Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Youth Gone Wild' (Not the Skid Row song,..)

 I speaking about recent headlines regarding a Bishop in Wisconsin urging parishioners to forgive and not gossip.  In spirit I agree, but in practicality?  It becomes quite a daunting task.  Bishops are charged with an enourmous responsibilty, pretty much to care for the souls of his diocese and shepherd them home to Heaven.  In plain english, on judgement day, I would hate to be a Bishop standing before Our Lord when He returns as Just Judge.  That's why he has priests to aid him,.the thing is, the younger priests actually believe in what the Church teaches.

Bishop Morlino issued a pastoral letter because one parish in his diocese began to actually follow the correct liturgical procedures.  Basically, the priests assigned to St Mary's follow a traditional spirit, so no alter girls, no extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.  This caused hurt and strife among the faithful who had not been used to this sort of thing.  Whether or not the priests explained a little catechesis on the 'whys' and 'why nots' remains unclear.  The point of contention in all of this, is that essentially this is what happens when bishops were timid, lukewarm, heterodox/liberation theologians(1970s style..) or in any other way exercized their ministry in opposition to the Magisterium.  The people in the pews became pawns for dioceses that went a little goofy, and a whole generation of Catholics were lost and not fed.  In its place a chancery office full of bureaucrats and 'professional' katholics took its place, drumming the usual nonsense(women's ordination, ecology,.yadadadada),..  Now that the tide is turning, the aging dinosaurs of socialism are huffing and puffing (usually because of all the bad weed from the 60s) about how the Church is going backwards. 

Younger priests are Vatican II priests.  That means when the call came, they understood and were ready to forsake a biological family in order to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice.  They believe in the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  Younger Bishops are also being consecrated and placed into dioceses.  The result, has been an upswing in vocations (see here) and this disturbs the 'spirit of VII' mentality.  As far as Alter girls are concerned,.this is an excellent article (see here).  Now the million dollar question,  what would I do if God willing I am ordained and assigned to a heterodox parish?  The short answer is pray.  However I would probably do a series of homilies instructing the Faithful as to what the Church teaches and why.  I would use the Catechism, and Vatican II plain and simple!  My own parish priest has shown me a great example, as he catechizes during his homilies and slowly but surely has brought Christ, truly present in the most Blessed Sacrament back as the focal point.  Alter girls?  Well traditionally alter boys have been the breeding grounds or garden for growing future priests. I would not exclude girls, but would attract the boys by maybe doing a little less arts and crafts, maybe a little more paintball!  As Scripture says, sometimes you have to be as meek as the lamb, but as wise as the serpent!  Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit has a way of working things out.  Where the diocese is faithful, vocations are abounding, where it is uhhh, 'different' well not so much. 

As lay people we are called to fully participate in the Eucharist, not by taking the place of the priest, but instead uniting our prayers to his, as he leads us to Christ.  We give audible responses and can share in different ministries.  Marriage preparation?  Absolutely!  However Liturgical functions?  I mean if we can't see something off with lay people blessing babies as their parents approach for Eucharist,..we need to rethink why have priests.  The Church is not a democracy.  She is a divinely instituted reality by Our Lord Himself!  Why we obey the Magisterium, is because Christ intended it that way!  Plain and simple! 

I commend Bishop Morlino,especially for trying to keep his flock together, but I challenge all Bishops to teach.  We, and our parents, (usually a lot more goofy in the Liturgy than we would care for..) are the lost generations.  We need to meet Jesus, not as a nice guy, or social justice model, or champion of the environment,..blah, blah, blah,.If you haven't gotten a younger priest yet, they are on their way!  Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion.  They will probably wear a cassock, and be open to celebrate the Extraordinary Form as well.  Will you support them?  Pray for them?  Encourage them?  One word best describes this new generation of priests, orthodox!  Remember this journey of life ultimately ends with Heaven or hell, and all they want to do, their very 'being' if you will is to aid the Bishop in shepherding souls!

St Thomas Aquinas,................ora pro nobis.

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