…In divining his public comments so far, the new bishop is leaving little or no wiggle room for Catholics except to adhere strictly to doctrine. A conservative, he’s much in the mold of Pope John Paul II, who assigned him here. Outgoing Bishop Sullivan was considered more open to differences of opinion.
Except when those opinions were in conformity with Church teaching.
As The Pilot’s Steven Vegh reported Wednesday, some local Catholics applaud the pronouncements from Richmond. But for others like me, the bishop’s comments suggest certain topics are no longer up for discussion. That, and the strange feeling — paranoia? — that DiLorenzo is shepherding a flock in the 21st century with a paternalistic attitude more reminiscent of church leaders from many decades past. This seems more like devolution than evolution in the church.
Moral truth never changes. The Letter to the Hebrews did not say "Jesus Christ was different yesterday and today has progressed and will keep changing for ever." Of course they never explain why it is the paternalistic attitude that is the cause of the constant teaching of the Church. There is a paternalist attitude involved though – The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Is discussion of married and female priests now verboten — at a time when many parishes struggle because not enough men enter the seminary? Other faiths seem to do just fine with female ministers.
Here we go again the arbitrary mixing up of dogma and a discipline of the Church.
Will discussion of birth control, which the church bans, now be squelched? This is ludicrous, given that most families today are much smaller than the tribes that used to pack the church pews on Sundays when I was a child. The rhythm method — sounds quaint, doesn’t it? — isn’t that effective. Given the financial challenges of having large numbers of children, scores of families have already adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on contraception.
Yes it should be squelched. Birth control is a lie and all lies should be removed. Talk about a tautology -he wants birth control because families today are much smaller. This is certainly putting the cart before the horse. Why is it that in the past that large families in much stricter economic circumstances were able to maintain their families; while those of us today in much better economic circumstances with cars, TVs, DVD’s, Computers, etc are unable to support larger families? But this demonstrates the attitude today of children as burden. That openness to life is defeated by a spreadsheet. That when you vision having another child you also vision your favorite material items or hobbies disappearing before you.
Plus, the Catholic Church lost enormous amounts of credibility during the clergy sexual abuse scandals and the subsequent cover-ups by bishops in communities around the country. It seems an odd time to now throw down the gauntlet on those who have stayed with the church.
Recently journalist have lost enormous amounts of credibility because of the scandals at the NYT, USA Today, CNN and others. Does he mean that all journalist should now be ignored because of the faults of their compatriots.
Maybe the uneasiness toward Bishop DiLorenzo is an overreaction on my part. But in the few weeks he’s been here, it seems he’s given me two choices: Shut up and stay a Catholic, or protest and leave the church.
I pray that’s not the case.
Actually if you evaluate your conscience as not conforming to the truth of the Church – the option is not to shut up, but to kneel down. The Gospel is preached for repentance not censorship. We should never shut up and stop saying that we are sorry for all the offences that we give to God. Let us not be quiet but contrite.
Recently I have been thinking about those who dissent from the Church always bringing up the idea of married priests and women priests. They usually state that their goal is make the Mass more available and that we need more priests to keep the circumstances from worsening.
I observed that in the cases of all the articles I have read by people advocating married priests that never once have I heard them call for married nuns and brothers. Why is this? Is not the response to vocations even worse among religious sisters and brothers. If married priests are a cure all then why not married religious sisters and brothers. Are they so unconcerned with the state of the praying Church? All Martha and no Mary? In all the web sites I have seen by these groups that advocate for married priests I have not seen a prayer for vocations. Why is prayer so downplayed and advocacy for their causes encouraged. When it comes to consecrated religious life do they realize that marriage is not something that is truly compatible to the religious life of living in convents and monasteries? If they can realize that then why can’t they see the life of a priest which is totally given to God and his own parishioners as being in most cases incompatible with normal family life.
I also find it ironic that the call for women’s ordination is justified to increase the availability of the Mass The reality is that it would only increase the availability of illicit Masses with no consecration of the Eucharist. Many of the efforts of progressives have not increased availability of the Eucharist, but have decreased it. Recipes for altar bread that cause the elements not to be consecrated. Playing around with the words of consecration. Quick, name me a progressive diocese that has steadily increased vocations? I know that’s a tough one, but naming a diocese that is faithful to Church teaching that has increased vocations and even built new seminaries is not. Name a convent of religious sisters where progressive ideas became the norm that is now larger today than it was in the sixties? Sorry time expired.
Lord Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father and Mary Immaculate, grant to our young people the generosity necessary to follow Your call and the courage required to overcome all obstacles to their vocation. Give their parents that faith, love and spirit of sacrifice which will inspire them to offer their children to God1s service and to rejoice whenever one of their children is called to the priesthood or religious life. Let Your example and that of Your blessed Mother and Saint Joseph encourage both young people and parents and let Your grace sustain them. Amen.