Did your priest discuss the Zimmerman case in a homily?


#21

Great reply Deus,

I like your insight into this area. I think you hit the mark when you mentioned that the Zimmerman case is not about white and black, but it is more about rampant, uncontroleld violence that America has failed to control.

Why so much violence though?

For me the answer is that people want love, but instead they pursue power and wealth. When they eventually fail, rage and disillusionment turn into distruction.
Of course, it does not help that in soceity people are not just race prejudice, but also looks, status, wealth, and power prejudicial.

In other words, we told to achieve, achieve, achieve, and that means make it any way possible. Even as a school teacher, I see this in my middle school class room.

I also appreciated your insight into the plight of young, black males in America.


#22

Whoa, the Zimmerman case is something that was done by human folly, and thus offers a morality tale on what to do and not do.

For example, "Do not be so quick to justice or anger" is a pretty big lesson here for all Americans.

Also the stand your ground law is very tricky, and with so many people armed, we do not want a wild west show sprouting up, like in our pasts.

Last, the train accident, is just that an accident. Terrible things happen to show how essentially the world can be very, very choatic, and that is the sad part of having to be human.

The Zimmerman case is a warning about free will and emotions. The train accident is just sadness.

ed


#23

[quote="jinx136, post:22, topic:333709"]
The train accident is just sadness.

[/quote]

We're Canadian, not American. So the politics of the Zimmerman case don't really apply to us.

Secondly, regardless of whether the train accident was "just an accident" (and I don't think it was: there's plenty of evidence of corporate and regulatory negligence), the pastoral needs of the local people trump the need to discuss a distant legal case.

My point is, as awkward as I am at presenting it, is that priests have to consider local needs first. My other point is that although this forum is mostly from the United States, the Church is much bigger than the USA and other regions may have more pressing concerns to deal with.


#24

I don't think a homily is the place for a priest to push their pet political cause(s).

If he wants to offer prayers for all involved, then do so when the time for that comes.

But don't use a sermon to further your private opinions/agenda.


#25

No, no mention whatsoever.


#26

[quote="Lormar, post:24, topic:333709"]
I don't think a homily is the place for a priest to push their pet political cause(s).

If he wants to offer prayers for all involved, then do so when the time for that comes.

But don't use a sermon to further your private opinions/agenda.

[/quote]

Agree. And that's why I brought it up. Ours is very predictable and is stuck in the rhetoric of the 1970's, as well as the homily (often of that time period) being inappropriately used as a vehicle for partisan racial politics or partisan anything else.

The sad part was that the beginning of the homily was great. But then he inserted the TM case in there artificially, using his homily theme not in the broader and more universal spiritual application for all listeners, but instead with narrow regard to a news item.

No priest should use homilies to demonize individuals who are strangers to him. He called the defense lawyers "stupid." -- (Wait, apparently they were unstupid enough to win the case) He practically called GZ a vile racist. It seems to me that a homily is an opportunity to model charity, as well as speak about it. He did neither; he definitely had an agenda, as he has in other areas. (One Pope is "great": that would be John XXIII, according to him; one President is great, no others; one Cardinal is great, no others.)

I agree with the poster who decried the pandering to one local segment of a population. Now, I do think it's realistic to be aware of practical and spiritual needs, both, of a local population, because sometimes the practical concerns are referred to in the homily (as concerns which do not excuse a lack of faith or fidelity). Another priest I know does that, and he's a great homilist; people come to his Masses because his homilies are so provocative in a good way. His homilies speak to how we relate to God and how we should access that relationship to handle our modern personal, very concrete situations.

Lormar is right: There is no excuse for exploiting a captive audience in order to further a personal point of view which is divisive and is not in itself the Church's viewpoint, not to mention (in this case) which borders on character assassination.

Thanks for all responses so far.


#27

[quote="Nimzovik, post:17, topic:333709"]
I find this to be reprehensible. He fuels the fire of racism by pandering to his primarily Black congregation?

Incredible.

[/quote]

I admit that I have a difficult time, sometimes, being one of only about five white parishioners with an attendance of about 250 folks... but I don't really think that our pastor was 'pandering.' He's been in our very, very, VERY poor black neighborhood for 18 years now and has garnered a unique insight, I believe, into the perspective of his parishioners. Many of our people have relatives in prison and it's not unusual, every couple of weeks, for a community member with ties to the parish to be murdered. So, in our parish, we deal with poverty and the useless taking of life on a daily basis, really.

So, yes, there is anger in our parish of justice having been done in the Zimmerman trial. I don't believe that our pastor was pandering to the black parish at all - simply addressing an issue in which justice sometimes really does mean (to paraphrase some Richard Prior, I believe) "Just Us." To have not spoken of the verdict would have been a serious ommission, I think, of what it means to be black in today's society. President Obama was right - it could have been him.

Clinton


#28

[quote="clintondyches, post:27, topic:333709"]
So, yes, there is anger in our parish of justice having been done in the Zimmerman trial. I don't believe that our pastor was pandering to the black parish at all - simply addressing an issue in which justice sometimes really does mean (to paraphrase some Richard Prior, I believe) "Just Us." To have not spoken of the verdict would have been a serious ommission, I think, of what it means to be black in today's society. President Obama was right - it could have been him.

[/quote]

First, I don't want to get into the last 9 words of your post, because they repeat a political statement -- and from a politician, no less. These words have been discussed to death over in the World News forum, and that's not the point of my thread.

The point is, To what degree and in what manner should a homilist bring up news stories, both local and not? I.m.o., many Protestant black pastors have a better approach. Maybe some of them also talk about local events during services, but what I've seen is that instead they talk about those things, as pastors, outside of services. They do relate to the local community, obviously. They do acknowledge that local events and spiritual needs are not separate. However, they do so responsibly - addressing anger, grief, regret over violence at secular community events. And when they speak at those non-church events they do not make political statements or speak as politicians; they speak as pastors. They explicitly try to unite people, keeping the focus on Christ and Christ's peace. Name-calling and political rhetoric demonize and divide.

Our pastor (not the one I mentioned who brought up TM) is aware of segments of the parish that are hurting (divorce, unemployment, alienation of children, much more) and he speaks about those in his excellent homilies. But he speaks about these with the spiritual focus that black pastors also do. Catholic priests are in persona Christi, not in persona Al Sharpton.

Given that Jesus' preaching was orally passed down by repeated memorization, the Gospel writers would not have failed to include frequent political comments, not to mention speeches, if He had made those. I'm sorry, but the kind of comment you inserted from Richard Pryor has no place within the Mass, i.m.o. (Not that you were saying that your pastor repeats such quotes, necessarily.)

Here is the other aspect about it. Just as a Catholic priest should model charity instead of slander in his homilies, he should also not model bitterness himself, nor publicly approve of bitter statements. He is not there to be less a model of Christ than the average Catholic in the pew.


#29

Mercifully not. I think it's tasteless or pandering or both to pile on the actions of an individual (or two individuals) who didn't ask to become famous and use the opportunity to start to second guess other people's actions from the pulpit.


#30

Nnnnnnnope


#31

[quote="clintondyches, post:27, topic:333709"]
I admit that I have a difficult time, sometimes, being one of only about five white parishioners with an attendance of about 250 folks... but I don't really think that our pastor was 'pandering.' He's been in our very, very, VERY poor black neighborhood for 18 years now and has garnered a unique insight, I believe, into the perspective of his parishioners. Many of our people have relatives in prison and it's not unusual, every couple of weeks, for a community member with ties to the parish to be murdered. So, in our parish, we deal with poverty and the useless taking of life on a daily basis, really.

So, yes, there is anger in our parish of justice having been done in the Zimmerman trial. I don't believe that our pastor was pandering to the black parish at all - simply addressing an issue in which justice sometimes really does mean (to paraphrase some Richard Prior, I believe) "Just Us." To have not spoken of the verdict would have been a serious ommission, I think, of what it means to be black in today's society. President Obama was right - it could have been him.

Clinton

[/quote]

I disagree with you...it could have been Obama? Really? Your pastor knows what happened? Really? Do any of us? Things like this happen on a daily basis. The media has made it blatenly about race. To have a pastor fuel that would be incorrect. Not sure how it ties to scripture...other then maybe he should have talked about forgiveness? And justice in the long run through Christ alone. This would have been more productive as I'm sure those that have relatives in prison are not all there correctly. Yes...innocent men are put in prison.

Thankfully ours did not bring it up.


#32

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.