Wednesday, April 2, 2014

HOW BIG IS THE CHURCH?


I have often imagined the Church as a large tree with one branch at one extreme and another branch at the other extreme. The branches do not know one another but are receiving sap from the same trunk and they share the same life."  Archbishop Oscar Romero Sermon 30 September 1979
Hat tip to Polycarpio

This came about as a result of my reply to one of the comments on the previous post, which a good friend has encouraged me to "turn into a primary post."


I have often said that I believe that the Church is big enough for a diversity of spiritual and liturgical expressions-- Eastern, Latin (Old and New) hymns ancient and modern, music of Gregorian chant or folk, or Renaissance Baroque.

The Church IS the priest who stumbles out of bed at 3:00 am and put on his black shirt, so worn it looks charcoal grey, and goes to sit with a dying man and his family. She IS the priest who lives the life of a hermit, struggling day by day to please God through his works and prayers. The Church IS the angry professional blogging priest, desperately trying to instill his personal world view on the world. The Church IS the single mother, working two jobs to provide for her children. She IS the couple in a second marriage-- who think they can attend Mass, yet send their children to CCD. She IS the victim of clerical sexual abuse that can no longer bring himself to even believe in God from his pain.  She is the priest who sits in a jail cell wrongly convicted of crimes he did not commit.  The church is the elderly man who attends daily Mass, afterwhich he prays his rosary with deep, abiding and unquestioning faith.  She is the college student who attends Sunday Mass even though she questions the church's teachings or no longer finds them 'relevant'. 




The Church, She is each one of us.

The Church, SHE IS, ALL OF US. Broken in our humanity-- with our weaknesses and our strengths. We are the Church, the Body of Christ in all its members and parts. We are, because HE IS, always has been and always will be. We are because of His Grace working through us, in spite of us.


Though, because SHE IS THE CHURCH, She is the means through which the Holy Mysteries of Gods Grace flow to the broken, crying, searching human race.  She holds the Keys to the Kingdom through the Magisterium.  She IS Mercy. She is our mother.   

To those who came here looking for parody, snark, humor (or humour), I offer a half hearted apology. Occasionally I, or one of my contributors, commentators or readers, become passionate about a particular topic and I run with it. Read it. Like it.  Hate it. Free country.  And, unlike other places, a free speech zone. Join the conversation, or ignore it.   Oh, I almost forgot.... yeah, the parody and sarcasm WILL be back.  Keep an eye out for it. 

34 comments:

  1. I could have sworn this was one big April Fool's joke until I see that this blog has been here for years (?).
    Obsess much?
    Please, do not deny it, the proof is even in the name of the blog.
    Have a problem with Fr. Z? Okay, I can understand that.
    Have a REALLY BIG PROBLEM with Fr. Z, that might be time for some professional help.
    I mean, seriously, imitation IS the highest form of flattery, but you've taken imitation to another dimension, maybe even another universe.
    I will pray for you.

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    1. Try as I might, I can not find one reference to Faddah Zzzzz in this post. Hmmmmmmmmm.
      Thank you for the prayers. I need them, and appreciate them. Thank you for your kindness and spiritual charity. May the remainder of your Lent be blessed and your celebration of Easter joyous!

      Delete
  2. Yeah... Father D and others are incredibly annoyed by Father Z because he makes their jobs harder and gives them a bad name. Priests used to be associated with Spencer Tracy and Bing Crosby. Now the association is the man who mocks and bullies his opponents and has an ammo fund.

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    1. That's all you got Fr. D? Your obsession with Fr Z. is really getting out of hand....now having a conversation anonymously with an anonymous poster.

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    2. Just one of Father D's five loyal readers who enjoy his satire of the Z-man.

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    3. N.B. I'm down to three readers these days.
      One was committed involuntarily to the Home for the Bewildered the other finally came to his senses and entered a monastery where internet access is restricted.

      Delete
  3. Hey Anon4:04PM, maybe this guy peeved with our Father D is Zully's ammo dealer.

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    1. Don't sell ammo, but thanks for the heads up on Fr. Z's ammo fund. Have some real nice 5.56 FMJ in MAGPUL 30 rd mags he might be interested in...felling very generous this month, I am.

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    2. dont forget to donate to the general fund, he needs the cash for his food tourism across europe and his $100 wine to entertain with

      damn shame muslims dont have priests and dont wear lace and dont do the tridentine liturgical dance - otherwise you people would fit right in you all have so much in common - worshiping the gun and violence, keeping women covered up and in their place etc oh and those saudis sure do like their luxury

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    3. Thanks for the very healthy laugh.... I never heard the word "tridentine" linked with the phrase "liturgical dance" used in a grammatically correct sentence before this post!

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  4. Gee, so glad to see you generously offering to share. The mendacious mendicant needs all the help he can get now that his ammo fund is delinked from his site.

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    1. Fr. D, using ten dollar words doesn't make you any more intelligent...just makes you more of an ass.
      If you're a priest, then I'm Bishop of Rome.

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    2. Mistaking me for Father D is the best compliment I have received in ages, thank you so much! If you want to see an ass, go find a mirror.

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    3. I would, but you seem to be hogging all of them.
      Also, if being mistaken for "Fr." D(ufus) is a compliment, I would hate to read the story of your early child life!

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    4. Father Z.. don't you have to do something more important like updating your Amazon wishlist rather than trolling a parody site.

      Also, could I give you some advice? The self hating gay act is getting quite old. Just come out of the closet and accept who you are. This extra macho he-man I love guns act is getting ridiculous.

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    5. Yeah, reading this guy Z is a hoot! All the tough guy survivalist gun talk coming from Padre Pudgy, the corpulent cleric.

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  5. Wow, just wow.... these couch cases make "Z" look like a moderate: http://www.novusordowatch.org/index.htm

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    1. Speaking of head cases "Fr." D(ufus)....

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  6. Often I post as "PostCatholic" on Rev. Zuhlsdorf's blog. I probably won't be successful doing that for a while. A young-earth proponent there tried to justify the historicity of Genesis flood, and when I called his ilk the "angry lunatic fringe" I found myself being moderated. Oh well.

    Today, Rev. Zuhlsdorf posted a blog defending a woman religious who overstated her case when defending RC teaching on homosexuality at a Catholic high school. I find your church's teachings in this area utterly repugnant and highly selective, but actually that isn't what bugged me about the post. I object to his sarcastic dismissal of the observations of teenagers as inaccurate. Honestly, how can one aspire to be called "Father" and at the same time not respect the experience of teens?

    Because I'm "moderated"--i.e. censored--and because I've also learned Rev. Zuhlsdorf rarely accepts criticism, if at all, I have a feeling my challenge to this won't see the light of day there. I'm therefore sharing my comment on his blog post here instead. Thanks for the forum.

    -PostCatholic


    ======

    ” I say vague because teens are such great sources of accuracy in reporting ”

    My experience is that the teens in my life do their best to be accurate. They may not always remove their emotions from their experience, or clearly see the motivations or reasoning that lead adults to say the things they say, and nuance is often lost. Those are skills learned in time, and learned more quickly when adults try to encourage their development. Do want to have teen readers here? Do you already? If so, how would they feel about your dismissive statement?

    I’ll save a copy of this for posting elsewhere.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. That's a dangerous thing to say if you haven't any proof. It's a harsh thing to say even if you did have proof. Since either way, it doesn't do you any spiritual good, I'd suggest you not say it.

      To your first point, I thought all priests imagined themselves to be in some intermediary position? As a non-believer, I think "imagine" is probably the right word.

      -PostCatholic

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    3. I agree PostCatholic. For the first time ever, I felt the need to delete a comment because it was so vile.

      I find it most interesting that those who hold me most accountable when my own posts get to be too harsh, or over the top, are not the active TLM faithful, but are folks like PostCatholic, and a couple different people who post occasionally as Readerette.

      I am grateful for your feedback-- public and private.

      While I am frequently in disagreement with Mr William Anthony "Bill" Donohue of the Catholic League, I believe he is an honorable man deeply convicted to living his faith and truly believes in what he is doing.

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    4. Teenagers are only trustworthy when they agree with you, silly.

      Besides everyone knows that if only those students got a real Catholic education then all the teenage boys would be going gaga over middle aged obese men in lace. Kissing their hands, and everything that their hands touch and such.

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    5. Thank you. “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?” once asked John Wesley.

      -PostCatholic

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    6. I was actually wrong. My post did eventually see the light of day (probably after being noticed here). I was bid "addio" and it seems Zuhlsdorf is also attempting to block my access to his website (quite easily circumvented).

      So I was wrong my thoughts wouldn't be shared, and very right that correction wouldn't be welcome. Thin skin is unbecoming in a cleric, and even less so in an academic.

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  7. I think Father J.Z. might have pedophobia, fear of children. Did you see how he says that children turned homes into reeducation camps after having such silly notions as littering is bad bashed into their "empty-skull heads" at school? Also, what kind of an adult man would characterize teenagers putting together a petition against a nun speaker as a violent mob ready to burn her at the stake?
    This sort of paranoia coupled with building rifles and collecting amo does not a good combination make....

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    1. he has a priest friend in utah, another prussian cleric named richtsteig, who runs a blog caled orthometer. the priest was posting gun stuff before zuhlsdorf (though fr richsteig's gun posts were limited and MUCH more toned down and sane) - and guess what some lunatic went to fr richsteig's parish and shot somebody point blank from behind the head during sunday mass. needless to say fr richsteig no longer makes gun posts.

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    2. I love how these "traditionalists" are all about how only the consecrated hands of a priest may touch the host, Aquinas says so, the tradition of the church says so...but when it comes to what Aquinas and the tradition says about the consecrated hands of a priest wielding weapons, well....that goes out the window. Fr. Z even thinks that it's ok for priests to wear guns under vestments during mass, talking about the liturgical berretta...unreconstructed manualist my *bleep*.

      Delete
  8. Father D, I am the writer of the post that you deleted (and in retrospect rightfully) as vile. I'll begin with a sincere apology and explain why.

    I also wrote the "mendacious mendicant" snark above in this thread.

    The response to that post was addressed to YOU referring to the use of "ten dollar words"...

    I replied that it was an honor to be mistaken for you.

    A further retort spoke about my early childhood, and, that's when my head exploded and I became guilty of the sin of RAGE. My early childhood included ABUSE, abuse by "religious" Catholic Clergy. I failed in my reserve in "just letting that go".

    You may note that I didn't mention anyone by name, but that Catholic League executive or mouthpiece as I may refer to him as makes a living defending clerical misdeeds. [FYI, I have never taken any legal action against the Church]

    Sorry if I have offended, but defending this man to me is VILE. His demeanor is VILE to any and all victims of ABUSE. His sneering obnoxiousness causes me to be sick to my stomach.

    I do appreciate what you are doing to the extent that you make Z the laughingstock that he so richly deserves to be. Great work!



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    1. I am sorry to hear of your abuse as a child by a member of the clergy. I am sickened whenever I hear of the abuse or mistreatment of a child by anyone. When a member of the clergy (or a teacher or a scout leader) is the perpetrator that disgust is multiplied. Our Lord was very clear about the state a man or woman who causes harm to a child. "It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2) Not much more one can say really. Those who dare defend or justify the actions of clergy or religious who abuse children (sexually, emotionally, physically or spiritually) will have to answer for their action and/or lack of action.

      I have recently taken a few moments to listen to and read some of the statements of the previously named individual concerning the clergy abuse scandal. No need for you to apologize for anything. Both the words and the tone surprised and disturbed me.

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    2. Thank you Father D, your forgiveness, understanding and inquiry are gifts that I am grateful to have received today. May we all be blessed as Holy Week begins, but truthfully, I look forward to the resuming of the parody and sarcasm.

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  9. I think people want to be good. Sometimes things can prevent them from that desire, but mostly I believe in the goodness of others (and therefore, not in original sin). So I might call behavior vile but I would really try to avoid calling a person vile.

    I'm originally from the Boston area and personally know a couple of people who were victims of clergy sex abuse--as well as a few of the perpetrators. In seminary, I dealt with a lot of verbal abuse from a housemate and from a few priests, all now imprisoned for their sex crimes. I really wish you healing.

    It's a long road to that. Rage and anger are normal outcomes of having been repeatedly helpless when being hurt by authority figures. So please don't let that be the reason preventing you from demanding that you be compensated for the help you feel you need. You're entitled to your justice and it's not selfish or sinful to seek recompense for your injuries.

    -PostCatholic

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  10. ZZ Top ... I mean ZZ Bo ... oh, nevermind ... is on his way back to Rome. Can't wait for pix of his yummy lunches and dinners. He wants "a new vestment" and, of course, a Bugatti. The Donation Box is **OPEN **. Cough up, readers and readerettes!

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  11. Thanks for the hat tip. Back atcha!

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