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.

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Location: near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stop the Hypocritic Express!

Belated Merry Christmas to all!

Two postings from a recent thread (which I intentionally brought to a close) which demand reacting to:

Anonymous said...

I have been a faithful reader of this blog. I have also provided information which I probably should not have. If my identity was discovered, I could be in big trouble and possibly without a job. Given the fact that this site has allowed "nasty" people like dad29 to spread harmful rumors, I will provide no information in the future. I would not be able to live with the slimey feeling.

Monday, December 25, 2006 11:09:00 AM

First off, even I was not so addicted to the words of wisdom that appear herein that I was able to get here on Christmas Day.

Second, if you could get fired, I can only guess that your own boss might think you are "nasty". But, you made postings because you thought it was, in the end, the right thing to do. Maybe you wanted something to be different. Other posters to this blog might think that the public perceptions that are created by this "cohabitation" are worth raising questions about. If you have some unwritten right to violate the trust of your boss, that seems to be of a different order than a member of the Catholic faithful asking questions about accountability. Please, don't try to make your risk seem like the high road.

Anonymous said...

You people are sick sick sick. Amazing how your speculation leaps (no, sprints!) to laying blame on lefties and barely muting your hatred of gays. No wonder people look on us as a bunch of modern day Klansmen.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 10:56:00 AM

Whoa. The second stop on the Express train.

Lefties? Where at all are they mentioned at all?

Hatred of gays? Two things here: 1) You may not like it, but the behavior is still a moral problem in the Church and, I would add, that the political aspects of what seems to be Mr. Montoya's agenda are open to criticism for many reasons; 2) Homosexual or otherwise, a priest cohabitating with a man or a woman begs some questions from those members of the Catholic faithful who are scandalized by it.

Now don't give me that tired "but there may be a good explanation" tripe. When there is one good explanation among a dozen bad ones, the role of the questioner is either to allow the clarification of the reason to benefit all (especially, in this case the dignity of the priesthood and all priests), or to indicate the need for a correction in behaviors.

Folks, perceptions are real (just turn on your TV), and for public people like our priests, there is an even greater responsibility to attend to those perceptions and how they are created or reinforced.

For the last forty years one of the great criticisms of the Church has been a lack of accountability among priests and bishops. It may be a somewhat course dialogue that occurs on blogs like this, but it is certainly one of the few mechanisms to either express frustration that there is no real accountability here in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee or it could be the mechanism that might just bring about some of that accountability.

These priests can't have both ways...all the rights they want, but none of the responsibilities that many of us bear as well.

Mike

26 Comments:

Blogger Dad29 said...

I read through the comments on the thread. Most interesting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

It is regrettable that one of our priests suffers from a serious degenerative illness. In my parish, we pray every Sunday for our priests, AND for new vocations.

Every Sunday.

May the good Father's health improve--or failing that, may he live to an old age while blessing us with his daily Mass.

May he also get some common sense.

One is hard-pressed to believe that there is no other place on the face of the Planet Earth where Father could reside with competent care except in the home of Mr. Montoya.

The good Father has moved in with an individual whose views on homosexuality are apparently at odds with those of the Church, as shown by his affiliation with a (frankly) dissident group.

It is (sadly) irrelevant whether this individual is living an irreproachable life; his association, so long as he does not publicly condemn the organization's positions and even more publicly LEAVE the organization's membership, leaves room for legitimate questions.

Father should have sought competent guidance before making his move--perhaps from our Archbishop.

In fact, only a few miles away, there is an outstanding Catholic nursing home where Fr. could have chosen to reside--not for "full nursing care," but for competent medical assistance--and at the same time, he could have served as a chaplain.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Karen Marie said...

dad29

maybe you should leave your home, give up all of your independence, and get immurred in a nursing home.

I've been there and done that. I was very fortunate to have been able to get out before Medicaid took over and trapped me there forever. I'm very glad Father was able to find a good person to help him in his home. I hope my tenant doesn't decide to move elsewhere, at least not until the powers-that-be let me have a ramp.

By the way, it's not Mr. Montoya's house, it's Father's. Read the thread again.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Karen--happy to hear you are free!

And Montoya is the ONLY able-bodied male in Greater Milwaukee?

The point is that Montoya was an extremely poor selection, Karen. In fact, Father should never have even CONSIDERED Montoya as a house-helper. Never.

If he's at St Dominic's, the rectory there is extremely spacious, to say the least. I'm certain that someone could be found to assist him if he lived in the rectory.

He certainly does not need his own home.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dad29 The rectory has changed since you were on staff. That building is now an office building and a much smaller house is the rectory.
Also, why are you saying "if" it is St. Dominic? You are the one that started the rumor.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Anonymous--be careful here.

I did NOT identify St Dominic as the parish. Someone else guessed that.

There was a reason that I did NOT identify the parish.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did no one respond to Virgil’s comment: Is the scandal that his new host, J, belongs to a few tired, lefty, irrelevant Catholic apostolates? If so, he can count scandal at every parish in the Archdiocese, since most parish staff fraternize in those circles read this blog often, and find the most recent debate fascinating.

That is the scandal! Virgil, you have hit the nail right on the head, and admitted something I have never heard anyone else admit in a public forum! Thank you!

There are a number of the those who should be shepherds of our Roman Catholic Church, and who represent the faithful on church staffs, who sometimes stand for many things other than One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Some of my observations:

1) A Catholic should reasonably expect that his or her parish staff would support and respect the central authority of the Catholic Church. What do you think? No way. I know some of the friends of several of the bloggers above (some who are parish staffers) who reported that parish staffers thought Benedict’s election was a “dark day for women in the church.” I didn’t see anyone quote cannon law when those words were said. They thought no one was listening.
2) A Catholic should reasonably expect that his or her parish staff would support and respect the local Bishop/Archbishop. Sure. Thanks Priests Alliance! (should that be capitalized?)
3) A Catholic should reasonably expect that their liturgy follow the General Instruction of the Missal. Sure. Parish staffers are already proclaiming that the new direction regarding cleansing of sacred vessels will keep them from “washing the dishes.” Yes, a parish staffer said this!
4) A Catholic parent should reasonably expect that his or her child be taught the Catechism of the Catholic Church in formation activities, K4 through Confirmation. At least one would assume their child is not being taught something that is against the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Sure…… You don’t want me to go through the examples of what my children came home with over the past decade. Is it possible to be “too Catholic?” That is how our last Youth Minister (who was fabulous) was characterized. Hmm…..

What surprises me most is that parish staffers believe their various conversations and affiliations are held in confidence. They aren’t. This is a small Archdiocese with big ears and eyes. Don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t want on a blog or the cover of the Journal/Sentinel.

Kathie, you don’t need to defend Q. He is a fabulous guy and a dedicated priest. I haven’t heard anyone say anything to the contrary. I think he is one of the more sincere homilists I listen to in the “Quad.” I give him every benefit of the doubt and more. Before blogs, this whole situation would have been underground. We’ll it is not. You and Q have a chance to read and see what people are thinking. Rather than get angry, you can decide to listen or ignore or blog back. Can’t you understand why folks might be a little more sensitive to this issue than ten years ago?

By the way, whatever happened to the support of communal living among priests? I for one believe priests need to support each other in their vocations. This is one tough job/ministry. Our parish priest doesn’t even live in our county, and has missed masses as a result, even though our parish owns a house for him. When did this all fall apart? Shouldn’t D be Q’s support? Shouldn’t a priest live close to their parish and parishioners? I think being a priest is a different kind of job than when a person works at a bank downtown, but lives in Waukesha. Don’t you? If there is a different “paradigm” (sorry for using that tired word often used by parish staffers) I am stuck in the old one.

Kathie,

I question. I question by my very nature, but I do my darndest not to judge. Take blogs for what they are. Folks have a chance to question openly. Would you rather have this discussion going on behind someone’s back? Did Q hope this would never come up? There was no way this would stay “secret”. Why would he be concerned it would be generally known? If there is nothing wrong this is just a blog post and a chance for you and Q to see what is going on in the minds of those who observe. It is neither unchristian nor does it violate cannon law.

I know if I were to have dinner alone with a woman other than my wife, someone would find out. They always do. That is why I would never, ever do this, no matter how innocent.

I was initiated into an honor society in college. Their secret motto (which I shouldn’t be sharing but is so appropriate here) was: “Of a profession, the foundation, wholly free from reproach.” In my job, I do nothing, say nothing, email nothing, etc… which I feel could be detrimental to my organization or me. In all our ministries we should do those things necessary to be personally viewed and organizationally viewed as being wholly free from reproach. I think I would be especially careful (just my opinion) if my employer was the Roman Catholic Church.

Mike, Dad29, Kathie, Virgil, Karen Marie and anonymous, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t normally post, but was compelled to. I actually feel better!

God bless our Archdiocese, its staffers, our priests and all those dedicated to One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Thursday, December 28, 2006 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dad29 did not deny having been on the staff at St. Dominic's. Just for fun, shall we guess who he really is?

Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:13:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

You think I was on staff at St Dominic?

Go for it.

Friday, December 29, 2006 6:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Virgil said...

Anonymous does a good job, starting to answer the questions I raise in the earlier thread.

Mike, I have a request for you, and maybe one you can open to your readers. Pen a clear and succinct little manifesto to answer the question:

What do we expect from our priests, by way of fraternization or avoidance thereof?

On one side, you could say that all priests of the Archdiocese should have no contact with non-Catholics or with people in a state of serious sin, or with dissident Catholics or with people who associate with dissidents.

Perhaps exceptions could be made for routine commerce, as pastoral necessity might prevent a guy from checking the orthodoxy credentials of the guy bagging his groceries.

More seriously, exceptions could be made for intentions of evangelization. A priest's only contact with non-Catholics or with dissidents should be in contexts in which the priest is ministering to someone, rather than befriending them or (horrors!) being served by them.

On the other side, you could say that all we require of a priest is his proper ministering of the Sacraments.

I think I tend in this direction. I don't care if my pastor is an axe murderer, as long as he is celebrating Mass according to the proper tradition of the Church. I would agree with Saint Augustine's rejection of the Donatist heresy: A priest's apostasy does not touch on the validity of a sacrament.

In other words, it is more important for me to have access to a priest who can hear my confession of my sins, than it is for me to ask my priest for a confession of his sins.

What are your thoughts?

What should be the nature of public contact that a priest has with:

(1) Non-Catholics?

(2) Sinners of various stripes?

(3) Catholics who are dissident on one or more specific issues?

(4) Former Catholics whose dissidence has led them to leave the Church altogether?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 7:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Virgil,

Do you want to define "contact"?

Or are you just being facetious?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: What nasty blogger
Has a birthday in December.
Lives on a street named after a female.
Seems to have issues with seat belts.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous virgil said...

No facetiousness at all, Dad29.

Our anonymous correspondant raises points about orthodoxy and the impressions that are made, or scandal that is caused.

And our priests are human like everyone else. They need friends and companions and colleagues like everyone else. As a layman, I try to choose friends who inspire my faith. But many of my friends are much less orthodox than I am, and many are not even Catholic. But as public figures, priests need to draw a line somewhere closer to orthodoxy.

Anonymous (and you and Mike, too, it seems) begs to draw that line. There seems to be a fear that if a priest gets too close to someone of non-Orthodox reputation, his ministry will be compromised.

So I challenge you and Mike and Anonymous to draw a matrix of boxes.

Up one side are types of people: non-Catholics, ex-Catholics, sinning Catholics, dissident Catholics, etc.

Accross the top are types of contact.

Filling in the blanks are the way that the Vicar for Priests would advise a priest to handle things.

By "contact," I mean any of several things, and they could be on a continuum of seriousness.

(1) Casual contact, like the guy bagging Father's groceries.

(2) Acquaintance, like the men and women in Father's broad social circle outside the parish. Maybe the folks on his Christmas card list, with whom he might speak a few times year, or be seen having dinner with once in a while.

(3) Friend, like the people whom Father would call just to chat, or with whom Father might be seen on a regular basis, or whose family Father might join for vacation.

(4) Colleague, like the people on Father's parish staff, or on the staff of an apostolate with whom Father is involved.

(5) Companion, like Father's housekeeper, personal care attendant, or housemate.

With respect to the situation that started this whole thing, you objected to the way that Father Q filled in one of the boxes.

A priest should not consider a person who associates with dissenting Catholics as a friend or housemate.

I'm curious to know how you would fill the rest of the boxes!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Virgil:

I follow Anon's question...are you being facetious?

You are correct, the sacraments would be valid whether celebrated by a donatist heretic or a pope, by a pedophile or a true mystic.

But, your reference to confession opens the door for public evaluation of priests. Yes, the absolution would be valid, but would the counsel be good? Do I want kids (or even adults) going to a priest who might be too expansive (because of their own opinions, experiences, or situations) in telling that this or that is not a sin.

As to proposing a "little manifesto" (except for that being the wrong use of the word), I don't need to write one, the Church already has (doing a little wordsearch):

Canon 277, §2. Clerics are to behave with due prudence towards persons whose company can endanger their obligation to observe continence or give rise to scandal among the faithful.

Can. 533 §1. A pastor is obliged to reside in a rectory near the church. Nevertheless, in particular cases and if there is a just cause, the local ordinary can permit him to reside elsewhere, especially in a house shared by several presbyters, provided that the performance of parochial functions is properly and suitably provided for.

Can. 1339 §2. [An ordinary] can also rebuke a person whose behavior causes scandal or a grave disturbance of order...

In short, public perceptions are real, and must be understood by us, and by the priests, as having an impact. It may not make a difference, but I am not wrong to say that all other things being equal, I want a doctor who doesn't smoke, a banker who doesn't play the ponies, and a priest with unquestioned integrity.

In close, call me lacking in compassion, but I do care if my priest IS an axe-murderer.

Mike

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Virgil:

You were preparing your post at the same time that I was preparing mine.

You request a matrix of me, but from where I sit, I can only raise questions. The canon law that I cite above shows that the Church itself, through its bishops have to have a matrix. The problem that many of us raise, is that it seems that either there is no such matrix, or it is willfully ignored.

It is also possible that there is a matrix, but I might disagree with its parameters.

The ball, which is your question, is now in His Excellency's court. Share the matrix, and be prepared to enforce it when necessary; and defend it in debate when called to.

This silence among our ecclesial and moral leadership leaves everything in the realm of speculation. That is something that many of our readers hate so much.

Most of the complaints seen here are as much about the priests who cause these concerns of scandal, as with the bishops who let them come to pass and let them continue.

Mike

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous virgil said...

Well reasoned replies, Mike. It seems canon law leaves a lot up to the local ordinary, and I agree with you that TD, like his compatriots at USCCB, aren't very much up to the task of providing the matrix.

I like how the canons put it. Priests need to do more than avoid personal sin. They somehow need to avoid anything that might cause any of the Faithful to question their integrity. As ordained men, they represent the integrity of the entire Church.

But on a personal basis, what does that mean to an individual priest? At what point does a friendship need to change?

I can see the argument for Church employees. If someone involved in an apostolate leaves the Church, or dissents to the point of apostasy, they should no longer work in ministry.

But friendships? Is there a point where a priest needs to say, "You cannot be my friend anymore," or something similar?

The true dillema that Q faced here was one of a lesser of two evils.

Should he bring scandal by inviting J into his home, though J associates with dissenters?

Or should he bring scandal by back-pedaling on a friendship formed through many years?

That appears a tougher one for our Vicar of Priests to work out.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Virgil:

The problem with your premise is that you are trying to bait others by reducing the fact of a friendship, with the act of moving in together.

I am not going to fall for it. You think I, and others, are being arbitrary, but it seems more like you are.

Yes, a priest can be friends with lots of different people:

A married woman,
a single woman,
a 17 year old boy from his parish,
a person politically active in matters opposed to Church teaching,

But, just because they are friends, the appropriateness of having them move in with the priest is fair game for questions.

Mike

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 5:22:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

I think that the Canonical citations are adequate for making an informed decision.

Priests are, like it or not, very visible in the community. They are quasi-public figures, not unlike politicians. It goes without saying that Bishops are even more visible (etc.)

At the same time, it is understood by most people that priests have a responsibility. They cannot "shun" sinners, nor people who hold opinions contrary to the teaching of the Church. "Dining with sinners" is the appropriate Biblical reference.

However, a priest's living arrangements are another thing altogether. Here the priest (usually) has some room to maneuver.

Once a priest has elected to live outside of a clerical community (whether parish rectory or Order house) he is not well-advised to live with a female housekeeper (other than, say, his sister) or with an individual who has a publicly-known record of dissent from Church teaching.

That prudent decision may place friends of the priest "off-limits" for co-residence.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

Virgil asked "What do we expect from our priests, by way of fraternization or avoidance thereof?"

One pastor has said he cut off contact when a friend became an apostate as a result of being scandalized by Archbishop Weakland's conduct.

Now if you asked what ought we expect ...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 7:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad29 (Larry), I ask you and Tim B., your "source" and a staff member at the parish where Fr. Q. is assigned : How is gossiping and sharing info. about the personal life of one of the priests assigned to the parish where B. is also on staff helpful? B.'s "concern" for him (I mean, that's why he told you, right?), and the way you made a game out of guessing who he is, etc. strikes me as mean spirited. Have you or Tim B. addressed Fr. Q. directly about your concerns, or do you prefer only making them known in the blogosphere?
Mike, how does this serve God's people or the Roman Catholic Church? I check in on your site from time to time - seems like this latest thread is rather tabloid-esque, not in keeping with your mission statement.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Well, first off...

I have to laugh at someone who posts under anonymous, but sees fit to first presume (based on the info in this blog) the identity of Dad29's source, and then to share it. No ulterior motive there eh?

Thank you for noticing the mission statement of the blog (it's right at the top), but how is this beyond the mission. People see something that they do not beleive to be in conformity with the best interests of their Church, and here they get a chance to raise the concern. The outcome is either the desired change (presumably, improvement) occurs, or an explanation for the present situation is found and dicussion ends (with satisfaction or otherwise).

About the subject being "tabloid-esque". Sadly, if that were to be a factor the prevents or ends discussion, there might be very little to talk about here in this Peyton Place of an Archdiocese. The fact that staffs, priests, and even former archbishop's lead tabloid-esque lives is the reason we need to vent in the first place.

Approach the priest in question? This isn't about one priest. The issue is that the people who should be approaching the priest about this are not. Maybe you are right, the more courageous thing to do would be to approach him, but without Virgil's sought after "matrix" and the inaction of the diocesan leadership, any priest can do exactly what the trend has been for the last thirty years...totally ignore expectations and accountability.

Even expectations and standards of accountability that I disagree with would be better than the situation we are in these days...no expectations or standards of accountability. That would serve the faithful and the Church.

But, we can only hope.

Mike

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Mike, someone's saying that somebody is my "source."

Unlike other, provably-true stories on this thread, that one may NOT be provably-true.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 1:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the confusion is that dad29 aka Larry S. used to be the organist at St. Dominic and Tim currently is the organist.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have to laugh at someone who posts under anonymous, but sees fit to first presume (based on the info in this blog) the identity of Dad29's source, and then to share it. No ulterior motive there eh?"

I have to laugh at someone who posts under pseudonyms that protect their identities (dad29 and even you, Mike) and sees fit to slander others rather than dealing with issues in a Christian manner. No ulterior motives there either, eh?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Actually, I think that my motives have been pretty overt.

"Mike"? A pseudonym? Somebody better call my mother. If "mom" is her real name....

Mike, the secret agent man.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need a source to tell you the color of the light on top of the old Gas Company building. Everyone can see it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007 6:49:00 PM  

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