Article - Fallacy of the Middle Ground


I started attending another parish in my area, Assumption Grotto in Detroit. The pastor’s column really struck me and I thought I would share it and get feedback.

Rather than looking at “all those other people” I would ask that we look inward and see if where we are on his scales.

Comments after reading?

If there is an error, use the main page and go to Fr. Perrone on the left hand bar, then Pastor’s column, then choose May 15. It should be switching soon to this Sunday’s so the link may get messed up.


I believe everything. But when it comes to my pet sins, I am so sure I am truly, deep down, ready to part with them. God help me.

I will say, though, that, from that article, it appears that your priest kicks some serious booty.


Wonderful. Did you say that was a homily?

Well, that’s the crux of it after all isn’t it. It takes great grace to trust God enough to completely submit to His will and not let ourselves get in the way.

I was thinking as I read along, well…I’m about an 8 or 9 because I believe everything the Church teaches as truth, but complete assent of the will was required for a 10. I can’t help but think if I truly believed it all, with all my heart, I would have a better resolve not to keep failing. I guess a more perfect contrition is what I am trying to say.

His point about all or nothing hit home. Very good pastor. I hope you feed him well.

Thanks for sharing, Paula


[quote=John_Henry]I believe everything. But when it comes to my pet sins, I am so sure I am truly, deep down, ready to part with them. God help me.

I will say, though, that, from that article, it appears that your priest kicks some serious booty.

He did in fact, kick some serious booty, as you say. He cast that net of admonition and snared me good. This is why I feel our pastors and priests need to do this more often as it makes you think. If all they talk about is God’s love and mercy, then why in Sam Hill would we contemplate God’s justice?

I got the distinct feeling that such a priest who went through that kind of effort needed to hear a confession like mine as much as I needed a priest like him to hear it. I finally got tired of playing games with confession, running from priest to priest and basically it got easy to find the ones who wouldn’t ask questions. Shame on me! I told him I did that and that I felt God was telling me to stop the nonsense.

His article got me thinking deeply enough that it extracted something I hadn’t expected - that I didn’t agree with a particular church teaching, was ignoring it, and therefore, only did a “half-hearted job” of fixing the problem - just as he stated. I finally reconciled with the teaching realizing that I had to obey it, THEN I needed to understand it - in that order.

Once I did that I felt God telling me to tell him what I had been doing, why I was doing it, and what attitudes were involved.

The closet is now empty!!! :smiley:


[quote=PJR]Wonderful. Did you say that was a homily?

Thanks for sharing, Paula

No, that wasn’t a homily, it was his front page, “Pastor’s Descant” in the bulletin. This article appeared on Pentecost.

He has many other good writings at the website. Consider bookmarking it and thumbing through his sermons and pastor’s columns.


If you want to read more about him, scroll down to the article:

“Hello Good Men” where he is discussed. I can’t see telling a priest like this I can’t find time to pray. He’s leading by example, imho.


[quote=Father Perrone] Am I perhaps becoming an old crank, a disillusioned malcontent who finds fault with everything? Possibly

If he is feeling down and looking for comfort he should heed his own words

[quote=Father Perrone] I know that utopian ideals are for adolescents.


Ahh - my feelings when I read those lines were that even priests are human - Thank God!

I had an inclination to show him he was not an Old Crank. He did the right thing because, as I said above, he snared me in his net when he cast it. And, it is why I said that maybe he needed to hear a confession like mine, as much as I needed a priest like him to hear it. He wanted honesty, and I was trying to get up the guts to do just that - like I never had before. So, why shouldn’t such a man be on the receiving end of that honesty.

A few weeks ago I had some deep feelings about how our priests seem fixated on God’s love and mercy, and here he writes about how we focus on God’s love and mercy. I had an even stronger feeling that when our priests start to talk about justice, sin, relativism, and the many other things we do not want to hear about, it will not repel the vast majority, rather it will draw them.

A prime example of this is the elevation of Cardinal Ratzinger after that fiery pre-conclave speech. He gave a very harsh admonishment and reminder about the “many wind’s of doctrine” people have been following. He dared to say, with great fervor, something that we wish not to hear. If he was hoping it would have the cardinals not elect him, he was mistaken - it drew them to him. And so it will be with our priests when they learn to give us the fullness of the Lord’s message.

Just like the baskets of bread and fish that seemed to be endless when the disciples trusted the Lord, our priests must let go of that fear that they will scare people away, or lose collection money, tax exemption, and what not. When they do, the flock will return in great numbers to these shepherds who speak Truth. This will be God’s reward for that trust. He will not turn his back on these shepherds.


I used to live in and near Detroit about 50 years ago. At that time wasn’t Assumption Grotto staffed by the Precious Blood Fathers from Ohio? I have to agree that Father certainly hit the nail on the head. My observation though is that many many of our Post Vatican II Catholics are not very well grounded in the knowledge of our Faith. As a result they are easily led astray with all of the best intentions on their part. I can also say that as a very pre-Vatican II Catholic that I would hate to go back to the days when we asked Father for an ok about everything and believed firmly that every thing Sister said was valid no questions asked. I often think that opposed to the over emphasis on love and mercy that we have today that many of us lived in total fear of God’s judgement untempered with love and mercy. I think there is where we need to seek the middle ground. In belief and behavior we should, as Father says strive to be tens.


I believe that Fr. Perrone is a diocesan priest but he is also a Third Order Carmelite, and chaplain to the local secular order. At the Parish today are the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, including Sisters of the Holy Cross. There are several priests at this parish, which is refreshing, but I have to say that my sense is that the atmosphere is highly pastoral.


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