Monday, October 26, 2009

Hyacinth five weeks later

Five saturdays ago, the bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon took possession of St. Hyacinth. These two pictures are from this morning, Monday 26 October 2009. The site is still clean, but barren. The doors are gone, replaced by painted board, latches and padlocks. The welcoming sign of proclamation is gone, as is the interior stained glass. The people are gone. Very efficiently, very regimentally the parish was stripped.
Compare them to these two below and this one. The monument for the parishioners, whom did die in the service of the nation, during the second world war is gone too.
What once was memoralised, and what once was vibrant, open and welcoming, and was promised to continue, is now pilfered, destroyed and abandoned. A way of community life is gone.

The local briton Calgacus says this about the invading, conquering empire his people were visited with:
solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant
they make a desert, and call it peace recorded in Tacitus', De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae

This is the first station of the cross (Jesus is condemned to death and Pilate washes his hands of the affair) that had been in the church of St. Hyacinth. A similar photograph, by a different camera, is at this site. The entire set of fourteen is available for $5,000. Yes, the diocese is now a market. The items that have adorned parish churches for generations are now disposable for cash. People, not mercantile bureaucrats in episcopal robes, donated time, money, labor, emotions, devotion and more to their spiritual communal homes; and now a rigid bureaucrat has taken up the rĂ´le of corporate raider and determined liquidator. Yes, these are the activities that are applauded in the american marketplace. That is the ethos of capitalism. But the people, the poor, the immigrants created these parishes and furnished them. They were not capitalists, they were christians.

The reasons given, and accepted, to, and by the media and public are not even debated. Their flaws and inaccuracies are not discussed. Counter arguments, logic and alternatives are not given air or exposure. The reasons given are mendacious. In the article, written by Gabriel Baird, the bishop's spokesman, Robert Tayek, says, "It is very costly to close a parish.". The obvious, unwritten response, is: then just keep them open!

I have learned through life's experiences, that, when people say,"it isn't the money", it IS the money. American history has shown this too. In the scandal to cover up the crimes of Watergate, the reporter Bob Woodward's source, W. Mark Felt, tells him to "follow the money". While demographics explain the reduced number of parishioners, in part, it does not cover the reasons for the current wave of suppression. So many viable and fully functioning parishes are being suppressed for reasons not stated. Many of these parishes can survive, even without creative help. Of course, help would make their course more manageable. This ruthless despotism, in evidence, is not a pastoral approach. If one was acting in the way of Jesus, he might ask himself, "what parish would Jesus close?". But Jesus says, "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

1 comment:

  1. Even the Communists and Nazis were afraid to close churches -- especially in Poland. But in this country where freedom of religion has always reigned, the Catholic bishop closes Catholic Churches for no good reason! This crime is in a way worse than what the godless Communist or Nazis ever committed against the Church because it is being carried out by someone who should lead his flock, stand firm in defense of every parish, and know better.