Saturday, February 7, 2009

Let's all petition the Bishop!

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick and tired of people being disobedient to the Bishop.

Now a week removed from the announcement of the parish closings the "Council of Parishes of the Diocese of Scranton", founded by the founders of the Sacred Heart Wilkes-Barre Foundation had their first secret meeting Thursday night at the Slovak Citizens Club, a bar in North Wilkes-Barre.

I guess no Catholic Church would host them.

The press was not welcome at the informational meeting .

Their goal is to stop the closings of Churches throughout the Diocese. Which churches is anyone's guess since that has not been announced. But the Times Leader reported that representatives from 7 local churches were involved.

The Times Leader also reported that the Sacred Heart Wilkes-Barre Foundation has filed an appeal to keep Sacred Heart open. I didn't know there was an appeals process in place. This sounds like Gene Stilp has his hands in this. They say their next move is to contact the papal Nuncio in Washington D.C.

I'm sure candlelight vigils and wailing parishoners outside the cathedral will be the actual next step, as they attempt to show how terribly the Ordinary of our Diocese is treating them.

But one thing they should have learned by now is that Bishop Martino is not shaped by popular opinion, and once his mind is set, not much can move it.

But still.....

Maybe I'll start my own group and demand stuff from the Bishop.

Is there anyone out there that has a personal agenda item we can present to him?

Leave me a comment, and if there is enough interest maybe we can start making up petitions and presenting them to the Bishop.

Me personally, I wouldn't mind being Bishop for one day a month.


Dan said...

I really don't see what the PN can do...he really did nothing for the schools. The more the people will rebel the more it will anger the Ordinary. He will make all oru lives a living Hell if they keep this up. People have no idea how mean this man can get.

Christian said...

You will not see them pursuing a strategy similar to SDACT, nor the closed schools, with the exception of the letter to Sambi -- and they already know what his response is.

I don't know the situation with most of the parishes, but in some cases they have Very compelling reasons that are not easily discounted. Don't misunderstand them to not be serious, devout Catholics. I believe that for the most part, no one in this whole process has taken the time to answer their concerns. They did have a productive meeting with the Bishop a year ago, and their was much fruit from it. But on the most substantive issues, there was no real answer provided to their questions. The lack of dialogue has not answered their legitimate objections, and so they are frustrated. An unfortunate and common occurrence it seems.

I am not arguing against the Bishop, but my point is that "Called to Holiness" had some significant methodological problems which became evident in Parishes who did not have enthusiastic administrations. The program was NOT followed uniformly or fairly in all parishes cases.

This could turn into a huge comment. Suffice it to say, there is much more to this story.

Anonymous said...

The only appeal I am aware of the people can make would be to some cannonnical court of the Church. Canon Law does grant the people the rite to appeal a Church closing. The way I understood the paper article, it seems the people may be considering such a move. It would be a waste of time, money and effort however- as they have no case--and the people know that deep down. The people know deep down they are not going to get the decision reversed. They are just in the stages of grief: denial and anger. Eventually most people will move to acceptance, but as with anything there are those who will never get over it.

In any case may I suggest the following- and if this is not followed in 50 years the diocese will probably be doing this again:

1)Evangelize people into the faith and fill the pews. Catholics today need to GET ON FIRE with their Faith and LIVE IT PUBLICALLY. Those who are "Tepid" in their Faith (for example: "I wouldn't choose an abortion, but who am I to tell someone else they should not choose one?" Or "well, I pick and choose what I believe- I don't agree with the Church on X, but I do agree on Y" etc.) need to make a decision: They are either going to be Catholic or they are not- but they need to stop playing games and make a decision.

2) It costs money to run churches and schools. The Church is not magically exempt from the laws of economics. A dollar a week don't pay the bills nor do the "parish dues" of 3 dollars a month- or whatever they are. The people must support their parishes in a meaningful and substantive way if they expect them to thrive.

I think the whole concept of "Catholic Stewardship" needs to be revamped and updated. I think pastors and priests need to move to a more meaningful stewardship commitment from their people and move away from the endless "Bingo" and "Bazzars" and "50/50 raffels" so characteristic of certain areas of the diocese as the primary source of revenue for the churches. The role of the Church is EVANGELIZATION, not FUNDRAISING. Honestly- this is something we could stand to take a lesson on from the protestants. If there is one thing they DID get right it is the concept of stewardship. That fact is well known.

3) Most importantly ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT VOCATIONS to priesthood and religious life. Even more importantly SUPPORT THE BISHOP and pray for him. It is only through obedience and fidelity to God and his Church and the leaders he has placed before us that vocations thrive.

Rockin Traddy: What say you?

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Christian and Anon:

The first thing that should have been implemented was a return to traditional Catholic worship and practices. We need our parishes filled with Catholics again, not whatever it is they have morphed into.

But since that wasn't done, we need to accept what has happened.

If we went around and looked at the inside of the chruches slated to close, I wonder how many of them are still traditional looking churches versus pizza hut looking churches. If we knew that, we might have an idea of what the next phase really entails.

ANyone have any ideas?