Oves meæ vocem meam áudiunt, et ego cognósco eas, et sequúntur me:When the Church was persecuted and had Mass in the catacombs, the image of Jesus was that of the Good Shepherd. Now, in the ancient world, this was a demeaning and unprestigious work. But Jesus knew what a 'Good Shepherd' would do. He would protect his flock, he would put his life on the line versus ravenous beasts that would harm or devour the sheep. This was love. The first requirement for a pastor, a good shepherd is to love his flock.
My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. — John x.27.
A bad shepherd does not love his sheep. He would not gather the lost, he would scatter or butcher them. Jesus spoke in metaphor, to illustrate by comparison and extended visual imagery and thought. Here in Cleveland, Ohio, our chief pastor, the bishop, Richard Gerard Lennon is a bad shepherd. If he lacked pastoral ability or was lazy, it would not be so bad, he goes far beyond that. He takes great measures to actively harm.
He bungled in Boston, a larger and more prestigious post. It is an archdiocese. He was sent to a smaller bishopric to rehabilitate himself, and we were the victims. He is fashioning his own diocese, the Diocese of Lennongrad.
He hates us, or at least many of us. When he extinguished the parish of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Akron, he said inappropriately referring to himself in the position of Jesus calling to the unwilling apostles, he said Jesus "let them go". No, Jesus would not behave like Lennon.
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. What think you? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray? And if it so be that he find it: Amen I say to you, he rejoiceth more for that, than for the ninety-nine that went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. — Matthew xviii, 11-14.Not only does he hates us. He dissembles (that is a very polite way to say 'lies'). He has people lie for him. Bob Tayek lies to the press for the record. Do they believe that we can not remember what had happened a few months previous? Is their contempt for our intelligence, knowledge and memory that great? John Maimone, his finance man, lied at Cleveland State about not knowing anything about Saint Casimir's current appeal. It is not allowed, under canon law, for a parish's patrimony to be sold while under appeal. Casimir's real estate is priced at $975,000*, St. Casimir's prayer leader, months earlier, wrote to the officer in charge of 'parish reconfiguration', Jim Armstrong, concerning an inventory of objects. Armstrong acknowledged the letter by return post.
The reasons given for parish extinctions do not correspond to the teachings of Jesus, the laws and traditions of His Church or reality. Point after point of the stated reasons do not fit for parish after parish. Parishes are created to be PERPETUAL. They are trans-generational.
Ethnic parishes that have healthy bank accounts are the preferred targets of closure. Why? First of all Lennon despises the nations of eastern europe. He has virtually eliminated them. For some nations there will be only one ethnic parish for them in the eight counties. Only the poles will have several open (after nine are taken from them). Many of these suppressed parishes have possessions and property that are convertible to cash. And it is not frugality, that drives Lennon. He is quite willing to burn through money. He also wants a capital spending plan. He has tried to push it upon his clergy, they tell him, that, the people are not happy. He does not care. Yet the gullible or the dishonest say these parishes can't pay their bills. They even pay the bishop's 16½% assessment, two or three times the country's average. He wishes to rob the ancient, the poor, the traditional for a modern, current creation of his liking. If we consider the pre-dominately urban parishes that have many african american members, well to-day he suppressed St. Cecilia. He will have closed six of these east side parishes at the end of his first five year plan.
He has shown contempt to people in particular. He is mean spirited and vindictive. He is abusive and/or dismissive. He has banned priests from the diocese, while claiming clergy shortage. The Sanguinists (Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood) are being booted from the two parishes they have pastored. Our Lady of Good Counsel, in which they have ministered for over a century, is being re-named. He has refused priestly faculties to foreign priests.
Lennon does not know or like his sheep, nor is he willing to know them or try to like them. He scatters them forcibly. He is reducing his flock by the thousands. He does not believe in mediation or conciliation. He is a tyrant. He knows no law but himself. Lennon is either paranoid, or as some suggest wishing to portray himself as a victim, in the police presence he employs. He has been reported by many to wear a bullet proof vest. The psychological portrait is horrendous. Such behavior in a textbook is pathological, it would be listed as "sociopathic".
*postscriptum: as of 3-4 May 2010, the St. Casimir listing was absent from: http://www.ccdsales.org/cleveland.php
but still at: http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/Looplink/Profile/Profile.aspx?LL=true&LID=16595286&STID=cbre
**postscriptum: as of 5 May 2010 the webdress reads:
can be found at: