Friday, March 20, 2015

Culture and Bishops

The parents of the artist marching in Cleveland's Polish Constitution Parade, 1 May 2011.

During the time the parishes that were closed, while under appeal, in Cleveland, they were not all silent. With street vigils, and participation in parades they showed the greater community they were alive. The daughter of one of the parishioners of Saint Casimir made a collage of photographs into a banner. She superimposed the text:
What lives on when we are gone?
Our Beliefs, Traditions and Culture.
Hundreds of church closings = millions of lives disconnected from their past.
One of the false criterion was (and is) the church(es) could not financially maintain themselves. This is the most easily believed falsity publicly presented. Most of these parishes had significant monies in the bank, no debt, paid all diocesan assessments, and had properties of value. And of course none of that is as important as the continuation of a parish. She placed these words on the lock:
The church has the funding...Why is the bishop locking the doors to our home?
Rome decreed in strong language on documents that Saint Casimir and ten other parishes in Cleveland, Bedford, Lakewood, and Akron must be immediately be made open to the faithful. All decrees were dated 1 March 2012. Saint Casimir, and Saint John the Baptist had Homecoming Masses on 15 July 2012. The last of the eleven, Saint Emeric, after repeated prodding from within America and elsewhere celebrated their homecoming 4 November 2012.

Since then, the girl who made the poster has had her wedding at Saint Casimir. Parish life continues formally in all these parishes; but there are other parishes that are trying to survive their bishop's designs.

One reason that many of these parishes are being made to go extinct is their cultural character. American bishops have long held an animosity to nationality parishes. These are the parishes targeted again and again, here and there.

1 comment:

  1. The ethnic enclave churches were an innovation of America. Some bishops promoted it, some did not. It was only possible in America because so many immigrants showed up from so many places at once. Eventually they 'assimilated' more, intermarried, got televisions, and scattered to the suburbs.