Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Someone Needs to Smack These Folks With a Crosier

I think we've all heard by now of the uproar at the parish in Boston precipitated by the removal of their embezzling heterodox pastor. That's been fully commented on, but who knows what other sort of interesting and "diverse" catholic community experiences are out there? How about St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis? If you're up for a dip into the ecclesiastical loony bin, let's take a mosey around the website, shall we? (hat tip: Holy Whapping)

I'm all for conserving water, now, but that doesn't mean I resort to thinly veiled neo-pagan anism in my efforts to do so. Their "Eco-Spirituality Vission Statement" says things like "Humans, as embodied spirits, share with all creation the divine spirit." I don't know about yours, but in MY Bible, Genesis 1:26 says "let us make man in our image," not "let us make peat moss and armadillos in our image" .... something tells me that's not just a translation problem. It goes on to define "Eco-spirituality" as "embrac[ing] earth-centered and creation-centered spirituality." Now, compare that to the advertisement that was recently put up around campus for an "inter-pagan alliance" for "pagans, wiccans, ... and all others who follow an earth-centered spiritual path."

Then, what sort of Catholic church regards "Eucharist celebrations" (note it doesn't say "mass") that it holds in its gym as the "hallmark" of its parish?? And for the last 57 years?! That's not "we're renovating so we have to be in the gym for a few months, folks." Even better, you can download Highlights of the basketball game ... I mean "eucharistic celebration." Including all of the "Sunday Message"! Amazing! They've discovered how to podcast the Blessed Sacrament and the the mystery of the unity of the Church in the sacrifice of the mass -- this is an incredible breakthrough that could lead to the rapid evangelization of millions throughout the world. Oops, it's just the homilies. Oh, but wait, it's not even those -- it's primarily the "messages" delivered by random and eccentric laymen. I'm not seeing "presentation of speeches by the laity" in the GIRM index ...

The first paragraph of the parish's page on the "Gay and Lesbian Community" looked promising, and then you clicked the link and realized that the "sinfullness of all her children" wasn't talking about homosexuality, but all the rest of us narrow-minded dignity-depriving people.

The church very thoughtfully provides a nursery for the 6 members of the parish who buy all that "no birth control" rubbish that the Pope talks about. That's good, then parents and the rest of the faithful can be attentive to the mass while remaining confident that their children are under capable and caring eyes. That is, unless your infant is so inconsiderate as to cry for more than 10 minutes, in which case the nursery flashes the kid's id number on a screen in the gym/church and the parents have to go pick up the child. Because you just can't have children and babies crying in a nursery, that would be the end of all decency in the world. To make sure that your kids are adequately watched as long as they don't act like small children, the parish has an entire bureaucracy devoted to managing it.

You've got to love a parish named after St. Joan of Arc that has a Pax-Christi wanna-be organization. Although, I'm rather puzzled by their mission: "Our mission is to identify and address justified violence which is antithetical to the “good news” of the gospel." Restrictive and descriptive pronouns aside, how is violence both "justified" and "antithetical to the 'good news'"? (and do the scare quotes mean the news isn't really good, or that they're talking about a different good news than the rest of us, or what?) Wouldn't violence contrary to the gospels be unjustified ...? Or is that just me living in my bigoted little world and not paying enough attention to the spirit of Vatican II again? Just seems like part of their mission should be getting a new patron saint. Like Dipsy or Lala.

You have to call the parish office and make an appointment to go to confession ... I bet a whole lot of people take advantage of that highly convenient and readily available sacrament. Speaking of sacraments, I thought there was some sort of grace or being sealed with the Holy Spirit thing going on when I was confirmed. Looks like I was just "seeking to understand [my] faith better and have a deeper relationship with God." Doesn't sound that important, does it?

But at least I can be inspired, right? By a heretic, a rabid early 20th century secularist and playwrite, and a variety of pagans. Who needs saints, fathers of the Church, or that Jesus guy? Like, get with the program, man.

For those of you who are big on liturgical abuses, we have prohibited glass chalices that nicely frame the praise band. And my personal pet peeve among things-that-aren't-prohibited-but-ought-to-be, a Buddy Jesus instead of a crucifix. How do you honestly pass that off as an image of Christ crucified, the only image that is required to be in a church? If you want a statue of the Sacred Heart or the Infant of Prague, or another depiction of the living Christ, get one and put it in your gym/church -- don't meld it with the crucifix and give us some meaningless and arepresentational bastardized icon polyglot.

I could probably keep going -- I could keep going just about the happy-fix statue. But seriously, where is the Minneapolis bishop? Why doesn't he come out of his hole and actually go be a shepherd and do some herding instead of letting his sheep wander all over the wastelands of dissolution, heterodoxy, ecclesiastical democratization, and liturgical abuse?

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