Cleansing Fire

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When Good Priests Are Fettered By Liberal Politicking

May 11th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

The following was submitted by one of our soon-to-be authors. I thought you would enjoy seeing what he has to say. Let me be clear – this is not an attack on Fr. Horan or any other priest. It serves as a sad reminder that even our ordained brethren can be sucked into situations and events not of their making, and be forced into the way of thinking made all-too-common by our diocesan administration. Pray for our priests, that they can remove the smog of politicking from the parish life of our worship communities.


No Catholic Left Behind
Saturday this week was the regional meeting for Irondequoit Catholics to hear the plan for the configuration of a new parish.  If accepted by the bishop it will mean the end of each of the five Irondequoit parishes and the creation of a brand new worshipping community that would span the town of Irondequoit… The new parish will use three of the five worship/facility sites.  Two parish sites will be closed (and sold -forever).
There is of course sadness for all of us.  Things will never be the same (I don?t think we realize this yet at St. Margaret Mary?s (he has this right!). (All the parish councils should have been made to vote for the same outcome as STA and SS, to close and sell their parish.  There would have been much more understanding of what the diocese is doing to their parishes. It is especially hard for those members of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Salome?s who will lose their beloved church building. (They keep trying to tell us we are just losing our building when in reality we are losing our entire parish, past, present and future, as only one who has been a member of parish can possibly understand.)
Why does it have to be that way?  (Good question!) Why can?t each parish dig down deep and make that all out effort with pledges and fund raisers and increased attendance programs to try to keep alive?  (Isn?t this what we are called to do?  Isn?t this what our forefathers did to build the parishea and support them?  This is a crisis of faith, not resources, Father.)  So Irondequoit can?t support five Catholic parishes . . . Okay, let?s see which ones are strong enough or clever enough to make it.  Kind of a religious Darwinism. (Darwinism?  The survival of the fittest?  In reality, the DoR and IPPG have taken the two weakest, most defenseless parishes, the ones that have no resident pastor that will support them, the ones that have the smallest attendance and by committee decided to extinguish them forever. In reality they are practicing religious Darwinism at its worst!)  Like ships at sea we signal to each other,?Good luck and Godspeed? and off we sail each to face its future alone. (This is simply not true.  In fact, three of the parishes have been clustered for several years now, sharing priests, ministries, and staff.  Yes, we as Catholics are called to support each other and help each parish to grow together.)
That?s not how Catholics do things.  We see things differently.  We believe that we belong to each other; we believe that we?re in this life and this church TOGETHER.  We have one priest and shepherd Jesus Christ.  We have a structure to the church that was given to us by Christ Himself.  Under the successor of St. Peter (?The Rock?) the Holy Father has appointed an apostle (bishop) to be a source of unity and guidance for this part of the world (Rochester and environs).  That bishop sends out priests to celebrate the sacraments in the local parishes.  We all hear the same Gospel and eat of the One Bread that is the Body of Christ. (This is all very true but his conclusion is twisted and not a Catholic perspective at all ? read on?..)
So what do Catholics do when some area can no longer support the number of churches from the 1950?s?  We all lose. We all die. In our town we will all lay down our individual lives as parishes.  (We as Catholics are not called to die!  This is not how we are called to support each other.  We are to help each other to grow and spread the faith of Jesus.  We are people of the Light, not people of death.  We are not called to the lowest common denominator so we can all be the same.  This is not the faith that has been handed down to us through many generations that grew and spread the faith.) Now we might all find a home in a new and, shall we say, ?Resurrected? parish.  We all lose something dear.  We all gain something brand new. There are no ?veterans? who invite us into ?their? parish. We are all ?beginners? in the new parish.  (In reality, this is a risky experiment that most likely will result in the loss of many Catholics in Irondequoit.)   Why does everyone have to sacrifice when some could survive all by themselves?   (Sacrifice is when you freely give not when something is taken from you. Parishes have a right to exist, Father.)
That?s just what love does when we belong to each other.  (Love doesn?t call one to die with someone but to support and nourish the other. This is true Catholicism!)  We are in this together. NO CATHOLIC LEFT BEHIND.  (No parish left behind!)
Now let?s get busy bringing Christ to this community. I love this Catholic Church. It sent me to be with you. (Amen Father! Amen.)  I?m glad.   (The parishioners of the parishes you voted to close and sell are devastated.)
Fr. Tim

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4 Responses to “When Good Priests Are Fettered By Liberal Politicking”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Actually, we are ALL called to die, to enter into the Paschal Mystery, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The merging of parishes and closing of some in Irondequoit (and sadly, throughout our diocese) is definitely an experience of death. We can only hope and pray for the resurrection that is on the way. And it surely is on the way. The Diocese of Rochester will be raised up. God willing, we'll be here to see it and be a part of it.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the diocese wouldn't suck every dime out of our parishes i.e. CMA, the school "tax" , cathedral renovation etc. there would be something left for the parishes. The diocese has done much to destroy parish life for many years, in many ways. This article represents such a liberal mentality. This mentality is currently rampant in our country and unfortunately in our Church too! Spread the wealth or rather spread the spare change that is left for the parishes!

  3. avatar VCS says:

    See the Catholicism Project video trailer above this post. What a difference from Fr. Horan's negative perspective!

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Actually, I find the letter very refreshing. Father acknowledges the fact that this is a difficult, painful process. What I'm tired of is the usual nonsense about how affirming the process was, how wonderful the new opportunities are, and the sniffingly condescending attitude towards those who find it difficult. Fr. Horan's recognition of how closing a parish is like dying shows he "gets" what people are feeling.


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