Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lucid Thoughts on the Circumstances of Leaving Your Parish

Some excellent commentary on situations in a parish that are a danger to you and/or your family over at A Blog for Dallas Catholics. Another great post on the same blog HERE.

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.

30 comments:

Maria said...

You do not remain faithful to the Savior without paying for it. This has been the story of Christianity since the first Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified by His enemies. Why did they crucify Him? Because He taught that we were made for a life that will never end, and because He would not compromise on the Truth which He had received from His Father.

This has been the verdict of Christian history ever since, and will remain the same until the end of time. Those who want to remain loyal to Jesus Christ must expect to suffer for their witness to Incarnate Life and Truth. Another name for this suffering witness is martyrdom.

John Hardon SJ

The fix? The price is too high for many...

Anonymous said...

This is a heartbreaking situation. I'm tired of parish hopping so that my children will be taught the Truth. I only converted to the Catholic Church four years ago and I'm already worn out by all the heterodoxy, lack of reverence on the part of so many priests, and rampant liturgical abuses. All of the orthodox priests in our diocese are sent to the outer limits so that they are just about unreachable. Or they're assigned to a cancer home or as a school chaplain so that they have the least possible amount of influence on the faithful.

It's been a long Lent...

Robin

Caroline said...

"The price is too high for many." So sad, but ever so true.
Just this weekend a nun at our parish told my husband her opinion on a few things like: she dislikes the new translation of the Mass..can't understand how we'll keep young people if we continue to accept the church's teaching on contraception.
There's nothing wrong with women's ordination oh --and there's nothing wrong with homosexual priests either.
My parish has yet to even announce the mass changes..

I've only been home to the church 5 years, every good associate priest we've had who preaches the truth about sin is gone within a year.

Thank you for your post Carol and Maria for the words of Father Hardon.
It is going to cost us to remain faithful to our Savior..But what a privilege.

+PAX

Jack O'Malley said...

The essence of the problem is of course the novus ordure. Until that masonic botch is consigned to the flames of Hell, the Church will linger in the slough of schism and heresy. This may all be for the better in the long run if the piskie wannabes are driven out. They are pernicious to the Faith. We have the faithful Anglicans who came in through the Pastoral Provision and are now flocking to Rome through the Ordinariate established by Anglicanorum Coetibus. I, as an Irishman, would be privileged to assist at a Mass of the Anglican Patrimony. May the blessings of Newman, Fisher, More, Becket and their faithful countrymen be bestowed upon us.

I have not had the opportunity of leaving a parish because I reject the novus ordure. I simply avoid the near occasion of sin which is the masonic "mass". For this Palm Sunday (is it Palm Sunday in the masonic lodge calendar?) I fulfilled my "Sunday obligation" here. If that link did not come through, go to youtube and enter Bach Mattäuspassion Karl Richter and a playlist should appear.

Say a prayer this Holy Week for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the FSSPX. Without them there would be no Catholic Church today. JP2 would never have had to put up and the True Mass would be defunct. The coran would still have been smooched however and the synagogues' seats still graced with the papal arse. Before the clown pope is beatified, Lefebvre should be canonized. More Roman apostasy.

Jack O'Malley said...

Here is another Holy Week meditation: Stradanje Hristovo -- Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ with vocal by Divna Ljubojević. Search her name and be converted to true Christianity.

Gospodi pomiluj nas greshnych. (Domine miserere nobis peccatoribus.)

Jack O'Malley said...

The essence of the problem is of course the novus ordure. Until that masonic botch is consigned to the flames of Hell, the Church will linger in the slough of schism and heresy. This may all be for the better in the long run if the piskie wannabes are driven out. They are pernicious to the Faith. We have the faithful Anglicans who came in through the Pastoral Provision and are now flocking to Rome through the Ordinariate established by Anglicanorum Coetibus. I, as an Irishman, would be privileged to assist at a Mass of the Anglican Patrimony. May the blessings of Newman, Fisher, More, Becket and their faithful countrymen be bestowed upon us.

I have not had the opportunity of leaving a parish because I reject the novus ordure. I simply avoid the near occasion of sin which is the masonic "mass". For this Palm Sunday (is it Palm Sunday in the masonic lodge calendar?) I fulfilled my "Sunday obligation" here. If that link did not come through, go to youtube and enter Bach Mattäuspassion Karl Richter and a playlist should appear.

Say a prayer this Holy Week for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the FSSPX. Without them there would be no Catholic Church today. JP2 would never have had to put up and the True Mass would be defunct. The coran would still have been smooched however and the synagogues' seats still graced with the papal arse. Before the clown pope is beatified, Lefebvre should be canonized. More Roman apostasy.

Jack O'Malley said...

For some reason those previous two comments appeared in reverse order. Here is another Byzantine Chant with a beautiful icon of the Theotokos (Mater Dei vel Deipara).

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

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.

Bravo, Carol!! God bless you for saying this! You are absolutely right. Your statement can describe the whole apologetics-industrial complex (Shea, Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, et al), as well.

Here's an interesting tidbit that reinforces your theory: At Christendom College, a very Traditionalist place, the administration wants to name the student center after Pope John Paul II. Half the student body is opposed!! Ten years ago, that would have been unthinkable. I'm so pleased to see the JPII personality cult slowly being demolished and exposed for the fraud that it is.

Carol McKinley said...

Most of my readers know where I'm coming from -- but I should say for the record that I believe as the Church believes about the Novus Ordo -- it is valid. And the priests ordained through apostolic succession are validly ordained priests. Just in case new readers come by and could be confused without historical context.

The schism referred to is an internal one, where the validly ordained priests are teaching and preaching falsely or are not teaching because they are there to raise money and they don't want anyone offended by the teachings of the Catholic Church. Where all but a handful of people in every parish are clueless about Sanctifying Grace and how the lack of it is causing them to make terrible choices and in most cases (if not all),the unworthy reception of the Eucharist is making their lives miserable. Where the handful are reserving the Sanctifying Grace for themselves because they are too craven to speak up or they do not love the Lord with Agape, enough to truly feed Christ's sheep, to lay down their lives and so they enjoin in making parishes a hostile place to hear or teach the Catholic religion.

I love John Paul II. He was the thorn in my side when the one thing I was mad at the Church about (contraception) was keeping me from full surrender and intimacy with the Divinity of Christ. He bound me and took me to the place I had been resisting - surrender. I was not happy when he kissed the kooran. I realize the man had flaws as we all have flaws - but these flaws pale in the light of his writings and his mysticism and his love for the teachings, Eucharist and Blessed Mother.

I have readers here who also love the teachings of the Church and have been walked away from this internal schism in disgust who disagree with me but love me anyway - and I love them back.

I just wanted to be on the record.

Nice posts everyone - thank you for them. Jack - the chants were awesome. I don't know how you can stand being away from the Eucharist. I went to a Novus Ordo, as I always do, and it was spectacular. Reverent, heard all about sin and Confession and grace - and everyone there knows what they are there for.

Jack O'Malley said...

Hi Carol,

Maybe we need a list of parishes that do the novus ordo seclorum masses well. You know, ad orientem, Communion while kneeling at an actual altar rail and on the tongue, no "extraordinary" "ministers" of Holy Communion, no altar girls, no "Eagles' Wings", Gregorian Chant, the Canon (at least) in Latin, the Last Gospel read by the priest (presbyter? presider of the assembly?), priest wearing chasuble, stole and maniple, etc., etc. But I'd settle for just reverent for now.

I am not saying anything about "validity": I recall Low Masses being cranked out in about 19 minutes in the old days. They also were valid. And ugly too.

In any event, I suppose I should be grateful that the one immutable holdover from the Old Rite is still the most prominent part of the service: the collection. It's the first thing that any faithful Catholic should shun. When the baskets start coming back empty, the corrupt sanhedrin in Braintree will start to listen.

I agree with Joseph about the JP2 cult. This is the man who excommunicated Lefebvre then created the "indult" mass. (BTW, I am not SSPX (FSSPX) and have never been to one of their masses. Their masses are valid and they are not in schism. Just "canonically irregular" or something like that.)

And just so there's no doubt -- I love the teachings of the Church. I love you too and your blog. Keep doing the Lord's work. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I do not love John Paul II. There. I said it. I can't even look at a picture of him. There. I said that too. Under his seemingly endless pontificate, I suffered intensely waiting for him to DO something. He never did, except make everything worse.

---------------------
Robin,

I, too, am tired of parish hopping. I have been doing it for about thirty years now and have come to resent that I should even have to do be doing such a thing. The fact that I have had to do it for such an extended length of time tells me that something is wrong, very wrong, with the Church.

-------------------
Caroline,

Hang in there! God reward you for even coming into Holy Mother Church at such a confusing time. Our Blessed Mother has given you extra special graces to see the truth which leads me to believe that you must have a very special love for Truth

----------------------
Joe,

Quite right in all that you have written.

Veronica

Anonymous said...

Here's something else I'd like to unburden.

My parish is made up of 99.99% liberals. I wear a mantilla to Mass, use my St. Andrew's Missal, and receive Holy Communion on the tongue while standing(I have permission from the Pastor to kneel, but I have chosen to stand so as not to thwart their efforts in trying to make the parish what it is supposed to be...Catholic).

Well, these "liberals", who like to be known for their tolerance, benevolence and compassion (did I forget to mention luv?), ignore me. I smile at them, but they just direct their eyes to my mantilla and can't even muster a smile in return. I have tried to be friendly and talk to them...nothing. I am shunned. Same goes for my dear, suit and tie wearing husband.


Veronica

Jack O'Malley said...

Carol: I don't know how you can stand being away from the Eucharist.

That hit home, Carol. I have to think about this. I have in the past until now thought about a Spiritual Communion. If there are good novus ordo parishes in O'Malleydom, I would like to know about them. I have to think more about your words though.

Caroline: My parish has yet to even announce the mass changes..

You have to wonder why there are changes at all. Will the heretical "for all" be restored to the pro multis? Don't count on it.

Veronica: I am shunned.

This is unconscionable. These are piskies who covet the Sistine ceiling. They are not only heretics, they are moral abominations because they also want lady priestesses and lezzie priestesses and buggering bishops. Get away from them. The faithful Episcopalians are coming into the Church. If only the perfidious catholics (small s) would get the hell out.

Anonymous said...

My parish, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, in Newton Upper Falls, is blessed with a wonderful priest- Fr Charles Higgins. The Mass is offered in both forms and extremely reverent: incense, bells ,kneeling to receive Holy Communion, and an instructive bulletin that teaches. We had bounced around for years, praying to find a Mass that would not be an occasion of sin for us ( because of our anger and distraction). Thankfully our prayers were answered!

Carol McKinley said...

Another day of awesome comments - thank you for all of your thoughts.

Jack, I've thought about what you said all day today. You're right about a list of good parishes. The Boston Bloggers have talked about that for some time but we never seem to get to it. It would be nice to have a tab with the list of parishes and their descriptions, what Catholics would likely find. It probably wouldn't take too long to make a starter list of 10 solid parishes and go from there. I'll try to get that on the radar. Anyone reading who would like to help?

I've done spiritual communion but it is, I'm sure I don't have to tell you, not the same.

There's Mary Immaculate of Lord's - which does a Latin Mass every Sunday. I've also been to a Novus Ordo Fr. Higgins has done throughout the years and it is magnificent. Communion there is kneeling at the railing in the N.O. It's a hike - but if would help to have company on your first trip back, contact me and I'll come with you.

There's also two priests at St. John's in Quincy who do a Latin Mass. I think they do it every day but it's at an odd time - 10 am or something like that. I'll get more info on it. I don't think they do a Latin Mass on Sunday but again, I'll check it out. I don't know anything about their N.O.s but I've heard it's a sanctuary.

St. Joseph's in Hanson is a nice little community. Both priests that are there are solid as a rock. The Sunday evening Mass is not for JackO as the music is a wee bit, teeny tiny bit charasmatic. I like it because it isn't showy - just people who are singing for the Lord -- and the homilies are great, and I mean great, big push on the Eucharist and Sacrament of Confession and they are very, very prolife.

St. Brendans in Bellingham does a Latin Mass once a month. He is also as solid as they come. No monkey business at the Novus Ordo. The place is packed. He's taught his people Sanctifying Grace. I've stood in line for Confessions there for an hour or so. Young children in line with me. It's a phenomenal community. He does a Holy Hour every Saturday with confessions.

St. Clement's in Boston. Parking stinks there but that's another place that is solid. Confessions before Mass and you can expect to wait in a long line. Same with the St. Francis Chapel in the Pru. I think they validate parking there. I wouldn't start off at the Pru though because it's more of a chapel style Mass and I think you'll need more.

There's more but these are the places right off the top of my head.

I took a hiatus from the madness for a while and it took superhuman strength to go back. Sometimes, it was painful when I ran into shenanigans and it would keep me away again for a time. Eventually, I kept making it back to confession and the grace got me over the hump--and I found my way to parishes that were good. I have routine and I am finally relaxed. There's no sitting with a pit in my stomach waiting for them to say something heretical or waiting for them to do something scandalous in the Mass. (They don't realize that it's like sitting in the pews waiting for somebody to spit in Christ's face or to say something that may change how your children understand their faith for the rest of their life - waiting for the day it will damage it irreparably.)

I don't miss those days. You get to a point where it's so good you even forget about them.

Carol McKinley said...

Veronica,

You rock.

Maria said...

Anoymous--'praying to find a Mass that would not be an occasion of sin for us ( because of our anger and distraction)'

I have finally begun to experience something close to, well, almost, rage at the behavior of others at Mass. Parents with, not crying children, screaming children. I actually had it out w/ a parent at the National Shrine the other day. He could have cared less.

Today? I kid you not. A man's cell phone rang. He stood up, walked down the church aisle, answered it, and said 'hello' loud enough for all to hear. I cannot adequately describe in words what this does to me. And, yes, you are right, it has become an near occasion of sin simply attending Mass. I can't stay after Mass in Thnaksgiving due to the noise level. I think as we have become de-Christianized, paganized, we have in the process also become uncivilized in the world and now at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Anonymous said...

One way St. Joseph in Hanson could improve, drop the Yoga. See the last couple of bulletins, third column near the bottom. (http://www.stjosephtheworker.org/documents/weekly_bulletin_Apri10-1.pdf)

Carol McKinley said...

Yeah - not a fan of "yoga". But I'll bet it's just stretching without the whackadoo stuff. This parish is not one that I would recommend to somebody who is still in the post-traumatic stress phase. It doesn't even belong in the traditional category. It's for people who can stand a little folksy to get to good quality homilies and Sacramental grace. It is definitely not a place where the focus of salvation is on being nice and picking up litter. The theology is solid.

Anonymous said...

I actually had it out w/ a parent at the National Shrine the other day. He could have cared less.

Maria - Perhaps this parent was just a buffoon, however, I would prayerfully consider how to approach a parent with a screaming child. Having been there, (though hopefully getting to the back of the church quickly), I can't tell you how many people were unbelievably rude about even mildly distracting child noises. It is a bigger struggle for parents of young children to get to Mass, and so many stop going to Mass completely rather than deal with the fallout from a hard to manage baby or toddler.
The best approach is asking, nicely, "Can I help?" In fact, once an older woman at Mass offered me a tip on how to hold a colicky baby - it worked like a charm! I know those coloring books, and cheerios annoy so many in the pews, but sometimes that's the only way these parents can manage to get through a Mass with young children. As a convert,at first, I found it extremely annoying to attend Masses with children (Protestants usually ship out the children to the nursery or classes during services). However, now I rejoice when I hear the sound of child chaos in the pews - nothing is more depressing than a deathly quiet church with just graying heads.

SisterTemptation said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maria said...

It is a bigger struggle for parents of young children to get to Mass

I am not quite sure what that means. My Mother and Father raised five children and managed to get all of us to Mass each and every Sunday. It involved sacrifice. My Mother would take one shift of kids while my Father stayed home with children who were too young to be in church. Then my Father would go to church.

You say: "It is a bigger struggle for parents of young children to get to Mass". A bigger sttruggle than raising five chilren and making sure that everyone who needs to go to Mass gets there?

You say: "The best approach is asking, nicely, "Can I help?"
Frankly, I am not at Mass to take care of your children. You may be too young to understand this; however, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is intended to be conducted in an atmosphere of reverence. This reverence does not include children who make worship impossible.

Maria said...

Sister: I am not a Buddhist. I am a Roman Catholic.

Carol McKinley said...

I remember all too well the production of getting everyone ready for Mass with enough snacks, books, things to keep the occupied and having one of them or both have meltdowns. I am always happy to hear the sound of a mother and young family who love our Lord. A smile and a gentle look of acknowledgment goes a long way. And a prayer!

Carol McKinley said...

Maria,
I removed the comment from the woman in the slut get up driveling on about new age. Musta been somebody from the usccb?

Anonymous said...

"...nothing is more depressing than a deathly quiet church with just graying heads."

I don't find that depressing at all. In fact, I would relish the quiet.

Veronica

Maria said...

Carol: The USCCB seems always lost, right? When it is so loud that one literally cannot hear the Mass, prayer does not overcome this. We can disagree. I still love you though, lol.

Maria said...

Veronica: The world is starved for silence. It just doesn't know it...

Anonymous said...

You're my kind of gal, Maria!

God bless you, and pray for me please.

Veronica

Maria said...

I will Veronica. We need to support each other in this difficult time...