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Free-lancing pastors?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 10, 2004

In Boston, a clear picture is beginning to emerge: The new archbishop himself will follow the Vatican's instructions, but he won't require his pastors to do the same.

First it was the question of Communion for John Kerry; the archdiocesan spokesman said pastors should make up their own minds. Then it was the ceremonial washing of the feet; the Vatican says only men should be involved, but the same Boston archdiocesan spokesman said that pastors should decide for themselves.

Sometime soon Archbishop O'Malley will be closing down dozens of parishes. When he makes his choices, let's just hope he remembers all those pastors who decided for themselves.

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  • Posted by: principle not pragmatism - Apr. 12, 2004 8:12 PM ET USA

    How long should we wait for the Archbishop to exercise his authority? 1,5,10yrs? I've been waiting for about 35 yrs. already.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 12, 2004 10:24 AM ET USA

    Compared to his peers, Slattery is a saint. However, by objective standards, he's been a mixed bag. While extremely generous in allowing the Tridentine Mass, he sandbagged the last decent Novus Ordo Mass in the diocese (in his own cathedral) by imposing altar s (the parish had held out for years). As part of the degeneration, cathedral eucharistic ministers have taken to blessing children too young for communion -- on their own accord. Slattery has good points but he's a politician like Law.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2004 9:36 AM ET USA

    Important points from the Archbishop's homily in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma....(from our chrism Mass) ' ' ' ' ' ' but we look to the North and to Bishop Slattery of Tulsa for hope while we continue to wither on the vine.........

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 11:31 PM ET USA

    Happy Easter. I know Archb. O'Malley. Give him time. He will change the Archdiocese of Boston. But it takes time. Card. Law was a politician and tried to make everyone happy and, as we all know, didn't. O'Malley practices what he preaches first. Then he will demand obedience from the clergy. That is how he worked in the Diocese of Fall River and in the Virgin Island. Diogenes, don't mess with Archb. O'Malley. He is one of us.

  • Posted by: frjimc - Apr. 10, 2004 11:26 PM ET USA

    Dulcius ex Asperis: Every pastor knows that he should correct existing problems with deliberate care. A pastor should come into a parish and immediately put in an altar rail; he should gain the good will of the people over a little time, and catechize them on his actions. Should the bishop do differently? What is his goal: to wash only men's feet IMMEDIATELY, or to have all his pastors, eventually, return to the Church's clear teaching? Look to Alphonsus Liguori's healing approach to sin.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 7:50 PM ET USA

    Lowly Country Priest: You are, of course, quite right. But I fear that even good and holy priests like yourself (as well as most of us lay CWN readers) are voices crying in the wilderness. The wilderness I see is the once-fertile ground on which rested our Sacred Tradition.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 10, 2004 5:34 PM ET USA

    It's very clear in the Sacramentary: 12 men. No options. Priests of Boston: follow the Roman Catholic Church as you promised on the day of your ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ. If you decide to not follow the Church, then have the integrity to resign as pastors &/or formally join the Protestants that you strive to imitate. Archbp. O'Malley: Did you not receive the fullness of the Spirit of Governance? Be an Apostle & call your priests to obedience, for Christ's sake.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 10, 2004 5:25 PM ET USA

    Here's an interesting Excel spreadsheet for some energetic faithful Catholic editor at a reputable magazine (Dominic?) -- I wonder what would would happen if you charted priestly vocations in unisex footwashin' diocese versus men only footwashin' diocese? Do you imagine that, as a percentage of population, that one diocese surpasses another? And that this is a leading indicator as they say on Wall Street. Oh, I think so.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 4:58 PM ET USA

    At the Chrism Mass this week, our bishop said that the healing in the Church must begin with the conversion of individual bishops. He asked for our prayers for himself and others--apologizing with obvious emotion in his voice for the failures of his "brother bishops." God grant us more pastors like Edward Slattery!

  • Posted by: RC - Apr. 10, 2004 4:55 PM ET USA

    Let's give Abp. O'Malley some credit: he's had the gumption to close the minor seminary and send the students to St. Charles Borromeo in Philly; he retired some professors from the major seminary; he fired the head of Catholic hospitals (a participant in the "secret" confab of mostly liberal lay Catholics with USCCB officials); and the head of Catholic Charities -- which disobeyed Cdl. Law by accepting money from VOTF -- has retired. Not too bad.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 4:01 PM ET USA

    frjimc: Wonderful! The archbishop is leading gently, by example. He's doing this because we all know how crypto-apostate priests are moved to repentance and the full embrace of orthodoxy whenever a bishop leads so gently that he doesn't bother with binding instructions and consequences for failing to heed them. Well, yeah, in the Bizarro universe maybe...

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 1:17 PM ET USA

    Just another formula for standing by as the American church unravels. Our pastors are indistinguishable from wolves.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2004 1:17 PM ET USA

    Sadly, waiting for Archbishop O'Malley to become the sorely needed dynamic, orthodox prelate who puts his beliefs into action will be for Bostonians what waiting for JPII to become more than the talking pope has been for all of us. Expect some really good homilies. But don't let them get your hopes up that they will transcend the pulpit.

  • Posted by: frjimc - Apr. 10, 2004 11:29 AM ET USA

    What has happened is that leftist 'progressive' priests have actively disobeyed Church law for years, and thus have created new local tradition. Those who didn't enforce the law while it was being abrogated left an enormous task for their successor, O'Malley. It is unrealistic to expect that he will enforce a practice by edict, that many see as benign at worst, while he has two MAJOR crises on his hands -- the sex scandal and the church closings problem. He's trying to lead gently by example.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Apr. 10, 2004 11:28 AM ET USA

    An American Catholic Jesus would have put His passion to a vote among the twelve thereby reaching the consensus that is mandatory in this age of great decision makers. "Okay, should the Son of Man suffer and die in fulfillment of the scriptures or not, raise your hands for should!" "All those opposed?" "You want more discussion, Peter? What? You need clarification?"

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