Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fundamental episcopal lies about ethnic parishes

Now, one of the many lies of Richard Lennon is prefaced by a sentence similar, if not always exact to:
"A group of people were told by the bishop of this diocese, 'you leave your parish, that you love, and start a new one.' "
This was true in the baby boom, and post world war ii rush to the suburbs. Few of those parishes are being closed, and they should not be. In these ethnic parishes that statement is often 100% false.

On the 4th of December 1901, seven men (one being a cleric) petitioned Bishop Horstmann for a slovene parish for Newburgh*. They were to buy the lots and provide all funding. The parlance of the time and place, the slovenes called themselves 'krainers'. Some heard 'greiners'. The ancient name for Slovenia was Karantanija, this anglicised is Carinthia. The alpine karantanijan slavs were divided and settled into the provinces Koroška, Štajerska, Primorska, Gorejnska, Notranjska, Dolenjska, Prekmurje and Benečija. Gorenjska, Notranjska, and Dolenska were together Carniola, from this --'Kranjska' you get krajnc and krajnci, and eventually german-english 'krainer'.

Cleveland had czech parishes that identified as bohemian. There also are moravian and silesian czechs. The largest province was representing the whole.

This multiplicity of identification goes beyond that. Slovenci (slovene) is a verbal form of slava (glory). Different forms of slav-, wend, or srb are substituted or similar to each other. The germans called some slavs, 'windischer', this became 'wends' in english, and in latin/italian 'veneti' and perhaps, that became Venetia, and the venetian slavs called their home, Benečija.

On the 12th of December, the bishop 'authorized' the parish of St. Lawrence, and told the 'krainers' to use the basement of Holy Name. Now, what does this history teach us? The people asked for the parish. The people financed and built the parish, and they promised this upon the initial petition. The bishop formally approved in days. People were not forced to leave a parish, they wanted a parish. Now, once that parish is created, it is to be perpetual.

Another lie that is slandering, and libeling Saint Wendelin's has the party line proffered, that it is not a slovak parish, because slovak has not been used at Mass in twenty-five years. This is complete bullshit. Fifty years ago the language in all ethnic Masses of the latin-rite in this diocese was in latin. Wendelin in 1903 was founded as a slovak parish. Saint Lawrence, which sings hymns in slovene, to this day, was founded as a slovene parish. To-day, the priest was slovak, and the altar servers african; it is still a slovene parish.

The truth is ― most, that means a majority, of the parishes extinguished are ethnic parishes; and often with monies and properties. He kills two birds with one stone. It is part of the ethnic cleansing of the catholic church in the USA. Now, people who counter or dismiss this argument, do so stupidly or dishonestly. They do so, because the truth is ugly. There is nothing accidental in the numbers. To dismiss them is to dismiss the foundation of philosophical truth, and the freedom of speech. Two and two are always four. When someone says they are four, and is then derided, their freedom is under attack.
*Newburgh was soon annexed to Cleveland.


  1. If a few immigrant slovenes had the faith -- and the gumption -- to petition for a parish, to raise the magnificent edifice that is St. Lawrence, then the parishioners today can save St. Lawrence.

    When we re-join our ancestors in the next world we dare not tell them that some corrupt bishop -- like Lemmon and others -- took our slovenian parishes away without a heck of a good fight.

  2. Months ago, I was talking to a woman from a local ethnic parish that was experiencing a merger. We had a vigorous discussion for several minutes and at the last she said, "Why don't they just leave us alone, let us all die, then close us up?"

    At the time I found the suggestion preposterous... as someone who advocated for the reconfiguration of parishes to bring some true vibrancy to the Catholic church, I bristled at the notion of keeping underattended and nearly abandoned parishes that were no longer needed for their original mission ... to bridge the language barrier for first generation immigrants ... open for the sake of people incapable of looking forward and not backward. Now, I wonder if she wasn't right. Most of these parishes were on life support, why not put them in some sort of "parish hospice" and let them die with dignity? If the really did have some money, why not let them run out the string? It's kind of a waste of potential resources, but it seems like it would be worth avoiding all the grief...