Update on Fr. Altier with a statement he issued to Sprit Daily. [Via AMDG]
"Praised be Jesus Christ! The people who take care of the Desert Voice website informed me of your interest in the case in which I am involved with Archbishop Flynn. It is certainly fine with me if you want to write something about it, but there really does not seem to be much of a story, on the surface, to write. The fact that this thing has taken on a life of its own with no help from anyone in particular should tell you that it is really not about me at all. Rather, it is about something much larger than me.
"Beyond that, I really do not have much to say other than what was said of the Apostles 2000 years ago, i.e., that they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name [Acts 5:41]. All of this is part of God’s loving providence and He will bring about a greater good from this than any of us can ask or imagine. Can you think of a better way to live out the Lenten observance?
"Regarding the letter from the Archbishop, I will not release it to anyone. This is done solely out of respect for the Archbishop. He did not request that I not release the letter; it is my decision to act in this manner out of respect for his Excellency.
"The Archbishop acted within the bounds of his jurisdictional rights (canon 831 §2) and I simply have to obey. The rest is up to our Lord and Our Lady. It is so wonderful because I am at peace and filled with joy knowing that through obedience I am doing the will of God.
"Who could ask for anything more in this world than to know with certainty the will of God for you at any given moment and to be able to live it out in peace and joy? The whole thing is a pure gift from God. This is my take on the whole situation, but as I mentioned above, this cannot possibly be about me. I am merely an instrument that God is using for a much larger purpose. So, if you want to write an article, you really do need to look at what God is doing here."
"We’ll let the Holy Spirit do that; we’ll urge obedience (above sacrifice); and we’ll leave it to your own discernment."
While it certainly does appear that this happened because he spoke out against VIRTUS and Talking about Touching, you have got admire his reaction. As the history of the saints have proved it is better to be obedient than right. Please pray for his bishop that he might reconsider his support of these very problematic programs as the chairman of the US bishops’ Ad-Hoc Committee on child and youth protection.
Where there is a proximate danger to the Faith, prelates must be
rebuked,even publicly, by their subjects. Thus St. Paul, who was subject to St. Peter, rebuked him publicly. –St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians 2:14
All disciplinary authority, all obedience to a bishop presupposes the pure teaching of the Holy Church. Obedience to the bishop is grounded in complete faith in the teaching of the Holy Church. As soon as the ecclesiastical authority yields to pluralism in questions of faith, it has lost the right to claim obedience to its disciplinary ordinances.
As Our Lord said “those that are not with me are against me…not to condemn error is to condone it”. This priest as many who have been reprimanded for being Orthodox and conservative are the true saints on earth as they are holding fast to the faith and not compromising the faith as this priest has so rightfully pointed out.
Bishops? I cant seem to name more than a handful that one would even consider a true shepherd
I’m not at all sure the Archbishop will notice. For tone-deafness, spiritual blindness, and petty self-righteousness, nothing beats the Roman clergy, especially the ones in the higher reaches of the bureaucracy. I am continually smitten with amazement at their pettifogging crassness.
I don’t know. I see valid points on both sides of the issue. Contra what has been written here, a lot of the objections to the programs don’t seem to be founded on sound theology or even sound reason. We can debate at what age children should learn proper anatomical terms, who should teach them, and where this should take place, but we mustn’t pretend that it’s harmful itself to learn the proper terms, just because we happened to learn them as “dirty words” or to have learned the improper terms first.
Related to this is the impression that I get from some of the objectors that some of these things should never be discussed until absolutely necessary. This seems to reflect an unhealthy an unCatholic theology of the body. There is almost a strain of neo-Albigensianism or Gnosticism here.
It also seems that some objectors wish to downplay the reality of abuse that takes place in the home. They don’t want to educate childrens such that they can help defend themselves from abuse. I understand that they don’t want to make the children themselves the “first line” of defense, but they refuse to recognize that children themselves will always be the “last line” of defense. It seems that some of the objectors wish to use a revised form of the old “stranger danger” paradigm with a restricted circle of non-strangers. Some of the objectors state that the protection of children must exist entirely by means of observation and restriction of circumstances by the parents. A program intended to protect children must not ignore the real dangers that exist in the home, amongst parents, step-parents, other close family members, and family friends. This is the arena where most sexual abuse of minors occurs and a program that ignores this (as some objectors blatantly propose) is nothing more than a legal butt-covering maneuver for the parish or diocese.
The strategy of “Let’s not talk about those dirty body parts unless we absolutely have to.” does not work to prevent abuse and actually creates an environment of shame and secrecy in which abuse can thrive. It’s not good Catholic theology, either. Yes, there is a legitimate argument regarding the ages and arenas in which this knowledge should be attained, but we mustn’t canonize or demonize anyone based soley on whether they approve of or disapprove of any particular program. There is room for legitimate disagreement on prudential issues like this.
Regarding the priest, he is a model of obedience. Obedience isn’t dependent upon whether we agree with the superior in question. Statements like John’s will turn any disagreement into a complete revocation of all authority. They are filled with spite, arrogance, and pride and have much more in common with Korah and Judas than Paul or Catherine.
that he might reconsider his support of these very problematic programs
Very few people seem to be paying attention to the fact that the Archbishop has made it possible for any pastor to implement an alternative curriculum in their parishes, and that a number of parishes are opting to do just that.
Knowing the Archbishop as I do, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that he “supports” the problematic programs in question.
Here’s a website for parents of the Archdiocese who are concerned about VIRTUS and looking for alternatives to the Talk about Touching curriculum: primaryeducators.org.
I found a humorous article on this sort of thing. It’s at “http://www.thespoof.com/editorials/index.cfm?eID=767”.
I don’t think that when a priest likens himself to the Apostles and his bishop to the biblical enemies of the Church, we have what should be called “a model of obedience.”
With respect to those who object to the Virtus program, I am not going to defend the program but “something ” has to be said and it cannot be left solely to the parents or this situation will only continue. In a perfect world, let the parents breach this subject but the fact is the parents never did breach the subject and that was the problem.
All that needed to be done was act responsibly when complaints were received. Suspend molesting priests. Reinforce celibacy and make it clear that abuse won’t be tolerated. That’s easy enough to do without “educating” *US*.
There are dioceses such as Lincoln that have been doing that for ages without any need for recourse for talking about touching or anything else.
Not to be mean, but if you’re blaming the parents for not talking about this, you’re also blaming the kids. You’re saying, “If those kids weren’t so clueless, they would never have been molested — or at least not molested twice.”
In point of fact, there are plenty of adults who know all about sex who still get sexually harassed, molested, “seduced”, intimidated, and even outright raped. Most of them apparently keep silent, and many who report these things refuse to testify. They are scared.
Fear and shame is a powerful force. I don’t think that we can assume that any program will be certain to get kids to report things; at best, such things only make it a little more likely.
That little chance would probably be increased if these things were not being taught in public, with all the embarrassment that entails, to little kids who are still embarrassed by girl-cooties and the mushiness of Mommy and Daddy kissing.
Kids are a lot more likely to listen to their parents on such topics. If the archdiocese sent home a short curriculum to help parents talk to their kids, that would be a lot more sensible and humane. Parents could then tailor the curriculum to the capabilities of themselves and their children, something no outsider to a family could easily do. It would also save the diocese a lot of time and trouble with parents; the only cost would be the printing.
I agree with the Pope John Paul II on this issue:
“It can be said that a child is in the stage described in John Paul II�s words as �the years of innocence� from about 5 years of age until puberty – the beginning of which can be set at the first signs of changes in a boy�s or girl�s body (the visible effect of an increased production of sexual hormones). This period of tranquility and serenity must never be disturbed by unnecessary information about sex�
I think Talking About Touching and Virtus definitely fall in the UNNECESSARY INFORMATION catagory
I believe this subject should be breached during lectures on purity, chastity and temptations. The Catholic Church really has done a disservice to its students by failing to address these subjects, they lost out on a great opportunity while they had the time.