him the window. But if he doesn't make the right decisions - get out.
These are the instructions in scripture and from Christ and so you can trust that they are sound.