Some bitter, terribly un-well-researched comments have been coming in from a certain – I don’t know what – perhaps student teacher at a certain not-very-famous-for-anything Catholic institution situated in the chemical waste dump of the eastern USA, trying to bait yours truly into some sort of sword fighting in the comments box so as to give himself some claim to fame (not that I have any stature for that whatsoever anyway, but we go back to his lack of research), but I digress before we even begin.
What started him off was the usual self-hero worship of being tough with abuse when everyone agrees that we must all be tough on abusers. He cuts and pastes an old diatribe against Father Gordon MacRae which cherry picks bits and pieces out of context and arranges them in such a way that some anti-Catholics would applaud. All such rebuffs are answered by the record from which context they were ripped. Text without context is pretext. Journalists too numerous to name here have shown the malice and hypocrisy of such self-promotion. Those who try to ensure that no due process is granted to priests are, in my opinion, eager to see more abuse. People will get tired of innocent priests being killed off as scapegoats, and then will not listen even to real victims. In his fail to get street-cred in this way, he moves on to aim his cannon at yours truly (my emphases and [comments]), using my recent post as a foil for his diatribe: Bacon sniper priests: tools of the trade. It’s a matter of charity. Warning: anti-gun person here…
======== According to the Code of Canon Law:
Can. 285 §1. Clerics are to refrain completely from all those things which are unbecoming to their state, according to the prescripts of particular law. [So, if I were a bishop[!], I would have a particular law forbidding clerics from dancing on table tops at wedding receptions singing pop songs that are unbecoming for them to sing. It’s happened.]
§2. Clerics are to avoid those things which, although not unbecoming, are nevertheless foreign to the clerical state. [e.g., trading on “the floor” at Wall Street exchange.]
The previous (i. e., 1917) Code was even clearer: [when clarity is wanted, go back! Note that pretty much all of this was removed from the new Code for good reason.]
Can 138. Clerici ab iis omnibus quae statum suum dedecent, prorsus abstineant: indecoras artes ne exerceant; aleatoriis ludis, pecunia exposita, ne vacent; !!! arma ne gestent, nisi quando iusta timendi causa subsit; venationi ne indulgeant, !!! clamorosant antem nunquam exerceant; tabernas aliaque similia loca sine necessitate aut alia iusta causa ab Ordinario loci probata ne ingrediantur. [He edited that.]
According to Fr. Woywod’s always-valuable commentary on the old Code: [I haven’t looked any of this up, so we’ll just take his reporting for the sake of argument.]
“114. Clerics must abstain from all things that are unbecoming their state: they must not exercise unbecoming arts [like what, the black arts? O.K.!]; not play games of chance with money [what about parish bingo with the money going to the soup kitchen? That doesn’t count!]; not carry weapons, unless there is justified cause for fear [so, the very thing he wants to attack me for is given an excuse in the very text, whose mention of “justified cause”, given my history overseas, by the way, I have, or does he not know me, and so is judging me with no due process just like he did with Father MacRae? Interesting.]; not indulge in hunting [“indulge” is very different from the “need to go”: language is important, and this distinction is confirmed:] and never in that kind of hunting that is done with much display and publicity [the separation of the general from the particular leaves the general up to the necessity of the situation; obviously, fox hunting U.K. style, with trumpets and pageantry and tea is supremely ridiculous at least to this mountain boy.]; not visit saloons and places of the same nature except in cases of necessity or for any other just cause approved by the Ordinary. (Canon 138.) [For instance, when the Legion of Mary tromped right into a brothel, knelt down and recited the rosary, putting all to shame and helping them to enter into a better life, thus getting their start way back in the day. It’s pastorally imprudent at times to legislate particulars.]
115. Even those affairs that are not unbecoming to the clerical state, but are foreign to it, the clergy must avoid.” [“affairs”… like… I don’t know… with all these undefined terms… say… like… being an executioner for those whose death-row term is up at the local prison, or, in my opinion, being on the jury of a capital case or any case when possibly knowing the fuller story from the confessional…]
========= And then our ex-seminarian (my hypothesis) adds this comment:
Personally [this is his personal attack against me though he doesn’t even know me. I certainly have never heard of him], I find that “conservative” temperament [It’s always about feelings with liberals, always] amongst [“-st”!] the clergy [so, he singles out the clergy to do some hating] just as cafeteria-like [as who? himself? So, he’s doing this to rationalize his own cafeteria Catholicism? There we have it.] when it comes to certain practices [like what? “gender appropriate” practices? In his mind?]: hunting, guns, [a woman cop sent me a beautiful email describing her day on the range with sniper rifles, commending me for a good day out with the boys as she put it] sitting around [I tend to stand for intense but enjoyable discussions which he despises in puritanical fashion] drinking booze [I don’t drink], smoking cigars [I don’t smoke at all], etc. [surely everything] — all apparently [“apparently”] forbidden to clerics in the pre-Conciliar Church. [There’s a strong argument, emotional too, you know, with a mention of pre-Conciliar and all that: “You… you… you hate Vatican II. So predictable. No, I don’t hate Vatican II.] (Remember the old yarn about the poor Seminarian thrown out of Seminary due to the fact that he cherished that one cigarette more than his vocation?) [And there it is, an old yarn from a gossip monger.]
========= My comment: Dear friend: The answer to your flailing about is Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. Go to Confession. Why? Glad you asked. Here’s your answer. The priesthood is not evil. What are you doing with your life? Join your priests in getting crucified. We need you and we need your prayers and we need your encouragement. We are weak and frail and fragile and are bound to deny our Lord at any time. O.K. But be there for us. Don’t be triumphal against us. Work with us. Our Lord did, from the cross, when we had all run away. Your mother is calling you…
P.S. Why feed the trolls? There are so very many. Converting them is part of reaching into the darkest of existential peripheries so as to help point people to Jesus and to the Immaculate Conception.