Monday, March 10, 2008

A sad old man

While I applaud B16 for making his positions crystal clear, one has to wonder just how a man could become so out of touch with the people he supposedly serves. With each new proclamation, he becomes less a leader and more a Punch-and-Judy puppet in a two dimensional theater in a public park, ignored even by children who are used to more sophisticated entertainment. If only he were benevolent, he'd be revered as a quaint old man full of love, and he would be allowed his failing vision, but he is not that. He seems bitter and bent on vengeance and retaliation personally engineered from a very comfortable sedia. Naturally, surrounded by yes-men, he is convinced of the merits of his actions. Millions turn away. His voice is barely audible. How many years of this will we have?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Persevering Controversies?

Father Massa is either a bumbler or a very intelligent wordsman.

In this article about the Pope's revisioning of Good Friday prayers, resurrecting supplications (suppressed in the 1960's) that express fervent hopes that the Jews will see the error of their ways and come to accept Jesus as their savior, he is quoted as saying that we have "persevered other controversies".

At first read, I thought he had probably meant to say that we had survived, resolved or endured other controversies. At second read, I wondered if perhaps he really meant what the common usage of "persevere" carries: that we would "ride out" this controversy, as does one the common cold, getting through it without curing it, until it goes away. At third read, I began to wonder if "persevere" has an essential and root meaning that has been lost in common usage, and if, meaning "to cut through", it is supposed to take an object. If so, bravo, adroit Father Massa.

Alas, according to Merriam-Webster, the verb is intransitive and does not mean cutting through anything. It means "to persist". Father Massa is really fueling the flames of unecumenical insult by saying that we Catholics have been successfully recalcitrant in past controversies and we shall be thus in this one.

In any case, his reminding the Jews that only a few people will be saying this offensive prayer, and that most of them won't understand it because it is in Latin, is laughable. So much for the power of individual personal prayer, I guess. Hey Father Massa, ever hear of the widow's mite? Mighty hilarious stuff made less amusing because it comes from the mouth of the German B16.

Friday, February 1, 2008

An Army of Beautiful but Nervous Young Men.

He's dead.

I was fascinated by his seminarians. In Rome, I'd see them in their Mercedes bus, perfectly dressed in clerical garb and reading their breves on the way to the Gregorian University while we of the American college walked the route in our jeans, smoking and stopping for coffee/and. They were so handsome, and all cut from the same heartbreakingly gorgeous cloth. He had hand-picked them. Thick straight black hair. Square jawed and broad shouldered. Large hands turned the pages of those prayer books nestled in the smoldering laps of their athletic bodies. I'd always catch the eye of one or another of them and in that instant, they would know that I knew what no one was supposed to know.

Friday, December 7, 2007

What Sister Wendy said

Dear Priest-Readers,

Go to JoeMyGodand read what this good woman had to say on the Huffington blog.

Finally, someone with the courage to trust God. To trust the Holy Spirit. To go to the root of the Good News rather than try to manipulate it into all sorts of painful and inhumane contrivances under the cloak of upholding tradition. In your hearts, you know she's right. Doesn't it make you want to be as courageous as she is, and to proclaim what you know to be true?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Color Me Blue

To My Fellow Priests:

Guys. Can someone please tell me who in the Archdiocese of NY is responsible for this ridiculous and hilarious piece of...

And how do I get a copy of the whole thing? An instant classic.

UPDATE: Here it is I think you'll agree that the page showing the priest and altar boy in the sacristy is really wrong on so many levels. So are the pages that attempt to show male pedophiles bearing candy and male internet predators. Pity the nice men of this world who just happen to look like these guys and will now send kids screaming to other adults. This is really amateur stuff.

Also, the coloring book attempts to address the problem of a child who has been abused by an adult he or she trusted. Now who do they tell? It's handled in a clumsy and confusing way. Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"You mean I'm not..."

From the archives, an article in New York Times:

Without a 'Father' or 'Son,' Baptisms Are Ruled Invalid

Published: October 9, 1993
A Roman Catholic priest told several families that the baptisms he had performed were declared invalid because he altered a reference to the Holy Trinity.

For "Father, Son and Holy Spirit," the Rev. William Larkin said he had substituted "God our Creator, through Jesus the Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit." He said his motive was to be more sensitive to women.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston said Auxiliary Bishop John P. Boles had written to Father Larkin's order, the Paulist Fathers, saying that the word changes would invalidate the baptisms.

and tomorrow?

One wonders where these pay-offs will all lead.

They may appease the victims, but the structure that produced and nurtured the problem hasn't really changed, has it? Cutting off the top of a weed doesn't make your garden much better. You need to pull weeds. You need to plan your garden and make wise choices. You need to be attentive. You supposed shepherds of flocks. Talk to me again when you've put down your drinks, and your wallets and your forks and your keys. I'm having a tough time hearing you over the din of your recreations.