Mar 282011

So if you were accused of indecent exposure, assault and five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and plead guilty on one count how do you get a book deal? Simple just be a priest who was laicized and excommunicated and has a bone to pick with his faithful bishop. Life Teen founder Dale Fushek has a book out.

Similarly Father Cutie who broke his promises as a priest and had a secret affair also got a book deal where he attacks his bishop.

Both men not only left the Church but started up again as Protestants and complain about how they were treated. Fushek started a Praise and Worship Center – you know one of those open and non-judmental churches where of course you wouldn’t want to make a judgment about Fushek “flicking” of a young man’s genitals.

These of course are the exceptions since there are plenty of books by priests faithful to the Church who have good things to say about their bishop who got book deals – oh wait.

I have also wondered why is it that usually when the founder of a movement goes so much awry that the movement they started is reevaluated or ended, yet Life Teen just goes on.

Though I am biased in this regard since I consider Life Teen masses totally wrongheaded. You don’t get teens to learn to love the Mass by presenting a different Mass with secular overtones. If they start going to Life Teen Masses because they like the music, will they keep going as adults? I am very curious if any study has been done showing if members of Life Teen keep going to Mass as adults?

My bias is based on the fact that as a teenager I went to Mass with my mother at a parish with rock music where popular songs were used and people held hands and swayed almost like a wave. I even sang in the small ensemble. They really reached out for youth and even as a young atheist I could put up with going to Mass because of the music. That the year I sang for that parish I got no doctrinal content is no surprise or that the two priest there later left the priesthood. I might not have been open to the truth of the Church at that time, it just would have been nice if they had made an effort towards actual catechesis instead of feel good worship that didn’t make an atheist uncomfortable.

  8 Responses to “How to get a book deal”

  1. “Book deal?”

    Seriously Jeff?

    I am not a Fushek fan (I despise the guy & Lifeteen) but this is a lame – knee-jerk response that gives him and his book far more attention than it deserves. WHY do Catholic bloggers insist on doing this?

    You can tell even by just looking at the cover that this is a self published job. Now go to the Amazon page – the forward is by someone named “Serey.” The publisher is “Serey/Jones.”

    Google it. Serey/Jones is a “publishing studio.” Jody Serey is a writer and also runs a wedding officiant business. (Again – just do a search.) I’m sure she is a Fushek fan who has put up the resources to get his book out.

    If everyone just ignored the press releases…Fushek would go away.

    (And Cutie of course wrote books and had them published before he left the Church. And there are plenty of “orthodox” priests who write books for mainstream publishers…those Legionary priests…Williams and so on.)

  2. Sad, but true. Bash the Church even if you are an unrepentant sexual predator, and you will be showered with praise.
    Defend the Church and you hear crickets. Until you reach heaven, you know sometimes we can’t hear their cheering down here.

    Life Teen Mass in my former (note former) parish is full of good intentioned older folk playing rock for more older folk and the teens they dragged in.
    Time to rethink Life Teen, if it didn’t work for its founder. It’s too seventies.

  3. I don’t know that your criticism of the Life Teen program is totally fair, if only because Life Teen is not limited to just the Mass. While some of the changes to Mass that became “standard Life Teen” practices remain questionable, Life Teen was never only about getting teens to Mass, but rather engaging them so that they could be catechized. I was part of a Life Teen core team for three years, and I think we did a pretty good job of sharing the riches of the Faith with the young people that we worked with. Like with any catechesis program, the quality of the teachers themselves, and their own commitment to the Faith, are the most critical factor in the success of the program. Several of the youth that I worked with have become catechists themselves, and I myself was led to explore my own vocation through the ministry I did with Life Teen.

  4. Just as a point of correction, “Dale” did not get a book deal. The book is self-published. He initiated it and he (or some backer or backers) paid for its production and promotion. Which is neither here nor there in terms of the awfulness of what he has done, and the tragic reality of a very gifted man becoming completely blinded by ego.

    As someone with significant love for the Eucharist and truths of our faith, and with significant experience with Life Teen, I can tell you that at its best it is a powerful program of true catechesis for teens, and that it instills tremendous devotion to the Eucharist. I can also say that it has become a much better, liturgically and catechetically solid program since Dale’s departure. The current president, Randy Raus, is as faithful, holy and humble a man as you will ever meet. No parish support program can completely control how it is implemented on the parish level, but every resource coming out of the Life Teen office is absolutely faithful to the Magisterium, and they strongly emphasize the need for parishes to do the same.

  5. You ***can*** have LifeTeen without the rock music. Lifeteen is more serious catechetically than many youth ministry programs out there, for certain.

    As for the book(s), I guess it is long established that this culture has no shame….

  6. >>Peter approached Jesus and asked Him, «Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?» <<
    Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven X's, I mean times.

    In all fairness Ken, I would guess that as a good Christian Jeff was simply trying to say is that two wrongs will never make "ONE" right especially as an atheist. 🙂

    Does this make any sense during Lent?

    God Bless Peace

  7. Re: do teenagers continue to attend Life Teen Masses when they get older? Anecdotal evidence says: no. There is, unfortunately, a Life Teen Mass at our parish, which was used as the confirmation Mass for one of our daughters – that’s the only reason I was there. 20 or 30 kids were confirmed. If that is typical, and this has been going on for years (it has) we’d expect several hundred people under 30, right?

    Nope. Outside the confirmandi, there weren’t 20 other young adults/teenagers in the building. Plenty of aging hippies, though. And the music, of the ‘Jesus is My Boyfriend’ school, was not something I can imagine willingly listening to, even when I was a teenager myself.

  8. I had a professor who once said something to the effect: “If you want to be famous simply deny a teaching of the Catholic church and write a book about it.”

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