Readers will surely recognize the parody masthead worked up by wdtprs. One happily resorts to such things when defending one’s friends. And today I should like to defend a priest-friend, indeed, many priest friends, even myself[!] from the attacks at the epicenter of all that is not Catholic.
It seems that Schismatic Reporter Peter Feuerherd has taken to attacking priests with a vengeance, choosing the very opening day of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy to do his hatchet job.
He happily reports descriptions of “‘restorationist’ approaches to liturgy and church governance.” There are complaints that the priest he is especially targeting (about 70 miles from my parish) mercifully preached about the great mercy of praying for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed during a funeral homily. Imagine that, praying for our loved ones: such a crime!
Feuerherd says that “the restoration movement, popular among some newly-ordained priests, grew during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. Broadly defined, the movement has called for a leaner, muscular church, more attached to ancient liturgical traditions with a strict interpretation of Catholic doctrines and practices.” I mean, what does he want? A more effeminate, limp-wristed Church which has no sense of the liturgy of the Lord of History? A loosey-loose understanding of doctrine and morality so that it is a virtue to believe whatever in hell you want to believe and do whatever in hell you want to do? Is that merciful, Peter Feuerherd? Just a question? Did I mischaracterize you? Put words in your mouth?
And apparently, the pastor is supposed to live in a structure that is “uninhabitable and desperately needed renovations.” We have a pastor who is on his third year of medical leave because of doing just that. Just wondering if there is any mean-spiritedness going on here. Just a question. You tell me.
Peter, you quote “A retired priest of the Charlotte diocese.” I know him. Nice guy. I really have to wonder if he said what you said he did. It doesn’t sound like him.
Anyway, the reason why I complain is that beating up on priests like this, for small things not in accord with your personal preference, that is, against them for just doing what they are supposed to do, to be priests for their flock, is a great disservice to the Church. It puts a damper on people going to confession to these priests. And that, Peter, it seems to me, while not being a civil or canonical crime, is something you’ll have to answer for before God, or at least that is my question to you. Your accusers will be those parishioners, no? Just a question you might like to answer for yourself in a quiet moment.
This year is about mercy. Let’s put the emphasis on mercy and joy and peace in the Holy Spirit, who was sent for the forgiveness of sins.