Cleansing Fire

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Zeal for Thy House Will Consume Me — Part XIX–Rebuttal

September 10th, 2011, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It occurred to me when I was doing Zeal XX (see third blog post below this one) that I had not uploaded the rebuttal of  the St. Jan’s Renovation Supporters.   Zeal XVI was focused on the investigative reporting article by Jack Jones which was published in the Naples Record.  The article did not go unnoticed by a few of Fr. Ring’s and the project’s supporters.  First, Andy Beigel wrote a letter to the editor longer than the original article, claiming to represent St. Jan’s and setting himself forth as “President” of the Parish Council of OLOL.  Following his letter to the editor there were 5 more letters published in the next edition, one being from his wife.  This is the gist of those 5 letters:

  • Joaquin Aymerich (why he and his wife are grateful and so donated to the project)
  • Lynn Lersch to compliment the investigative reporter and the Naples Record for being willing to publish a story that “needed to be told and documented.” 
  • Rachael O’Connor saying :  “the tone of the ‘article’ is screamin’ yellow”! 
  • Marianna Beigel to complain about “shoddy journalism” (after they’d just published her husband’s tirade), and about logs in some eyes and splinters in others, etc. 
  • Joan Hoeffel who contributes her own interpretation of other people’s motives, including that she sees those who dissent as railing against St. Jan’s (rather than against what is being done to St. Jan’s.)  Her answer was “let them find other churches, other priests and even other faiths.” 

Each, of course, has a right to his or her opinion.  However, the letter of most concern was from Andy Beigel who didn’t only set forth his opinion, but set forth seriously wrong information which needed to be corrected.  Therefore, I am publishing the correction below, which will be fairly self-explanatory as to what was in the Beigel letter, without again reiterating his errors.  But here is a sampling of what was just plain wrong from Andy Beigel, who was setting himself forth in the role of a spokesman for St. Jan’s:

  • “I am currently the President of the Pastoral Council for OLOL.”
  • “74% of those attending Mass were in favor of the renovations”
  • “…nothing was demolished”
  • “each person had the opportunity to express his or her concern”
  • “decisions are made without input from the faithful…for well over 1000 years”
  • “A special Pastoral Council meeting was scheduled, so that all concerned parties could come and express their concerns”

The parishioners’  letter set forth below counters each of these errors, and more besides.  There are a few typos, but I left them alone as the meaning still seems clear.  As you will also see in Zeal XX we are often dealing with outright lies, errors or selective omissions.  Thus, the misleading of the flock metastasizes.

Closing Arguments: At first this title brought fear to my heart; we are all so used to thinking “Closing of Churches” that it threw me for a moment.  But it wasn’t arguments to close St. Jan’s, but rather it represents that the Naples Record is done with the subject, having printed Mr. Beigel’s letter and five others, and then a rebuttal signed by 7 parishioners who opposed what was done to St. Jan’s Sanctuary and opposed the errors perpetrated by Mr. Beigel.  A few of the signatories to the parishioners’ letter to the editor told me that many more people read their letter, said that they agreed with it completely, but were afraid to sign.  I congratulate those who did sign, and sympathize with those who are afraid.  In future writing I will be dealing with the issue of intra-parish bullying. 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Zeal for Thy House Will Consume Me — Part XIX–Rebuttal”

  1. avatar ROBERT says:

    Why don’t you get on with something more creative than all of this print about Naples. You seem to be too centered about this and how do we know that you are telling the truth? You also seem to be so very negative. This is also true in your recent comments about the Basilian Father because you don’t like the Basilian pastor at Christ The King et al. I guess you don’t recognize all that the Basilian Fathers have given to this diocese at Aquinas Institute and St. John Fisher College.

  2. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Well, Robert, I think you just shouldn’t read my posts if they bother you that much. If you want something “more creative” there is plenty to choose from on this website. But since you asked a “why” question, you deserve an answer.

    There are two ways (at least) to go when one is complaining. One is to be very broad-based and make generalities, like “DoR is too liberal,” “The bishop favors priestesses,” or “Fr. Ring took advantage of his parishioners and donors.” However, generalities do have a way of being dismissed as “just opinion,” and can only be defended with proof detail, such as I’ve been supplying. On the other hand, very specific information can only be refuted by proof of the opposite. Where are the corrections or rebuttals? If you have one, post it, and I’ll deal with it. If I made an error I’ll retract; if I am wrong I will say so. None of us bats .1000 but I just don’t get any proofs against what I’ve posted, and that is some evidence of “truth.” For those knowledgeable about Church policy and procedure, I think they can see the error stated by those who claim to provide facts but instead provide error. If I were not publishing truth, there surely would be counter proveable facts posted all over.

    So I think your real objection is to the uncomfortable presentation of the truth, in detail. Truth made Pilate uncomfortable too. But what is accomplished by fun, creative, feel good postings? That is not what Christ calls us to do. So I serve by providing the detail of the way things ought not to be in the Church, in one parish in particular. It isn’t possible for any one human being to be able to provide that amount of detail for multiple parishes, although I do wish others would provide more detail on the situations in which they have been injured. In the long run it should help souls who might be confronting the same thing, or help them to avoid injurious people. And it might even call some of those who have bullied others to repentance, as Nathan called David.

    There are many who do provide positive information about other situations, and I say “Good for them.” If that is your need, by all means pursue what seems best to you. But that doesn’t happen to be the situation in my parish, or with the pastor we had for nearly 10 years. It would do a gross disservice to those who have suffered to be ignored in their sufferings. They deserve to have their stories told, and those who object often do so because they are uncomfortable with the truth, they personally like the person who had injured another, or they want to keep their eyes closed and imagine unity means lots of huggies and avoiding the unpleasant.

    Re the Basilian Fathers, I do recognize they have done much good, and I also know several whom I like and respect. My point, however, is that IN MY OPINION, I don’t think their leadership should have allowed one in particular, Fr. Tanck, to have become so involved in diocesan politics and the destruction of a parish. Destruction is just the opposite of what you praise them for historically, construction. Moreover, this is evidence to me of lack of thoughtful understanding or adequate controls, and I simply wouldn’t donate personally to any of their projects. It is my opinion in that case, and I have a right to express it, just as you have done about the Zeal posts, Robert.

  3. avatar snowshoes says:

    Diane,

    Thank you for an excellent documented analysis of the situation at St. Jan’s and OLOL. It is your very documentation of the facts of the history of this process, and your logical analysis of it which in my mind proves the validity of your conclusions. And with the excellent news of Abp. Chaput’s courageous and charitable comments about “cafeteria Catholics”, we pray in hope for our new bishop, that he will be as courageous and charitable as to tell the truth and enforce it. God bless you.


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