Witness and testimony

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 08, 2005

A Boston Globe story about tonight's graduation ceremonies at Trinity High School begins with the announcement that one senior no longer goes to church. Later in the story, another senior at the New Hampshire Catholic school asks: "Would we be condoning [sexual abuse] if we went to church?"

About now you might be wondering just what they teach at Trinity High School. And your doubts won't be eased by this gem from yet another member of the graduating class: 'The ninth commandment says, 'Thou shalt not lie.'"

But let's be honest: It's not news that Catholic-school seniors don't know the Ten Commandments, and it's not news that many of them have ceased going to Mass. What's news about Trinity High School is the protest raised by the senior class when Bishop John McCormack was announced as the graduation speaker. After four years of spotty religious education and constant scandal, teenagers in New Hampshire don't think their bishop is a good role model.

'I feel like he lies about everything," says the young lady who has stopped going to Mass. Is it a coincidence that, having lost faith in the witness, she has lost faith in the message he preaches as well?

Does this all sound familiar?

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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Jun. 12, 2005 4:47 PM ET USA

    Verum Res, thank you. I have long wondered about this courageous priest. More importantly, I will make it a point to celebrate his feast day, attend mass, and say a rosary for the intercession of St John Fisher upon all bishops, to strengthen them and guide them. God bless our priests and nuns.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 10, 2005 11:52 PM ET USA

    Son of Mary, it was St. John Fisher. But they chopped his head off, so it wasn't long before there were no Catholic bishops in England. He shares June 22nd as a feast day with St. Thomas More.

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Jun. 10, 2005 7:02 PM ET USA

    Speaking of lousy bishops... I can't help but recall Diogenes' statement last year or so that after Henry 8 created the Church of England, all but one of the Catholic bishops "defected" to the church of henry. And so, it seems nothing changes much. Lust for power, greed, control over others, fear of losing one's position... It never really ends, does it? BTW Diogenes, who was the gutsy guy who stayed the course?

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Jun. 10, 2005 6:56 PM ET USA

    All other comments aside about these kids, I think I'm glad these youngsters expressed their disdain for this bishop. At the very least, they are salvageable. McCormack deserves more than disdain. Of course, he and his fellow travelers' arrogance and hubris will prevent them from being embarassed and looking in the mirror and seeing the truth. Holy Spirit, help me to overcome the anger I feel for the bishop so that I can pray for him and the students. FWIW, I was graduated from Trinity!

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 09, 2005 9:39 AM ET USA

    The deeper problems: (1) How men such as John McCormack rise above all other priests to become a bishop -- not at random, but deliberately chosen for the role of successor to the Apostles. (2) How poor has the teaching of the faith - centered on the holiness of Christ and not the bishops - has become so that it becomes so shallow that it evaporates over this. When a man who is a good witness is made bishop shortly after August 2005, will they return?

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jun. 09, 2005 12:31 AM ET USA

    Pray. Pray that the bishop & the students return to the fullness of the Faith in the Roman Catholic Church. Encourage them by your personal witness. Invite them to call upon an orthodox priest & to go to the Sacrament of Penance & the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The bishop is not the Church. The children are not the Church. They are sinful members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. Invite them to come Home & worship, adore, praise, thank & love JESUS as members of His Church.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jun. 08, 2005 5:12 PM ET USA

    Is it possible to agree with both jchrisostom and Louis IX? I like to think I would join the former in hectoring the Archbishop from the time he got out of his car till he entered the Church. And then join Louis, on my knees at Mass, and take Communion from him. The operative doctrine (which I have mentioned before) being ex opere operato. I would again join the hectoring crowd after he removed his vestments and returned to his limousine.

  • Posted by: Stonewall - Jun. 08, 2005 4:46 PM ET USA

    McCormack is an embarrassment, and worse. Isn't it timely for the old fool to retire?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2005 4:15 PM ET USA

    Forgive those kids, they know not what they are doing. I would love to have a year in that school as a teacher. As to the other character in the tragedy...to those that more is given, more will be expected...I wonder what a millstone around the neck feels like for EVER!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2005 12:34 PM ET USA

    McCormack is a liar, a denier, and as about as obtuse as any human can be while wearing a miter and walking at the same time. Were I one of the parents of those he was apparently rude to, he'd find me hectoring him from the moment he stepped from the rear passenger seat of his car to wherever the Mass is to take place. His comments about how he failed to realize kiddie diddling is a crime (sic) seemed almost intended to infuriate. Untutored or not, the students possess a greater moral sense.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2005 12:33 PM ET USA

    Classic baby-out-with-the-bathwater, or the "I don't go to Mass anymore because I don't get anything out of it" school of thought. These improperly-chatechized kids (and their parents) need to dig deep and show proper respect and obedience to their appointed shepherd, in spite of his serious shortcomings.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 08, 2005 8:49 AM ET USA

    Regarding the girl who thought the prohibition against falsehood was the ninth commandment -- it is so in the Greek Orthodox and Protestant (not Lutheran) traditions. Considering the sorry state of "Catholic" secondary schools, I think it probable that she was taught the non-Catholic Decalogue by a teacher at the school. Way too often, teachers in "Catholic" secondary schools are either ignorant of or contemptuous toward the magisterium; the results are predictable.