Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ah, yes, the Catholic Key weighs in. (Take #2 on the Old St. Pat's move)

On Monday morning, the Missouri diocese's chancery put out a news release announcing Bishop Finn's arrangements for an ICK priest to serve the Missouri Latin Mass community and his intention to move them to Old St. Patrick's downtown.

Today, the Catholic Key came out with an article on the move which was . . . or should have been, expected. The leftover staff from the predecessor Bishop's rag didn't start the article with "who, what, where, when." It started with "Although some community members expressed misgivings . . . " So what is our editor trying to do? Paint the move as another imposition by the new autocratic bishop? Cast the Latin-Massers as stubbon, ungrateful and incapable of being satisfied? Hopefully someone in the Key office will answer for lead sentence. Not to mention, the story was buried on Page 4, behind the blessing of some puny windows salvaged from Visitation's wrecking their old church.

Now back to my takes on this:

Take #1 mentioned in a previous post was an unqualified cheer for the bishop for reaching out to the traddies on the Missouri side (of course, many of them weren't there to grab his hand--they were either at the SSPX chapel or (like me)at the sanctioned old Rite Mass on the Kansas side. (This is, in no way, to lessen anyone's regard for those who did stick it out for so long without daily Mass and without a full time priest committed to their pastoral care at Sorrows).

Take #2 is a little more cynical--easy to understand if you get to thinking about details. The bishop reportedly said two things that (especially when taken together) could reasonably put somebody off on the project. The first was that the Latin Mass community would bear the larger burden in restoring Old St. Pats. The second was that the Bishop could not bind his successors with respect to the continued offering of the Latin Mass at Old St. Pats.

OK, so we can't blame anyone for asking why the very group of people most offended by the defacement of Old St. Pat's sanctuary in the 1970s should have to cough up the dough to restore it so it can serve the very purpose for which it was built, especially when they have no assurance that (when Finn gets his pallium (and maybe a red hat) and moves on to convert Los Angeles from Mahoneyism or something like that) they'll be able to worship there.

It would be fair to say, "No, Excellency, why don't the people who tore out the hundred-and-something year old high altar and rails, let a cheerleading squad take their tempera paints to the stations of the cross, laid baby-blue carpet, and installed a styrofoam table, ambo, and baldachino pay to put it back like it was? Then we'll take if from there. After all, there's plenty of other work to be done.

Other questions come up. What space will the community have to meet in outside the church (after all this isn't some big public university campus center where they use a multi-purpose room for Mass and for beer busts--these people tend to take the Real Presence in the tabernacle seriously)? Where is the ICK priest gonna live ("ICK" is perhaps an unfortunate acronym, is it not?)?

But hey, life isn't fair, and past injustices can't be undone completely, only mitigated. Bishop Finn would probably undo the damage in a hearbeat if he could, but he can't. He can only play with the cards he's dealt, and work to build a better hand over time.

1 comment:

Curmudgeon said...

I know no one will ever come back and read this post from a year ago, but if you've followed the Old St. Pat's story, you've notice that the Bishop DID come through with some help for those good people--via their former parish, Our Lady of Sorrows. God bless him--God please send us more of him.