Sunday, February 18, 2007

The state of emergency in Catholic liturgy

Matt Abbott has a very interesting column by a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi entitled, "STATE OF EMERGENCY: THE PRESENT SITUATION OF THE CATHOLIC LITURGY IN AMERICA". I recommend reading the whole thing.

It contains a heart wrenching description of the meltdown, liturgical and otherwise, of his home parish in the Diocese of Bridgeport. In a meeting with the then bishop of said diocese, the priest discussed this and other matter. Father Farfaglia offers this insight into why these goofy things happened.

Bishop Curtis died in 1997. He had attended the entire Second Vatican Council and was known as an excellent orthodox moral theologian. Why, then, did his diocese fall apart after the council? Why is the Diocese of Bridgeport, like most of the dioceses in the Northeast, still an epicenter of clergy sexual and financial scandals, parish closings, and continual bizarre liturgical abuses?Here's the answer. At the end of our meeting as we stood at the threshold of his office door, Bishop Curtis turned to me and said: "Well, Jim, I never thought that it was my place to tell my priests what to do." In December 1988, I was a newly ordained priest and still very respectful of any bishop of the Church. Today, after more than 19 years of priestly service, after having been through so many trials and tribulations, what I should have asked my home bishop was, "Well, whose place is it?"

This hits the nail right on the head. Just as we have so many problems in society because of parents trying to be friends rather than parents to their children, so in the Church we have problems with Bishops trying to be brother or companions on the way to their priests. Speaking as a priest, I can say that we have many priest brothers. We have many friends in our parishes. Priests need bishops to be spiritual fathers.
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