Get Up, and Get Moving....

An opportunity for people of serious and orthodox Catholic faith of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to share the means to improve their own Churches.

Location: near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Something from the e-mail bag...

Since I did not check with her, I will call her simply "MF", she sent me a kind and supportive e-mail (it was entitled "WOW! I just found your blog!). I hope that she continues as a reader and even offers some insights of her own.

In her message she asks me to comment on something:

"Do you have any thoughts on the "Age of Confirmation" issue? I know a group was pushing to lower the age and stop tying it to kids not being allowed to get confirmed unless they make an adult commitment to the Catholic Church. I don't know about you but I didn't read in the Catechism of the Catholic Faith that this is the purpose of Confirmation. "

OK, I am confident that there are those out there who think I am some right-wing nut...and that nut itself is pretty loose. So this may come as a surprise...I have really not decided on an opinion. As you know, in a staggeringly surprising move, the decision of Archbishop Timidity was to do nothing.

Now, not to let any of you down, and as you can imagine, I do have an opinion about how this issue was debated and decided by our esteemed bishops. They went on the path of least resistance and sought no real scholarly or well reasoned point of views.

Maybe it is just my personality, but I want more than just anecdotes and conjectures. Both sides of this argument offered overly simplistic and superficial reasons. On one side, our kids supposedly need to make an "adult" decision for the faith so that it takes root. On the other side, our kids need the divine effects of the sacrament to face the challenges of an immoral world. The problem is that both points of view have a degree of believability but each is foolish in the long run. And remember; only fools make foolish arguments (even fools for Christ). Sorry folks, but if you want to live by the anecdote, you will die by it. Plenty of late confirmed kids have left the practice of the faith, and plenty of kids of conservative Catholics, confirmed younger have given into drugs, sex, and other immorality in their high school years.

The real point is that no matter when a kid gets confirmed, they need good and solid teaching about the faith. Not the fluff that most parishes offer nowadays.

My bigger concern is why the Archbishop accepted this level of reasoning as the basis of his decision? Will the foolishness never end?

Terrance, at the Provincial E-mails, indicates that the practice of high school confirmation began in 1979. If my calendar math is correct, that would mean that Catholics over the age of 45 in this area were generally confirmed at the lower age, and those under 45 were confirmed later. Why did neither side of this argument seek to do a real, unbiased survey of practice of the faith of two age groups: randomly survey five hundred 30-40 year olds, confirmed at the older age, about their present practice, and five hundred 45-55 year olds, confirmed at the lower age about their practice when they were in their 30's (so that the comparisons are justified by age, family issues, and household finances, etc.). That would be useful information!

But here in Milwaukee, for decision makers useful information is an intrusion on the Don't Worry, Be Happy motto. To those making the case on either side, useful information is feared because everyone still suspects that the facts will go against them.

Closing with a related matter, and this might put some of you over the edge, message to a small more-Catholic-than-the-rest-of-us private school in Waukesha County: If the rumors are correct and you want to protest the local policy on age of confirmation and take your kids to Rome to be confirmed younger, doesn't that "protest" action make you "protestant"? (Even though I may be hyper-critical of His Excellency, but to avoid being hypocritical, as a Roman Catholic, he is still my bishop! What about you?)

Thanks for the e-mail MF. I hope that even with this posting you will continue to read.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

On the road again, and again, and again.

Previously we talked about Archbishop Timidity Dolan's not so swift actions at the "ordination" of a local woman.

Now we get to play where in the world....

In July the official calendar said Vacation.
This week, touring Ireland.
Next week, on retreat with other bishops.

Those office hours we all have to keep are such a bear aren't they?