A tale of two churches


This is one of those impossible choice threads. Bear with me, as they help me understand.

You, faithful, obedient, pious and conscientious practicing Catholic, have a choice of two churches to attend. In every regard except the things noted they are practically identical.

Church A has an at best indiifferent priest who says things like “it is high time the Mass is reinvented from scratch”, invited an abortion doctor to give the homily once last year, and has a stated goal of having at least one practicing homosexual as an Eucharistic minister at every Mass so “no one is excluded.” On it goes with things you have a great deal of difficulty tolerating.

Church B has a priest who believes and teaches from the Catechism, is extremely conscientious to submit to Catholic teaching in everything, and is basically a model priest. His only problem is that he believes that John Paul II is still alive, kidnapped by Benedict and hidden somewhere. Benedict has fooled everyone, he says, and trusts God to restore JPII to us. So he prays for John Paul our pope, not Benedict. In all other matters he is normal. He is not exactly open to reason on this, but will give long convoluted explanations of his belief if you let him. He does, however, have a great deal of respect for Cardinal Ratzinger, somehow in his mind not the same person as Benedict.

Letters and phone calls to the bishop have not been returned.


This must be hypothetical. Tell me this is hypothetical.

If the Bishop has not returned your calls, perhaps you should contact the Vicar General in the diocese.

Either way, I go with the latter church.


Ah, monomania. I’ve written a monograph on the subject, my dear Watson. . .

Seriously. The priest at church B has a delusion which in no way interferes with his priestly faculties or invalidates all the ‘correct’ positions he maintains.

The priest at church A has many delusions which greatly interfere and could even invalidate his priestly function (though none of the examples you gave invalidate a Mass. However, sounds like it is just a matter of time before he starts attempting confecting beer and pretzels. . .)

The bishop should be approached and the priest at church B should receive counseling and treatment for his delusion and the bishop should decide whether to have him continue.

Likewise, the priest at church B should receive correction of the ‘incorrect doctrine’ and be put on some form of probation, should he ‘repent’, if the bishop decides to have him continue.

While we wait, I am at church B, where the Mass itself appears to be valid and the priest, in regards to the Mass and Catholic teaching, orthodox.


Sounds like my thoughts. Someone who is clearly mad, rather than deliberately heretical or disobedient, and unorthodox on one particular point but otherwise solid as a rock, has to be preferable to someone whose views, held in sound mind, are almost completely off-kilter in most every possible way.


I go with B as well. But, I would not be so hasty to run like mad to the higher ups about his mental dellusions. I would try talking to him personally first, and then go with another person in the parish to try and talk to him, and then I would go through the proper chain of command, all the while talking to him, telling him we need him, love him and try to suggest he get some professional assistance on the areas that are clearly, nutter. But, he is still the one I would want to have around. His “problem” will not turn people to go duplicate it, but the Priest A could send many to Hell.


I must hear these ‘explanations’. :rotfl:


This is hypothetical.

Well put.

Interesting approaches. I would, maybe, on looking back on it, have expected the turning issue to be loyalty to Rome: “A” is, whatever else he is, at least nominally loyal, while “B” seems to be some kind of sedevacantist, if only via insanity.


I agree with the other posters. I’d take B I’d rather have a priest who is in error through insanity than one who is in error from willfulness.

With Priest B you know what to be on the look out for. Other than that you still belong to a Church that teaches sound doctrine and morals.

Church A on the other hand is eaten up with error so that one would be hard pressed to know where the Truth was at all. Not a place you want to raise a family.


Well, we do happen to believe in what Rome actually teaches, ya know, not just in paying lipservice to the hierarchy.


The Priest in church B sounds like a riot. I would totally go to his church, mainly because there is a very small (0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001) chance that he may be right, whereas all the teachings of Priest A are completely and absolutely wrong and in no way Catholic. Good question though, keep ém coming. :thumbsup:


I’d say keep writing the bishop. In fact, at this point I would go above his head and write the Vatican, especially about “A”.

I agree that “B” priest is one bead short of a Rosary, but you don’t need the bead to pray the prayer. Stick with “B.”

Are you sure there isn’t a “C”?!

Gosh, we need to pray harder for vocations to the priesthood and ask the Lord to send the new guys YOUR way!!

This thread makes me grateful that I have several excellent parishes in my city and a great bishop. I feel guilty that our parish has three good priests.


Go to whichever one is your parish church, unless and until your local bishop or the Pope states explicitly that the parish church is no longer a local expression of the Catholic Church.

If, as some will no doubt say, parish boundaries are no longer binding, then that is a serious argument against Catholicism.

It is absolutely essential to the unity of the Church that people should not choose which local congregation they belong to.



Interesting point, but what does it have to do with the thread’s purported dilemma?


I think he is taking the position that you dont have a choice in parish to begin with.


That’s a tad bit of an overstatemetn don’t ya think?

I’ve got 4 Parish’s within 10 miles of my home. Frankly, I have no idea which one might “claim” my house.

How does me attending one or the other form an argument against Catholicism?

Granted the priest doesn’t “make the mass” so to speak, and in that regard it doesn’t matter which parish I would be required to attend.

But selecting one or the other out of convienience or preference. i.e. We go to the one where all my kids school friends go. Doesn’t argue against Catholicism.



Intersting that an Episcopalean would lecture Catholics on what Parish they should attend Mass in, I would tak B over A in a heartbeat.


It seems to me that both the Protestant and Catholic church has problems with crackpots in thier midst.::smiley:


I’d choose madness over malice any day.


If It were just me… I would go to (A)… If good practicing catholics run from a challenge like this, what does it say about us. We have a responsibility to help the Pastor of (A) because if we don’t, who will. And If no one does help (A), what is going to happen to all the parishioners?

If it were me and a family - I would go to (B) … While (A) still needs to be addressed, for the sake of the Family, (B) is far more important and will impose fewer “confusions” on the children.

In Christ


If I had no other choice I would choose B over A.
I see A as more of a protestant church. The paster gets to pick and choose what to believe. He is the “pope” = Heresy
As to B, Orthodox or “traditional (sspx)” ? = Schism

But I could be wrong.

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