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More on Fr. Robert Crisp June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals.
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I reported several weeks ago about the resignation of Fr. Robert Crisp from Sacred Heart parish in Rowlett.  The Dallas Morning News ran an article yesterday morning concerning numerous other allegations that have dogged Fr. Crisp throughout his career.  These include an alleged affair with a parishioner, kissing and touching underage girls, and lots of allegations of the inappropriate contact that seems to have gotten Fr. Crisp in trouble in the first place at Sacred Heart.   The article states that Bishop Farrell is unlikely ever to assign Fr. Crisp to another parish.

I had heard these kinds of things about Fr. Crisp having problems at other parishes for a while.  I had heard especially about the problems in Duncanville at Holy Spirit.  The thing is, most all of these problems seem to have been quite a ways in the past, back in the 70’s and 80’s, so I was left wondering, is this really a pattern, or just a couple of bad incidents?.  I also knew that Fr. Crisp had taken a sabbatical or two before due to behavior issues with female parishioners, but I didn’t report on that due to confidentiality.  It now appears that there is more of a pattern, but that perhaps there was a long gap in behavior problems in the 1990-2010 period? 

I don’t know what all this means.  In the present environment, it would be hard to send Fr. Crisp to any parish with these allegations now out in the open.  I will pray for Fr. Crisp that he find some kind of peace and useful function within the Church, possibly in prayer and contemplation.  I pray that a good priest hasn’t fallen victim to any stories from the past which are very difficult to corroborate.   I am very thankful that so far there hasn’t been any revelation of outright abuse, just alot of weird and inappropriate, but consensual, behavior.  Most of all I pray that this Diocese may no longer have to suffer from these kinds of sexual issues among clergy again.

What is your model of the Church? June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, silliness.
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So I’ve been taking this catechist training class.  One subject we’ve gone over in some depth this week is Vatican II and ecclesiology in general.  Last night, the pastor teaching the class covered Avery Cardinal Dulles’ six models of the Church – Church as Institution, Sacrament, Herald, Communion, Servant, and community of disciples.  The ‘models’ are interesting, representing different ways of seeing the Church and its missions, but I think they have a limited utility.  Nonetheless, the pastor pointed us to a quiz one can take to determine which model of the Church you belong to  (except the designer of the quiz only has 5 models, not 6). 

I came out as strongly biased towards a Church model that is institutional, sacramental, communion, and herald.  This makes sense to me, I see the Sacraments as absolutely necessary for salvation and to experience the Fullness of God’s Love, and I value those aspects of Authority in the Church which make clear what the Truth Christ has revealed is. 

You might want to try the quiz to see if any of these models make sense to you.  The quiz is here

My exact scores were:

Institution – 63%
Mystical Communion – 59%
Sacrament – 59%
Herald – 49%
Servant – 31%

My first TLM or EF Mass June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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This past Sunday my family and I satisfied our obligation at an Extraordinary Form High Mass at Mater Dei.  For those who don’t already know, Mater Dei is the only parish in the diocese that celebrates Extraordinary Form Mass.   It is administered by two priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), Fr. Thomas Longua and Fr. Wolfe. 

I had seen TLMs several times on EWTN, both High and Low Mass.  The form for High Mass was a bit different from what I remember on EWTN (these Masses have also been celebrated by FSSP priests).   At present, Mass at Mater Dei is celebrated in a general purpose room.  They haven’t completed modifications to the sanctuary they will eventually occupy at their new location, which used to be a baptist church near the Frito-Lay plant in Irving (a hint – don’t stop at the Chevron station just north of the plant when a south breeze is blowing, it’s almost unbearable).  So, the aesthetics are not what they will eventually be, but having said that, I found the EF Mass beautiful and reverent, with a great emphasis on our need for Christ’s salvific action to be saved.  There is much more emphasis on our unworthiness to receive Christ’s gift of salvation in the EF Mass – it’s not the beat down people who dislike the EF Mass have said, though.  It’s a  different emphasis – we are sinful, we are really unworthy to partake in the Great Sacrifice that Christ offers to God once and for all time, but the Triune God loves us so very much that he allows us to draw so utterly close to Him, to actually take Him into our bodies.  There is a constant awareness in the EF Mass that we men of crude substance are being allowed to join into this ethereal (but utterly real), supernatural Sacrifice. 

From the orientation of the priest (ad orientem) to the numerous prayers on behalf of the people, one cannot escape at an EF Mass the fact that we rely totally on Christ to approach the Father.  It’s a really different emphasis – far more the vertical aspect of the cross, than the horizontal.  Everything is focused on God, on re-presenting the only Sacrifice that is acceptable to Him.  I’ve only been once, so I’m probably having a hard time describing it, but there is definitely a heightened sense of the profound mystery of salvation at the EF Mass.  It all seemed more transcendent. 

Now, I have been to extremely reverently celebrated Novus Ordo Masses.  And, I would say that there is much to recommend in both the EF Mass and a very reverently celebrated Novus Ordo Mass.  However, the Novus Ordo is rarely so reverently celebrated, with times of silence for prayerful reflection (especially immediately after Consecration/before Communion – this is huge) and with the long form Eucharistic Prayer 1 which is most strongly based on our Catholic Tradition.  Even with a very reverently celebrated Novus Ordo, there is still a slightly less transcendent quality, slightly less of that quality of mystery that is so important when we, in great humility, approach Christ in the most August Sacrament.  It’s something I’m going to have to think on more as I assist at more EF Masses.

Practically, I did not get lost.  I did not “get into” the Mass as deeply as I would have liked because I did have to focus some attention on the different forms of prayers.  But, having picked up some Latin and trying to learn more, I could follow the prayers relatively well.  I don’t think anyone need be completely lost, there are  many handy red booklets with Latin/English translations side by side to help guide one through the Mass.

All in all, it was a very good experience.  We shall attend more EF Masses.  I don’t know if the EF Mass will become our Sunday norm, but it is something I definitely want to experience several more times.  I don’t think there is any question that more frequent celebration of the EF Mass will bring great graces to the Church, and help reinvigorate our Catholic identity.

OK – I will have to see this June 30, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, foolishness.
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A non-Catholic post, but I will have to get this on DVD:

Space Battleship Yamato!

What?  I like Japanese movies!  Especially anything with Toshiro Mifune.  Seven Samurai is awesome.