Sunday, December 20, 2009

Divine Mercy armbands debut

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, a few dozen parishioners of Saint Casimir, and a few of their friends met, in front of a chained and padlocked fence, in front of the boarded and locked church, for another weekly prayer and hymn service. The cold would not deter. They sang hymns and prayed as they have since their church was wrested from them.
a celtic lass amidst the slavs
They also shared oplatki. An oplatek is a rectangular and embossed wafer similar to an unconsecrated host, and it can also symbolise manna. Usually a family shares these at Christmas Eve supper. A piece is broken off and then the remainder is passed to another family member. People forgive each other, hug and so on. Love and reconciliation is encouraged. Some people put honey on their portion, to increase the shared sweetness of the custom. But, such a practice is not limited to the family. In the christmas season such breaking of oplatki can occur amongst any comrades, and here to-day in front of a closed church. This cultural practice began with the poles and spread to the lithuanians, slovaks and is known to other slavonic nations. Some call these christmas wafers or angel bread. It is a reminder that in a world wide faith there are many local doings that are not known universally, but still pleasant.

They announced, and introduced, the Divine Mercy armband in the cause of solidarity with all members of the diocese, in a petition to save parishes. It will be a symbol of their trust in Jesus, and a symbol and sign to others of their perseverance. They send out a welcome to others, especially to the people of Saint Barbara's, to join them, and to wear them at Mass.
formal introduction of Divine Mercy armbands
nativity tableaux with mums, roses and the mexican christmas flower
noto bene: Between the time of this event and its description Dick the Destroyer of Parishes has suppressed Saint Vitus (Croat) Lorain.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cleveland's Saint Adalbert needs to continue

view from East 83rd
lion rampant (forelegs raised, on one foot, tongue out) tail moving (in winter)
The exterior of Saint Adalbert, Cleveland is patterned after the neo-classical cathedral in Salzburg. The original czech (bohemian) congregation moved into their second home in 1911. The top of the central facade has a circular window of the bohemian heraldic lion. What, appears to be a double tail, is a twitching tail. From the inside the lion stands on a ruby red glass background, that can not be appreciated from the outside; one must remember stained glass was created to be seen with the incoming sunshine.
window under choir loft stairs
corner detail from Nativity window

The windows are of highest painterly southern german style and craftsmanship, some with czech titles and a Chicago maker's mark of Munich Studio. Several of the window's are from episodes of Jesus' life, the evangelists, fathers of the church, a prophet, a virgin martyr and mystical depictions of the Eucharist. Windows that are not visible from the main floor (nave and sanctuary) are of high decorative quality.
central dome
heraldic shield of the Apostle Simeon (Simon the Zealot)
Under a dome in the center of the church is an acoustical node, a sweet spot, where one's voice is magnified and echoes. On the inside circumference there is the shields of twelve apostles (Paul and Matthias included, Thomas absent as he was at Pentecost). Outside are portraits of the evangelists, whom are well represented in the church.
There is fine statuary and carving. There is a high altar with Crucifixion, SS. Martin de Porres, and Caspar del Bufalo (founder of the Sanguinists [Missionaries of the Precious Blood], who serve the parish and are not diocesan priests), and Moses with the tablets of commandments, and cherubs. Beneath the altar is the Scene of the Last Supper and First Celebration of the Eucharist. There are adjacent altars of Mary and Joseph of the same quality.
And as in so many churches, there are statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the near universal representations of The Little Flower, Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux, and an Anthony of Padua grouping, in which, the Baby Jesus gives bread to Anthony, whom gives bread to a beggar. The bread is a metaphor for the Eucharist and a representation of charity. There is a history of giving bread in the remembrance of Anthony.
The church is a beautiful, balanced unity. To dismember and sell off the parts would do great disservice. The church is meant to be an intact whole. The walls, the art, the structural details, decoration and presentation work well together. But the bishop, Richard Lennon wishes to suppress and dismember. There is virtually zero probability of a future liturgical community, that has a respect of this sacred space, to occupy it.
Saint Adalbert is on the edge of the Fairfax neighborhood near the other hub of Cleveland's density of day workers and financial concentration, University Circle. A number of St. Adalbert's members work in the University Circle's medical and educational institutions. It could represent catholicism to both communities.
Saint Adalbert's, of to-day, is a product of the merger of the bohemian parish and that of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in 1961. Blessed Sacrament was the first black parish in the city. That historical legacy should be enough to save Saint Adalbert.
African-american parishes are not numerous in this diocese or country. To extinguish one with so much gravitas and integrity is horrendous. It would continue a dismemberment of the community. This church is a continuing catholic landmark in an area of the county that has too little catholic presence, and needs more. St. Catherine, St. Henry, Epiphany are recently gone. St. Cecilia's parish is also slated for extinction.
There are several extremely devoted parishioners who love not only their faith in the universal church, but this particular church. This church is not lacking. It is "vibrant", that is the Madison Avenue branding term, that, is used chameleon like for whatever purpose it is wanted for by the chancery and its representatives. The bishop will be separating members of the flock not only from their parish, but some will leave the 'one true church', 'the church militant', and 'the church universal'.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bishop on stamp

Alojzij Šuštar (*1920,†2007) had been the metropolitan archbishop of Ljubljana, Slovenija. He has been recently commemorated on a postage stamp. This is significantly interesting, in that, most of his life, the government was that of communist Jugoslavija. During the war he was studying in Rome, and for several years, thereafter, he was in Switzerland. In 1993 Slovenija became independent and communist dictatorship ended. Under communism the church and its adherents were severely oppressed.

Gregorij Rožman was bishop during world war ii and the civil war. The communists won the civil war and engaged in a blood lust. Rožman went into exile and died in Cleveland, Ohio, where he resided at Saint Lawrence parish from 1948 to his death in 1959. Currently there is an attempt for his historical rehabilitation, for all those whom had opposed Tito and communism were held as the worst sort of traitors.

Rožman was convicted in absentia in a military show trial. A successor, Anton Vovk, was set on fire at a train station. Vovk's attackers were given leniency, and were condoned by the court, for understandably being upset with the continued presence of a cleric openly engaging in society. Another bishop, Jozef Pogacnik, was imprisoned.

Archbishop Šuštar was bishop during the transition of governments. In the late 1980s, partly with the current of freedom expanding in east europe, relations between state and church improved. Christmas was allowed as a public celebration. The postwar massacres of more than ten thousand (which were aided by british treachery) at Kočevski Rog were publicly lamented.

But half of a century of communist propaganda and rule was, and is, still embedded in society. There was no accounting of communist crimes. There is still a division in society and much of the old propaganda is still extant and influential.

Šuštar was held in some esteem by both communities. It can be seen in the issuance of a commemorative postage stamp. The stamp has the motto, "Dei voluntatem facere", which in english reads "To do the will of God". This would have been unthinkable a generation ago, under the previous régime.

Now, to completely career into a different tangent. The letter above travelled from the archdiocese of Ljubljana to the diocese of Cleveland. Ljubljana's bishop has been put on a stamp. Cleveland's bishop, Richard Lennon, is putting his image on Cleveland's church. Now, the first bishop of Cleveland was Louis Amédée Rappe. Saint Emeric's parish has the bell from, what had been, Cleveland's only french parish, Annunciation. That bell has Rappe's name on it. Richard Lennon for his work will never be commemorated on either a stamp or bell. Such remembrance is a sign of respect and affection and acknowledgment of positive achievement. He has neither helped the church to grow or survive. People will not remember him with any fondness, for he will be remembered as 'Dick the Destroyer of Parishes'.

Parish in exile

On the 8th of November, the bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon attempted to suppress Saint Casimir parish with a Mass of Eviction. The congregation opposed him. They still do.

The parish has continued to meet every Sunday at 11.30 a.m. They are communally active, and they are far more than the minimum required by Jesus and canon law. That number is three. On the 13th of December, about forty souls sang and prayed in a continuous rain that was just above freezing. It traditionally has taken a full century to finalise a suppression. That suppression would entail no meeting of the parish community. The first grains of the sandglass have not descended. The parish has not been extinguished.

Richard Lennon did not build these parishes, but he is selling their parishes as cash cows, because they have property and possessions. In a parable the servant says to his lord, "I know that thou art a hard man; thou reapest where thou hast not sown, and gatherest where thou hast not strewed." * Here the poor and beleaguered one issues a modest and accurate assessment of his superior. It is a devastating indictment.
Yet, this is not how the parable is presented in a protestant, capitalistic establishment, such as American society, a society of social darwinists. We, Americans, (especially in the last generation) weigh against the poor and the laborer; and weigh for the rich and for management and authoritarian power. That parable about the talents has been spun falsely. A talent is a vast weight of coins, it is not the gift of ability. The hard man in the parable angrily admits to the accusation, and berates the servant, and in the beratement demanded of the servant the transgression of religious law.
And his lord answering, said to him: Wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sow not, and gather where I have not strewed: Thou oughtest therefore to have committed my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received my own with usury.
The lord demanded money. He did not care how it was accumulated. Now, this is against the first principle of Catholic Christian ethics, ends must be achieved by honorable means.

A duty of a bishop is the salvation of souls. Richard Lennon is drivings souls away from the church. In many afflicted parishes there are people that will leave the church of their families of ages past, not just that destroyed parish, but the one true church that Jesus founded and left to his apostles. Some will follow or take comfort in another faith community, some will become totally inactive. This is the reconfiguration that Lennon is forging. He wants what he wants, and does not care about consequences. He does not act as a pastor but as a despot. There are many in the diocese who do not wish to be steamrolled.

Many of the fervent and tenacious congregants of Saint Casimir were born in the old country. Some saw nazi, and then communist, suppression of their church and society. They did not like to be bullied in Poland, and they do not like to be bullied in the United States.

They, like St. Faustina, believe in Jesus and his Divine Mercy. They trust in Jesus. They do not trust in Lennon. They are Christians, and not leninists, nor lennonists.
* Matthew xxv. 24

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holy Trinity Grinched

The exodus from the pharonic autocrat flows outdoors. People are painfully, poignantly pierced. The price of episcopal suppression on a devoted parishioner.
Catholic editorial comment displayed universally. Flowers of farewell and loss are placed outside locked doors in funereal remorse.
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.
To-day, the 3rd Sunday of Advent's introit is from Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (iv.4). But, it is not easy, we have sorrow throughout this Cleveland diocese. A cold cynic could convey that we have a particularly pitiless and vindictive grinch as bishop.

To-day there occurred a sacrilege. Holy Trinity church and parish, in Lorain, experienced a Mass of Eviction conducted by Richard Lennon. Holy Trinity is a consecrated church.

When God spoke to Solomon after the dedication of the temple, as recorded in, II Paralipomenon (Chronicles) vii. 16, He said:
For I have chosen, and have sanctified this place, that my name may be there for ever, and my eyes and my heart may remain there perpetually.
One can see this painted in the choir loft at Holy Trinity.
Lord Lennon was not moved. When thirty parishioners walked out of church as he was about to speak, he just stopped and listened to the applause of the rump. They exited and mingled with a community of protesters outside.

Many were long time members, with many familial memories interwound with the parish. Some had slovak flags, some had carnations, as they did when some had marched to the suppression of their sister catholics, a few yards away, at Saint Stanislaus; some also showed similar support when nearby Saints Cyril and Methodius was taken. It would appear, his lordship, has a disdain for the slavonic nations and their houses of worship.

At least two drivers along Elyria Avenue, stopped and invited the catholics to go to their "better" churches. They did not give names, but gave addresses. They felt the pressing need to welcome by evangelising. One man yelled back in one instance, "We do not want another church. We want better leadership."

In the cartoon, the narrator intoned about the creature whom looted a particular home, "On their walls he left nothing but hooks and some wire." These people had a wonderful temple, they understood was to be of worship as long as stone stood upon stone. Lennon is of contrary opinion.

It rained, it could have snowed, if only a few degrees less of temperature had been given. The snow would have been more comfortable. People stayed to the bitter end.

Now, Richard Lennon is a planning and paranoid man. In the last pews, at the wing seat he had placed business suited police, as if no one would know. There was three police cars in front and two in back. There was a pair of uniformed police at the top step of the main entrance, and two bored cops in the back lot, and perhaps a couple more. He also had his two staff members, [Baghdad] Bob Tayek and Jim Armstrong, whom always accompany, scout, and patrol, and attempt to police the site as always.

At precisely, 90 minutes (even at Saint Casimir, it was 90 minutes) after the scheduled start of the Mass, the garage doors opened up (while the church bell rang) and decoy vehicles left on one side of the property, where most of the remaining protesters gathered. They went there, in the belief that he would not pass the front entrance, and he did not. The next church, he was to collect was in the direction of the waited drive. He was driven from the other end by the parish hall, again avoiding an encounter to speak. That was at 10.30.

To the east, an hour later, in front of Saint Casimir, there gathered another grouping, of mostly, foreign born slavs; this time poles. There forty people prayed and sang, in the moderate and unrelenting rain, in their continuing weekly vigil, hoping for roman intervention. The slavs wish to endure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A local martyr, and a church

The bishop of Cleveland (facetiously associated with Lennongrad) will be taking St. Robert Bellarmine, after Christmas, on Sunday the 27th. For a time Sr. Dorothy (Sr. Laurentine) Kazel was a member and then teacher at St. Robert. She was one of the martyrs of El Salvador.

Here is a difference, if i may opine, in the church universal such an heritage would open the possibility of a church as site of pilgrimage, or a shrine. In the United States such tender, and eccentric sympathies, and sentiments are crushed by merciless institutional bureaucracy and fiat. It is an ugly universe where will trounces compassion. The sparing of such sites connects us with each other, this generation with that generation.

Saint Casimir was visited by Karol Wojtyla, whom later became pope John Paul II. Saint Lawrence was the home of the exiled bishop of Ljubljana, Gregorij Rožman. Saint Emeric was visited by József Mindszenty the Primate of Hungary and Archbishop of Esztergom. Saint Hyacinth was the boyhood parish of John Cardinal Krol, archbishop of Philadelphia. These four churches have been, or are scheduled to be, suppressed by Richard Lennon. They, along with St. Robert's, have been sites that have shared individuals and moments of history with the church on an international level. None of this has saved them from closure. One man, Richard Lennon, is denying the entire church, and its members, of these places and parishes to celebrate.
And certainly there are other stories to cherish.

The Lord is sweet to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.—Psalmi cxliv. 9.
Let thy tender mercies come unto me, and I shall live: for thy law is my meditation.—Psalmi cxviii. 77. DRC

Friday, December 4, 2009

Let us close vibrant parishes

I attended mid-week, mid-day mass at Saint Robert Bellarmine in Euclid with four dozen other christians. Before mass more than two dozen communally prayed the rosary. A few stayed and prayed after mass. A few gathered with each other and chatted. This is surely evidence of a parish's vibrant, living in action, devotional life.
Some time ago, I attended an early Saturday mass at Saint Louis in Cleveland Heights. In a very spartan (but with several touches of quite evident elegance) atmosphere a warm and pleasant mass as anyone could experience occurred. I doubt that the same feeling has not happened again, and again, and again at Saint Louis.
Holy Trinity in Lorain had parishioners visually prominent attend its neighbouring parishes' (St. Stanislaus and Saints Cyril and Methodius) suppression. They appealed to Rome for their parish. They did not want extinction for themselves or others. They acted with determined solidarity and brotherhood.
These are the next three parishes that were* to be taken by Richard Lennon:
Holy Trinity 2428 Elyria Ave. Lorain on 13 December
St. Robert 23802 Lakeshore Blvd. Euclid on 27 December
St. Louis 2463 North Taylor Rd. Cleveland Heights on 9 January
*Recently St. Vitus (Croat) Lorain has been expedited from 02 28 10 to12 20 09, therefore the original sentence is incorrect. So at the time of writing, St. Vitus is the second next to be taken.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Economic interests lie for themselves constantly

They will lie against common sense. Science, logical thought and scrupulous study are their unforgivable enemies.

The national football league has their own doctors and studies suggesting concussions are not that bad. What simpleton would believe that? The language has the term 'punch drunk' for boxers. So many beatings to the head causes mental damage. Can anyone believe that ten years having one's head bounce around in a helmet as does a clapper in a bell not cause harm?

When someone has done something odd, there is a saying said facetiously like, "Joe has not been the same since he was kicked by that mule". The language of the people has the truth in it, yet the moneyed interests will tell a mendacious story.

Do we not remember the cigarette lawyers, and the doctors, and scientists hired by the tobacco industry that denied smoking causes physical harm? How could someone have not known that smoking was not harmful? Yet, people denied it. Some smokers did too, they could not accept the idea that they were engaging in self-destructive behavior.

To-day we have the petroleum and coal industries, and the Republican politicians, whom, get some of their money, telling the world 'climate change' is a hoax. Have we not been here before? Have we not seen this act? Does not prudence have a rôle?

I was surprised that some people I was acquainted with were so sure that man's activity did not, could not, effect the weather. They also tied this into their anti-Obama paranoia. Perhaps, I can see someone voting Republican, and being for gwbjr and the iraqui war, but why are those issues also in lock step with the anti-science positions. The whole menu is swallowed, there are no à la carte selections. It is for the worship and love of a false god—Mammon, or Mars, or the bitch goddess—Success. Lucre that one will not have, but will worship, none-the-less. All the false gods, it seem, are interchangeable and intermingle. They all live on the same mountain, the same hall.

Here is the fault of an individual's mind: while it is in the self-interest of the moneyed power, the economic interest to lie for his incentive, his profit, his position and to attack anything or anyone that may reduce it; why does the individual, who does not profit, accept all the mendacity? Is Mammon that powerful, that he claims such unshakable devotion?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Solidarity in Vigil

To-day nearly an hundred catholics, mostly parishioners of long standing, returned for the third week, for a prayer service in front of their confiscated parish. They engaged in an inspiring programme of song, and prayer, in a most respectful, and solemn manner. They began at 11.30 a.m. in front of an impromptu shrine. Upon the fence, in front of the boarded church, there was the white and red of Poland, candles, and four pictures: two of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and one of John Paul the Great.

Some of the hymns, that they sang, were the same Bishop Lennon heard when he was taking their parish. Much of the service was Marian in nature, hymns and carols of the old country and the new were sung. Patriotic hymns of the old country, and the new were sung. Decades of the rosary were prayed in polish.

Flags were held: a colonial american, polish national with the eagle, and a large Solidarność flag. And the people were in solidarity, in solidarity with the church, with each other, with the centuries, with the old nation, with the new country, with other faithful catholics whom had and will have their parishes wrenched from them. The preponderance was in polish, but the solidarity was with all the faithful. There in an embryonic form was being created a 'sodality', a catholic fellowship (most often under the patronage of Mary, the Mother of God).

They were truly conservative. They wanted to conserve their parish and faith. They were holding ground in front of an aggressively activist autocrat, whom was tearing the fabric of solidarity. His actions will have people leave the ancient faith, some may go to another rite, or to a group in schism or in heresy, some will go nowhere. These firm believers were doing what was done in the old country, when occupiers and unbelievers closed and destroyed churches, they gathered in the same location and prayed. Here in Cleveland they prayed without clergy. The clergy are flagging, they are failing to lead, some are fearful. At one time the United States had some crusading and fearless priests. Much of the laity is also apathetic, many are fearful, and many have been taught to be fearful and obedient, some enjoy submission.

When the bolsheviks took over Holy Mother Russia, and later many communists in other lands, they believed religion would die out when the current, aged, stubborn believers passed from this earth. Old women gathered in the time of Vladimir Ilič Lenin, and after, to pray and light candles in front of suppressed, and closed, and demolished churches. Seventy years later, under Mikhail Sergejevič Gorbachev, old women were doing the same. They were not the same old women. The communists are now out of power in europe. Churches are being rebuilt. In the diocese of Lennongrad, Ohio the parishes of eastern europeans are being suppressed. Some people are keeping a faithful and prayerful vigil.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Escalation in Afghanistan is a doomed strategy

Last Friday, Bill Moyers did a service to the nation. He broadcast tapes of President Lyndon Johnson discussing what to do about Viet Nam. Currently, a similar situation involves President Barack Obama and another asian war, this time in Afghanistan.

In both scenarios the military wants guns, money and men to fight a native insurgency. Johnson worried about Nixon, Goldwater and the war enthusiasm of the Republican party. Obama also has war enthusiastic Republicans. The Republicans, in both scenarios, want this issue to help defeat the incumbent president in the next election.

The Republicans wanted virtually all of Johnson's domestic policy stymied. The Republicans want the complete failure of Obama's domestic policy. Why would a Democratic president co-operate in his own destruction, and allow the country to suffer so?

There are Viet Nam revisionists that claim the war was lost not on foreign soil but by traitors at home. The germans said similar things after 1918. Some germans blamed in on the 'jews'. In the United States it was blamed on the 'hippie anti-war protesters'. No, Viet Nam was lost, because it was unwinnable. The people who were against the war were sane patriots. The people who were for the war, both then and now, confused military success for national glory, or were, simply, worshipers of Mars.

Senators Richard Russell and Michael Mansfield advised Johnson correctly, that Viet Nam would be a long, bloody, expensive disaster that would devour the nation's well-being. Both South Viet Nam and Afghanistan had and has corrupt and incompetent governments. Those who advised the reluctant president away from war were right. Johnson knew Viet Nam was going to siphon America, and yet, he was pulled in. He had no desire for it, but still he fell into the swamp. The arguments for increased involvement were insipid. Ten years earlier Graham Greene had written The Quiet American. No dominoes were not falling, war delusion was growing.

It has been reported that Joseph Biden and Karl Eikenberry have advised President Obama against escalation and the military wants more war.
The Constitution has the commander-in-chief to be a civilian, unfortunately a civilian can be overly influenced by military men, specially when he lacks the conviction to say, "NO!".

Afghanistan was a disaster for the British and Soviet empires. Viet Nam was not held well by the chinese, japanese and the french. By what fictive alchemy will this asian war be won? Tuesday President Obama is expected to ask for over 30,000 additional men to be sent to Afghanistan.

I have heard friends, of over fifty years in age, say unconsciously "Viet Nam", when describing the destination of relatives and acquaintances in the military over the last few years. They meant to say, "Johnny is going to Irak", or "Johnny will be shipped to Afghanistan". Their deep thoughts slipped involuntarily through their lips.

I have a pacifist friend, an extreme christian pacifist friend, who said to me, "You don't have to be a pacifist to be against these wars". Yes, it is that obviously simple.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The very walls cry out against the bishop

A most beautiful church is Holy Trinity in Lorain, Ohio. There are paintings of eight angels with scrolls on the nave walls. Each angel bears a scroll with a Beatitude in slovak, beneath the angel is a block with a Beatitude in english. And below that is a candle. A candle, a catholic should know what that means. This church is consecrated. Most churches are blessed. A thing consecrated is given an indelible mark of permanence, it has been raised beyond profane usage in perpetuum. So put forth the Angelic Doctor Aquinas and the Council of Trent and so did the first century church. To profane such a place is a sacrilege. A consecrated church is to last as long as stone stands upon stone.

The scroll, supra, is of one of two angels in the choir balcony, it has a passage in slovak from Genesis xviii, "nieto tu ineto len dom boži a brana nebeska" which in english are the words of Jacob, "this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven. "

And then on the scroll passage, of the other choir angel, in slovak and english, which has the words of God, Whom speaks to Solomon after the dedication of the temple:
For I have chosen and have sanctified this place, that my name may be there forever and my eyes and my heart may remain there perpetually. (II Par. vii. 16)
Holy Trinity is scheduled for a mass of eviction on 13 December 2009 by bishop, Richard (Richie Lenin) Lennon. The very walls cry out against him "Sacrilege."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last song for Cecilia

St. Adalbert 2347 East 83rd St. Cleveland, O.

St. Hedwig 12905 Madison Ave. Lakewood, O.

In many choir lofts and music rooms there is a window of Saint Cecilia. She is the patron of music and is often remembered. Her presence is not required, but is always welcoming.

For a catholic in the US, 22 November is remarkable for St. Cecilia, and sad as the anniversary of the murder of President John Kennedy when he chose to go to Texas.

To-day was the last Sunday in the church year, Christ the King. To-day, if you went to church on either Cleveland's east side or west, you could have seen one of the windows above. Now, next year...well, Bishop Lenin has marked those churches expendable.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shame on Richie Lenin as he assaults another parish.

Richard Lennon has hired Jones Day law firm, the most powerful in the Middle West. He has used the civil courts to advocate, and enforce his claim of possession, while he has not deferred to Rome. St. Mary, Bedford, had received an extension to December 9th for the Vatican to review its appeal.

Richie Lenin is methodical. He uses different, foreign cars to arrive to a suppression. He was surprised by the raucous reception he received from the Poles at St. Casimir. He was prepared on this day. When two dozen parishioners left as he began his homily, he was blasé. People left, most often, calling out, "Shame on you". He had his staff and undercover police occupy perimeter positions. Armed, uniformed police came and went, yes, in the Home of the Prince of Peace, Jesus who disarmed Peter must have been saddened.

Later four parishioners processed with protest placards, and were escorted out. The police were more aggressive than in the past. The doors were locked. A policeman banged several times to have a door opened.

Richie Lenin is not a pastor, he is an imperious figure. He has no sentiment, only will. He recognises only his prerogative.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taxing men

A local Republican party official [Steven M. Backiel] wrote this on his blog:

There are many diverse opinions within this County Party membership and you should all feel welcome to share those opinions in a courteous manner on this site. Just please remember that not everyone is a pro-life, social conservative who favors governmental de-regulation, tax reduction, limited spending and a massively strong national defense (although I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be)…

Besides the contention that there is not a diversity of opinion in that party, there are the rife contradictions in the statement, "governmental de-regulation, tax reduction, limited spending and a massively strong national defense". This could be made accurate, and honest, by saying, "complete ascendancy of corporate moneyed interests and militarism".

The contradictions are that de-regulation refers to no legal constraints on moneyed interests, added regulations to deny civil and political rights are not much of concern and to create a stronger police state is favored, albeit gun proliferation is promoted, so a greater militarisation of society will be achieved by these measures. The part that reads, "tax reduction, limited spending and a massively strong national defense" is thorough bullshit. Most income taxes are spent on the military. If one was truly interested in "tax reduction, limited spending" they would cut "massively strong national defense". What he, and they, may mean is that no tax money will be denied for military spending. But, there is still another tax they approve of. This "massively strong national defense" requires another tax, that of men, some whom return in caskets to Dover Air Force Base. There may be an increase in this tax by draft. This may meet with some opposition, for those, and they are by far—Republicans, who advocate more military and more war, quite often make damn sure, that, they are never in position themselves; please refer to five deferments Cheney, and gwbjr somewhere a.w.o.l. in Alabama.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

War to end all war

Sixty five million men were veterans in what was once called, in this country, the european war. Millions did not survive that war. In the wars since, civilians are the primary casualties. To-day, you do not need all the fingers of a hand to count the surviving veterans of the war that ended on St. Martin's Day 1918. Martin was born into a military family, and bore the name of a false god, the god of war. He became a christian and would not fight. He became a patron of France. France was the western front, in that war, and their were several others. France alone, had a million and four hundred thousand dead combatants in that spectacle.

President Woodrow Wilson called it the war to end all wars, he was wrong. To-day, President Obama allows this country to participate in at least two wars. One in Irak and one in Afghanistan. If one were to read T.E. Lawrence and Rudyard Kipling, one would know the folly. The last one to be successful in those two theatres was the macedonian, Alexander. The british english, who, defeated the french in america and india, were enfeebled in Afghanistan. The soviet russians, who, defeated the nazi germans, were enfeebled in Afghanistan.

There are yeomen historians, who write serviceable and accurate narratives. Not enough people read and comprehend.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.—George Santayana
November 11 was first Saint Martin's Day, Martin of Tours. I quote from Butler's Lives of the Saints, Martin addressing the apostate emperor Julian:

'Hitherto', he said to Julian, 'I have served you as a soldier; let me now serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going to fight, but I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight.' Julian stormed and accused Martin of cowardice, who retorted that he was prepared to stand in the battle-line unarmed the next day and to advance alone against the enemy in the name of Christ. He was thrust into prison, but the conclusion of an armistice stopped further developments and Martin was soon after discharged. He went to Poitiers, where St Hilary was bishop, and this doctor of the Church gladly received the young 'conscientious objector' among his disciples.

may people worship Jesus and not Mars

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pillar of Saint Casimir

Saint Casimir's is insular, relatively few non-polish people come, yet it is a part of the universal church. It is self sufficient. It taxed the diocese's resources not at all. Now, what is a 'vibrant' parish? Is there not some social contract, some implied promise that states, here are requirements, standards, thresholds et alia, that if met are proof of passing? Or is that just verbal camouflage and smokescreen? There are outward generalisations of the national situation, where certain commonalities are true in the vague, macroscopic, national situation, that are then applied as rationalisations for actions committed in particular, parochial situations, in which the national generalisations decidingly do not describe, nor apply to the present situations.

Here in the diocese of Cleveland, and elsewhere in the United States, parochial communities have been unsentimentally crushed. Whether Casimir's island, amidst the slumish blight of Cleveland's east side, had less chance than a snowball in an inferno to survive, as compared to the episcopal fiat of Richard Lennon can be conjectured.

There are many reasons, beyond the supposed guidelines, that the parish should endure. It was important enough for Karol Wojtyła to have made a pilgrimage. It is a parish that was in accord with the Solidarity movement for labor and freedom. And of course it was the spiritual home of souls for generations, as were and are other parishes.

The local media has been intermittent in their attention. The coverage on Sunday (8 November) was poor and negligent. WEWS5 had abundant and telling footage that they chose not to broadcast. To answer a stupid koan, yes a large tree when felled does make a sound, even if not televised with audio. Some of the parish members also made sounds the bishop could not ignore, and did not appreciate. In fact, the scene was truly dramatic; people were singing and crying as they sang in polish. Bishop Lennon does not like ethnic displays. Lennon does not like to be confronted. Lennon does not like to be challenged. He does not have much to worry about in the professional media. Their neglect is to his advantage.

WKYC3 did have a human interest
story on the pastor some time ago, Monsignor Leo Telesz. He is the oldest priest in the diocese, and now has been pastor for thirty-six years, in addition to previous postings at St. Casimir's and other polish parishes in town. The man is of sharp mind, fervent faith and great dedication, yet he is being dispatched, unwillingly, to a nursing home. A few issues ago in the bishop's paper, an article of biography was published; that does not assuage the issue. If not for the communal compact with the parish's members and as a corporate person, Saint Casimir's continuance should have been ensured on Father Telesz's behalf alone!

--written on this day, Saint Leo the Great 2009
Postscriptum: Monsignor Telesz died 27 March 2013, ten days short of his 96th birthday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Poles surprise the bishop

In the movie Casablanca, the occupying Germans begin to sing in Rick's Place. Then the Frenchmen all sing the French national hymn, the Marseillaise, absolutely rousing and poignant, and all with a soul would weep. The French are defiant to their occupiers, the leading German officer was not amused, and ordered the police chief to find a reason to close the establishment.

Richard Lennon came to preside over a Mass of Eviction at Saint Casimir in Cleveland. It was the third Mass there that day. A very solemn Liturgy, in Polish, replete with an outdoor Eucharistic procession was the middlemost event. Lennon has closed about two dozen parishes in ‘his’ diocese, and they have been the most uninspiring and perfunctory affairs, but these Poles introduced him to their contempt of him. They stood up to serenade him. They sang Polish patriotic hymns, they sang a deeply sentimental Marian hymn, they brought in recorded music on speakers to sing with. He was not amused. They booed him, cursed him, and walked out on him; in less than an hour and a half he was whisked away in a silver car onto Sowinski Avenue.

Of the four local television news channels, at least two (wews5 and wjw8) took footage. On the Sunday broadcasts only wjw8 reported the event inside the church, and that in passing. A major, heartfelt, emotional position was clearly delivered, and few outside the church building and those immediately outside are aware of it. A very good photographer from the remaining major local paper spent time there, we will see if the morning edition will give notice and publish.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Who shall acquire Augustine and buy Baraga?

The diocese of Cleveland, Ohio is liquidating parishes and selling off their possessions. Some of those affected are smaller, urban, ethnic parishes of pristine care and financial solvency, and are served by non-diocesan clergy. The ordinary of the diocese, Bishop Richard Lennon is unimpressed with each particular criterion, even when it is in conflict, nay in contradiction, of his rationale for suppression and extinction.

Infra (pictured below) are details of the first and the sixth or last window on the Saint Joseph side wall of Saint Lawrence Catholic Church, Cleveland. Saint Lawrence's parish is of slightly over a century in existence. The present church building was created before the second world war at the end of Hoover's Depression, when Franklin Roosevelt led the nation and Joseph Schrembs was archbishop of Cleveland.

The art in a church is more than atmosphere, more than decoration, and the degree of artfulness is not of primary or secondary importance. The art depicts the truths and teachings and commemorations of the faith. These two windows have no letters to read, but they are well identified and tell much.
The first is of a man and a child. The man wears a mitre (hat) of a bishop, and carries a book (Scripture) marked with a cross. But which bishop? and why is the child there? They are at a beach and the child has dug an impression into the earth near the shore. Now, if you are well read, or had a faithful and diligent sister as a grade school student, you must know it is Saint Augustine.

Now, Saint Augustine was bishop of Hippo (near Carthage, modern day Tunisia on the southern Mediterranean Sea) about the years on either side of A.D. 400. He was a doctor of the faith and church father, the foremost theologian of christianity before Saint Thomas Aquinas. He wrote much, one work was on the Trinity (De trinitate). He spent many years, on and off, in its composition; only on The City of God (De civitate Dei) did he spend more time.

One day he saw a child dig a hole in the sand, and asked why and what for. The child told Augustine that he wanted all the ocean put into the hole. Augustine enquired more of him, the child responded that it would be easier for the hole to contain all the seas, than for the mind of Augustine to comprehend all the Trinity. The child, an appearance of an angel, then was gone.

Still above the scene is a heart aflame, pierced with arrows for Augustine prayed, "Lord, you have wounded me with your Word." Writing is not needed on the window.

Frederic Baraga, Servant of God, *1797 †1868, was a missionary to the Chippewa (Ojibwa) and the first bishop of Marquette, Michigan. He wrote devotional books in Slovene, Ottawa and Chippewa. He was the grammarian of those indian languages. His ability as a polyglot was useful. On the south shore of Lake Superior his communicants were the indians, and the french, and the newer arrivals, to the iron and copper mines, that were irish and german. He traversed the frozen country in snowshoes. So the county that is about the mission he founded in 1843 at L'Anse, Michigan is, to-day, Baraga.

Baraga was born in Slovenija during the Napoleonic period, and was schooled in both the occupying german austrian and french languages. He went to law school in Vienna and became a priest in Ljubljana. In 1830 he went on to Cincinnati and was sent to Michigan, eventually he became, for several years, the only priest in upper Michigan. After years his visage resembled an indian. At the time and many years thereafter he was warmly remembered. There is an active cause for his canonisation.

Now, how will Bishop Lennon dispose of Saint Lawrence, and the images of the sainted, bishops Augustine and Frederic Baraga?

Monday, November 2, 2009

'Citizen' initiated ballot measures

To-morrow is election day. In Ohio we have 'citizen' initiated ballot measures. Many are corporate business initiatives.

Issue 2 is one for an agricultural board. It is to regulate, in part, care of farm animals. Most animal care issues are promulgated by humane societies, this one is not. It is by agri-business. It will have a governor appointed board. Governor appointed boards are virtually universally occupied by representatives of business, big moneyed business, which are virtually universally not concerned with citizens' interest.

Issue 3 is for gambling casinos. I, think, it is the fifth time. Each one of these 'issues' are written by the prospective owners. Let us contemplate, to whom will this benefit the most. Also, the leading opponent is a competing gambling money.

The legislature is constituted to write laws. Often, they are 'influenced' by moneyed interests. But, the moneyed interests also have other avenues.

Issue 6 is for a restructuring of Cuyahoga County government. It again is supported by moneyed interests.

Too many 'citizen' initiatives are not!!! And for a tangential grievance, the 'teabagger, don't tread on me crowd' does not come out and oppose these sham 'citizen' measures. Yet, they oppose real community organisers, citizen activists, and legally and democratically elected Democrats. The hypocrisy and mendacity of the american political scene is gargantuan.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lennon takes possession of St. John the Baptist

6.41 p.m.
6.48 p.m.
6.50 p.m.
Hallowe'en 2009 we find out how long the patience of Bishop Lennon lasts...about an hour and a half. The mass of eviction finished at just about 5.30 p.m. EDT. A huddle of people attempt a sit down occupation, a vigil. The bishop has the testy Fr. Paul Rosing read a statement from chief magistrate for Summit County Common Pleas Court, John Shoemaker, dated yesterday, to leave St. John the Baptist in Akron. He retreats, and plain clothes Akron police, backed up by uniformed police evict the faithful.

Just previous to the send off, Bishop Lennon speaks to the "Endangered Catholics" for the first time. He says, he is not there to debate, that as of 15 May 2006 he is the tenth bishop of Cleveland, and the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1880 gave title of all church property of the diocese to the bishop. He was and is not interested in any other points.

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 rôle 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."