Friday, March 30, 2012

Billboard on Carnegie, Downtown Cleveland

This is to-day's addition to the electronic billboard on Carnegie Avenue, west of East 14th Street.

To-day, in the afternoon, there will be a presbyteral council meeting in the Roman-rite diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. One of the many deficiencies exhibited by Lennon, bishop of Cleveland, and cited by the Vatican decrees was his non consultation of his presbyteral council.

14. The law requires for validity that the Diocesan Bishop consult the Presbyteral Council in order to seek the advice of its members before coming to his decision regarding the suppression of a parish (canon 127 §2 and canon 515 §2). Finally, a legitimate decree should be issued, stating at least in a summary fashion the lawful motivations supporting the decision (canon 51), formalizing the Bishop's dispositions and making them manifest to those who have interests in the matter.
This was not done. In the opinion of at least one canon lawyer (and anyone with the power of logic): "To fulfill the intent of the law the bishop must approach the presbyteral council before he has already made his decision."

For public consumption, and to falsely impress parishioners, a long "pre-clustering" and "clustering" process was enacted for the parishes. This has no canonic role, and was only used to buttress the actions of Richard Lennon. They were cited to show agreement and participation, never were they used to show disagreement. They were a farce.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have you any idea how much trouble...

Jean Anouilh wrote the play, Becket, ou L'Honneur de Dieu, in 1959 for the Paris stage. It was translated to English, and won a 'Tony' in New York City in 1961. Beckett was made into a Hollywood movie in 1964. The king was played by Peter O'Toole, and Richard Burton played the eponymous saint.

If you view the film, you can hear this exchange on this clip from 0.40 - 0.48:

Henry II: Have you any idea how much trouble I took to make you noble?
Thomas Becket: I think as I recall you pointing a finger saying ‘Thomas Becket, you are noble.’ ...
In regards to an authority trying to explain his difficulty in getting something done we have this in to-day's news:

"As I hope you can appreciate, this is a very complex matter with no easy or perfect solution. With the help of a number of advisors - including members of the clergy, laity and experts in church law - I am carefully studying and seeking to fully understand the decrees. I can assure you that this is not nearly as clear-cut as it may appear on the surface. Although the decrees are brief in length, they are deep in underlying meaning and I continue to receive significant input and clarification."
This document has been made available to the media, and they have made it available to all (click here), paper copies will be available at this weekend Masses. It is also available from the chancery (click here). Also note the media presented version is on official stationery, the chancery version is not. Both are without a human signature, a printed graphic is substituted.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mass of Thanksgiving for Roman Decrees

Ken Robinson of WTAM 1100 interviews parishioners
Banners of Parish Patrons (Barbara, Emeric, Wendelin, James, Patrick, Casimir) surrounded by Italian marble
Before Mass begins
Father Robert Begin, Pastor of St. Colman
Reverend Kenneth Chalker, Pastor of University Circle United Methodist
"I don't know how your churches could have been suppressed in the first place"
A Mass for Diocesan Restoration was held Sunday afternoon, 25 March 2012 at Saint Colman's. Virtually all the attendees were from the several Cuyahoga County parishes ordered to be re-opened. The chancery sent no one (at least publicly). No other priests came. Three television stations, one radio station, and a couple of still photographers were there.

Father Begin recalled how St. Colman was also listed to be disappeared, but was saved through much immediate action. He also spoke of how hurt upon hurt took room, in the heart where love then would not have room, and now there is opportunity for the hurt to be removed.

Reverend Chalker spoke simply and exceedingly well on the thesis that how could such parishes be suppressed? The faith was vital, the resources, and will was there. God wants church doors to be opened and not locked. These churches were doing successful missions even while the city was crumbling about them. Truly, Rev. Chalker had a clearer understanding, and deeper feeling than the author of these troubles.
postscriptum i: March 25 is also Saint Dismas' Day, who is a patron of prisoners

postscriptum ii:
Rev. Chalker quoted an inscription from a church (built during Oliver Cromwell's dictatorship and time of ecclesial destruction) at Staunton Harold, Leicestershire,In the year 1653 when all things Sacred were throughout the nation Either demolisht or profaned Sir Robert Shirley, Barronet, Founded this church; Whose singular praise it is, to have done the best of things in the worst of times, and hoped them in the most callamitous. The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

postscriptum iii: 27 March 2012. The attendance, at the Mass, was c. 700.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Billboard speaks for Rome

This message has been added to the rotation at Carnegie west of East 14th.
and this is how it looks on the electronic board

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Catholic Billboards

Recently, an electronic billboard urged the Bishop of Cleveland to obey Rome, and re-open the churches of thirteen (13) parishes, and to return those parishes to status quo ante 2009. Well, this afternoon that original notice has been put on a paper billboard on West 20th and Lorain, visible to those travelling westward. (the photographer was hassled by a motorcycle cop) The West Side Market bell tower is visible in the background.
Now, the original message on Carnegie's electronic board has two messages. One is a bi-lingual (English, Italian) thank you to the Vatican, with the emblem that is on the Vatican State flag. The other that is far more timely, and for the immediate future welcomes all people to Saint Colman's for this Sunday afternoon (1.30 p.m.) for a Mass of Thanksgiving.
The benefactress, who arranged and paid for these public announcements has been interviewed about the original sign by WTAM 1100 radio. Expect to see the messages for the next four weeks. Radio reporter Collen O'Neill interviewed the parishioner, Elaine Carroll (née Ondrejka), who has valiantly advocated for her parish, Saint Wendelin's, and all parishes of the Cleveland diocese.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Surveillance Sunday

"Cleveland has led the way," he said. "And now the people of Cleveland need to keep working to get those churches open right away." — Victor Anop of Mater Dolorosa in Holyoke, Massachusetts as quoted in to-day's Cleveland Plain Dealer

Yes, Cleveland's parishes are making news across the continent. The drama has been written up for a third installment in the Los Angeles Times (click here).
Outside Saint Casimir, another consecutive Sunday service took place. More praying, singing, sharing of news. Yesterday, they marched for Saint Patrick. To-day some of the banners they marched with were on the fence. They had new visitors. Sure, a couple came again from nearby Saint Vitus; but there was a continuous police presence. Now, on the Day of Eviction (8 November 2009) 27 Cleveland cops were there on behalf of Richard Lennon. Since then, a sheriff's car would come by and wave; and less frequently a Cleveland police cruiser would do the same; but to-day, constant surveillance was maintained, and photos were taken. Rome ordered the parishes to be given back to the parishioners, did Lennon think the people would take Roman words to heart, and retake the church? Well, it was another easy assignment for the police.
Before the service the first patrol car stops, and the policeman speaks to some of the early arrivals.
Police stakeout: Later, the first police car is to be replaced by a second.
Saint Casimir's address is at the corner of E.82nd and Sowinski. This car was just a bit west of that on Sowinski.
postscriptum: What looked so odd to begin with, turned out to be the protective interest of the local police toward the parish.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cleveland's Saint Patrick's Day 2012

The daffodils are blooming in northern Ohio. The record high for the the 17th of March, in Cleveland, had been 72°F in 1945. Franklin Roosevelt was president. To-day the temperature was 77°F. Someone could send a note to the idiot senator from Oklahoma, who is in the petroleum companies' pocket, Jim Inhofe; but since he is both against science and education, he may not understand marks upon paper. The televisions were forecasting 20,000 marchers, and 400,000 people in audience for Cleveland's 145th Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
Diesel is an handsome Belgian draft horse. People like to bring horses to parades, and people like to see horses. His hooves were just spray painted.
And the same goes for dogs. Tuck and Reo are very friendly, gentle, and well behaved Newfoundlanders.
Historical re-enactors plus a horse are a crowd pleaser. Perhaps someone will find out what a Buffalo soldier did in the U.S. cavalry. Parades help to appreciate culture, and history.
Catholic parades are a social event for Catholic organisations, some of which also like grand military costume. Sheathing their swords are two members of Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights of Malta), on the right is Dominic from St. Rocco's. They want to be part of the re-opening of Saint Casimir's, behind them is a Cadillac.
And parades have floats, before they are staged and landed can make an interesting foto. Generations of religious sisters taught children. Those children remember them, some with great fondness, and some with great fear.
Some participants are circus characters properly attired for the occasion.
Groups take their own posed cheese shots. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin Lions.
Four Knights of Saint John stand for a photograph with the parishioners of St. Casimir-in-exile.
Of course, parades like visitors to see them.

Read the Sign

Bishop of The Cleveland Catholic Diocese,
Parishes Decreed to be Reopened by the VATICAN

Wherefore he hath sent the part of the hand which hath written this that is set down. And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES. And this is the interpretation of the word. MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it. THECEL: you are weighed in the balance, and are found wanting. — Daniel v. 24-7. DRC

And the signs said: "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls,
And whisper'd in the sound of silence. — Paul Simon
A mother and daughter, who are both very, very, proud, and fervent Slovak Catholics of the Roman rite, who are very loyal and spirited members of Saint Wendelin of Cleveland, a parish which is ordered to be re-opened, and are living in Texican exile, have paid for this electronic billboard on East 14th and Carnegie. Catch it between advertisements for tires, and cigars.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Resurrection Candle for Homecoming

Wieslaw 'Edek' Adamczewski has come up with elegant ideas. He and, his wife, Anya are the 'art department' for St. Casimir-in-exile. This one concerns the re-opening of parishes. Have one lit candle pass from one parish to the next at the Mass of Homecoming. Some people will be reminded of the Olympic torch that passes from one Olympic city, to the next.

In the Church, candles are sacramentals. Candles are lit for hope, prayer, petition, and celebration. At some Tenebrae service in Holy Week, 15 (or another number) are lit, and then snuffed in succession, till the last one leaves; then the Easter candle returns to the sanctuary. The Resurrection candle, for when the church is in complete darkness, returns after the 'strepitus' (the great noise of the tomb opening, and the moment of Resurrection).

St. Peter's in Cleveland did not have a Mass of Eviction; they had a final Mass on the morning of Easter [4 April 2010]. After the packed congregation exited, and was waiting on Superior Avenue, a lit Easter candle came out in a procession. When the parish had a Mass of Reunion [15 August 2010], the candle came into the new space.

How was this Sunday Different?

For well more than an hundred Sundays, they came. The Casimiri's last Mass was a Mass of Eviction imposed upon them by Richard Lennon on 8 November 2009. The parish became, St. Casimir-in-exile. The next Sunday they met outside the church, on the sidewalk. They were born in the old country, and sang and prayed in Polish. They came the next week. The third week, their numbers grew to about five score. People came who were not parishioners, people who knew no Polish. The parish was still existing, and new people were joining. They would not surrender to suppression.

Fortunately, the Alumni engaged a canon lawyer in Rome. They were going to follow every procedure of redress, and not withdraw. This Sunday, was the first Sunday they had with knowledge that their appeal to Rome was successful. Wednesday, the 7th of March, electronic mail brought a copy of the Decree. News broke that thirteen decrees were signed, all in favor of parishioners. Richard Lennon had acted against canon law again, and again, and throughout, from the beginning. Further: "The Bishop of Cleveland is instructed to enact the implications of this Decree."
An evening street vigil was held that very night. And to-day, the usual Sunday meeting was held again. It was a warm, sunny day. There was a promise of success. They had been there in the rain, the snow, the fog, the single digits of Fahrenheit, they were buffeted by the hawk wind off Lake Erie, the summer heat and sun, and lovely days.

On the eve of the ides of March, almost exactly, three years ago the list of parishes to fall was announced. After an intense public campaign, two parishes were given reprieves. Lennon had already nicked nine notches before the list was public. After that they fell as clockwork, two were advanced forward, one was never announced.

Now, Rome has spoken; and it is answered with silence from the chancery. What will Dick do? Rome has asked him to leave, he refused [repeatedly]. He is being embarrassed by the Vatican, one story, after another. Can he not read, and comprehend, the writing on the wall?

The Divine Mercy patronage banner for a coalition of parishes protesting the unjust, and unnecessary closing, and destruction of parishes by the current Bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon.
some reporters/cameramen came early to have a story on the local newscasts
Jadwiga Zodda in the midst of the tolling for the thirteen parishes to be restored to full active, and open status. A mobile phone is held up to hear the sound to be transmitted to the people at St. Patrick's West Park's street vigil and celebration.
some of the 100+ begin lining up for group shots after the prayer service
A photographer takes the class picture with several, successive, cameras given to him.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Two of the Decrees ordering Parish Restoration

Quoting the Associated Press, "The Vatican has taken the extraordinary step of overruling the closing of 13 parishes by the Cleveland Diocese". The decrees were dated 1 March 2012, and signed by Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Prefect, and Celso Morga Iruzubieta, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, stating the closings were done in violation of Canon Law.

Decree from the Congregation for the Clergy concerning St. Patrick of Cleveland's West Park, and the bishop of Cleveland, click here.

Decree from the Congregation for the Clergy concerning St. James of Lakewood, and the bishop of Cleveland, click here.

"The Bishop of Cleveland is instructed to enact the implications of this Decree."

Old adages and a visual

Jeff Darcy, editorial cartoonist Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • The jesters and fools are the only ones who are free to speak the truth.
  • The Devil hates to be mocked, therefore, he must be mocked.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rome gives parishes a chance for Joy

Wednesday, the 7th of March 2012, welcomed news came to the Catholics of the Cleveland diocese. The details have not become, yet, public. The Roman curia, in the forum of the Congregation for the Clergy has overruled Cleveland's bishop, Richard Lennon, on 13 parish closures. Some fear that these may only be procedural details to be corrected. Lennon is free to appeal to the Apostolic Signatura (a higher curial court); even worse, he may try further suppressions, or refuse to obey Rome.

Parishioners, and friends far outside the diocese are happy, and optimistic; but at this time, we are not sure of the 13, there was a list of 14 (that the chancery only released a few weeks ago). One happy parish is St. Casimir-in-exile. They have had a Sunday street prayer vigil since their eviction on 8 November 2009. They had their first evening prayer vigil to-night under a very near full moon. Some four dozen Casimiri came, as did the local daily, and a television crew.

They prayed and sang as they always have. One of two prayer leaders, Joseph Feckanin, was especially spirited and reveled in telling the history of the last two and an half years, and Saint Casimir's prominent place in prayerful resistance to a despotic bishop. The other parishes that held vigils were mentioned, as was the last three existing Polish parishes that have not been de-polonised, or suppressed.

The bigger story is that Rome has chastised an over reaching American bishop in a manner so far overwhelmingly unique. Recently Rome has upheld the rights of a few parishes (and the laity) over their ordinary [administrative bishop], but to uphold virtually an entire slate of appeals is new. Sadly, several other parishes could, should, and would have been saved IF they were not discouraged, threatened, and sabotaged: Saint Lawrence Cleveland, Holy Trinity Lorain, Sacred Heart Akron, Sacred Heart Cleveland, Saint Cecilia Cleveland, Saint Margaret of Hungary and several others. Many parishioners were bamboozled, or steam rolled, or fell in despair.
St. Michael statue
A proud Catholic Pole with the spirit of Solidarityfriends posing in a moment of celebration
passing out prayer sheets and song lyrics before the prayer service
Daniel Fleszar holding television microphone to Joseph Feckanin
a message of a divine thanks

Monday, March 5, 2012

Anglican Stations

Ninth Station
Rev. Thomas Faulkner was the chief Red Cross officer for chaplains at the 'Ground Zero' morgue, World Trade Center, New York City. He is a priest in a suburb near Manhattan (NYC) now. He is a photographer, and artist, specialising in conceptual sculpture, the kind i often ridicule. Think of Marcel Duchamp's bicycle wheel mounted on a stool.

Now, the Anglicans are 'broad' in spirituality. Most of their churches [i suspect] would not have the Stations of the Cross as part of their sacred art, many that do, would have the simplest indication (such as the numerals). The traditional number has come to be fourteen. Faulkner has created fourteen portable stations. He mixes varied objects, with some serious photographs. Faulkner debuted these in 2003 at Minneapolis. They have visited some Episcopalian churches around the nation during Lent.

He uses regular titles (Station Three – Jesus Falls The First Time), but without an explanatory description, virtually all the stations would be indecipherable, and random, collections of objects. Now, 'modern art' has been visiting the Via Dolorosa. Barnett Newman, a Jewish, color field, abstract expressionist did a set. The canvases were oblong backgrounds of a solid color, with occasional vertical stripes (he named 'zips'). It is remarkable how many are bamboozled, often by themselves, to consider these to be profound achievements. Faulkner's metaphorical explanations make some of the stations serious, and thought provoking, and spiritually accessible and meaningful, especially the photographs.

Now, the placement is interesting. Stations seven to fourteen are inside the church, about the perimeter of the congregation seating. Eleven and ten are reversed. When entering from the parking lot, into the lobby, one is confronted with a bunch of televisions about a small legal court, beneath an iron and a scorched cloth. The iron looks to be a mitre. The second station is on the second floor. Three to six lead to the church. The cathedral's interior is beautiful, and the surroundings of the stone walls, and tile floors add to the stations.

An earlier presentation is available on the 'web', and one can compare the differences in it and the present installation at the Anglican/Episcopal Cathedral, Trinity, in Cleveland, Ohio. The greatest, visual difference is in the tenth station; once there was a photograph of the graves at Custer's Last Stand, here there are egg cartons. One can figure out the change in symbolism.

I would conjecture, that the biggest difference is the paper change in the Ninth. This is one that needs explaining. The old school girl shoes and white hose, remind me of the dead witch under Dorothy's house. Faulkner has it completely different; it is a topless saloon visited by one of Osama bin Laden's suicide plane hijackers. Now, the paper in Cleveland is its daily newspaper, The Plain Dealer. The original paper, were pages from the Koran. I would like to know the evolution, and rationale of the change. The original idea was greater by far. Was it too provocative?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Casimir's Day 2012

Before the prayers start, people assemble and chat
For the third consecutive year, the Casimiri mark, and celebrate Saint Casimir's Day in street exile; because the local bishop (Dick the Destroyer of Parishes Lennon) evicted the parishioners, and confiscated the campus, property, and money, and retired the pastor, and banished the associate pastor. As every Sunday, since 8 November 2009, they met. They began with prayers of petition for the school dead at Chardon High, and their killer, and they prayed for the dead, and injured in a train on train collision near Szczekociny, Poland.
after the songs, some bakery is shared
the day's most colorful car

Saturday, March 3, 2012

parsing flames

Saint Ignatius of Antioch in Cleveland, Ohio has seventy-five stained glass windows. Twenty-four tall, rounded lancet ones have five scenes portrayed. The bottom scene on the Last Judgement window shows the flames of Hell, and those people damned in torment. It limns the Scripture:
And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night, who have adored the beast, and his image, and whoever receiveth the character of his name. Apocalypse 14:11

The Conversion of Saint Paul, Cleveland, Ohio has a double lancet stained glass window depicting the elevation of the Host during Mass; at the bottom there is shown some souls in Purgatory, and its cleansing flames. While both scenes have tongues of flame about individuals, the condition of those engulfed is quite different. Look at the postures and faces of the people. Those in Hell have forlorn, angered, covetous, accusing countenances and gestures; those in Purgatory are in supplication, for their torment is transitory, and is being alleviated by the celebration of Mass.