View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Just wondering

I live in the Diocese of Rochester.

The diocese - and our bishop, Matthew Clark - are frequent targets of folks of the traditionalist/conservative ilk.

Some of those folks don't even live in the diocese, yet they still assiduously follow the doings here. (At least in the case of former Rochestarians it makes some sense.)

Now I can understand when they raise questions about some things that they think go too far - as long as the comments are made in the spirit of fraternal correction.

But sometimes they take even positive things and try to find some way to make snide or negative - and often unwarranted - comments. At times, they twist facts, or imagine attitudes or thoughts in the minds of folks in the diocese in specific instances with little or no evidence to support their imagining.

And heaven help you if you ask for documentation or facts!

I don't understand the obsession, or why they seem to have so much anger. I wonder if something happened to them that has yet to heal.

I keep them in my prayers - as I suspect Bishop Clark does as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee, I think what you see in Rochester is atypical of the Church in general. Two New York dioceses, Rochester and Albany, have reputations in most Catholic circles for being two of the most "liberal" dioceses in the country (along with Los Angeles and Milwaukee). Why? It's primarily the permissive nature of the leadership in these places...and by permissive, I mean allowing things that go against Church teaching to go on by turning a blind eye. As an example of this, it was only after the Vatican was informed about the events at Corpus Christi/Spiritus Christi that Bishop Clark intervened. He was well aware of what was taking place before the Vatican was notified, yet he turned a blind eye and even offered some words of encouragement to Fr. Callan, indicating that he was supportive of what was going on.

Try typing "Bishop Matthew Clark" into a Google search and see the articles you come up with. Then try typing "Bishop Howard Hubbard" (the bishop of Albany). The results will amaze you, as they did me. I think the "traditionalists" (as you call them) simply long to reclaim their Catholicism- the bishops in Rochester and Albany have all but gone out of their way to destroy 2,000 years of traditional Christianity in favor of a more ecumenical flavor. While I have nothing against ecumenism, it should never be used as an excuse to water down Catholicism, which both of these bishops have allowed in their dioceses. How many religious orders have a presence in Rochester? How many Catholics do you know who pray the rosary in Rochester? What about services like benediction and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? Vatican II called for renewal; it didn't call for the elimination of tradition, so why don't we see such devotions here in Rochester? Go to any other diocese (and I've lived in several!) and you'll find those basic building blocks of Catholic theology and tradition, but not in Rochester!

And for the record, I'm in my 20's; I'm not some stick-in-the-mud, but I also long for substance in my Catholicism. Take away our Catholic traditions and you're left with nothing more than what the Protestants have - which isn't much!

5:01 PM  

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