“Back to the Future?” or “Towards 1968?”

Last Friday, Cathnews carried two American opinion pieces side by side, which perfectly demonstrate the chasm between the right and left hemispheres of the sensus fidelium in the US.

In A ‘Different Benedict is Here’: Benedict XVI and the New Missionary Age, Deacon Keith Fournier writes on Catholic Online:

Pope Benedict XVI participated in the Second Vatican Council. He not only understands the authentic teaching of that Council but has led the way in its proper implementation in many areas of life, both within the Church and in her mission to the contemporary age. He also understands the way that the Council was hijacked in some circles, disregarded in others and misinterpreted in still others. However, his is a voice calling for a dynamically orthodox and faithful Catholic Christian faith, practice, worship and life that does not want to move us back but forward and toward….

Some attempted to misuse this prophetic insight to paint him as rejecting the modern world and somehow seeking to “turn the clock back”. That was nonsense. What he rejects is the emptiness of what is called “modernity” and “post modernity”. What he proposes is a path to authentic progress; a road leading not to the past, but to a future of hope. Authentic liberation can only be brought about through a new missionary age and a Rebirth of the Church. The Gospel – as taught by and lived in its fullness within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – is the only saving truth that redeems and brings about human flourishing, true freedom and authentic cultural recovery.

Contrast that with the rant (I am sorry if that seems pejorative, but read it for yourself and tell me if that is not the right word for the tone of the piece) of the other piece, an editorial from the National Catholic Reporter, Nostalgia is not a path to the future:

It has been an open secret that powerful forces in the church’s leadership have strongly opposed the reforms set in motion by the Second Vatican Council and have worked quietly yet assiduously during the past 40 years to roll back what has been accomplished. … Then along came Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who has vaulted to notoriety as the person overseeing the investigation of U.S. women religious. He is quoted in this issue, from a talk he gave in September 2008, as blaming the problems of Vatican II on a misguided “hermeneutic” or interpretation, which he calls “a hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity.”…

What would he have us return to? Would he want to go back to the days when the church condemned separation of church and state? Would he want us to return to a condemnation of religious liberty? Maybe his objection is to Nostra Aetate, the document on church relations with non-Christian religions. Perhaps he would want us to return to the days of open hostility toward Jews in our prayers and sermons. Or does he feel that modernity and ecumenism have so infected the church that we should return to those days when Catholics were prohibited from attending the funerals of friends if held in a Protestant church, or when we were barred from attending a non-Catholic college without the permission of the local bishop? Does he want a return to the 19th-century papal condemnation of freedom of conscience?

Or is he upset that most do not prefer, as he does, dressing up in the trappings of royalty, the yards of silk in the cappa magna, the canopies and throne chairs and all the rest — being attended by his minions, younger priests in lacy surplices, birettas and old-fashioned vestments encrusted with gold thread and jewels — all the while speaking in a dead language, facing a wall, his back to the people?

All of this was the preconciliar church. Which elements does he want restored?

Or possibly he regrets the fact that laypeople have wide access these days not only to the scriptures but also to the documents of Vatican II, and thus can say with authority that his version of church, dependent on a thin culture of nostalgia, holds no promise of the future.

Against that culture, the people of God can say convincingly that our worldwide church, in elaborate deliberation, has decided to go forward, not backward, and that the authors of that change wrote compellingly of the need for new and more inclusive ways of conducting ourselves as 21st-century Catholics.

It is obvious that some Catholics’ idea of “moving forward” is diametrically opposite to some others.

But I also find it completely astounding that these two documents about exactly the same thing (how the Church is “moving forward”) could be about such two different things.

Deacon Fournier says that Benedict’s great push forward is an undertaking of “an extraordinary mission of Church Unity”. He points to Benedict’s actions aimed at restoring unity with the SSPX, the Anglican dissdents and, above all, the Orthodox. (He could have pointed to Benedict’s track record with the Protestants too – he single handedly saved the Joint Declaration from the dustbins of history 10 years ago).

He also points to Benedict’s conviction that the Church has a mission to rescue the West from cultural devastation, saying that for him, there is “no Plan B”, the Church is “the only hope for the whole world because she continues the redemptive mission of her head, Jesus Christ.”. “Authentic liberation can only be brought about through a new missionary age and a Rebirth of the Church.”

Contrast that with the NCR editor’s rant against Cardinal Rode (his straw man for this exercise – he could have picked on a bigger target, namely the bloke who originally gave us the phrase “a hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity”) accusing him of opposing the separation of church and state, ecumenism, religious liberty, interreligious dialogue and freedom of conscience. But as if to demonstrate and prove how infantile and calumnious these claims are, the editor concludes with the claim that whole reason the members of the Benedictine Curia wish to “turn the clock back” is so that they can “dress up in the trappings of royalty…being attended by…minions…in lacy surplices…speaking a dead language facing a wall,…back to the people.”

These two op ed pieces, representing two completely opposed points of view competing in the Western Church today, are in mortal combat for the claim to be the authentic “sensus fidelium”. I personally believe that the only point of view that has a right to such a claim is that which boldly embraces the mission of the Church to move forward in the unity of faith, authentically proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ to the world.

Advertisements

30 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

30 responses to ““Back to the Future?” or “Towards 1968?”

  1. Sharon

    Fr Z fisks the article from the NCReporter:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/page/2/

  2. Tom

    That article was bizarre. Not to mention wrong, but mostly bizarre.

  3. I think this reflects generational change.

    Men and women who went through the rupture after the Council (let’s face it, that’s how it was experienced) had to make the emotional and psychological rationalization (so to speak) that old was bad, and new was good. This particularly applied to the clergy: the very rites that they had been taught were sacrosanct they had mocked to their faces – Archbishop Young of Hobart did so, I have witnesses – and they had to turn away from and reject these in favour of innovations.

    Because of this, those who went along with this project (a large number, but who knows how many of those who fell away did so for conservative not liberal reasons) have a vast commitment to rejection of the past, and thus display a marked antipathy, even an unreasonable anger, when any steps – real or imagined – to “return to the future” are made.

    On the other hand, the modern generation of Catholics, insofar as they are informed or practise at all (because as everyone knows, catechesis has basically failed for thirty years or so), are much more open to discovering the past and enjoying the revival of its good bits – so in with High Mass, but let’s leave Jansenism to the SSPX!

    The young – and I write as one who has discovered, despite oldies telling me otherwise, that the things once held holy are still of spiritual benefit – often react in amazement to discover the hidden treasures in our Catholic tradition. Even if their elders have tried to inculcate hatred of former things in them, through presentation of caricatures and misinformation, they don’t have the level of animus evident in oldies.

    I’ve seen young people, who have all manner of worship styles, quite moved by Latin hymns and litanies at Benediction, and open, just as the week before and after they were open to Christian rock music so-called: there was no knee-jerk reaction. However, older people who only heard of these things afterwards bitterly complained about the former items!

    I believe a certain Supreme Pontiff wrote that it cannot be that holy things can be declared forbidden, even dangerous, in an incredibly positivistic manner! Youth agree; the old, who have held onto their blighted hopes for ever more “progress”, get really angry.

    • Tony

      I think this reflects generational change.

      On what grounds? Deacon Fournier is a grandfather talking about an 80+ year old man who has been at the centre of church leadership for a generation and even longer in terms of his influence.

      Men and women who went through the rupture after the Council (let’s face it, that’s how it was experienced) …

      Really? I was a young man at the time soon after VatII and there was no ‘rupture’. There was change, sometimes difficult and sometimes badly handled, but ‘let’s face it rupture’? I don’t think so. It was a time of great energy and excitement.

      … had to make the emotional and psychological rationalization (so to speak) that old was bad, and new was good.

      It seems to me that’s exactly what you’re doing with your ‘generational change’ fantasy!

      Because of this, those who went along with this project (a large number, but who knows how many of those who fell away did so for conservative not liberal reasons) …

      I think we have a fairly good idea given that they didn’t go in droves to more conservative expressions of faith like Archbishop Lefebvre. Ultimately you’re right though, we don’t know so it’s dangerous to jump to any conclusions.

      On the other hand, the modern generation of Catholics, insofar as they are informed or practise at all …

      Good point there, because the safest conclusion to come to about the new generation is not that they long to ‘return to the future’, it’s that they are alienated from the church in all it’s forms.

      … (because as everyone knows, catechesis has basically failed for thirty years or so) …

      You mean over the time that Karol Wojtyła Joseph Ratzinger have lead the church? This is ‘generational’ change?

      Youth agree …

      You mean a very small number of youth?

      … the old

      Like Benedict?

      … who have held onto their blighted hopes for ever more “progress”, get really angry …

      What a very satisfying fantasy!

      • I think you will find this is no fantasy.

        I describe exactly what I have observed in parishes and other Catholic groups in Tasmania, Victoria and W.A., as corroborated by the observations of friends both lay and clerical.

        I notice you seem a bit upset by my article.

        Hmmm… Pope says true statements about Islam; Muslims riot.

        • And don’t blame John Paul II and Benedict XVI (use their correct titles, please, as good manners suggests) for bad catechesis – the Vatican doesn’t and can’t micromanage local affairs: if its documents were observed rather than disregarded, then it would be fair to criticise them…

        • Tony

          Joshua,

          There is a big difference between the anecdotal observations of interested individuals and more detached research that allows us to draw the general conclusions you assert.

          For example, I could offer you observations, also confirmed by friends at home, interstate and around the world, that suggest very different conclusions.

          I used the pre-Papal names because both men had influence, esp PB16, before they became Popes. Nothing impolite about that.

          I haven’t blamed either. You cited the last 30 years as failures in terms of catechisis. This is the time of PJP2 and PB16 and the buck stops with them. Any notion about micromanagement is really implausible given how long they’ve been around.

          • Gareth

            It seems with Tony that poor Benedict and John Paul are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

            If they realise documents that take a traditional stance and encorage the faithful to live out a traditional line of worship or take a broad conservative line towards faith and morals, they are condemned as taking the church ‘back’ or disobeying the ‘spirit of Vatican II’

            Imagine if the Pope told the faithful tommorrow that they should only receieve communion on the tongue, all liberal and bad Catholics would ignore them or scold him.

            Yet, apparently the Pope’s in taking a ‘middle ground’ over the past thirty years are told the buck stops with them??

            Where is the consistency?

            I would rather take an argument that the Pope is Rome and removed from me and the buck really stops with you and me or the parish we belong to and the feral Nuns or tired old priests that run them.

            And the buck stops with the millions of of Catholics across the globe who are quick to parade around the altar as ‘eucharistic ministers’ and be on show for all too see, yet do not put even the remotest any of effort in knowing the faith they profess each Sunday and in which they supposedly are meant to be making an effort to be Catholic role models in all they do to the next generation.

            • Very true: it’s not the nasty old Pope in Rome who’s to blame, but the mediocre Catholics, clerical and lay, who have manifestly dropt the ball and failed to pass on the Holy Faith – it appears because they don’t really believe it themselves. What the Popes have ordered in the way of catechesis, etc. has not been tried, but rather every cockamamey scheme has… with predictable results.

              And I could do without a holier-than-thou condescension from Tony, who I suspect delights in picking holes while skirting around the issues; as if I don’t know the difference between sociological research and anecdotes! I ask you!

              • Tony

                What the Popes have ordered in the way of catechesis, etc. has not been tried, but rather every cockamamey scheme has… with predictable results.

                So what’s changed? You talk of a generational change and seem to imply that the influence of PB16 is changing things. It seems you’re having a bob each way. Apparently PB16 is responsible for ushering a generational change but is somehow not responsible for the 30 years of bad catechisis.

                And I could do without a holier-than-thou condescension from Tony, who I suspect delights in picking holes while skirting around the issues; as if I don’t know the difference between sociological research and anecdotes! I ask you!

                OK. Show us the sociological research that supports your notion of generational change then.

                • I never said he was responsible for this change.

                  • Tony

                    It’s not that clear what you are saying Joshua.

                    When pressed on the notion of ‘generational change’ you support it with personal anecdotes.

                    When pressed on the role of the Popes — pretty much a central thesis of the Deacon Fournier article esp in relation to PB16 — you now say that he’s not responsible.

                    And you also make fairly uncharitable inferences about the ‘elders’ (except if they’re Popes) which, in typical style, Gareth ‘sees’ and ‘raises’ in poker parlance.

                    • You never seem satisfied – tell me, do you suffer passive aggression, or are you perchance one of those psychiatrists that just repeats back what the patient says (Rogerian?)?

                      I draw upon my experience and that of others, and that’ll have to suffice – this is not a sociology class. I express my displeasure at those I believe dissent from the Faith and, worse, corrupt others: and I measure this by the objective standards of our religion, as any man may find it in the Catechism. On one level, I will admit I am disappointed that the Popes don’t take their responsibility seriously, but on another I recognize that since 1968 the Popes have refrained from excommunications, etc., in the face of widespread dissent. I would argue that this testifies to the fact that they know that they will be disobeyed: but this says far worse about the dissenters than about the Popes. The tragedy is that most Catholics fail to be Catholic, and proudly set themselves against the hierarchy, rather than learn from their teachings the riches of the true Faith.

            • Tony

              It seems with Tony that poor Benedict and John Paul are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

              Not at all. I didn’t suggest that catechisis has ‘failed’ over the last 30 years. If that’s the case then the buck stops at the Pope(s). I could understand the point about ‘micro management’ if it was a short term thing, but 30 years?

              Yet, apparently the Pope’s in taking a ‘middle ground’ over the past thirty years are told the buck stops with them?? Where is the consistency?

              You start with a scenario of your imagination then ask ‘where is the consistency?’. With your imagination? Who knows!

              I would rather take an argument that the Pope is Rome and removed from me and the buck really stops with you and me or the parish we belong to and the feral Nuns or tired old priests that run them.

              OK. Then the whole basis for the article that praises PB16 and in which Joshua speculates that its a generational change is pretty much made redundant. It’s all down to us.

              Unless of course it’s ‘praise them for the good things, but don’t blame them for the bad’.

              • Gareth

                Hi Tony,

                In response to your post,

                Tony: “Not at all. I didn’t suggest that catechisis has ‘failed’ over the last 30 years. If that’s the case then the buck stops at the Pope(s).”

                Gareth: I honestly can’t see the sense in the argument that the ‘buck stops with the Pope’, unless you can prove just how precisely what exactly that it is with the Pope’s role or mission that would impact directly on the life of the average parish church in little old Adelaide or little old Hobart.

                I would more likely to be inclined to say that the buck stops with the Bishop of a local diocese and his brother priests and religious, which in turn ultimately leads to the how the laity are living out the faith.

                As I understand, the Pope’s role is to guide the church in truth and ultimately defend it from the falsehoods and heresies of the day, not to act like CEO of some company who is fired if the church in some far out place is not producing ‘faith results’.

                Indeed there have been some pretty bad and not so holy Popes who have been head of the church when the church is actually going from strength to strength, and on the other hand there have been some really, really good Pope’s who have been ‘in charge’ when the church has struggled.

                Tony: “You start with a scenario of your imagination then ask ‘where is the consistency?’

                Gareth: Well, it is a serious question. One can’t play the ‘blame the baddies in the Vatican’ line if one is not consistent. It appears to me, liberally minded Catholics are quick to point the finger at ‘imaginary’ baddies in ‘Rome’, yet if the Pope actually did something that impacted on average parish life like issued a statement saying communion must be received on the tongue or to say the rosary daily, the same Catholics that blame the Pope for their own failings would simply ridicule it or ignore it. Doesn’t seem consistent to me.

                Tony: “Unless of course it’s ‘praise them for the good things, but don’t blame them for the bad’.

                Gareth: But one could reverse that statement and replace it with liberal Catholics will ‘blame them for the bad, but will not praise them for the good things”.

          • Exy

            Tony

            You have sprouted this 2nd rate theory so many times at CathNews/Views&Pews.

            Rather than blame the Popes start being more fair & objective and contemplate the fact that over the last 40 years at the grass roots level, Catholics of the “liberal” mentality did a lot of harm at the parish and school level, imposing their personal issues and trends upon the Church.

            Look at the rubbish some of them (who were teachers/employees of the Church) and what they are writing today on anti Catholic blogs you know and admire.

            Tony one minute you are hounding the Popes and telling them to stop being authoritarian, dogmatic and to mind their own business, but here you are now saying the “buck stops with them” and that the Popes should have acted against people that basically share your type of opinions and visions for the Church.

            Make up your mind for goodness sake.

            Exy

            • Tony

              Yup Exy, it continues to amaze me how some do the ‘henny penny’ number about the post VatII church and by some quirk of logic the responsibility of church leadership, esp church leadership at the very top, seems to be glossed over.

              And now its also quite common for people to talk about how PB16 is changing things as if he’s new on the scene.

              It’s truly amazing to see how people attempt to make these positions into logical coherant arguments but, so far, totally unconvincing.

              • Gareth

                Well Tony,

                Put your money where your mouth is.

                If you are willing to take ‘the buck stops with the Pope line’, you might actually want to back that statement up with something that the Pope has actually done or the actual mistake in his personal behaviour, leadership or given teaching that you feel is necessary to highlight just precisely why you think we should be pointing our fingers at the Pope…..

                At least conservative or traditional Catholics are consistent and actually qualify their statement that the buck stops with poor bishops or bad Catholics or feral nuns due to poor concept of catholicism, lukewarmeness and a warped version catholicism based on nothing more than their imaginary notion of ‘the spirit of Vatican II’ that is counter to authentic catholicism.

                Like I said the Pope is not CEO of a company, he is the Pope with a precise role and responsibility that not always can be traced back for the church’s failings, which in reality can be traced back to our own backyard.

                Like St Therese once said ‘what really is wrong with the church is you and I’..

  4. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, wrote a very balanced article saying much the same things.

  5. A related but deeper issue: do we wish to hold to the Deposit of Faith, expressed in things both old and new (as Good Pope John said at the outset of Vatican II), or do we wish to change our doctrines?

    It is known to everyone that many, even clergy, religious and some bishops, would desire, as do most Anglicans, that women be ordained, contraception be approved, all manner of sexual relations no longer be considered a big deal or sinful, etc. (It is tiresome to repeat the usual list of desiderata.)

    In this view, the Church ought hold the morals of the present world, and focus, “not on some heaven light years away” – for are we not all Pelagians and Universalists nowadays? who worries about salvation? – but on what were called good works and now are termed actions for peace and justice.

    To my mind, many Catholics are crying out for the Anglicans to offer them union, not absorption, via a “Catholicorum coetibus” – the mirror-image to the Pope’s recent constitution. After all, it is only cultural differences that impede Catholics from going Anglican; and it would be best, surely, for those who actually hold modernistic beliefs and morals to come together as one.

  6. Such Catholics need shelters, Ordinariates if you will, wherein they can sing seventies hymns badly, enjoying poor homilies and philistine aesthetics, while being in true communion with their Anglican betters. Of course, this will entail allowing convert clergy to enter into some sort of domestic arrangements, in conformity with the customs of Canterbury.

    • Kiran

      The Anglican society of St. Henry VIII? Well, the trouble is that, even the liberal Anglicans by and large tend to have that thing absent in most liberal Catholics: taste….

      Maybe we could have an Anglican Society of St. Elton John…

      • Even as we speak, Canterbury is preparing “Romanorum turbis” (‘Crowds of Romans’, or ‘Micks’ if you prefer), to provide adequate second-class accommodation for the adhesion to their Communion of undeceived former captives of the Bishop of Rome… since their numbers may be large, and their culture rude, it seems best to keep them suitably separate from eleven o’clock Mattins and the Vicarage garden party, lest the lawn and cucumber sandwiches be ruined. By smiling upon their newfound open acceptance (instead of secret practice) of all actions formerly termed vices, and gradually lifting them up to the standards of polite society, much work for social justice will be accomplished.

  7. These two op ed pieces, representing two completely opposed points of view competing in the Western Church today, are in mortal combat for the claim to be the authentic “sensus fidelium”.

    FWIW, my husband, Nick, thinks that the Kumbaya/NCR position is self-defeating.

    If so, the “mortal combat” is only going to go one way, regardless.

  8. Christine

    These two op ed pieces, representing two completely opposed points of view competing in the Western Church today, are in mortal combat for the claim to be the authentic “sensus fidelium”. I personally believe that the only point of view that has a right to such a claim is that which boldly embraces the mission of the Church to move forward in the unity of faith, authentically proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ to the world.

    I’m afraid that’s quite true. Speaking solely of the situation in the U.S., it isn’t the openly heterodox entities such as NCR that should worry Catholics. It’s the more insiduously “hidden” presence in the chanceries that are a problem, especially among religious who have positions of authority.

    The Ursuline sister who was the pastoral associate and my RCIA sponsor only gradually revealed that she is a proponent of womens’ ordination. This same sister is very involved in Diocesan ecumenical and social justice concerns.

    The Sisters of St. Joseph who staff a local Catholic hospital are also known for their very liberal views. The same stories could be told across other diocesan structures across the U.S.

    The idea that they are “old and grey and going away” simply hasn’t happened. They have had tremendous influence on the laity and it shows in what were once very “traditional” parishes in my diocese.

    Christine

    • Oh, very true – I suspect Tony is an example of this vitiation of Catholic laymen – and it brings up another of my fears: the “grey cardigan brigade” of dissenting priests and religious (who’ve been happy to stay within the Church and exercise power while spreading their dissent, unlike their more honest fellow-travellers who left long ago) will soon enough die out, but they have for so long told the laity lies about the Faith – in a nutshell, that Rome is wrong and evil, and they the liberals are right and good – that the remaining practising Catholics are split between those deceived by such serpentine snares, and those who’ve managed to resist them. Enter a young priest, full of zeal, loyal to the Faith – and he is treated with repulsion by many of the “faithful”, who, having been corrupted, would prefer no priest to such a JPII, Benedict XVI priest. Such laymen have been formed to expect to take over and run a priestless church, where they will be the ruling clique, preach and run little paraliturgies, and keep any threatening priest at arm’s length, only begrudgingly letting him confect the Eucharist, which they would otherwise control and dispense.

  9. Notice how pathetic and inward looking such a priestless church would be? Shorn of its rightful hierarchy, a shadow hierarchy takes power pitilessly; its outreach is replaced by craven attachment to whatever secular cause is popular; its doctrine is a half-misunderstood repetition of liberal dogmas in place of rejected Rome; and its worship is eviscerated, the Daily Sacrifice ceases. From such a nightmare, Good Lord deliver us!

  10. Christine

    Joshua, that’s a pretty good assessment of what some U.S. Catholics are trying to achieve.

    I’m posting a few snippets from the “Q &A” section of the website of a local Catholic parish in my area. I know “Father Bob” from when he was the associate at the parish where I joined the Catholic Church. Humanly speaking, he is a wonderful guy, warm, engaging, and as liberal as they come.

    Note his responses to parishioner questions.

    Is there a recommended reading list on Church history?

    That covers more than 2,000 years, so it kind of depends on what area of Church history you’re wondering about. The reference book I use a lot is “Catholicism” by Fr. Richard McBrien. He’s a professor at Notre Dame University. You can look up a topic, and he usually gives a clear history as well. You can also check the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usccb.org by topic…. If all else fails — “Google it”! – Father Bob

    Does the Catholic faith believe that non-Christians (both atheists and those of other religions) will go to Heaven if they lead a loving life?

    Yep….. If a person, in their conscience, has tried their best, to the best of their knowledge, to lead a just, compassionate and loving life, that’s all God asks of ANY person. – Father Bob

    How do you explain why Catholics pray to the saints?

    We don’t…… If we want, we can ask the saints to pray with us or for us, but prayer itself is directed to God. From the earliest times of Christian history, our community has believed that at death, life is changed, but not ended. Soooooo….. people whom we love and respect as good people are still there/here to help us. It’s called the “Communion of Saints.” Just as they helped us on earth, we believe that they still love us and want to help us from heaven, just as a good friend would here and now. It’s like I believe my dad, who died almost 13 years ago now, is a saint. I talk to him everyday and ask him to continue to help me live life, as he did when he was physically here with me…. Does a Catholic HAVE to talk with the saints? No. Only if it helps you to deepen your relationship with God. – Father Bob

    Is it important to go to Confession at least once a year even if we ask for God’s forgiveness at Mass each week?

    Whenever we ask God to forgive us, God does. No strings….. You never HAVE to go to confession, unless your conscience and heart tell you that you really need to be reconciled with God and the community because you have chosen to somehow seriously break your relationship or mortal sin. But we encourage people to celebrate God’s forgiveness in the sacrament maybe two or three times a year anyhow….and to touch base with God through this sacrament, on where we have grown and most need to grow. – Father Bob

    Whenever a priest recommends Richard O’Brien it raises red flags. Father Bob’s “minimalist” approach is hardly the fullness of the faith that the Catechism recommends. Especially worrisome is his view that even aetheists will be saved if the lead a “loving” life. Loving according to who? Outside of the Cross?

    His parish is considered a “normal” Vatican II parish here in the U.S.

    Alarming, isn’t it.

    Christine