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message 1: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (last edited Mar 08, 2013 07:35AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
*Disclaimer: The following discussion is NOT about religion or the ideals of any one faith. It is about the IDEA of what is happening.*

I am not Catholic. I have 3 best friends who were born Catholic, 1 who still is, 1 who is does not practice, and 1 who became a Baptist. I was raised U.C.C. and went to a Lutheran run school. Growing up, my best friend was Catholic and went to the Catholic school in our neighborhood that has been there for over a 100 years.

In the last 2 years or so, the local diocese has decided to close and merge several parishes in our area, under the leadership of a bishop from Boston. Now, what I understand from my 1 friend who is still a Catholic and goes to mass every week, there is a lot of people who do not like this bishop. Not just because he is closing parrishes, but because they don't like him.

I know nobody wants to lose their place of worship, as they are usually places we are born to and grow up in. I understand the protests and even I have to say as a non-Catholic, I have been shocked and upset by some the announced closings. One local parish has decided, even though they are facing ex-communication, to hold mass in a warehouse they are renting. This past Sunday, against everything they have been taught, they flew in the face of the bishop and the Pope and held what they felt was important for the community. Their priest even served communion.

Now the bishop is sending letters to all the members saying that he is "concerned for their salvation". (Insert cough hiding *bull----*) As one radio personality so eloquently pointed out, the bishop is mad because now the diocese is not getting their money.

My whole perspective on this is that I think it's wonderful. I think it is great that these people are doing what they think is right. It is a form of civil disobedience and love it. I think this kind of free thinking should be encouraged. Martin Luther did, so did John Knox and Brigham Young.

They are not harming anyone, they are supporting a wounded community. I applaud that and I hope they succeed.

message 2: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
In today's paper, there was an interesting follow up to this story. Now, in before I get to that, the parish in question above, has still been meeting against the bishops' wishes to S.R.O. every week. The parish priest has told the bishop that he would like to meet with the bishop and the diocese along with 10 lay representatives from the parish. The bishop has yet to respond.

On that note, a local priest and a Methodist minister have joined together to write to the Vatican rep in D.C. They feel that the bishop has caused a rift with the diocese that makes it hard to be Catholic in Cleveland. The letters refer to the bishops' actions as "despotic and cruel". They go on to say that he targeted mostly inner-city parishes and has harmed the diocese's reputation.

The article said that the bishop was escorted by "armed police" to give final masses and un-consecrate
the parishes in question. If you need an armed guard to close down a church,shouldn't that tell you something?

message 3: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (last edited Jan 25, 2011 07:15AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
I yesterdays Plain Dealer (1/24/11), there was more to this story. It seems that the bishop (who apparently has still, to my knowledge not met with the priest in question after repeated requests) has sent a letter to the priest telling him that he will face punishment under church law and "canonical" punishments as well. The parish is operating in an "unsanctioned space" and that they face excommunication if they do not stop. The resignation of the priest was demanded within 48 hours of the letter.

The priest responded with a polite version of telling the bishop "to stick it where the sun don't shine."
He told his parish that his place is with them and nowhere else.

I think other parishes are looking at this closely to see what happens. I think that we are witnessing the first great change in the church since Luther and Calvin. I think a whole new version of Catholic may come from this and I will not be surprised when the Pope finally steps in because this is not good P.R.

As I have said before, one of my Catholic friends tells me that this bishop is NOT popular among the local faithful. I think he is a diocese hatchet man since he did the same things in Boston before he was assigned here.

message 4: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
Some of the parishes involved in this mess, got help from the Pope and he said that the bishop wrongly closed at least 12 of the Parishes, and that they are to be re-opened ASAP. The bishop, who is not happy about being spanked by his boss, can drag his feet on this matter if he chooses. Well, yesterday, it was announced that these churches will reopen soon. I am very happy about 2 of them being reopen. One has absolutely gorgeous design and is only 1 of 5 buildings in the world that is made from a certain marble,so it would be a shame for anything to happen to this place,and the other was the church in my old neighborhood where I grew up. I know what that church meant to so many residents, so much that when Cleveland Hopkins International Airport started to buy up the homes near where I lived at the time (my house is gone to this, but several years after we moved) that people were doing their best to stay in the neighborhood so that they could stay in this parish.

I remember an older couple who lived 2 doors down from me,who treated me like a grandchild. They were very active in this parish, and in the winter, the husband couldn't go outside due to what is now called COPD. She couldn't drive, so the priest would come everyday and give them mass, which they went to every day when they could. She was one of the ladies of the parish who cleaned and they both did all they could.

For me this is just as joyful as it is for the members. I love it when a positive result comes from standing up for yourself.

message 5: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
Well, the original parish I was talking about is in trouble,what else is new? Their church is one that is being re-opened but many of the 300 or so members are not sure that they want to go back there. They kinda like their warehouse and being the rebels they are, they are also still having services every week. Their priest says he was sent a letter by the bishop telling him he had 7 days to respond,give up his post,and be suspended. The bishop claims that the priest is confused and that the letter never said that he was suspended. The priest counter acts that claim with what he was told in a closed door meeting with the bishop this week.

No one seems to know what the fart-nub is going on here, and it seems to be a lot of he said-he said going on. At the heart of this is the idea that these people have had enough. They seemed to know that when the parish was closed, the bishop was in the wrong and they took it upon themselves not to no be run over by some pompous idiot who likes to shake his miter at them and rattle his beads in the name of a religion that is so far lost,that it may no be able to find it's way back with a map and GPS.

This parallels another national story regarding nuns. There is an over view group that they answer to that the church as a whole has taken up a great dislike to. The church claims that nuns are not doing their jobs as prescribed by the church and is pretty much trying to rap their knuckles with a ruler. The problem? Nuns are doing charity work. They are helping those who cannot help themselves, and there are those in this over seeing group who have spoken out in support of gay marriage, birth control,and abortion.

Since this fly's in the face of church doctrine, the priests are coming down hard. In a faith that is having trouble keeping nuns and priests, let alone new ones,and is losing members in droves due to diocese shenanigans across the board,this is getting over the top stupid.

These nuns are mostly ones who work with the poor and can see what happens when there is no access to birth control, the results of abuse and rape, and the belief that all people have rights. I was raised to believe that we are all created equal and that we were all created in the image of a benevolent being. So, if they worship the same one I was taught to believe in, how are they wrong?

The men in power don't like it. Bottom line. In either case, the men in charge are being questioned and questions don't belong in religion or politics.


message 6: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
So,the nuns are in the news again. This time, a nun who wrote a book on sexuality from theological stand point is in trouble with the church. Sister Margaret A. Farley write a book in 2006,called "Just Love, a Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics". In it she supports gay marriage, masturbation,and other issues that are considered to go against the word of God and the church.

She feels that "same-sex oriented persons as well as their activities can and should be respected". On masturbation, she says that especially for women, "usually does not raise any moral questions at all" and that it "actually serves relationships rather than hindering them". The church feels that twiddling with yourself is "an intrinsically and gravely disordered action".

We all know how they feel about the gays. I stand my dictum of questioning everything as all religious ideals should be questioned. Like politicians, taking things at face value and only at face value is what has gotten us into all of this mess in the first place. For many faith is a place of comfort, but how is it supposed to comfort you when it rejects you out of hand? If a church is supposed to be a sanctuary, a place of peace, a place of love, then how can this attitude be acceptable?

Still, I am proud of this sister and what she has come out in front with and I intend to read this books to see what has the Vatican's robes in a twist.

I am not afraid of knowledge, but I do fear those who only have a little.

message 7: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
Well, in a surprise to no one, the priest of the parish that started this discussion, was ex-communicated yesterday. Apparently, this means that he is still considered a member of the church community, but this action is to tell him he did something wrong. Basically, we don't like what you did, but we still want your money.

Frankly, I applaud that fact that this priest stuck to his guns and did not cave to a bishop that is not in great favor in this city in the first place. Lennon was sent here from Boston because HE was being punished for something or other. He then has taken his pout out on the entire diocese (to hear my Catholic friends tell it) ever since.

I did not agree with several of his choices for shuttering, and in spite of the fact that I'm not Catholic, I do understand what some of these parishes mean to their neighborhoods. I am glad that several were overturned by the Vatican and I am sorry that all the parishes could not be saved. I get the 300 people who refused to leave each other and be separated into a new parish, where they would had to give up the man they had known,confessed to, confided in,been baptized by,married by, and had had family buried by in favor of a total stranger. A spiritual life is personal, sacred and forged over time. For these people,the church building was not as important as the people who made up the church itself, which is kinda the point of a church.

The building is only where you meet, the church is the people inside. I still stand by these people and their rebellion. I hope that they succeed in keeping their faith and worshiping how they see fit. The diocese of course will continue to try to guilt and bully then back into the fold as they see 300 souls at risk of not being saved, or in more clear terms, 300 wallets not donating to the coffers of the church.

Each revolution starts with an idea. Perhaps these people are the new face of the Catholic church. Not a pope of color or American, but this small band of rebels who just want to practice their faith as they see fit.....sounds vaguely familiar......

message 8: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (last edited Mar 07, 2013 07:10AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
The paper today had another article on this renegade parish. The Diocese still considers the members to be Catholic even though "they separated from the church."
I love how one congregant put it. "We didn't separate from the church, we were evicted."

That is what happened. Their spiritual home was taken away by the diocese and then when they tried to keep the group together, they were "spanked" by the same group that made them homeless. I just love how the Diocese is trying to "keep them in the fold" by saying that they are still Catholic and that they are still "saveable". The Diocese closed churches to save money. These renegades are keeping them from making money, so they will keep trying to get them back.

The question to me is, if they do come back, how shunned will they be, or will be forgiven as long as they tithe?

message 9: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
In April, there were several op-ed letters regarding the excommunication of the priest and many "good Catholics" felt that this was the right thing to do, while other "good Catholics" felt that this was too harsh. One person wrote in this weekend to point out that none of the priests involved in the child molestation cases were excommunicated, and that Lennon's predocessor tried to get a priest out of jail who had molested over 90 children!

So, the break away church is a greater crime than molesting

message 10: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
A while a go the priest and the bishop were supposed to meet face to face. No word on that yet.

The latest on the front page of today's paper,stated that the nun who is their music director has been told in no uncertain terms that she is to leave St. Peter's NOW and not to look back. In a congregational newsletter sent out by her order,she was told that she will be excommunicated if she does not leave the breakaway church. They are now denying that comment. The Bishop is saying that they are not receiving "Holy Communion" as they are not a real church.

The nun has over 50 years of service and this is how she is being treated all because the Bishop is throwing a tantrum.

message 11: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
According to the paper this weekend, in a survey given to the congregants of St. Peter's BEFORE the nun (see above) was asked to leave, the congregation said that they are very happy with the way things are, that the diocese has mishandled things and that they have no confidence in the bishop.

What a polite way of telling him to shove it sideways where the sun don't shine.

The diocese had no comment.

message 12: by Kim, Wild-eyed Bibliomaniac (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 629 comments Mod
Going along with this topic, in Saturday's paper there was an article about a local woman who was being ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest. Yes, you read that correctly. There is a group called Roman Catholic Women Priests that help women become ordained priests. Ann Klonowski has been a teacher for the catholic schools for over 15 years and is catholic herself. She and others like her, feel that the churches policy dating back to the 12th century that allows Protestant based "men of faith" to remain married after conversion that women are also allowed to become priests.

Of course the diocese has come down on this saying that this is "hot authentically Catholic" and is "invalid and illicit."

The ordination was performed at a United Church of Christ with other leaders of other faiths in attendance.

I say good for her.

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