Priests organizing

The phenomenon of Catholic clergymen organizing themselves is spreading from Austria and Ireland to the US and to England and Wales.

In the US, the newly-founded Association of U.S. Catholic Priests is up to over 650 members. Its inaugural assembly on June 11-14 has keynote speakers Richard Gaillardetz on “The Historical Impact of Vatican II on the American Church and Priesthood,” and Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, on “The New Roman Missal: What is the Problem, and What Can We Do about It?”

In England and Wales, six priests who claim the support of over 30 priests recently wrote a letter to The Tablet expressing deep concern about the direction of the church. They call for better dialogue between the hierarchy and laity, a theology of sexuality “rooted in the actual experiences of the faithful” and a discussion on ordaining married men as priests. They criticize the Roman Curia for bypassing basic teaching of the Second Vatican Council such as collegiality. “The recent imposition of the new translation of the Mass texts is an obvious example of this,” they said. They invite supportive priests to contact them.

The Pfarrer Initiative in Austria has  approximately 475 members and supporters among the clergy. It has attracted attention for its “Appeal to Disobedience” which calls for far-reaching reforms, and implements some of them with or without approval. (See also here).

The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has over 850 members. It calls for the incorporation of the gifts of the entire community in ministry, male and female; a restructuring of the Church’s governing system based on service rather than power; a greater consultation and transparency in the appointment of Church leaders; and a reevaluation of Catholic sexual teaching based on the experience and wisdom of God’s people.

It is too early to say what form the new initiatives in the US and England and Wales will take, or whether their reformist statements and actions will mirror those in Austria or Ireland.



  1. And those priests are the ones who are brave enough to publicly sign on. In management courses they say for every one who complains there are 9 others who feel the same but don’t go public. If the numbers are correct then that means there is a lot of dissatisfaction out there. No surprise at all.

    IMO this papacy has been a disaster and a mistake. Not since the 19th century has there been this much internal dissent by the clergy. And now with the Vatican leaks and the internet we all get to see the cesspool that the curia has created and helped with a pope who is either unwilling or incompetent to clean it up. Once the Church loses its moral force because of corruption what will fill that vacuum? Secular Humanists?

    Look at what Gotti Tedeschi stated in one of the “Vatican leaks”:
    “Further, ‘secularism’ could take advantage of the situation to create a second ‘Roman question’ in aggression directed at the goods of the church (through taxes, ending privileges, exasperated controls, etc.) The ‘Roman question’ of the 21st century will not lie in the expropriation of the church’s goods, but in the loss of their value, in reduced contributions due to the impoverishment of the Christian world, and eventually in the end of privileges and in predictably higher taxes on those goods.”

    The next conclave can’t come soon enough. God help us all.

    1. re: John Drake on June 3, 2012 – 1:52 pm

      From one “tradtional” Catholic to another: please, listen to what your “progressive” brothers and sisters have to say. Many reforms which the priests and laity of the aforementioned associations seek are not as radical as might seem at first glance. We “traditional” Catholics often forget (or even deny) that celibacy for secular clergy was not thoroughly enforced until Trent. Yes, the Roman idea of celibacy for parish priests has been in place de jure from at least the Roman rejection of the Quinisext Council (Trullo) in the 7th century. A strong emphasis on priestly celibacy and continence is found in western Christian teachings from even earlier in history. However, time has shown that priests have often sought and received companionship in de facto families which often were tacitly accepted by the community. Also, it is certainly not unhealthy for a priest to desire marital companionship and even the chance to have children.

      Also, the clergy and laity who are attached to the reformed liturgy have just as much right to their worship as we have to ours. Furthermore, any worship which brings estranged Catholics back to the Church and a church is a blessing, regardless of the Mass setting or the placement of the altar.

      1. Jordan,

        I’d be very careful about saying the Roman idea of celibacy for parish priests has been in place de jure from at least the Roman rejection of the Quinisext Council (Trullo) in the 7th century when most authorities appear to opine that it only became Church law at the 4th Lateran Council in 1215.

      2. Many reforms which the priests and laity of the aforementioned associations seek are not as radical as might seem at first glance.

        Come on, Jordan. Some, even many of them may not be as radical as they might seem at first glance, but a great number of them are just as radical as they appear. Your argument is nowhere near sufficient to justify any different position on these groups.

      3. re: Samuel J. Howard on June 4, 2012 – 7:50 am

        Perhaps I should have used “some” rather than “many” in the sentence

        Many reforms which the priests and laity of the aforementioned associations seek are not as radical as might seem at first glance

        Calling for married parish clergy, voicing support for postmodern and post-conciliar liturgy, and even advocating for a greater hierarchical dialogue with the laity is not radical. The election of bishops, for example, has not always been by absolute “papal assent” at the advice of a pope’s curia and congregations. Those who adhere to Tridentine liturgy cannot limit their understanding of the hierarchy and liturgy to the Tridentine “slice” of church history.

        Also, issues such as the reconciliation of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacraments are not just an abstract sacramental and theological problem but a very real and emotionally charged pastoral challenge. The conservative Catholic response shouldn’t be judgment of the couples and a emotionally cold casuistry, but rather the willingness to work with other Catholics on a way to bring people closer to the faith. If one does not like others’ proposals for the reconciliation of remarried Catholics, then it’s time for them to come up with alternative and orthodox solutions.

      4. Hello Jordan,

        You are, unfortunately, setting up a false opposition between the mass as it existed from the time of St. Pius V with its form in the years before.

        The changes made in the Roman missal in 1570 were quite minor. It makes no sense to speak of a “Tridentine” mass, as if it sprang ex nihilo from Pius V’s head.

      5. re: Richard Malcolm on June 4, 2012 – 3:01 pm

        Malcolm, I can see your point. The medieval, renaissance, and reformation-era usages of various European cities were similar to the 1570 reform in many respects (the 1570 missal itself largely patterned on the use of the diocese of Rome). However, the 1962 missal is a direct descendant of the 1570 missal fork (to borrow a term from computer science.)

        Since the 1570 missal is often deemed the first Tridentine liturgy, it’s not entirely wrong to include the 1962 missal (and even the 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968 interim peri-conciliar revisions) as descendants of the 1570 missal.

        However, an allegiance to the 1570 missal tradition does not mean that one must only consider the ecclesiastical and ecclesiological developments of previous periods of church history as the eternally definitive expressions of the visible action of the Holy Trinity among the visible Church. Pastoral care often changes rapidly, and clergy and laity both must develop new but also orthodox expressions of compassionate and just care.

    2. Be careful what you wish for.

      If SPXX reconciles on terms that appear to be very favorable to it, there may be many priests and a few bishops who might decide that several decades of schism might be worth the changes that it might produce in the church, e.g. a married priesthood.

      With the sex abuse scandal, I am not sure that a schismatic church with a married priesthood might not attract quite a few Catholics. Perhaps in many dioceses, there are sufficient former married priests that a schismatic church could offer to staff all parishes threatened with closure.

      I have been very impressed in all the church closings as to the length that Catholics are willing to go to inconvenience themselves as a form of protest: vigils, occupations, law suits, etc. These people are often not the stereotypes: sometimes they are young, sometimes they are former Protestants, sometimes they are very traditional people.

      On the other hand, I have been very depressed at the amount of bad management that Catholics are willing to endure without doing much, e.g. the sexual abuse scandal.

      I really don’t know why some people willing to go to such lengths to protest in some cases but not in others; so we never know what will happen with some of these situations. The New Missal did not attract much attention and organization; the Nuns have.

      1. On thinking about it – we have seen quite a bit of protest over the sexual scandal – mostly in people walking out the door!
        I think there is a continuing reluctance to accept the new missal, whether it is expressed by priests refusing to use some or all of the prayers or by parishioners mumbling or refusing to offer responses at all. I think a lot of organized opposition was precluded because familiar faces ( the pastor, the music director, etc) were co-opted to impose the changes.
        When my parish closed, I saw two years of various people earnestly attending planning meetings. There was a brief organized opposition when the parish closed. When that effort failed, a significant number of people continued to protest my walling away from the assigned parish or from the Church entirely.

      2. If it were only about clerical celibacy, there wouldn’t be much storm here. Given the indulgence granted to the Anglican ordinariates, it’s not inconceivable that the Vatican could, under the right circumstances, contemplate some further modest modifications to the celibacy discipline – which is, after all, a discipline.

        But what these groups of priests wants is much, much more than just clerical celibacy. And therein lies the irresolvable conflict.

  2. In management courses they say for every one who complains there are 9 others who feel the same but don’t go public.

    Kim Rodgers

    Could you cite who you mean by “every one,” (The priests you’ve mentioned, managers, employees?) and management courses offered to whom by whom?

    IMO this papacy has been a disaster and a mistake. Not since the 19th century has there been this much internal dissent by the clergy…

    I appreciate your opinion, but for the latter could you cite your sources for your conclusion as you’ve compared this era’s problems with those of the 19th century?

    …the cesspool that the curia has created and helped with a pope who is either unwilling or incompetent to clean it up.

    What is the entity that you are calling a “cesspool?” And could you reveal how you reached the conclusion that the successor to St. Peter is either a shirker, a slacker or a stinker? Yes, I really am calling you to defend your IMO.

    The next conclave can’t come soon enough. God help us all.

    Perhaps you’re familiar with one of the Lord Jesus’ parables, namely that of the Prodigal Son/Father? In essence the son wishes death upon the father, and eventually that didn’t turn out so well for the son. As providence would have, though, God did help him after all. The ever-faithful and very-much-alive father threw a banquet for the son when he came crawling home. Indeed, may God help us all, Ms. Rodgers.

    1. Charlie, why did you bother to write this reply? Its pretty clear that short of a graduate thesis from Kim, your questions won’t be answered. You just appear like a pompous windbag.

      And you are completely gratuitous in your use of the word “whom”.

      1. gra·tu·i·tous/grəˈt(y)o͞oitəs/: Adjective:
        1. Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.
        2. Given or done free of charge.

        . . .”to whom by whom” — both objects of a preposition. So I’m presuming you were using definition #2. Thanks for pointing out Charles’s extraordinary generosity in his use of proper grammar. I usually charge people, myself.

    2. Charles,

      I understand you are upset, but so is Kim.

      Personally I hope B16 sets the example that JP2 failed to set and decides to retire. My reading of the Vatican leaks are that we are in another “inter-regnum” zone because B16 like JP2 does not care if the trains run on time. As JP2 said “it is sufficient that they run.” Quite frankly we need term limits for bishops, cardinals and Popes.

      My 89 year old aunt who moved to California is very upset about the Church; she lived in Philadelphia for quite a long time and is upset about the situation there. She told me last night when she meets people she avoids the subject of religion, and that she is a Catholic. She just does not want to deal with all the bad news about the Pope and bishops.

      I profoundly dislike the habit of some people on this blog of regularly challenging opinions with a request for documentation. This isn’t a court or a journal article. It’s a place for people to speak honestly. They are probably going to more effective if they can organize some supporting data, but I like to have more opinions from more people, and hope that people do not get discouraged from patricipating because they feel they will be attacked.

      In my first few comments in this blog, I remember getting what seemed to me to be a very out of place hostile remarks. Karl was kind enough to give me a heads up that the comment had nothing to do with me.

      1. I profoundly dislike the habit of some people on this blog of regularly challenging opinions with a request for documentation. This isn’t a court or a journal article. It’s a place for people to speak honestly.

        You may not like it, but it’s the only way any kind of productive dialogue can take place. Otherwise, we’re just left in a pointless roundabout situation of “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.”

      2. For a productive dialogue, we need some discernment and self-monitoring. Requests for documentation can be a helpful way of digging down deeper in an issue. Or they can be nitpicking that obstructs and distracts. Some of what you do, Samuel, is the latter in my view.


      3. Gratis asseritur calls for people to provide reasons for their points of view — those reasons might include documentation, but they might also include personal experience.

        Some points of view on liturgical matters can be established with intersubjective clarity. Others come across to me as “strongly held perspectives”, not without justifying reasons but where people of good will and intellect could disagree. Many of the strong assertions in the discussion about invoking Mary in the Universal Prayer struck me as being in this second category.

        And yet others are simply assertions, based neither on documentation nor on personal experience — “using oneself as data”.

        By the way, gratis asseritur is a favourite trope of Fr Zuhlsdorf, the internet priest. And yet his blog is filled, packed down, overflowing with unsupported assertions.

      4. Different disciplines have different methods for arriving at “truth” not all of them involve conflict and competitiveness.

        An IT colleague in the mental health system summed up management meetings of our social workers: “They talk and they talk. In the beginning much of what they say appears to conflict, but no one calls attention to it. Eventually people seem to come to a consensus but no body does anything about it.”

        He contrasted his discipline’s method: “We fight like hell about the solution to a problem, then everyone pitches in and gets the job done.”

        Therapists value people speaking freely about their thoughts and emotions, the ability of people to listen respectfully to one another, and the insights, changes in thoughts, emotions and behavior that might follow. Obviously they are not IT specialists who are looking for the single best answer to a technical problem.

        I spent almost two decades in academia as a graduate student, post doctoral researcher and faculty member. I appreciate that critical and competitive environment and carry some of those skills and values with me.

        However in many ways I think the two decades I spent in the mental health system were even more valuable intellectually, because I learned to listen to what people where saying without criticizing them, and I learned to respond to what they were saying in public meetings with very diverse stakeholders in ways that affirmed them without taking sides when I knew others would not agree.

        When I returned to academia for master’s degree in spirituality, I found that all the skills I had learned in the mental health system actually helped me in the classroom, especially in relationships with my fellow students.

    3. Well Charles, it appears you’re not too familiar w/ what is happening in the church.

      I suggest that you first read the link I provided, for goodness sake.
      Secondly, as for Q1 ask anyone in any managerial position or at least google it.
      Thirdly, yes it is a cesspool. The comparison to the 19th century was about Vatican I when a large number of disgruntled clerics were shocked by Papal infallibility and many left. You won’t dispute that too will you?

      Also, you tell me why B16 has NOT reformed the curia as he promised. He is either unwilling, incompetent or I might add, fearful. You pick one.
      Can you point out where I wished death for B16? The next conclave cannot come soon enough is what I said. That is the only way this church will be able to regain any moral leverage it has lost. Will there be anything left to save? Ireland and Austria are already in the tank because of his inaction. Furtherore, what is he afraid of unless he harbors doubts about the afterlife or perhaps is concerned that he has earned a place in Dante’s Inferno?
      With all due respect I think you are a little bit out of the loop, you remind me of one of the first class passengers on the Titanic and didn’t enter a lifeboat because he didn’t see the Titanic sinking, after all, not even God could sink the Titanic.

      1. The comparison to the 19th century was about Vatican I when a large number of disgruntled clerics were shocked by Papal infallibility and many left. You won’t dispute that too will you?

        Why can’t it be disputed? It seems likely to me that there’s more dissent now than there was in the 19th century over papal infallibility though I don’t have any hard numbers.

        But, I think it’s also possible that it’s not true that, “Not since the 19th century has there been this much internal dissent by the clergy.” It may be false on other grounds. The immediate aftermath of Humanae Vitae, for instance, might have seen more internal dissent.

      2. There were not above 350 priests that attended the Old Catholic congresses in 1871 and 1872. We can quibble about whether that constitutes a “large number,” but is it not a little overwrought to make comparisons to the Old Catholic schism – a bare hiccup in Church history?

        As Samuel suggests, the dissent percolating now is considerably larger.

        As for a conclave: Most of the voting age cardinals are Benedict XVI’s appointments. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

      3. Keep everything to scale. Vatican I – roughly 1,000 bishops in the world. estimated 700 attended. McBrien describes these 700 bishops on infallibility into three groups – the ultamontane that believed the pope is always infallible; a second group that was opposed for multiple reasons; and a third group that was caught in the middle.

        Keep in mind that this council lasted 10 months and was followed by the end of the Papal States. Theologians were not invited e.g. Dollinger, Acton, etc.

        Any gathering of 350 priests in 1872 would have been a significant undertaking for that time period in church history. Yes, in hindsight, it appears to be a blip on the radar but would suggest that there are many similarities to the current priest association undertakings. It is not only about numbers.

  3. Well I will be interested in how the priests handle the “Nuns” issue. Data from Cleveland is encouraging

    Cleveland-area Catholics showed their support for American nuns recently scolded by the Vatican by attending a rally Wednesday night at St. Colman Catholic Church on the city’s West Side.

    An estimated 650 people attended, making it the largest of the 53 vigils held across the country in support of the nuns, said Christine Schenk, executive director of FutureChurch, a Catholic organization headquartered in Cleveland.

    At one point in the vigil, the dozens of nuns who were in the audience were asked to stand and they received a lengthy applause.

    The Rev. Robert Begin of St. Colman said there would have likely been more in attendance except parking around the church is limited. St. Colman’s can seat 1,000 people.

    I was one of the people who did not go because of the parking problem. I think we would have large turnouts like this across the country if priests opened their parishes.

    The idea of having these protests and vigils outside of Cathedrals was not a good one. We are more interested in honoring and supporting nuns than in bashing bishops. If the bishops want to stand in the road of honoring the women religious in our parishes, then it is their problem if they get roughed up in the process.

    And if priests want to say more about the Nun issue, the following article appeared in the parish bulletin of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Cleveland, Ohio. NCR posted it with the permission of the author, Fr. Doug Koesel:

  4. What the Nuns’ Story is Really About

    Many of you have asked me to comment on the recent investigation into the US nuns. Here goes. In short, the Vatican has asked for an investigation into the life of religious women in the United States. There is a concern about orthodoxy, feminism and pastoral practice. The problem with the Vatican approach is that it places the nuns squarely on the side of Jesus and the Vatican on the side of tired old men, making a last gasp to save a crumbling kingdom lost long ago for a variety of reasons.

    One of the results of the council was that the nuns became more educated, more integrated in the life of the people and more justice-oriented than the bishops and pope. They are doctors, lawyers, university professors, lobbyists, social workers, authors, theologians, etc. Their appeal was that they always went back to what Jesus said and did. Their value lay in the fact that their theology and their practice were integrated into the real world.

    The Vatican sounded like the Pharisees of the New Testament;—legalistic, paternalistic and orthodox— while “the good sisters” were the ones who were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, educating the immigrant, and so on.

    This investigation is not about wayward US nuns. It is a struggle for the very nature of the church; who we are, how we pray, where we live, who belongs, why we believe. The early church endured a similar struggle. The old order died. The Holy Spirit won. Happy Pentecost Sunday!

    P.S. On Wednesday, May 30, there will be a prayer rally for US nuns at St. Colman on W 65th St. All are invited and encouraged to attend. The nuns were there for us. Let us be there for them.

    We might not be able to be proud of our bishop, but some of our priests are beginning to stand tall.

    1. God Bless Fr. Doug!
      We have many good priests and sisters who do good work ever day without any thanks because what they accomplish is buried by the news of the rubbish spewing out by the hierarchy. And every day we lose more of our moral clout. Witness the US House of Representatives who weren’t even able to ban sex selective abortions. Just outrageous.
      I hope and pray that the parishoners in Cleveland keep an eye out and safeguard him from any reprisal that could occur.

    2. “[LCWR has] realized that the philosophical underpinnings of Catholic teaching are no longer valid”

      What a slap in the face to all the holy women from Mary of Egypt down to Teresa Benedicta. Excuse me if I prefer not to worship “the evolutionary now.”

    3. Isn’t this conflating the Apostolic Visitation of Women Religious with the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR?

      The report of the Apostolic Visitors has yet to be published (and, if we’re to believe John Allan, looks set to be generally uncritical of the orders of women Religious), while the doctrinal assessment has been targeted solely at a single institution: the LCWR.

  5. Meetings cost money as do the routine activities of an ongoing organization, however loosely structured.

    I would deeply appreciate it if someone involved in the organization of the U.S. group could let it be known — thru this blog, if Fr. Ruff will allow it — how I could contribute financially to the support of this enterprise.

  6. It seems that these sorts of maneuring whether well or ill-intentioned and problems with the papacy have been around a little while. So having historical knowledge of this might put the cuurent rather mundane events in the papacy into proper perspective:

    By Rev. Anthony Cekada
    “From the onset of the Napoleonic wars in the late 18th century, the position of the popes as tem­poral rulers of the Papal States (the civil territories they gov­erned in central Italy) be­came increasingly more precar­ious.

    Though the Congress of Vienna (1815) had re­stored the pope’s sovereignty over his tem­poral domains, Ma­sonry and other secret soci­eties, such as the Carbonari, conspired to stir up revolts against him. In 1830 and 1832 rebel­lions broke out in the Papal States, and in 1848 the revolutionar­ies suc­ceeded in driving Pope Pius IX from Rome.

    In 1850 Napoleon III sent his army into Italy, re­stored Pius to his temporal throne and garrisoned Rome with im­pe­rial troops — an act prompted not so much by the French Em­peror’s devotion to the Holy See as by his de­sire to un­dermine Austrian influence in Italy. Meanwhile, the adepts of the se­cret societies, supported by aid from abroad, took over the governments of the city-states which bor­dered the papal domains.

    Surrounded by hostile states, undermined by se­cret so­ci­eties, and supported by a half-hearted ally, Pius IX feared that the tri­umph of the revolu­tion­aries was immi­nent.

    Early in 1859, the Pontiff ordered that spe­cial public prayers — three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina, a versicle and a Collect — be re­cited after Mass in all churches within the Pa­pal States. The prayers were not obligatory in other coun­tries. But Pius urged Catholics ev­erywhere to pray for the defeat of the enemies of his temporal sovereignty, and granted in­dul­gences to all who would recite the prayers for his intentions.

    In 1870 Rome fell to the revolutionaries and the army of the royal House of Savoy. Pius IX shut himself up in the Vati­can, ex­commu­nicated those who had seized the papal territo­ries and re­fused to recognize the legitimacy of the gov­ern­ment the usurpers had set up. Thus began the “Roman Ques­tion” — the issue of what accommodation, if any, could be reached between the le­gitimate tem­poral claims of the Supreme Pontiff and the gov­ernment of the new Italian state which exercised de facto con­trol over the pope’s states. The question would weigh heavily on the hearts of popes for nearly sixty years.

    In the 1880s, anti-clerical mobs, egged on by the Ma­sonic lodges, repeatedly demonstrated against Pope Leo XIII, and even attempted to throw the remains of Pius IX into the Tiber. The government enacted a series of laws against the Catholic clergy, and by the end of the decade would confis­cate the goods of Catholic chari­ta­ble associations.”

    Today’s problems seem oh so mild in comparison!

    1. Really – nothing like mixing two historical periods that have so little in common. So, let’s go back to the Papal States and the Pope as a secular ruler fighting to retain his power and property (sorry, should have used “temporal” rather than “secular”) and compare that to today……as you say, “….having historical knowledge of this might put the current rather mundane events in the papacy into proper perspective”

      Mundane – really? guess it all depends upon your definition of mundane (or how deep you have buried your head in the sand).

      “having historical knowledge” – yep, all for that and if only you could start to begin your actual studies.

      Not sure you want to spend time away from your blog and your latest liturgical inventions – “ancient mass – AM” and “revised ancient mass – RAM” (of course, wrongly implemeneted and appears often as a “human” liturgy). How quaint! And it reveals the depth of your historical knowledge.

      1. Follow up to “relevant” historical comparisons:

        Mentioned in today’s German papers –

        “In fact, Gabriele is not the first spy to be exposed there. In what is now an almost forgotten case, there was another raven who ironically worked for another pope who had chosen the pontifical name Benedict. Rudolf von Gerlach, the papal chamberlain, tried to thwart the policies of Benedict XV, who was intent on safeguarding the Church’s neutrality during World War I.

        Von Gerlach, who enjoyed considerably more influence than Gabriele, a simple butler, fostered excellent ties with Germany and its allies. While he was accused of treason, Benedict XV was caught in the crossfire and viewed himself as a victim of an anti-clerical conspiracy.

        And what happened to von Gerlach, the raven? Though sentenced to lifelong imprisonment, he was eventually released. He then lived in Switzerland, where he abandoned the priesthood, lived an extravagant life and nurtured extremely close ties with the pope in Rome for the rest of his life.

        In other words, being briefly detained in the Vatican’s dungeon doesn’t necessarily mean the end of one’s career.”

        Can’t wait for the movie!

  7. Bobby, sorry to have “come off” as such.
    I actually approached my responses to Kim in a deliberate and similar manner as Fr. Ruff has employed to challenge broad assertions.
    And my reference to the parable was simply meant to remind us all of the gravity of what may underly our emotional statements.

    1. My understanding is that Father Ruff gets time off from teaching one course for moderating this blog, so he has a teacher’s privilege and duty to challenge people’s assertions when they might mislead people about liturgy, or even when they might profit from thinking more deeply about the matter.

      The reason we have a moderator and contributors is so that we have some order and management in the blog.

    2. No need to apologize Charles, like the father in the parable you mentioned, I forgive you.

  8. I’m aware of this group and would like to participate but in my situation I am fairly certain that there are reprisals against priests who are involved.

    1. That’s the issue and why these groups are forming. Fear, reprisals, etc. – as they say, “all it takes is for good folks to do nothing in the face of evil”.

      Thanks for posting, Fr. Ruff. If possible, please post your presentation and Gaillardetz, if possible. Heard him speak at Univ. of Dallas over a year ago – he was excellent.

  9. Thank you, Kim.
    In my experience, naïveté and understanding of ethics, particularly Catholic, there is always need to personally apologize.
    May God, again, bless us all, amen.

  10. My understanding is that Father Ruff gets time off from teaching one course for moderating this blog, so he has a teacher’s privilege and duty to challenge people’s assertions when they might mislead people about liturgy, or even when they might profit from thinking more deeply about the matter.
    The reason we have a moderator and contributors is so that we have some order and management in the blog.

    Jack, you have been quite kind and courteous many times. Your clarification of AWR’s moderator status is an example. That said, I’m not sure that my initial response in any way challenged or prevented folks from thinking more deeply about broad assertions declared about liturgy. Yes, AWR’s address will concern itself with issues of MR3, a significant topic in the scope of liturgy. But, I think we all know that his address will likely not be confined to liturgical affects of MR3, but the ecclesial sausage-making machine that has, yes, behaved poorly and unjustly particularly as regards his own direct contributions and rebuke. And in that he will also address “what can be done about it” within the sort of proletariat context of the whole thread topic, seems less about teaching privilege and more about political organization.
    Trying to remain a member in good standing of the loyal opposition here at PTB often can prove a labyrinthian task. Okay, so I agree that the manner by which I questioned Kim’s assertions, terms and intent is viewed as counter-productive. But I still don’t have any tangible evidence or answers to consider from her response, other than I’m “out of the loop” or must google (what exactly?) to verify clerical dissention demographics from mangerial studies. And what entity exactly is the “cesspool”-the Church, the papacy, the curia (duh!), the heirarchy, etc. And, pardon me, there remains some dissonance when BXVI is dubbed incompetent when there is much evidence to the contrary.
    In the meantime, no one moderated (save for Fritz) the characterization that my concerns with Kim’s assertions prove me a “pompous windbag….out of the loop…..a (witless) first class passenger on the Titanic (unconcerned) with its sinking….” and so forth.
    And, Jack, in all honesty, though you assumed I, like Kim, was “upset,” really I was just curious as to how her chain of reason indicated a truly global assessment of doom and gloom for the existence of the RCC. Really?
    That would be just as intellectually dishonest as me declaring that because everything vis a vis MR3 had gone pretty swimmingly well out in little ol’ Fresno (bring on the Fresno jokes) proves that everything’s fine in RCC Glocamorough.
    Actually, we have “issues” out here in CA that aren’t pleasant at all. But we are working on them as best WE can. Whom do we follow? Paul, Peter, Apollos, Kung or Alinsky? Of course not. Ultimately each of us, when becoming “we,” have to first choose to take up our cross and follow Christ first. Cliched, yes. Also happens to be true I believe.

    1. Charles,

      Thanks for this extended comment. You might want to look at my comment above for more perspective

      Of the three environments in which I have functioned, the mental health system, the parish, and academia, I have found the mental health system the best. I have a far different set of talents than most social workers who are in mental health management. I was always amazed at how unthreatened they were by my talents and how easily they put all those talents to benefit of the organization.

      Academia can be very collegial but it is also very competitive; I was very happy to find that I could have a full time research assistant, the equivalent of tenure in exchange for doing applied research in the mental health system.

      My experience of parishes has been halfway between. Because of our Christian values it can be a very supportive and caring place like the mental health system. But unfortunately people in the church are far more easily threatened by ideas and talent than are social workers, and unfortunately are often judgmental rather than supportive of people.

  11. a theology of sexuality “rooted in the actual experiences of the faithful”

    That sounds like a disaster. Will this renewed theology of sexuality smile upon pornography, masturbation, sex before marriage, “open” sexual relationships (even within marriage), polygamy/polyandry, not to mention things like the sexual “emancipation” of children?

    When can other theologies be revised to be rooted in our actual experiences? Ones that take into account corporate greed, lazy work ethics, etc.

    1. Jeffrey – the reason to refer to the actual experiences of the faithful is to observe the actual results of the practices, not to give a blanket approval to them. For example, many of the faithful have seen for themselves the damage caused by refusing divorce to people whose marriage has broken down. They have also seen good results when some divorced people remarry. “Situational ethics” sounds like a terrible idea, but lay people have seen good divorces and terrible annulments!
      I think this is the first time I’ve seen anyone imply that the laity is less sensitive to the sexual “emancipation” of children than the bishops!
      Again, many lay people are very familiar with the effects of corporate greed, and would like to see the bishops give at least a fraction of energy they devote to sexuality to issues of economic justice!

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