Many post-conciliar “Catholics” would rather be Episcopal or Methodist than accept the true Faith December 15, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, persecution, priests, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
Reader MFG sent me a link to an article at the Distorter regarding a parish in western North Carolina that has had a young, orthodox priest assigned for the past year or so. Many of the older parishioners, used to running the parish on their own and dictating the major terms of parish operations to the “sacramental administrator” (priest), have opted to leave the Faith entirely for episcopalian or methodist churches in the area rather than submit to an orthodox understanding of the Faith. This is a perfect microcosm of the calamity that has afflicted the Church in the past 50 years, and the invincible ignorance of those who decided long ago they’d rather be protestant than Catholic. In truth, this tendency afflicts a huge proportion of Catholics, particularly older ones, and the longer they are ensconced in their liberal, protestantized church of man, the less likely they are to ever accept an orthodox understanding of the Faith.
I normally don’t like to link to the Distorter since it is such a fount of heresy, but in this case I will – no, I won’t, I changed my mind, I don’t want those folks coming here (my emphasis and comments):
A total of 143 parishioners from St. John the Evangelist Church in Waynesville, in a parish of roughly 300 families, have petitioned Bishop Peter Jugis of the Charlotte diocese to remove their pastor, Fr. Christopher Riehl, who came to the church just a little over a year ago. [IOW, WAAAAH! And how dismissive were these same progressives over the decades they had control when it was orthodox Catholics who raised concerns or expressed displeasure with the liberalism they were confronted with?]
Parishioners who value what they say was the post-Vatican II style of their parish have locked horns with Riehl, who came to Waynesville from the Knoxville, Tenn., diocese in July 2014 intent with what his critics describe as “restorationist” approaches to liturgy and church governance. [That’s extremely revealing, and not the kind of term your average spare to fair liberal Catholic uses. This group has a ringleader, an ideologically motivated one, I would suspect. I am informed Fr. Riehl had implemented a weekday TLM, which probably fired much of the angst against him]
In their petition, dated March 9, signees say that Riehl has moved ahead on rectory repairs and other expensive projects over the objection of the parish finance committee; [more on this] has taken over the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Catholic converts with a pastor-centric approach which is at odds with the recommendations of the U.S. bishops; and has “openly defamed the Second Vatican Council” while substituting popular hymns with Gregorian chant. Most of the choir resigned en masse after the former director was relieved of her duties. [Well boo freaking hoo. Let me describe this parish for you, prior to Fr. Riehl’s arrival. See bottom]
In interviews with NCR, parishioners say their pastor has been aloof and removed from the concerns of grieving families at funerals. [Translation: he refuses to perform instant canonizations at the funeral, so the family who hasn’t darkened the door of a parish in years can pretend the departed is in Heaven and thus extricated from their responsibility to pray for the repose of the departed’s soul] Attendees at one local civic leader’s funeral, which included a large number of non-Catholics, were told in the pastor’s homily about church teaching on purgatory and little or nothing about the life of the deceased.……[Ummm, that’s because eulogies are forbidden by rubric from Requiem Masses. You can really see how these people adhere to a completely foreign, even hostile, religion]
[NOW FOR THE CLINCHER]……..The parish is divided between a group which continues to attend St. John the Evangelist and supports Riehl, and others who have either left the parish for the town’s Episcopal and Methodist congregations or no longer attend Christian worship. [Once again, we see that the post-conciliar ethos represents a different religion, one very much like liberal protestant sects.]
[Now for an alternative point of view]……..Parishioner Mark Zaffrann acknowledged that church attendance is down, but attributed that to what he said was discord sowed by the dissident group. The leadership of that group had “unbridled control of the various ministries” in the parish and resented Riehl’s new approach. [Very, very typical in my experience. One very solid priest I know, when assigned to a particular rural parish, and having been briefed on the out of control problems there (nepotism, finance, heresy, abuse, etc), called in all lay heads of ministries and Ms. So and So who ran the parish books, etc., on the first day there and said you’re all fired. And he really meant it. They lost their minds, but he’s still there.] He said the old finance council in the parish presented Riehl with an overly-optimistic view of the church’s finances, which was disputed by a diocesan-sponsored audit requested by the new pastor. As for the rectory repairs, Zaffrann, a local realtor, said the structure was uninhabitable and desperately needed renovations.
Liturgically, the parish has improved, Zaffrann told NCR. “My impression is that the Mass is better,” he said. “It’s very humble, reverent and solemn. It brings respect to the Eucharist.” [Once again, we get to the nub of the problem]
No, I’ve never been to this particular parish, but I’ve seen the exact same scenario play out in numerous small town parishes around the Hill Country in the past 10 years. Elderly and none too generous Katholycs have had a string of mission priests or non-entities assigned for years. They have grown very accustomed to running things themselves and just the way they like. They have grown very accustomed to having the priest rubber stamp all their decisions. They have even used threats and coercion to get their way at times. Attendance never fell precipitously, but over the period of their administration constantly decreased as young people fled to protestant sects, cowboy churches, etc for some kind of spiritual sustenance, rather than the cold dead post-conciliar gruel they were fed at the Catholic parish. The bishop, either sensing that this parish was on its way to extinction or simply by accident, assigns a young, vibrant priest with a vision. From the get go, he is coldly received by the entrenched lay people quite grown used to treating the local parish as their personal ideological and financial playground*.
The older parishioners are soon talking together. They don’t like this young priest and his ideas. They probably have one or two leaders versed in the post-conciliar zeitgeist who get them using buzz words like traditionalist or restorationist. They will say he is not pastoral. They will hyper-analyze and criticize every decision the priest takes. They will spread ill-will and questioning of the priest’s judgment throughout the parish. They will spend many hours not working with the priest, not trying to learn their faith (they are already invincibly well formed in the Faith, practical septuagenarian Bellarmines), but organizing to undermine him and have him replaced. They will accrue a very long laundry list of ostensible complaints, most of which are trifling or which are based on personal grievance for no longer being the person in charge. This in spite of the fact that the priest is probably, in most cases, doing an excellent job of restoring the parish and securing its future vibrancy. But they don’t really care about that. If they are in an Archdiocese with a weak archbishop or one with liberal tendencies – you might think San Antonio, I couldn’t possibly comment – they will likely succeed in having the priest removed, even if that breaks the hearts of many young people who had come back to the Church under the new young priest’s administration. And then even more will depart for the appearance of greener pastures elsewhere, and sometimes within 5 or 10 or 15 years the parish is closed entirely since the elderly crowd has died off and there are very few to replace them.
Oh yes, I’ve seen this happen before more than once. The priest is opposed not for what he does, but for who he is. Only in rare cases is he charismatic enough, and/or finds a large enough cohort desirous of orthodoxy, that he succeeds (you might think of Bandera, TX, or even of a parish in this Diocese. I couldn’t possibly comment). So far, Bishop Jugis of Charlotte, who has given many signs of orthodoxy, has backed Fr. Riehl. I pray he may continue to do so.
*- assigning themselves or family members numerous paid jobs at the parish, controlling parish finances, using as contractors for parish services people close to them (or they themselves), etc.