Opinions Please! (Priest's Comments)


#1

Hi,

I was reading the local paper, and a parish priest was quoted in an article about the new Pope. I found his comments rather disturbing and non-doctrinal, but I wondered - is it just me? The article was about Catholic leaders in the area and their thoughts on the new Pope. Several priests were interviewed. The statements by this one priest were the ones of concern to me, because when I returned to the CC last month, his church was the one I started attending.

Here’s the quote (NOTE: I think the newpaper editor made a typo where it reads “John Paul XXIII”. Also I left out this priest’s name) :

The Rev. ________, called Ratzinger a “brilliant churchman” and said he has faith the man would face tough questions constructively.
At 78, Ratzinger appears to have been chosen as a transitional pope, ______ said.

“The wisdom of the group was to try to bridge to another pope,” he said.

Still, ______ noted that other transitional popes, John Paul XXIII among them, ushered in great and lasting change for the Catholic Church.

“There’s great anticipation for this new pope that will certainly listen to the anguish of many Catholics,” ______ said.

At the death of Pope John Paul II, ______ said a progressive pontiff was needed. At the time, he noted “a great anticipation” was growing to see how the church would address the divisiveness over homosexuality, the ordination of women, divorce, as well as questions borne from science such as cloning, and those borne from suffering like euthanasia.

“Religious leaders need a great amount of insight and a reexamination of how we respond to these challenges,” ______ said at the time. “I don’t think the American nation can just accept the answer no.”

“There has to be a more compelling explanation why this isn’t in the spirit of Christ.”

Do you see what mean? Should I run, not walk, away from this church? I have been having second thoughts anyway, because this church had advertised that Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) presentation last week, and the church seems to be good buddies with that group.

When I went to Mass there, it was a very traditional Mass, so I thought they would be a church that followed Catholic doctrines. But all of this makes me think it is not the church for me.

Last week I went to a different church in the area, but it had a less-traditional Mass (standing during part of the Consecration, some of those “Kumbaya” songs). Fortunately, I live near Chicago, so there are tons of Catholic Churches around. I guess I just have to keep trying!

Anyway, your opinions on this will be much appreciated, whatever they may be.

Thanks,
Aunt Martha


#2

:yup: smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gif http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifhttp://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifhttp://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifDo it now and don’t look back!

God Bless you and keep you safe during your search.

Maria


#3

Three thoughts:

  1. I would agree with the statement that “there has to be a more compelling explanation why this isn’t in the spirit of Christ.” If people aren’t getting the message, then maybe we need to be more clear. However…

  2. Some people just don’t want to hear it. After all, Americans don’t like to take “no” for an answer. Call it spiritual immaturity, which is probably putting it mildly.

  3. It seems to me that the people who wring their hands about “divisiveness” in the Church tend to be the same people who foster the divisions by their refusal to think with the mind of the Church. It’s the people who refuse to accept the authority of the Magisterium who have the problem. Why should the Church conform to them?


#4

[quote=AuntMartha]Fortunately, I live near Chicago, so there are tons of Catholic Churches around. I guess I just have to keep trying!
[/quote]

I was baptized at St. Edmund in Oak Park. :wink:


#5

Hey, I would keep searching. Beforehand though, I would ask the priest what he meant by “There has to be a more compelling explanation why this isn’t in the spirit of Christ.” Sure the Church and the Pope can continue to elucidate and illuminate the explanation of Church Doctrine, but in the process, the Doctrine cannot be changed. Thanks and God Bless.


#6

With all due respect to Father, I can’t imagine this man as my pastor. I’d have to start visting other parishes.


#7

Is there a possibility that the priest was misquoted?


#8

[quote=AuntMartha]Hi,

Here's the quote (NOTE: I think the newpaper editor made a typo where it reads "John Paul XXIII". Also I left out this priest's name) : "Religious leaders need a great amount of insight and a reexamination of how we respond to these challenges," ______ said at the time. "I don't think the American nation can just accept the answer no."

Do you see what mean? Should I run, not walk, away from this church? I have been having second thoughts anyway, because this church had advertised that Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) presentation last week, and the church seems to be good buddies with that group.

When I went to Mass there, it was a very traditional Mass, so I thought they would be a church that followed Catholic doctrines. But all of this makes me think it is not the church for me.

Last week I went to a different church in the area, but it had a less-traditional Mass (standing during part of the Consecration, some of those “Kumbaya” songs). Fortunately, I live near Chicago, so there are tons of Catholic Churches around. I guess I just have to keep trying!

Anyway, your opinions on this will be much appreciated, whatever they may be.

Thanks,
Aunt Martha
[/quote]

Dear Aunt Martha,

Before I run from the church–or even walk away from it–I would need to ask a few questions. Someone in an earlier post has suggested that the priest was misquoted; this is a real possibility. C.S. Lewis once said that he wouldn’t hang a dog on the strength of newspaper reports.

I looked at the quote you supplied and the only parts of it that I found even questionable were the line about “a progressive pontiff was needed” and what I cited above about “a reexamination of how we respond to these challenges.” If by the latter the good Father means “a new explanation of why these things have always been, are now, and will always be against the teachings of the Church,” then he is probably right on target. If he means “we need to change Church teaching to conform to modern times,” then I would indeed run and not walk.

It is interesting that you find that this priest’s Masses are so traditional. Usually doctrinal laxity and liturgical laxity go together. This may be another sign that the priest in question is being misquoted, misunderstood, or both.

If I may offer another perspective on your larger question of where to attend church, I have a bias in favor of attending the one within whose parish boundaries you reside. “Church-shopping” can be dangerous; of course, for someone who has only been in the Church for a month a parish that is not teaching the Catholic faith is also dangerous.

  • Liberian

#9

Thank you all for your comments. They are all very helpful.

I am curently waiting for a response from the priest - I e-mailed to clarify about the quotes and ask about the church’s connection to VOTF. I had e-mailed last Friday about that issue, didn’t hear back, e-mailed again Tuesday and didn’t hear back. But today I called to ask if their e-mail was down. The secretary suggested I CC it to her and she’ll be sure he gets it. I re-sent the VOTF questions and added the clarification questions in regards to that article.

So, I’ll post again after I hear back from the priest. I’m very curious as to what he will say.

Thanks again,
Aunt Martha


#10

[quote=AuntMartha]Thank you all for your comments. They are all very helpful.

I am curently waiting for a response from the priest - I e-mailed to clarify about the quotes and ask about the church’s connection to VOTF. I had e-mailed last Friday about that issue, didn’t hear back, e-mailed again Tuesday and didn’t hear back. But today I called to ask if their e-mail was down. The secretary suggested I CC it to her and she’ll be sure he gets it. I re-sent the VOTF questions and added the clarification questions in regards to that article.

So, I’ll post again after I hear back from the priest. I’m very curious as to what he will say.

Thanks again,
Aunt Martha
[/quote]

Aunt Martha,

Pardon my curiosity … but I am curious. Did you hear anything today?

One tactic that people use–I found this especially true with our brethren on the political left when I was in college (and Catholic dissenters tend to be of the same stripe)–is to ignore the question and hope that you will get too busy to press it. If the good Father refuses to commit himself it may be a good thing to find yourself in another church.

  • Liberian

#11

[quote=AuntMartha]Hi,

I was reading the local paper, and a parish priest was quoted in an article about the new Pope. I found his comments rather disturbing and non-doctrinal, but I wondered - is it just me? The article was about Catholic leaders in the area and their thoughts on the new Pope. Several priests were interviewed. The statements by this one priest were the ones of concern to me, because when I returned to the CC last month, his church was the one I started attending.

Do you see what mean? Should I run, not walk, away from this church? I have been having second thoughts anyway, because this church had advertised that Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) presentation last week, and the church seems to be good buddies with that group.

Thanks,
Aunt Martha
[/quote]

My first thought was that you did have cause for concern and then it occurred to me that the issue of a new pope is not generally a frequently occurring one. Perhaps the priest was simply not very well prepared and made poor judgement in his statements. A question to consider is how well he represents our faith throughout the year. have you been there long enough to get a more complete impression than this one interview?

It seems that would be worth considering before changing parishes.

peace

-Jim


#12

Hi,

Liberian, I have not heard from the priest about the newspaper article yet. I figure I will call tomorrow and ask the secretary if she saw that he got it.

I did, however, hear from the associate pastor on the VOTF concern. (I had e-mailed to him when I origianlly didn’t hear from the other priest). Here is his response:

Hi ______, I’m really pressed for time at the moment, but would be happy to talk with you sometime about what I know. I have met with some of the members of the local group who are parishioners at FHC, and they are fine people. We actually don’t have a parish group, but some parishioners belong to a group that is local. Many of them are active workers at FHC as well. The ones I know are very much in tune with the teachings of the church and are faithful people. Their only stated purpose is to help good priests build up the church in any way they can. They began in the Boston area as a response to the abuse crisis there, and some of those groups have taken a stance of being very opposed to the Bishops, who they feel failed the church, as well as to the priests who abused. This is somewhat understandable. Our local group, at least the members I know, doesn’t want to go that way, and consistently says they want to strengthen the church they love in any way they can. They do feel strongly that more involvement of the laity in governance would help, and possibly have prevented some of the problems. So in a nutshell, while some groups have taken stances sort of opposing the church, (and all are apparently independent) our people have not seemingly taken that course, nor do they want to do so. Hope this helps. Fr. ______

So, I found that more reassuring on the VOTF issue. It sounds as though the parishoners involved with that are perhaps not involved with the dissident agenda that some VOTF groups have.

Jim, I haven’t been there long enough. I only started attending there in March, after many years away from the CC. So I don’t have a good perspective, other than the few Masses I have attended, what was written in the paper and the bad rap that VOTF has. So I am looking forward to his response. Although, as Liberian mentioned, he might be ignoring me.

One bit of good news is that I did run into a friend from the past at a function the church had a few weeks ago. She invited me to an outing that their group is holding. I’m going to go, because maybe from talking to some of the other ladies that attend there, I can get an idea of where a lot of them sit on the issues.

Anyway, I’ll let you all know if and when I hear a response.

Thanks,

Aunt Martha


#13

[quote=AuntMartha]Hi,

Liberian, I have not heard from the priest about the newspaper article yet. I figure I will call tomorrow and ask the secretary if she saw that he got it.

I did, however, hear from the associate pastor on the VOTF concern. (I had e-mailed to him when I origianlly didn’t hear from the other priest). Here is his response:

So, I found that more reassuring on the VOTF issue. It sounds as though the parishoners involved with that are perhaps not involved with the dissident agenda that some VOTF groups have.

Jim, I haven’t been there long enough. I only started attending there in March, after many years away from the CC. So I don’t have a good perspective, other than the few Masses I have attended, what was written in the paper and the bad rap that VOTF has. So I am looking forward to his response. Although, as Liberian mentioned, he might be ignoring me.

One bit of good news is that I did run into a friend from the past at a function the church had a few weeks ago. She invited me to an outing that their group is holding. I’m going to go, because maybe from talking to some of the other ladies that attend there, I can get an idea of where a lot of them sit on the issues.

Anyway, I’ll let you all know if and when I hear a response.

Thanks,

Aunt Martha
[/quote]

I would stay there and tell the pastor that you want to start a CUF chapter in the parish!


#14

[quote=AuntMartha]Hi,

I was reading the local paper, and a parish priest was quoted in an article about the new Pope. I found his comments rather disturbing and non-doctrinal, but I wondered - is it just me? The article was about Catholic leaders in the area and their thoughts on the new Pope. Several priests were interviewed. The statements by this one priest were the ones of concern to me, because when I returned to the CC last month, his church was the one I started attending.

Here’s the quote (NOTE: I think the newpaper editor made a typo where it reads “John Paul XXIII”. Also I left out this priest’s name) :

Do you see what mean? Should I run, not walk, away from this church? I have been having second thoughts anyway, because this church had advertised that Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) presentation last week, and the church seems to be good buddies with that group.

When I went to Mass there, it was a very traditional Mass, so I thought they would be a church that followed Catholic doctrines. But all of this makes me think it is not the church for me.

Last week I went to a different church in the area, but it had a less-traditional Mass (standing during part of the Consecration, some of those “Kumbaya” songs). Fortunately, I live near Chicago, so there are tons of Catholic Churches around. I guess I just have to keep trying!

Anyway, your opinions on this will be much appreciated, whatever they may be.

Thanks,
Aunt Martha
[/quote]

He is perfectly entitled to say all this - but, if something is not compatible with the Will of Christ, that is all there is to it. The priest noted a difficulty - and it is difficult to open up our lives fully to Christ; as difficult for people in the USA as for the rest of us; so far as the words go, he did not say that he disagreed with anything required of us: he merely stated a fact which is borne out by observation - that people in the USA have difficulty with certain doctrines, especially those which have a bearing on sexuality.

As you are in his parish, you might ask him yourself what he meant :smiley: I can never understand why people who are perfectly capable of asking their parish priests what those priests mean, expect total strangers to know what those priests meant :smiley: ##


#15

Remember, heritics like Calvin and Luther were Catholics too (before getting the boot!) Jesus picked 12 apostles and one turned out to be bad too just like Calvin and Luther and Zwingli, etc…

Just because a person says something does not make it Dogma, Faith and Morals. Most preists are good, some great and others, well, not so great.

Also remember the American media is not known for reporting truthfully and accurately (remeber CBS? CNN?) The comments of this preist could be out of context or missquoted? Perhaps the preist needs some extra study on Scripture?

Jesus promised to be with His Church, His body, His Catholic Church. Not all who call on His name will be saved either. Put your Faith in Jesus and His Church which He promised to be with untill His return, not a human individual per say. Some in the Church are sinners but the Church is perfect because Jesus makes it so.

Call the preist and ask him what he said and what he meant. You may find out he ment something different (I hope).
Homosexuals deserve Gods Grace in Salvation as much as I do. I ‘hope’ to see countlees homosexuals in heaven. The act of homosexuality is a sin but being a homosexual is not. I am a sinner too and need Gods grace and help just like my gay freinds do. God came here to save us ALL. God loves us ALL whether gay, Protestant or Catholic. It is our Faith exhibited through our works that will let Jesus judge us on whether we will be given Gods grace upon our death and ‘become God’ (CCC 460).

Long live the Pope! He is the Guardian of the Faith Jesus has left us. He keeps us from blowing in the changing winds of popular opinions like many of our brothers and sisters in Christ (the non-Catholic Christians). The Catholic Church will never let Satan reform Christs teachings like all those non-Catholic Christian sects have done. If Christ said it, Catholics have no choice but to believe it and follow it and live it. We cannot reform it out of our theology like those who want an easy to follow religion.


#16

:yup: smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gif http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifhttp://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifhttp://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/18/18_3_110.gifDo it now and don’t look back!

God Bless you and keep you safe during your search.

Maria

Yep! That’s what I’d do.

John


#17

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## He is perfectly entitled to say all this - but, if something is not compatible with the Will of Christ, that is all there is to it. The priest noted a difficulty - and it is difficult to open up our lives fully to Christ; as difficult for people in the USA as for the rest of us; so far as the words go, he did not say that he disagreed with anything required of us: he merely stated a fact which is borne out by observation - that people in the USA have difficulty with certain doctrines, especially those which have a bearing on sexuality.

[/quote]

Good point. Perhaps that is what he meant.

As you are in his parish, you might ask him yourself what he meant :smiley: I can never understand why people who are perfectly capable of asking their parish priests what those priests mean, expect total strangers to know what those priests meant :D##

The reason I asked here originally is because I wanted to know if I was reading too much into the article or not. I thought people here wouldn’t mind giving an opinion, and fortunately that was the case.

I contacted the priest on 4/22, after people here suggested it Actually, I have been trying to get a hold of him since 4/15 with no answer. He didn’t answer my original e-mails about VOTF. Now he is not answering the e-mails about the news article. I wish he would just answer, so I could put this to rest. But it’s very important to me not to go to a church that is looking for radical change of Catholic Doctrine.

Aunt Martha


#18

Aunt Martha,
You are hereby formally invited to my parish in IL.
I know it is probably too far away for you if you are near Chicago, but if you are ever in the downstate area…
St Malachy Parish
311 E. Grove Ave., Rantoul, Il 61866
Rantoul IL
stmal.pvt.k12.il.us/


#19

[quote=AuntMartha]Good point. Perhaps that is what he meant.

The reason I asked here originally is because I wanted to know if I was reading too much into the article or not. I thought people here wouldn’t mind giving an opinion, and fortunately that was the case.

I contacted the priest on 4/22, after people here suggested it Actually, I have been trying to get a hold of him since 4/15 with no answer. He didn’t answer my original e-mails about VOTF. Now he is not answering the e-mails about the news article. I wish he would just answer, so I could put this to rest. But it’s very important to me not to go to a church that is looking for radical change of Catholic Doctrine.

Aunt Martha
[/quote]

Dear Aunt Martha,

If I may suggest something, if/when you contact the priest again you may wish to state clearly that you are not attacking him over what he may or may not have said. Especially when a person tries to contact someone repeatedly, the tone can get belligerent without the person meaning to or even realizing it. The good Father may also have received a flood of phone calls and e-mails from other people like you (I don’t know that this is the case, but I would like to put it forward as a possibility.) If you are strictly looking for clarification, which is what I believe you are doing at this point, it may be a good thing to say that explicitly.

  • Liberian

#20

Yes, I did try to make sure he knew I wasn’t trying to offend. I got a reply today!

Thanks you for emails…I was away for a few days. I would be glad to
meet you and attempt to answer your questions.

So that’s good news. I will call and set up an appointment. I didn’t realize he would be open to that. But it will be good all around, because then I can learn much more than through e-mail.

I do hope he is faithful to the Catholic teachings. I did find the Mass to be everything good (with the exception of the missing Sanctus Bell, but I’ll ask about that at the meeting too!) and reconnecting with my friend from the past.

I’ll post an update after I’ve met with him.

Thanks again to all,
Aunt Martha


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