Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No Imagination Needed: Another Story of a Marginalized, but Successful, Traditional Catholic Community

The analogy which I drew in my previous post, Imagine Yourself . . . , is a pretty strained and obvious one, and perhaps it trivializes the mission of Holy Mother Church, but it nonetheless serves as an passable introduction to a major problem in the Church in general and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas in particular.

Now, before I get started, I acknowledge that I've been blogging nearly a year, and I've avoided dwelling too much on my own community, the
St. Rose Philippine Duschene Latin Mass Community which meets at Blessed Sacrament parish in Kansas City, Kansas (Low Mass at 9:30, High Mass at 10:45—please join us). I haven't hidden my affiliation to the Community (we're not really a "parish" or anything like it canonically, so I'm stuck describing us as a "Community," even though has a rather newfangled ring to it). On the other hand, frankly, until recently, I've thought it better for the Community not to be too closely associated with me—they don't need a cantankerous blowhard who can't correct typos—someone like me—appointing himself as a community spokesman.

But circumstances change from time to time, and circumstances have changed for me and for the Community. Specifically, we're in Church-closin' season, and the Archbishop has his pastoral planning henchmen out amongst the parishes, gathering data, getting input, and making sure the church closing . . . er . . . the pastoral planning . . . process is conducted openly, and that the people who will be affected feel like they've participated fully in determining their own demise . . . I mean, their own future. I'm going to hit the issue head on. Not, of course, as the self-appointed community spokesman. I'm not. I haven't discussed my thoughts below with the chaplain or with any significant number of laymen in the community. I'm simply speaking for myself, from information I've been fortunate enough to gather here and there.

So the goal is tobe open and have the Catholics affected by the pastoral planning process particiate in and take ownership of the process. But there's just one problem. One group of Catholics isn't a part of the process. Like the odd store in my analogy which is ignored by the folks at the home office, one group is being systematically ignored by the consultants and, to the extent possible, the Archdiocesan facilitator, Teresa Horvat. That group is the St. Rose Philippine Duschene Community.

A little history here: The Community is made up of Catholics who are in regular standing with the Archbishop and fully subject themselves to his ordinary jurisdiction, and who have (as a community at least) stayed with the Archdiocese for almost twenty years, through persecution by the chancery and contempt from clergy and other Catholics. When they first started to grow and 200 or 300 started showing up to Mass, Archbishop Strecker tried to marginalize them by limiting Masses to twice a month, and that restriction continued for quite a while. Eventually, with the changing of the archepiscopal guard, they managed to restore their weekly Mass. It's only been in the last few years that they've been permitted daily Mass. The members honestly didn't have to put up with that persecution and those restrictions—they could have received the sacraments and enjoyed a full Catholic community life at one of the SSPX communities in Kansas City, Missouri or St. Mary's, Kansas (as many other people, understandably, did). But, out of a desire to remain within the regular structure of the Church—loyalty or stubbornness or fighting spirit or a little of all three—they tolerated the injustice, and as described below, they've prevailed by nearly every measure.

In 1995, there were only a couple dozen families that were considered part of the community. In 2000, there were 75 or 80 households. Now, there are more than 200 households registered, and somewhere between 700 and 800 people (not to mention the regular attendees who never registered with us). And they've grown only by two means: word of mouth and breeding. They have never been written up in the Leaven, and they aren't listed on the Archdiocesan website. I know one member who lived in the diocese for over six years before he knew the Community existed, and this is a man who once actually contacted the Archdiocesan liturgy office in despair to find out where he could get a good Mass celebrated in a traditional (small "t") manner, but the consultant who staffed it did not mention the Community. They have not only been ignored—they have been systematically and intentionally hidden from public view.

Today the Community is a vibrant one, with two full-time young priests who live upright lives, set an example of personal holiness and sacrifice, preach powerfully and truthfully, follow the rules, and spend more than a dozen hours each week in the confessional. They have two or three baptisms a month, and twenty or twenty-five first Holy Communions a year. At the other end of life, they only have one or two funerals a year. The Community has large families: there are more children than adults, with something like 50 families with 4 or more kids, and over a dozen with 6 or more kids, driving all those miles in gas-guzzling full-size, 10 passenger vans in order to get to Mass. Just recently, the community has spawned three vocations, and has had a hand in several more. Mass attendance is about 80% every Sunday (remarkable, considering how far people drive and how many other Catholic churches they pass) and there are 40 or 50 at the typical daily Mass, despite the fact that it's at noon, in the middle of the homeschooling day, and in a location that's difficult for any of the working men like me to reach. Needless to say, the Mass is celebrated reverently and strictly according to the rubrics, and the music is very good. We've got a small army of altar boys, too—always more than a dozen at High Mass. The Community has regular after-Mass social hours, picnics, a banquet and other activities, adult catechism classes, and is also active in the larger community, particularly in pro-life causes. We have two members of the Kansas legislature, professors, lawyers, doctors and a couple of published authors in our midst, too. And finally, our collections (though they look small in the bulletin every week) are the highest per household in the area. We're solvent, and we're supporting our Community. There's a lot more to the Community as well. By every measure it is a vibrant parish (or it would be if it were only a real, canonical parish)

But unless I told all of the above (or unless you're involved with the Community for some time), you wouldn't know any of this. Unless you've heard about us by accident or you've been reading this blog, you wouldn't know the Community existed.

And that's exactly the problem here. Going back to our retail/restaurant analogy, the Archbishop, the president of our chain, would (but for our Community's extra effort to publicize our story) never find out any of this. In the pastoral planning process being run by Meitler Consultants and Teresa Horvat and Msgr. Thomas Tank, our Community has not been recognized as a distinct group in any way.

In the initial scheduling of "Listening Sessions," special sessions were arranged for the Spanish parishioners in the parishes where they are in significant numbers—recognizing their special needs, as well as the language barrier. However, the Community didn't get its own session. Even though the Community has its own special needs, and its own language barrier, of sorts, (and even though the Community is actually bigger in numbers than the regular parish) it was lumped in with the regular Blessed Sacrament listening session. (The result of that, BTW, was rather odd. The Archdiocesan facilitator was trying to write down strengths and challenges for two distinct groups whose comments were directly contradictory, e.g., one of the challenges was that "there weren't enough young people," while more than a dozen kids from our small contingent were going nuts in the back of the room, and one of our members suggested that we needed a cryroom and diaper changing facilities to accommodate all the young mothers and children. After the listening session I heard (through the grapevine—I haven't seen it) that Horvat minimized the Community's comments in her summary, and only through the quick action of several people in the community was a fair, comprehensive presentation of our strengths, challenges and vision written and submitted to the consultants and to the Archbishop. I've also learned, again through the grapevine, that the "hard" data on our demographics and finances which was gathered by our Community was not included in the initial reports prepared by the Archbishop's consultants. All they reported was Mass attendance. Again, but for the quick action of several people who are attending to such things, the facts about our community would never reach the Archbishop. It's safe to assume that if we don't continue to exercise such diligence, we'll be excluded from the remaining steps of the process (and even if we do exercise this diligence, we may be ignored by the Archbishop when the time comes for a decision, but we'll address that possibility only if and when it seems to be coming).

Which begs the question—the question that most of the people who've read this far have already answered: Why are we being ignored? Why don't the consultants at Meitler and the Chancery powers like Teresa Horvat and Msgr. Tank want to deal with us on par with the other communities?

Is it because we're doing something we shouldn't be doing? Let's see, even if we set aside St. Pius V's bull Quo Primum, we can take comfort in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta and in numerous other statements of various canonical weight and made by persons of pastoral influence that we're doing exactly what we're permitted to do. We're just celebrating Mass and living the liturgical life of the church fully and (if I may say so myself) beautifully, and we're taking joy and comfort, as much as we can, in the company of others who want the same.

Is it because we're culturally different? At first glance, no. In fact, to look at us quickly, you'd see we're pretty white-bread. However, a closer look suggests that we might be a little different. The women dress modestly, many covering their heads, and the men tend to wear coats and ties. They have religious and pro-life bumper stickers you don't see on many cars at other parishes (not me though--I'm not a bumper sticker guy). The families tend not to own TV's, or to rarely turn them on if they do. They tend to homeschool, and they appear (at least when they're all together) to be a rather devout and earnest bunch, in an old fashioned way. But then, I'm sure the Archdiocesan powers that be, if they recognized these sorts of things as a cultural difference, would not discriminate against the Community on the basis of cultural difference! Surely not!

Is it because we're failing? No, see the above.

Is it because we're too successful? How can you be too successful as a religious community? How can one say that two hundred or two hundred and fifty families are too many, or that collections per household are too high, or that there are too many children, or that there are too many confessions?

Then again, maybe we're on to something here. Too much success.

No one in the chancery would never say there was "too much" success in the Community. But someone—particularly someone who had a hand in implementing the changes in liturgy, catechesis, and administration of the Archdiocese over the last twenty or thirty or forty years—wouldn't want to have the success of a Community that generally was untouched by that implementation to stand in contrast to the steady degeneration of those regular parishes that they did help shape. Such a comparison would never do, particularly when such a person is now answering to an outsider—the new Archbishop from St. Louis who is judging both, and who doesn't have as much personal investment in the status quo.

Right now, I have to believe that the Archbishop is not a party to the systematic silencing that's going on—I have to assume he's a man of good will. But on the other hand, I can't say the same for those whom he has working on this process. I don't believe they want him to be able to evaluate our Community on the merits.

And we'll continue to reflect on that over the next day or two.

30 comments:

Rick said...

Your "Community" will be in my prayers.

I suppose I'm a bit spoiled here in Indiana as we have the Traditional Latin Mass every single day of the week in a church that is completely run by the FSSP. The Archbishop (of Indianapolis) confered Confirmation in the Traditional Rite recently, this being his first visit to the church since it was taken over by the FSSP. He had nothing but positive things to say. The following is a link to some pictures...
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AbNmbhozYsXZA¬ag=1

Rick said...

Hmm... for some reason that link didn't take properly. Let's try this again.

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AbNmbhozYsXZA

KCKPriest said...

The Archbishop wants the recommendations to come from the REGION (or properly the deanery). He wants them to propose the best solutions. Decisions should be made for the common good and future of the entire region. Thus, in your region (Wyandotte Co.), there are three primary areas of focus: maintaining a dying inner-city population, energizing a growing Latino presence, and the unique and vibrant service to the Traditionalists. The growth out West really relates - to me - more to Basehor/Bonner/Lansing.

Because so few of your community actually live in WYCO, maybe it is seen that your community could be hosted at any Catholic Church in the KCK area. Most - I do believe - are coming from JOCO, and so maybe some see that it would be just as easy to move your community to a JOCO church. Practically speaking this would seem appealing. There are many in JOCO, who do not go to the Holy Mass celebrated according to the Old Ordo, but who would. What these same people do not understand is that so many of your community make the sacrifice to be a Blessed Sacrament precisely because the architecture of the Traditional Mass would be violated by the architecture of the standard JOCO church.

Because the regional priests are really the key to this process, your own priests need to be active in working with the regional priests. There are usually a few priest in the region who make the decisions. The other priests say nothing or follow along. Your priests need to be more active and realize that what happens outside of their spiritual care affects those charged to their care. Your community has had strong, vocal, active laymen who get things done. The priests have provided teaching and sanctifying offices. Your priests have not been strong pastors. This they need to do so that your rightful needs or even desires to the older traditions are safeguarded.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the anonymous post that was on here a little while ago?

I was hoping to respond, but alas it was gone.

Anonymous said...

There was a post that detailed some of the events that might have led to a less than favorable opinion of Curmudgeon's community in the chancery. It is sad to think that an entire community can be made to suffer for such things but that is the reality of the world. Perhaps, inviting the good Archbishop to visit with your community, perhaps even celebrate Mass, would go some distance to heal old misconceptions and make him aware of your positive aspects.

Neo Traddie said...

I think it's fair to point out that part of the effect of going to an indult is the sense of being treated like the red headed step-child. Going to your dad and asking him for attention is a little ominous when; 1) he's given no sign that he cares you're there, 2) he can do away with the indult mass you've grown to love (I was born post-Vatican II) in a second along with your community, 3) is most likely being influenced by those who wish we didn't exist.

Curmudgeon said...

Yes, I exercised my magical powers as publisher and deleted a comment. It didn't further the objectives of the post. As for them leading to the unfavorable disposition among chancery officials, I'd have to guess that the disposition predated the events that were raised. The writer is welcome to set up an anonymous email account and continue the discussion off the blog, and the commenter above is welcome to send his comments to me via email as well. I'd enjoy reading them. curmudgeonkc@yahoo.com. If you don't like my censorship, get your own blog, and you can delete my comments. Last I checked, www.curmudgeonisanidiot.blogspot.com is available.

Two quick statements re the deleted comment's content: Yes, when you treat a group of people shabbily, there's bound to be a few people in the group who respond in kind. And yes, the community's success is not without some internecine difficulties. The great strength of its core members, which kept them together and kept them faithful and subject to the Archbishop through all those years is, when not properly channeled and ordered, their great weakness. And face it, we live in an era of disorder.

As for the other commenters, KCKPriest notes that it's a regional/Wyco effort, and we're not really Dottes--most of us anyways. But wherever it is that people drive from, the community is a Wyco community and has been for 20 years. Whether our ultimate home lies elsewhere remains to be seen--but our roots are in the Dotte, and our present and our immediate future are in the Dotte, and we're a distinct group of Dotte-based Catholics that ought to have the same seat at the table as other groups.

And as for the priests, Father, they DO take care of us, very well, and they certainly govern us appropriately within the community (no doubt, if our chaplain knew me, I'd be standing about 10 inches shorter). I wouldn't want his job--more than one traddie priest has told me that governing traddies is worse than herding cats. However, vis-a-vis the diocese, our chaplain and the other Fraternity priests are here (I assume) only at the Archbishop's pleasure, and the Archbishop can end their service to us instantly if the chancery folks convince him to do so. I haven't discussed this with my chaplain, but (judging from the paperwork when we baptized the youngest Curmudgeon) I don't think he even has the canonical status of a pastor. He may not be invited to all those meetings, and if he is, I'd guess his status there would be akin to a houseguest. He must be careful not wear out his welcome or ask difficult questions, or if he does, we're left without a priest. On the other hand, we laymen have no such concerns--we're family (the eccentric part of the extended family, to be sure) and we're here to stay, so we don't have to walk the very fine prudential line that he does.

I certainly appreciate the perspective you raised, Father. My biggest complaint about clerics, from parish priests to the last few Pontiffs, is that they don't exercise their governing offices. But in this case, given the unusual order of things, I can't fault my chaplain for how the Archdiocese is treating us.

To the anonymous commenter who suggested that we invite the Archbishop in, I can't imagine that he hasn't been extended a general invitation, if not a specific invitation (as if he needed an invitation at all!). I don't know for sure, though. They chaplain doesn't consult me on such things, and it doesn't seem my place to ask. But of course, who wouldn't be delighted to have the Archbishop come celebrate a Pontifical High Mass with us, or even just join us in choir for a High Mass? I'd guess, though, that the systemic problems aren't going to be solved by a friendly visit.

Finally, NeoTraddie, yes, going to the Indult Mass does make you a stepchild, which is why the Ecclesia Dei regime can't be a permanent solution. The alternatives, going to an irregular chapel or giving up entirely are appealling to many. However, the indult people perform an important role in the counterrevolution--they are the wedge in the crack of the door, and they need to remain exactly where they are for the time being. That's not being critical of my correspondents who've go to the SSPX chapels, nor is it critical of the upstanding Catholic laymen who assist at, and the orthodox younger priests who say, the New Mass right now--we all have our roles to play.

Curmudgeon said...

Flattery will get you nowhere! I'm not a leader in the community; I'm just some anonymous crank...but an anonymous crank who's in control of his own forum. If any registered member of the community wants to see what I deleted, he has only to email the request to me.

Curmudgeon said...

As you may have noticed, I've turned comment moderation on. Things seemed likely to get out of hand here.

A quick lunch-hour check of the blog reveals a queue of comments waiting, some of which complaining about me and my confreres, some of which going on about the relative merits of traddies and novus ordo priests, and some which are quite complimentary of the chaplain. I'll review them this weekend (plans tonight, sorry), but if you don't ever see your comment published, it's not necessarily because I don't agree with you, or even because I wouldn't enjoy sparring with you if I disagree with you.

The reason for moderation is that the focus of this post is a narrow question--why aren't the St. Rose Philippine Duschene folks at the table? Anything that's likely to degenerate into something else won't do. I'll allow comments all day long on other posts about the problems with the church or traddies as a whole (anyone read my bit on Bp. Tissier de Mallerais?), and I'll take anyone on in an email exchange on the local issues--at least up to a point when we have to worry about defaming anyone, or to the point when Mrs. Curmudgeon threatens to unplug my cable modem and hide it from me (and the later point is coming).

One last strict rule for comments: no comments are to name names of our chaplain, assistant, or current or former members of the community, or anyone who isn't working at at least the diocesan level. One policy I established early in my blogging life was that I don't mention names when talking about things at the parish level (and any of my own violations are ones in which there's unquestionable, and non-controversial praise of someone--at least I hope so)

Joe Six Pack said...

Recongizing your desire to keep the discussion focused, I thought this phrase: Your priests have not been strong pastors - needed to be vigorously addressed.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of hog wash. You have removed comments opposed to your view. I for one am probably finished with your blog. You don't have the fortitude to deal with opposing views. Your rules -- (no names mentioned, now) -- Blessed Sacrament and its pastoral leadership are responsible for their own problems. The diocese ignores you, because your (universal) communtiy deserves it by its behavior. What's worse is there is no big conspiracy. Your community just doesn't appear on the diocesan radar. It's almost like you don't exist. Stop your whining and do something positive to change the situation. If you don't like these comments, why did you bring the subject up? I hope you allow this comment to stand up to criticism. If not, this is a fond good bye to someone whom I previously had great respect for.

JuxtaCrucem said...

"One last strict rule for comments: no comments are to name names of our chaplain, assistant ..."

That's okay ... except that their names and phone number are posted in the link to the SPDLTM Community site.

I have mixed emotions about this post. I see your point regarding a seat at the table and how deserving the community founders are of a voice. But those same founders do not give credit where credit is due: the SSPX, without which they would never have been given the FSSP.

God's blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Please use larger type.

Ancilla Parva said...

I once had an interview at our Archdiocese and was not considered for the job because I was "too religious", based on the fact that I try, as much as my work schedule allows. I was told expressly by 2 people who interviewed me that was the case. Yes, there are people/modernists working within the diocese that are against the Church traditions and piety.

Ancilla Parva said...

Oh, yes, there are few churches in the diocese that have maintained the traditions of the Church in architecture, and with regards to pious statues of the saints, and even of our Lady. Some even keep the tabernacle away from the center of the altar. That would make a traditional mass very confusing, since the traditional mass is considerably focused on the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Also, a modern architecture doesn’t assist in raising the awareness towards the higher things of God. Rather, the comparably austere emptiness of modern structures tends to leave people to focus on ourselves. I wouldn’t want to give up Blessed Sacrament! It contradicts fruitful traditions of the traditional mass!

Ancilla Parva said...

Dear KCKPriest, There are few churches in the diocese that have maintained the traditions of the Church in architecture, and with regards to pious statues of the saints, and even of our Lady. Some even keep the tabernacle away from the center of the altar. That would make a traditional mass very confusing, since the traditional mass is considerably focused on the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Also, a modern architecture doesn’t assist in raising the awareness towards the higher things of God. Rather, the comparably austere emptiness of modern structures tends to leave people to focus on ourselves. I wouldn’t want to give up Blessed Sacrament! It contradicts fruitful traditions of the traditional mass!

neo Traddie said...

The one ray of hope we have in all of this is the option of the indult on the other side of the state line.... Now I'm not saying we should "settle" for going across the state line to attend the indult, but compared to some other indult communities that faced closure (or have closed), at least we have an option. I don't want this to be taken as a sign of giving up, on the contrary, we should become more voistrous about our talents and strengths... For instance, the Holy Father and others at the Vatican have been talking more and more about Gregorian Chant... Wow, let's use it to our advantage. How many other parishes in the bi-State area have what we have? 2 or 3 (not including SSPX) at the most. For a long time we have purposely hidden under the radar so as to not cause waves. Maybe now is the time to cause waves, to cause people to notice us, to cause the Chancery to have to notice us and make a decision about us... Worse that could happen is that I'd have to drive an extra 10 minutes to the other side of the state line.

Curmudgeon said...

Joe Six Pack, I think I addressed your point--which was relevant and well taken--in a previous comment. I perceive there are limits to what our priests can do for us in this situation. I wish there weren't, but insofar as they make prudential decisions about their relationship with the Archdiocese, I defer to that. I'm not speaking for the community, but for myself on this blog, and I'm certainly not speaking for the priests. What I certainly don't want is for our priests to be asked to leave for something they've said or done. Not being in the clerical state, the Archbishop can't make us leave.

As to the other commenter's summary: Hogwash? Well maybe. I found an hour to go through the queue, and the commenter might want to know that I've deleted far more comments that were generally supportive of the community (but off topic, or likely to lead us off topic, or violated my rule about parish-level identities) than I have of other ones. I have been prevailed upon, however, to reveal and address the substance of the comments I deleted, and I will do so (but not right now--I'm watching the Youngest Curmudgeon, and that's something I can't multitask with. If you really think my rule about naming parish names is hogwash, go back to my second post, ever, on August 7, 2005, wherein the rule was first exercise. Wouldn't I have loved to have shouted that young priest's name out!

But I do appreciate, Mr. Hogwash, your illustration of the general hatred of traddies everywhere. I couldn't have convinced people of that sentiment quite so effectively as you have. I can't believe someone with your attitude reads my blog. I really wish you wouldn't. Go read Jimmy Akin and Pete Vere instead.

Curmudgeon said...

Juxta Crucem said (and I hit the wrong button) "One last strict rule for comments: no comments are to name names of our chaplain, assistant ..."

That's okay ... except that their names and phone number are posted in the link to the SPDLTM Community site.

I have mixed emotions about this post. I see your point regarding a seat at the table and how deserving the community founders are of a voice. But those same founders do not give credit where credit is due: the SSPX, without which they would never have been given the FSSP.
God's blessings to you.


That is certainly true--our chaplain and his assistant are named there by their office. That doesn't mean they'll be named here as part of this controversy. As for the SSPX, I would suggest, Juxta, that you spend a little more time on my site before you say I'm slighting the SSPX. See, e.g., my posts of May 6, 2006 and May 7. Without them, we wouldn't have what little we've got. Right now, though, this is nothing the SSPX can do, except join us in prayer for our community's success, because each indult community's recognition is a small step towards changing the culture
inside the church.

Curmudgeon said...

OK

Anonymous said...

Judging from the content of some of the posts here, one would think that Novus Ordo communities are all sweetness and light and the only place dissension is ever found is in the Traditionalist communities. What hogwash!

Most suburban NO communities are characterized by infighting and backbiting. They are run by cliques that compete for favor and are rather unchristian to those on the outside. It seems that it is nothing more than a predisposition to view the growing pains of a traditionalist community in such a uniformly negative light while casting such an affirmitive look upon the soap operas that are the typical suburban parishes.

tim r. souder said...

I don't think the changes in the
Liturgy happened by force in most
parishes, after having many
discussions on the subject with
people who are older than I am (I
was born, it seems, right at the
time most of the changes began).

So from my point of view, the
people who are opposed to your TLM
are many of the same people who
welcomed the changes in the first
place.

Add to this scenario a society
that has, generally speaking, a
problem with the idea that they
should be subservient to anything,
and we get the current situation.

I will pray for your community.


-tim

Anonymous said...

Is the overall discussion one of why the Latin Mass Communities have no voice, or it rather how do the Latin Mass Communities find a voice?

If it is the former, we may be fairly certain that the Latin Mass Communities in general present an obstacle to the Novus Ordo Church's plan for merging with the Protestants. This is almost accomplished; for example, if one were to attend, say, a Presebyterian worship service and then attend a Novus Ordo "Mass," few differences would be noted (particularly in the "Eucharistic Meal").

If the discussion is to seek a solution to the latter, that is where we need to be and stay. If you think it's "hogwash," keep your commments to yourself because all you're doing is personalizing an already emotional problem.

Discussing the origin of problems and attaching blame is sometimes instructive and always entertaining, but is rarely productive in solving the problem unless mobilization beyond the common agreement of being disenfranchised can be achieved.

Translation: The Latin Mass Communities and the Catholic Tradition are going to go away, or become as SSPX, if we cannot find a solution. Our priests are effectively muzzled in the Archdiocese, so it's up the the laity. If want the Latin Mass Communities to not only exist but to thrive (as they surely will if allowed to exist) we must quit bickering and move on to a solution. With our Blessed Mother's help, I believe the solution is available.

Maxima said...

I can't fathom that there's any real threat to the SPD Latin Massers. What's the Archbishop going to do, shut down the Community and send y'all into the waiting arms of the SSPX? St. Vincent's is, what, a 20 minute drive from Blessed Sacrament?

I assume your community pays an assessment of some sort to the Archdiocese every month, just like every other parish. Although pencil pushers in the chancery office may not like the Latin Mass, I'd bet anything they love your money. Why drive that money out of the Archdiocese?

Bottom line, you guys may come out of this whole process smelling like a rose. Wouldn't it make sense for the Archbishop to follow the lead of his compatriot Bishop Finn and give the Latinphiles their own church? I'd wager the SPD Community has done more to support Blessed Sacrament over the past few years than the Novus Ordo crowd.

Of course, if the people making these decisions really wanted to be vindictive, they could give the Latin Massers Our Lady/St. Rose. **shudder** I guess it would then depend on how badly do you really want your own church?

Curmudgeon said...

I'm finally back at the controls after a little logistical trouble.

Here's a June 30 comment from Ecclesia Militans which violated my "no parish-level names" rule. I've edited it so as to comply


To KCK Priest,

[Our FSSP Chaplain], in my humble opinion, is the Pastor other priests in the area should look to as a role model. He is increasing his flock, preaching a hard "manly" truth, he is managing "the cats" (as stated above) and does all this with utmost humility. To call into question [the chaplain's] actions as a pastor, is to show very little knowledge of this great man.

Ecclesia, I couldn't agree more. We can assume the commenter doesn't know much of him personally, and for that he's not to blame. But I would challenge (as I did) KCK priest to think about his precarious position (the "houseguest") as well, and how prudentially he's managed it.

Curmudgeon said...

Wow, I got back and settled from my chaotic 4-day weekend. I'm sipping on leftover 3.2 beer (Hmmm. Left over for a reason.) and reviewing a few comments that I let out of the cue.

Ancilla Parva raises an example of the "too religious" syndrome. Although obviously I can't speak to it in a particular case, it's something we hear of often in chanceries about the country. If Ancilla's comment is taken at face value, then it illustrates part of the problem that we might be facing as a community. We're too stubbornly Catholic and religious in the traditional sense. We don't "feel" and "expience" our faith in a newfangled way; we simply learn it and attempt to live it. That sort of attitude doesn't sit well with the types of chancery officials who read Commonweal and National Catholic Distorter.

The poor handmaid also addresses KCK priest's comment out the "sacrifice" we make to be at Blessed Sacrament rather than some ugly JoCo church in the round. I almost canned this one as off topic, but it does have a point: The general mass of folks in JoCo have moved away from traditional things; the 'Dottes have stuck to it. So have we traddies. Obviously we traddies have more in common culturally with the 'Dottes that with anyone else. That, in addition to our tenure in WyCo is another reason why we should be recognized on par with the territorial parishes in anything that affects the 'Dotte.

NeoTraddie mades a good point, too. Now's the time to push the issue and demand to be treated like the others. If the effort backfires, we all can all limp across the state line to Old St. Patrick's and the spiritual care of a bishop who DOES value traditional Catholics for what they are, and doesn't leave them to be blown by the winds and whims of his chancery officials. Granted, we don't really want to do that--nothing against the OSP folks (I love 'em all), but we're our own community and have been for years--but they--and St. Vincent's as appropriate--are always fall-back positions if our ordinary won't attend to our needs. Happily, we're not stuck like the people in Orange--if Naumann turns out to be a Tod Brown, we have Robert Finn across the border, not Roger Mahoney. I have to apologize to NeoTraddie--I've been presenting his argument as my own all weekend, but was unable to give credit where credit is due without blowing my cover.

I am grateful for Anonymous' observation that the criticism of us as being unruly leads one to believe that must parishes are all peace and love. Oh, boy, to tell you stories about my boyhood parish!!! Anyways, you're right. The difference is that parishes have layers of insulation (their own buildings, their own pastors) that keep a lot of that turmoil from going public.

Curmudgeon said...

Mr. SOuder's observation that those who are opposed to us now were previously opposed to the old Mass is well taken. I think that's especially true at the chancery level, at least around the country. Thinking about his comment that people don't think they should be subservient to anything...well, I would add that that's even a problem in traditional circles, simply because people have been forced to find their own way for so long. Even our chaplain, who commands extraordinary respect (amazing for such a humble guy) must struggle with this. Although I think he'd have an easier time of it if his office were strengthened and his community was a real part of the diocese.

As to Anon's comment at 10:01am, I agree that we know--at least in big picture--why the LMC's have no voice. And like him, I agree that it's finally time to push the issue and get a voice now in our Archdiocese.

Maxima, St. Vincent's is only 15 minutes from Blessed Sacrament. Old St. Pat's will only be 10 minutes when the restoration is complete. Our community pays rent to the territorial parish of Blessed Sacrament, I know, and contributes money to various Archdiocesan things (including, I think, to schools our people generally don't use because they don't fit the culture and liturgical life of our families, and they're just too damned expensive for a large family, to boot. But that's another post). I don't know about other assessments, but I assume we do. If we were considered a parish, I'd assume we'd have more to pay. I know that the Old St. Pat's Oratory folks pay assessments now just like every other parish. I suppose that mishandling of our community by the Archbishop's apparatchik's could indeed be a windfall to Bishop Finn's treasury.

As for what we've done for Blessed Sacrament, I'll say it seems like we've been good tenants. Have we done a lot, in terms of capital improvements? Perhaps not, because we are, after all, tenants. But given an opportunity, and some assurance that we'll be around to benefit from capital improvements, we'd probably make them, wherever we are.

As for Our Lady & St. Rose, I can't really say. It's a disaster of a church (in terms of deferred maintenance and bad post-V2 "rennovation") in disaster of a neighborhood (neglected Quindaro)--it would be a tough project to take on, and one wonders whether there wouldn't be some chancery spite in sending us to that church. But I remind everyone that this isn't just about getting our own church right now, and we're certainly not going to speculate on what that church might be (except I will say that if I win a really nice lottery jackpot, I'm going to build a grand church and school in a suburban spot I picked out way west and donate to the community when it's done).

Anonymous said...

Well, Maxima, it's not just the Archbishop who worries the traditionalists. Usually, it is the NO priests who do not want the Latin Mass communities, and they lobby or otherwise presssure the Bishops to turn against the Latin Mass. For example, I am told that the Latin Mass church and school in Maple Hill came to be there because the priests in Topeka did not want it in their city (BTW, Archbishop Keleher blessed that building at a Solemn Mass). You would have to ask a NO priest why there is such objection to the Latin Mass, which was once viewed as the highest form of worship.

Other Bishops have shut down the Latin Mass communities in spite of parishioners begging to have them remain; the Bishops can do this, and some will do it, in spite of the clear papal directives urging them to accomodate Catholics who wish to be traditional Catholics. Bottom line is, if political pressures are such that the Latin Mass Community should go, the matter of driving parishoners away will probably not even be discussed or considered.

Fact is, many priests and others in all the dioceses want the Latin Mass, as well as most orthodox tradition, to go completely away; that is why the NO church has been basically protestantized (Is that a word?). Traditional Catholics are a serious obstacle to more "diversity" plans, as well as other politically correct agendas that are diametrically opposed to Church teaching (pro-death ... sorry, pro-"choice" politicians receiving communion, some priests openly supporting gay and lesbian "marriages (in the name of diversity, of course)," Catholic education being degraded to the status of public education, with sex education being offered in some schools, etc.).

Perhaps the Latin Mass Community will come out smelling like a rose ... many are praying for just such an outcome. Speaking only for myself, I believe if traditional Catholics believe that they can sit back and be fairly represented, they are terribly misguided and will receive a rude awakening.

Curmudgeon said...

Anon, I doubt any of the traddies at SRPD think they can sit back and be fairly represented. That's why there's been a little call to arms, of sorts. It may go badly for us, but it won't be because we didn't give it our all. If Naumann follows the path of Burke or Finn or Doran and treats us like...well, loyal Catholic subjects...we'll let the world know. If Naumann follows the path of Tod Brown or Roger Mahoney or others, we'll let the world know.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Curmudgeon. I was not suggesting that the people SRPD are sitting back ... I'm speaking of others who think this is a non-issue. It is easy to become rooted in a comfort zone and procalim "peace, peace," when there is no peace. Really, the NO parishioners should be as supportive of Latin Mass Comminities as are the Traditionalists are suportive of the Roman Chuch and, by extension, them; what happens to us could, and probably will, happen to them. Yes, yes, yes, to letting world know whatever happens.