Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fabian's Local Paper Finally Catches Up with The Story

The Lincoln Journal Star, hometown rag for the Diocese of Lincoln, has finally caught the story about Bishop Bruskewitz's dismissal of the National Review Board.

What took so long, you ask? Maybe it took a while to get Call to Action, too busy with the national press, to return the Journal Star's calls:

Linda Pieczynski, media spokesperson for national Call to Action, said Bruskewitz “has defiantly refused even to self-report for the audit process with no consequences at all.” Ewers’ urging fraternal correction against Bruskewitz, she said, was “an absolutely useless gesture. It is time to ask whether the Charter for the protection of Children and Youth is living up to its promises in the real world, and not just in a report.”

Or maybe it took considerable time to find some local Call to Action people:

“It is unsettling to see a Christian bishop claim that he and his diocese is above correction because he is in keeping with the letter of the civil and ecclesiastical law,” said Jim McShane, a local member of Call to Action.

McShane agreed that the National Review Board and bishops have “no canonical authority to compel anything,” but they do have moral authority. The bishops set up the review board to restore confidence in their care for young people after the sex abuse scandal, he said. For Bruskewitz to reject the process “can only undermine further the confidence the bishops are so anxious to restore,” McShane said.

Getting Call to Action's comments on this story is like polling Iranians on U.S. immigration policy: certainly hostile, and almost entirely irrelevant.

The delay in publishing the story, most likely, was caused by the Bishop's general reluctance to speak with the press. But, nonetheless, Fabian get's his $ 0.02 in:

In response to a question by the Journal Star, Bruskewitz explained the policies and procedures in the Lincoln Diocese to protect children and respond to any allegations of abuse by clergy, teachers, other staff or volunteers.

“The Diocese of Lincoln has in place a very strong program of instruction and training for all priests, religious and lay people in the diocese who are in any way, directly or indirectly, connected with children and youth. There are very careful and thorough background checks done for all people who are employed by the diocese, or by institutions, parishes or agencies which have any connection whatever with the diocese. All people, including all children and youth, are regularly instructed to report any incidents of abuse immediately to law enforcement authorities.”

In addition, any credible allegations of abuse will be presented to the diocese’s own lay review board “and then appropriately acted upon in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church,” he said.

Whatever the reason, the story got out. On the on-line edition, a solitary comment was appended to the story:

Viewer Comments:
Rev. Ronald Trojcak, Ph. D. wrote on April 25, 2006 7:54 PM:"I suggest that this bishop's stance, not only on this matter, but on several, provides plausible justification for abandoning the Roman church, in which I have been an active priest in the 43 years since my ordination."

Of course, one cannot add any more comments to the thread, thus leaving the errant priest's comments as the last word on the story. I'm attempting to follow up with Rev. Trojcak for an explanation.

Miserere nobis

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Into the Desert

I'm heading to Las Vegas, armed with my Dell laptop, Mother Teresa- In My Own Words, and my Revised Standard Version. No golf clubs, the astute of you will notice, because, in Vegas, it will cost ten times what I normally pay to shank, top, and chunk the ball for a couple hours.

The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra played Belshazzar's Feast last night, with Jubilant Sykes providing the baritone solo. Belshazzar's Feast is a orchestra/choral work by William Walton that was themed on scripture exerpts from Psalms 137, Daniel, and Revelation. One line struck me in particular, from Daniel 5:3:

Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them.

It got me thinking and I formulated an analogy, of what validity I will let you decide. The gold vessels are the Children of God, and the powers of the World seek to deny God, and exalt themselves, by filling these vessels with the wine of corruption. Doesn't the World want you to sin? The TV is full of encouragement to lust, avarice, and despair. Our politicians speak of encouraging virtue, but in the spirit of 'Freedom" enable those who hate virtue.

Incomplete thoughts, and I still need to pack a bit. More later, from Sin City.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Revelations (of the unhappy sort)

I've just read that a former pastor of mine has recently been defrocked, after investigation of a recent, and solitary, complaint, of an offense from over 17 years ago, against him. He's a old man now, accepting a "life of prayer and penitence" at the retirement home where he once said Mass.

I am sad, for the Church, for his victim, of who we'll never know, and for himself. I remember he and my mother having debates on various church-related issues when I was younger, and he was there with Archbishop John Cardinal Krol when I was confimed. We all celebrated his elevation to Monsignor in the new church was built under his command. And we all wondered at his hurried retirement after an impropriety involving real estate, but we were all willing to forgive the priest we knew. I cannot imagine him abusing anyone, and yet, he's been defrocked.

I cannot allow myself to despair for the other priests and pastors I've known, secretly wondering about every one of them. I cannot allow myself to shudder in fear every time I see my son, or other children, hug our parish priests.

Not only has Satan caused the offenders to fall and cause great scandal to the Church, but has poisoned many in the Church to fear their own priests, imagining a presupposed guilt.

Miserere nobis

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Boston Massacre

Well, while I was dormant for Lent, there was a lot of stuff going on:

Minus priests, parishioners lead services at 3 occupied churches

What's up with people who cannot let go of their church buildings? It reminds me of, in Jesus' time, how attached Jews were to the Temple itself, but they didn't understand the one who dwelt there. Don't these Bostonians realise that Jesus is in every other parish tabernacle as well? I know that you may have to go farther for mass, or that your favourite priest is not in your new parish, but the Mass is about Christ, not where you go to find Him. These people show that Mass is purely about themselves:

It was an Easter Sunday service at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini church in Scituate, and it was led almost entirely by women.
Standing in front of the altar, Bonnie Mayo and Patti Litz, longtime members of the seaside church, handed out wafers and wine.
Members orchestrated a service that replicated some aspects of a traditional Mass while removing others that are performed by a priest. A priest sympathetic to parishioners' fight at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini had blessed the wafer and wine beforehand, rather than during the Easter service. Nawn-Fahey introduced her telling of the resurrection as a ''reading" instead of a Gospel. And MacIsaac delivered a ''reflection" instead of a homily. Her remarks focused on Mary Magdalene and other women who came to Jesus's aid.
''Perhaps this is the future of the church," said MacIsaac, 51, marveling at the way church members had guided the congregation through prayers and song.

Now they get to play 'priestess', enabled by a sympathetic priest giving them the Eucharist to play with. The Irony gets thicker:

''Cardinal Sean, shame on you," scolded Linda Walsh, 56. ''Do the Christian thing. Let the people have a priest. Let my people go."

Linda, my dear, the good bishop has given you priests. But, your participation in this sacrelidge shows that you would rather have a priestess in your own church than go to the priests, and churches, the bishop has provided.

It's amazing the Protestant attitudes that so many catholics have, and how quickly they come to the surface when they find out that the Church doesn't bend to their will. Here's your 'More Horizontal Church', a position commonly known as 'supine'.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lent, Week 5, Palm Sunday.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

Do not be dismayed, disheartened, or even worse, discontented with the state of our Church and our Faith. We are seeing assaults from every side, and even traitorous behavior from within. Do not be afraid, for our Lord suffered calumny from without, and treason from within his disciples. This week we celebrate His trials and long-awaited victory over Death.

Ice on the Sea of Galillee? My, my, someone needs to rationalize and discount the Gospel. It’s nothing new, and we’ll see it again soon.

The Gospel of Judas? You can tell that theologians are tired of the real Gospel by the speed in which they rush to embrace a new 'truth', some secret knowledge. It’s the equivalent of future historians declaring Michael Moore’s films as historical documents. The problem with some theologians is that Jesus has become an entirely intellectual endeavor, and their hearts are no longer for Him alone.

Spineless bishops? Yes, I too would like to see some leadership from certain quarters, some proactive teaching of the Faith, but I will not cast aspersions on their motives for letting dissidents have the podium whilst the orthodox are silenced. I’ve heard it remarked that “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops”, but I hope the living bishops can get it together, and be a courageous witness to Christ, before the grout sets hard.

I’m sure that the Jews of Jesus’ day were also tired and disillusioned, living with Roman occupation and an unsympathetic religious hierarchy, and many left the faith to either acquiesce to the system or pursue violence against it. Let us remain strong, and seek our courage in Him that triumphed of the World.