Monday, October 25, 2004

Toward an Increase in the Vocations

Yesterday in our parish we had an unfamiliar priest say Mass. Turned out that the guy was a representative appointed by Cardinal McCarrick to encourage vocations to the priesthood. Unfortunately he, having spent a couple of years as a Catholic chaplain at George Washington University, turned out to be embarassingly "hip". The best likeness I can think of is the feckless "Pastor Dave" character on That 70s Show. Yes, I do realize he was addressing the young men of high school and college age in his recruiting sermon, but it was more than a little much. Instead of trying to sound knowledgeable about "keg parties" and such, would it have killed him to mention the perceived crisis in Catholic Seminaries? He mentioned parents' attitudes encouraging or discouraging the young men who feel they might like to take Holy Orders but he could have put parents' minds a little more at ease had he addressed - specifically - whether or not there is in fact a widespread "gay subculture" in American seminaries. And, if so, which ones? And again, if so, why is it not being suppressed? And, just what the hell is being done to deal with the pederasty crisis among the clergy? We have, after all, no guarantee from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that it is being systematically combatted in the nation's dioceses. Remember that a Bishop in his own diocese has no effective check or balance on his actions, or lack thereof, other than an intervention by the Papacy. And that is not always effective. For example, in George Weigel's book, The Courage to Be Catholic, pp. 136-137:

"[In April 2002], the Pope had lunch with several American cardinals who were in Rome for the annual meeting of the Papal Foundation ... Conversation had naturally turned to the unfolding scandals in the United States, but the cardinals present - Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, William Keeler of Baltimore, and Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C. - did not seem to convey a sense of crisis. This was, they said, a time of 'purification' from which the Church would emerge stronger."

If this blind stupidity doesn't make every Catholic mad enough to spit nails, add in this ingredient: Cardinal McCarrick has repeatedly declined to deny communion to Catholic politicians who stubbornly advocate abortion "rights", stem cell research, and homosexual "marriage". One of the ways our own little "Pastor Dave" could have appropriately discharged his responsibilities from Cardinal McCarrick would be to specifically state whether the Cardinal believes there are ANY Catholic teachings that are worth defending.


Georgiana said...

Are you saying that people who support stem cell research should be denied communion? (I am not going to address the other things you appear to be stating, I just want to know about this.)

You are aware that stem cells can be made from fat and have been used for such purposes as healing the fractured skull of a child who fell from an upper story window, right?

So I'm misreading you, right? Because nobody would deny someone the ability to celebrate their spirituality simply because they are too freaking lazy to do some research and are having a knee jerk reaction to what they think stem cell research means, right?

By the way, what do you think of the new research that shows that homosensual men react differently to pheromones than straight men do? Pretty freaking awesome, huh? Isn't it amazing how God chooses to manifest in so many different ways and by making so many different kinds of people? Don't you feel blessed? I sure do!

raluke said...

Hi Georgiana, thanks very much for posting! It is very gratifying to know that someone is actually reading my blog!

About stem cell research, I'm opposed to using stem cells harvested from aborted fetuses. Any other sources about which I am aware are okay. I have in mind what I've read about recent successes using stem cells taken from (live) adults. This progress is exciting and should lead to wonderful advances in medicine.

I thought the recently reported difference in reactions to pheromone that you mention is extremely interesting. It adds ammunition to the argument that sexual orientation is something with which we are born and it isn't an acquired taste. :-) I should mention that I agree with Church teaching that homosexuals should be treated with tolerance. But I also agree with those who hold that the acceptance of homosexual *activity* in the seminaries did an awful lot to contribute to the crisis that started early in 2002. Loyalty to the Pope and to the magisterium is extremely important in the seminaries, as well as among us as lay people.

Please keep stopping back and I look forward to reading your comments in the future.

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