Undermined by another mom


#1

I need some advise on how to handle this please.
We didn't have school Friday and a group of 4-Her's had decided they wanted to tour our state university for career possibilities. I was one of the sponsors. Of the 12 people who went on the tour 8 were kids, 5 of them Catholic, 2 of them over 14; of the 4 adults 2 are Catholic, one more has left the church for her husband and one is Protestant.

One of the Catholic mothers not going on the trip had asked me to remind the kids that some of their group would not eating meat and to please remember and not leave them out when making their resturant selections.

In an elevator going to the food court I started to remind my group with the other Catholic mother present, that some of them couldn't have meat and that was as far as I got when the other mother interupted and informed her daughter that she could eat anything she wanted. I pointed out that her daughter was only 13 and immediately one of the others said her mother didn't care either. The mother with the trip is a lifelong Catholic, the other one who "didn't care" is a convert if that makes a difference in your understanding of the situation. Those 2 girls ran out of the elevator to a foodstand that had little meatless to offer and my daughter said she couldn't eat there but they said they could and went on. My daughter's cousin who is 13 went with her to get a cheese pizza. The extension agent, who is the fallen away Catholic, had to pick her jaw up off the floor and said to me she wasn't aware that Mrs. ____ was above the Pope and the Magisturim.
I found out later that this mother, in who's car my daughter rode to the event, had shared with the girls that in her opinion, meat was a delicacy at the time of Christ, no many had access to meat so when they had to give it up, it was truely a sacrifice. She feels that now good fish, being expensive and harder to get is more of a sacrifice so she thinks its ok to eat meat on Friday.

This woman is a CCD teacher, of the lower grades. Should I tell the religious ed director about this conversation or what?

Thanks for your input.
57classic


#2

No I wouldn’t contact the religious ed director (unless you feel the need), but I would use this opportunity to teach your daughter the truth so that she can then in turn speak up in “times of trial” such as this…

First off… let’s read Canon Law…
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

CHAPTER II.

Days of Penance

Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.

Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

Did you know that Canon Law says we’re actually supposed to abstain from meat on ALL FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR? :eek: But, as 1253 points out, the US Congress of Bishops has determined that other forms of penance can be observed on Fridays outside of Lent.

Catholic Answers also has a fabulous write-up on the practices of Lent:
catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0104fea1.asp

Your daughter is old enough to correct this other mother. Arm her with THE TRUTH and remind her that this woman’s *OPINION *and *INTERPRETATION *have no bearing on THE TRUTH. Just because she thinks something doesn’t justify her defiance.


#3

I’m not sure if you should inform the religious ed dir. either - depends on how receptive you think they’d be, and if you feel confident that this Mom is teaching error in her classes.

One suggestion (in hindsight of course)…While it was inappropriate and wrong of her to interrupt you and to announce to the group that her dd could eat meat, it is her prerogative to allow that, and the other child whose parents don’t care - well, they have that right as well. Rather than argue about ages or the issue or even connect it to being Catholic (since some Catholic families disobey this rule - and we have to respect their right to do so), I would’ve just said again, “Those of you whose families do NOT eat meat on Fridays know who you are. I’m just reminding you that today is Friday and that there are several places here that have meatless meals.” And I would make it clear otherwise that this is not the place to discuss theology, but that the children should follow whatever rules their parents have set out for them.


#4

Hi 57classic,

Are you in Australia? Any chance your local rules allow eating meat on Lenten Fridays? (I saw something awhile back that the Archbishop of Perth made an allowance?) Maybe that is where those folks are coming from?

VC


#5

Thanks for replying, As far as the kids were concerned, the only reason for being the "designated Catholic Nagging Mom" was so that those who were not able to eat meat would not be left out, eating by themselves or EGADS!! with the adults. The situation got away as soon as the elevator doors opened and everyone left including the other mother.

I was shocked to learn later of the conversation in the car and as soon as I can form the words without anger I will tell her she will refrain from sharing with my daughter her opinions regarding church teachings.


#6

[quote="Verbum_Caro, post:4, topic:188910"]
Hi 57classic,

Are you in Australia? Any chance your local rules allow eating meat on Lenten Fridays? (I saw something awhile back that the Archbishop of Perth made an allowance?) Maybe that is where those folks are coming from?

VC

[/quote]

No, not Australia, Kansas.


#7

Going to a food court should alleviate these type of differences. It should make it easier for those with different beliefs to eat different foods. It shouldn’t matter what place is selected since you all can order what you want from a food stand of your choice and then sit together at a common location. If you had to select a restaurant that you all had to eat at, then I would see this would be more of a problem.

I would recommend explaining to your daughter what is accurate and what isn’t based on her experience of the day. It is a good opportunity for her to learn on to make decisions on her own rather than be influenced by questionable opinions.


#8

Well, abstaining from meat on Friday's is a* discipline.*

The other mother's stupid reasoning about meat being a delicacy doesn't matter. It's a discipline. You do it for a spiritual benefit.

She is totally missing the point.

As to telling the DRE? I wish there was an "orthodoxy oath" required to be a catechist, but I fear few would sign it.


#9

well, first off, i am a mom and a DRE.

tell your daughter that yup, you look like the uptight Catholic mom, buyt hey, you gotta answer to God for your daughter's teaching. you take it seriously. additionally, the problem you described will increas in intensity as your daughter gets older. the moms you hoped you could count on to back up your Catholic mom choices, you find you can't. increasingly, you'll find yourself with no back-up amongst your mom-peers. over time, i've come to expect it.

my confession: on Friday i ordered a tuna sandwich from a corner place and they delivered turkey. there was nothing in the office fridge. i was out of money. i had hours more work to do and i was hungry. it was snowing like crazy and i felt bad making the delivery guy come out again (he's on foot.) i prayed and i ate it and i confessed it the next day.

preist said, "the **intent **was to obey." well, meebee he let me off the hook a little but my intent WAS to obey.

the catechist/ mom's intent was to NOT obey. tell the DRE, if you think she'll care. this sort of soft-sided dissidence weedles its way into religious education programs and catholic schools and it is entirely unhelpful.


#10

As to telling the DRE? I wish there was an “orthodoxy oath” required to be a catechist, but I fear few would sign it.

yes, Paul. i would LOVE for parish schools and programs to adopt a simple motto:

We teach what the Church teaches. AMEN.

not very complicated, right?


#11

I appreciate your replies, while I know I will have to have a conversation with the other mother I am leaning more toward not speaking to the DRE. If she feels she can do nothing than my conversation is more like gossip. The problem in addition to her opinion of Church disipline was in how the conversation she had had earlier lead the girls to do exactly what I was trying to avoid, that in leaving someone out. The food court should have been the answer but it is on several levels in the student union and we were on a tight schedule. Luckily her cousin is also a true friend, she didn’t have to go meatless but chose to not let my daughter eat alone.
I have several genuine frustrations with this woman, mostly concerning our 4-H club now its spilling over into other areas our kids have in common. If it wasn’t such a small community we could avoid them altogether but this is a lesson on how to live with others and how to continue to do right regardless of what even an adult says is ok.


#12

My advice is more on how to organize things (not on the religious aspects). There is no way a bunch of 13 year old girls are going to take anything said seriously in an elevator 2 minutes before they get to run around a food court. These issues should be brought up in a meeting a few days before the trip.

Also, to start explaining a rule when the other moms did not know it would be applied at the last minute makes them feel like their authority is undermined.

In the future, I would try to book a meeting with all the adults way ahead of time. I would say something like we will be gone on good Friday. Perhaps we could come up with a solution that is satisfactory to everyone on how we will handle the eating of meet Then after a win win situation is found, I would bond together as a team in communicating it to the girls. Nothing is worse than letting the kids see the adults are not on the same page.

Also, when a mom who is NOT going on the trip reminds you to make sure none of the girls eat meat… I have to wonder what HER motive for doing that is. If she did not want HER daughter to eat meet, it is HER responsibility to tell her daughter I have called Mrs Smith and she will let me know if you eat meat on Friday But for her to put all that responsiblity on your shoulders, when she is not even going and they are not her daughters was in mu opinion being a bit of a busy body

CM


#13

As a CCD teacher, someone is trusting their precious child to ME to help teach them the most important things on this earth. That is a huge responsibility.

If I were to spout error in public, I would hope and pray someone would talk to those in authority over me, so I may be corrected and not risk damaging one of those precious kids.


#14

Cain sacrificed what "he felt" was good enough, not what God perscribed...and we all know how that ended.

The people of Noah's time did "what they thought" was good, insted of what God prescribed.

The Isralites in the desert followed God "enough" and wandered the desert for 40 years on a journey that would take 11 days.

Jonah went to preach to another land despite what God said because he was afraid.

The scribes and the pharasees did what they wanted insted of what God perscribed and killed Jesus.

And this is just a select few. There are so many more.

Point being, some of the biggest screw ups in history...in all of time, came from people who did what they thought was right insted of what God perscribed. Obedience is rewarded....and in year 2010 the church insists that we still give up meat in our diets.

(and if meat was a treat, the family would just not cook it on Friday...they'd cook it on Thursday or Saturday...it wasn't THAT much of a burden. There was no "burger king" meals took hours and hours to cook and were well planned. And for those cultures who DID eat meat regurlary, it was a bigger burdan than today because of the awareness we have in our culture of veganism and vegerianism)


#15

You’ve misunderstood that part of the problem. There are 2 problems: the Catholic mom/CCD teacher sharing her dissenting views with other peoples’ teenage kids and those kids taking her dissent for consent to be unkind. Everybody knew about not eating meat and that only a couple were old enough for this to apply. The whole point of the reminder was to pick a place to eat that had both meatless and meat meals so that the 2 who were old enough to abstain would not be left out of the group. The mom who did not go had had that conversation with her kid and was certain there would be a problem only in that the others would go off and leave the not abstaining to eat alone. Well her kid was the only Catholic in that group and the Protestant kids made sure he did not eat alone. The Catholic girls who had been in the car with the Catholic mother who dissented from church teaching ran off and left my daughter because they could.


#16

[quote="cmscms, post:12, topic:188910"]
My advice is more on how to organize things (not on the religious aspects). There is no way a bunch of 13 year old girls are going to take anything said seriously in an elevator 2 minutes before they get to run around a food court. These issues should be brought up in a meeting a few days before the trip.

In the future, I would try to book a meeting with all the adults way ahead of time. I would say something like we will be gone on good Friday. Perhaps we could come up with a solution that is satisfactory to everyone on how we will handle the eating of meet Then after a win win situation is found, I would bond together as a team in communicating it to the girls. Nothing is worse than letting the kids see the adults are not on the same page.

[/quote]

That is way too much planning.

It's just lunch. "Remember, we don't eat meat on Friday if we're Catholic. Let's get a salad, pizza, a tuna fish sub, or a fish burger." Simple.

The mother that torpedoed the plans would have done it anyway.


#17

Most food courts have several restaurants and then a common eating area.

Why can't each kid go to a different restaurant if they wanted and then meet at a central table to eat?

That is the beauty of food courts - not everyone has to order from the same place.

I just don't get the whole "we all have to order from the same restaurant" deal. No you don't. The girls ARE individuals and each could order from a different one if they wanted. Do they have to hold hands to order or something? Why CAN'T one go by oneself? I have never understood the whole "attached" thing between girls.

Then they just meet a central table and eat what they ordered.


#18

In this student union food court the foodstands are on 2 levels the only large eating area is in the University's cafeteria, all the other seating is around the edges of the 2 floors with small tables seating 2-4. Each of the kids have been to the University often enough to know the layout.


#19

At 13, the girl doesn't ''have to'' adhere to abstinence from meat on Fridays during Lent...the rule begins at 14. But...my dd is 13, and because we collectively follow this as a family, she wishes to do so also. So, I'm a little confused...are you mainly upset that the mother stepped in and told her daughter, while you were talking, that she didn't have to abstain from meat? If that were the case, she was right, she doesn't have to...if her daughter is 13. But, she was somewhat rude to interrupt you speaking to say that. I might be taken aback by being interrupted, but I'm not seeing how the mom undermined you? Sorry, I didn't get much sleep last night--I might just be missing something. lol :o


#20

*Nevermind…I reread your OP…sorry. I see, so it seems like there were kids being left out of the equation, who were abstaining from meat…like they weren’t being taken into consideration by those not abstaining. I get it now. *


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