Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prodigal window

In some churches, the windows are thematic. Some recount the major feasts of the Church, or the events of Christ's life. Some are marian. Some are national saints. Some are of the apostles. Some are the parables illustrated. Some are Old Testament scenes. At Saint Lawrence (Cleveland) they are those donors intended, and the donors are identified.

Some are a group donation and have a subject the group identifies with: the Young Ladies Sodality dedicate a marian window (Assumption) to their mothers; the school children of 1940 remember their teachers with a window of children coming to Jesus.

Some have the patron saint of a donor or donor's relative as subject: the sons of John and Frances Perko dedicate a window of their mother's patronal saint in honor of their parents; the children of Anton and Gertrude Strainer remember their parents with a window of the Holy Family.

And, certainly, some have a personal and emotional resonance for the donor's dedication. Jesus told many parables. Some are well known beyond christian devotion. Of course, some are better known than others. Some people may only be able to think of one or two. The one about the prodigal son (and the forgiving father) is probably the first or second that would come to mind. Fr. Henri Nouwen †1996, was so enthralled with one depiction, that he wrote a book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, about Rembrandt's painting, and it is often used in christian book studies. There are churches in the local diocese (St. Mel [on the confessional], St.Ignatius of Antioch) that have a reproduction of that Rembrandt. Another version with a young child, being embraced by his loving father, is on a window at Saint Lawrence. The father looks, very much, like a portrait of Jesus. A wondrous and beautiful thing about illustrated stain glass windows is, that, they need no script to tell you a story, and sometimes a very, important story.
The top portion of the window has a rondel of five loaves of bread. This is of a different christian theme. Five loaves of bread were multiplied by Jesus to feed all. This is a precursor of the Eucharist. Again, no script needed.
The script shows on the bottom. It is not illustrating or decorating, but it is telling something. The donor's block reads in translation: In remembrance of John and Tereza Ferfolia erected by their children. Now, canon law repeatedly uses the phrase, "the intention of the founders and donors as well as acquired rights must be respected."[Can. 121, 122, 123]. If one were a constitutionalist, and in this country, and in the last decade at least, they have not prevailed. It is quite clear, that, families such as mentioned above, would have something to say about the disposition of that window. They are not the only such donors whose consent would be necessary over items and property.

The current ordinary of Cleveland (Richard Lennon) acts as if he were not bound by such canon law restrictions. He also sees himself as a self trained canonist. He is an autocrat, or as Dick "Darth" Cheney would say the 'unitary executive'. This is also the american response in the business world. The hatred of regulation. The hatred of negotiating with labor or the masses. The calls for 'necessary flexibility' that merely mask heavy handed, and capricious use of unrestricted power.

As a leader he, Lennon, acts as a corporate tyrant, an unrestrained 'free-market entrepreneur', an unbound capitalist; a combination plutocrat and autocrat―unaccountable to any man. This may be american business practice, and the Republican party's manner of governance but it is neither catholic, nor Christ-like.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gospel according to Richard

Galatians iii. 26-28. For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans x. 12. For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him.
Now for Richard Lennon the distinction of the Slav (and for his considerations Hungarians and Lithuanians are included) is made. For we believe that SS. Cyril and Methodius were the Equals of the Apostles and they came to us, for us. Richard has done his damnedest to remove them from the parish directory. There were three parishes specifically named after them, according to his plan, only one church* will still be open with the name, but not the parish.

It is the old duck truism. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck--it is a duck. When one disregards the party line, and does a head count, one sees the nationality parishes targeted for extinction. In this round the numerical reductions are as follows:

16→6 Polish
7 →1 Hungarian (Magyar)
7 →1* Slovak
4 →2 Slovene
3 →1 Croat
3 →1 Czech (Bohemian)
2 →1 Lithuanian
3 still listed as German were closed, only 1
German parish is now listed

It is beyond coincidence. It is beyond obvious. Richie-boy does not tolerate the nations of eastern europe. They are interchangeable and dispensable. And he does this contrary to canon law. And the principle of discipline in this is, that, the administration and execution of the law (canon law, law of the church) is not to be more onerous than the law itself:
Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.
As an addendum: nine parishes on the east side of Cleveland, which have a high percentage of african-americans as members will be reduced to three, two of the remaining parishes had been merged years before.

9→3 African-American
*SS. Cyril and Methodius, Lakewood will "merge" with St. Rose of Lima. All the other 'reconfigurations' are complete suppressions, where everything kicks back to the diocese.
† St. Stephen, Cleveland is on 'probation'
Postscriptum I: 1 Italian church will be suppressed. It is an oratory (chapel) and no longer a parish, but still a church. This has been done almost in secret. The congregation knows about it, but information was never released to the press. The church is Our Lady of Mount Carmel (East), in Cleveland. There are three, now two, such named churches in the county.
Postscriptum II: Assumption of Mary (Polish) Grafton 1894 - 2006, this was merged with Immaculate Conception in Oct. '06, and Masses were continued to be said at both. The new church opened in the spring of 2010.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Iconostasis balcony

notice the double arched balcony above the sacristy doors north side iconostasis balconynorth side iconsleft panel: top: St. Teresa de Ávila, St. Joseph; bottom: St. Charles Borromeo, Archangel Raphaelright panel: St. Thérèse de Lisieux, St. Clare; St. Lawrence, Our Lady of Lourdes south side icons • left panel: top: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary; bottom: St. Stephen, St. Clement • right panel: St. Cyril, St. Methodius; Bl. Anton Slomšek, Ven. Frederic Baraga

In the greek east, whether slavonic or no, whether roman or orthodox, there is an iconostasis, a screen with several, sometimes multitudinous tiered icons that runs from wall to wall. This screen has three doors. Behind it is the altar. There is always one icon of Jesus, and one of Mary, the Theotokos (Mother of God, God-bearer). Saint Lawrence, in Cleveland, Ohio, is a slovene parish. It is one of the many nationality parishes being extinguished by 'Dick the Destroyer of Parishes', Richard Lennon. One of the several points of uniqueness are the two iconostasis balconys.

The slovenes were never part of the greek church (since the schism of 1054). The slavonic nations are split between the two great halves of christianity. In the modern age, after the fall of Constantinople and the (Eastern) Roman Empire, this aspect of ecclesial architecture developed, and expanded in the east, to visually d
istinguish it from the west. The iconostasis divides the sanctuary from the nave. The nave (from the latin word for ship) is where the congregation sits and stands.

St. Mary's Greek Catholic (now Byzantine), Cleveland was erected under a latin-rite bishop. He did not allow an iconostasis. Since 1969, in Parma
(Eparchia Parmensis Ruthenorum) there is a bishop in a byzantine eparchy, that covers the middle west, with 37 parishes and 38 priests. Many greek catholics were maltreated by latin-rite bishops in the US. Mostly irish and some german bishops were not accepting of greek and slavonic traditions. Latin rite churches, even the slavonia romana, are not locales for iconostases. But a form of one exists at St. Lawrence, whether a modified one or a hybrid one, it is there now, for the time being. It is a particularly slovene iconostasis. There depicted are westernised icons of the bishops Slomšek and Baraga. Both are on paths towards sainthood, further ahead than when painted, hence they are only identified as bishops. When they are canonised, they are expected to be the first slovene saints in the canon. God sends us many bishops, but few saints.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Logic of cigarette lawyers

I was amazed to find a certain portion of this nation so vehemently against the science of man aided 'climate change', self identified 'religious' conservatives. Part of this was animus towards the legitimate winner of the 2000 presidential race, Albert Gore. Partly there was an overlap of economic interests with political interests, but what perplexed and flummoxed me was the 'religious' dimension. Genesis and many established religions (and this most certainly means the Catholic Church) teach that man is to be a steward of the earth, for he did not create, God created and is, therefore, the true 'owner'.

Now, I was not surprised certain 'evangelicals' would believe the converse, after all Pat Robertson had run for the presidency, and well...the anti-intellectualism, and love for lucre had been in their menage from their genesis, but it was still beyond that. People who had my religious background were quoting from this absurdist script with vehemence. They accepted, and promoted, arguments that a thomist would laugh at. Some of it creates an alternative reality that cancels the logic and facts of history and science. Reality is replaced by conspiracy theories, that are part extreme nationalism, part xenophobism, part mammon worship, and part gaga nonsense that buggers the mind. Yet, they clothe this as a religious tenet. This is not in the Nicene Creed.

This has been seen before. It is the logic of cigarette lawyers. The cigarette companies hired doctors and scientists saying smoking causes no health problems. Then they hired cigarette lawyers who lied ridiculously*, and would not budge an inch. The oil, gas and oil companies are now in the same position. If smoking cigarettes is fine for one's health, then similarly, smoking oil, gas and coal is fine with the environment. The parallel is the lungs of the organism, man's and the atmosphere. The health and functioning of the body, and the health and functioning of the environment and the climate are rightful comparisons. Now, most of us see that pollution is real. Pollution is a degradation of the earth. Pollution has consequences. The logical plausibility, without even going into minutiae of evidence, of such science, I propose, is easier to grasp than the germ theory of disease, certainly initially. Then again, my mother refuses to believe in the germ theory of disease.

Part of these science deniers is their true agenda is $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$. Here is an inconvenient observation. Have you noticed the recent television commercials that have touted the benefits of clean coal? Coal is flammable rock, it is a smoky fuel. There is no clean coal, unless it has been so metamorphosed, under pressure, as to turn into gem stones, jet and diamond. Another inconvenient fact: the largest non-Murdoch stockholder of the Faux News Corp is the richest man in Sa'udi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Now, if one goes for conspiracy theories...the burning of oil is not to be criticised.

So, this war against knowledge is fueled by a defense of wealth. Man fueled environmental and climate change is profitable to those who are economically powerful. Science and technology only permitted to fuel commerce and warfare of current powerful interests. Of course, new economic interests may one day supercede present powerful interests, and those new interests may hold as tenaciously and jealousy to their power.

Now we have moments of comedy. In the US senate, the chief agent of denial is Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. He went to Copenhagen to counter an international conference. He spoke before a gathering of reporters, and they being of other nations, could not take him seriously [a german openly laughed], and he quickly returned to the only place where he could be believed--here in the United States. Now he and his family has built an igloo in the Washington snowstorm as a stunt. The logic, in that, is similar to that of because there is no sunlight at midnight, then someone has stolen the sun, or it has been turned off.
*parodied on Saturday night Live as Nathan Thurm by Martin Short.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keep the Faith

There follows a letter not accepted for publication in a local paper, but was placed as a comment on a reporter's article. It refers to the Mass of Eviction's aftermath at St. John the Baptist, Akron, Ohio on 31 October 2009:

Disputing with the bishop.

On the eve of All Saints, Bishop Richard Lennon presided over a Mass of Eviction at Saint John the Baptist in Akron. A portion of the faithful wished to vigil in the church. The bishop, for the first time, spoke to members of the 'Endangered Catholics'. He told them he was not there to debate. That as of 15 May 2006 he was the tenth bishop of Cleveland, and the Supreme Court of Ohio, in 1880, gave the bishop possession of every particle of physical property of every parish in the diocese. He enjoined the police force of the municipality to remove these members of his flock. He had procured a court injunction, which the police were embarrassed to enforce, but were compelled by the law to do so.

Now, Jesus had said at the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God." Saint Paul was dismayed when writing to the Corinthians that "brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers." The bishop showed he was not there to make peace, but to engage the modern day agents of Caesar to defend and enforce his claims. What Paul referred to as 'shame' was this call upon the courts of the county, and state, and the police force of the municipality in this matter of dispute amongst the saints. Herein the bishop chose not the path of conciliation within the church, but to advocate with the state.

He told the Endangered Catholics that they were appointed by no one. While this is true, it is also true that they earnestly represent many, and they are certainly members of his flock.

Many of us remember habited sisters as our teachers, whom taught us that the vicar of Christ, the pope, signed his letters as the servant of the servants of God. All U.S. bishops of the western Church are appointed by the successor of Peter, and we have been blessed by a series of fundamentally humble men, who have held the office of late. Our current ordinary has ever been increasingly imperious. He has become even more akin to a hard-hearted oriental despot, more like Pharoa than the Good Shepherd.

Now, he who sets the terms of debate has the argument more than half won. Our parishes are being suppressed. The stated reasons are not applicable to each parish targeted, nor are they the proper criteria. The reasons of finance, demographics, and clerical numbers are not canonical, nor christian requirements; they are business rationale in current America. They are products of the materialism of the disciples of Adam Smith, and Herbert Spencer that befit business school graduates, and we are all experiencing the woe they befell the nation, and the world, with the current economic bust. This is acceptable, and agreeable as proper, to much of the public, and especially the non-Catholic public. But the constitutional requirements of a parish, has been set by Jesus, and recognised in canon law, for three people to constitute a parish, and when so recognised is meant to be perpetual. Traditionally a parish is made extinct when there is no activity for an hundred years. In this diocese it seems that an hundred years is not the dormancy period, but the life span; and again, constitutional law has not been respected as of recent years in the United States.

The parishes disproportionately targeted are the nationality parishes. Those that were most defined by communality, and closeness of community, and fervency of loyalty and belief. Some of these are more than just barely solvent, some have large financial reserves, yet they are to be suppressed. Bishop Lennon, as many American bishops, has a degree of animus to the nationalities. The hierarchy, and he, prefer an homogenised parish that "pays, prays, and obeys."

Parishes can exist without resident priests. There are parishes served by religious orders that, by definition, are not diocesan priests, yet they are to be suppressed. The clergy shortage argument is not the disqualifying obstacle that it is stated. These religious priests are independent of the diocesan secular structure; the bishop is attempting to go beyond his authority.

Bishop Lennon has created an atmosphere of exasperating low levels of morale throughout the diocese by his mean-spirited, and stubborn endeavors. Many joke in black gallows humour that they live in the diocese of Lennongrad, while others live in apathy and resignation. Lennon has a five year programme for the diocese. As Russians who were born in Saint Petersburg and lived in Leningrad always desired Saint Petersburg, so do many of us.

All Souls Day 2009

Now since then, a countersuit* has been filed in the Summit County court against Lennon. A representative few parishioners from some of the episcopally afflicted parishes are challenging Lennon as being a bad steward of parish property; for he is not the owner but the steward of a trust, and as a steward he has failed, and even acting against his charges.

Now, many of us had heard, as a parting farewell, 'Keep the Faith'. This to many sounds as an odd sort of good-bye, I had heard it often. It is a call to constancy, in a sometimes severely trying world. Well, many of us are 'keeping the faith'. It has not been easy. Some of us are very sorely hit, and Lennon has invited us to leave. He knows multi-thousands will leave, and he is complacent about it. It is a cost of doing business, and collateral damage. The remainder will be just compelled to pony up more money. Some will go elsewhere, or will be shaken as to lose faith. Some of us will be free to join other rites of catholicism, or eastern orthodoxy, for they are also truly catholic. Others will have to be crypto-catholics.

Many of us have or will become as kakure kirishitans and english recusants. But it is not the government that oppresses and suppresses us, but our own leadership. We are conservators of our faith in this. The agent of change, the 'progressive' is our bishop. We are not the blind 'conservatives' that will fall into line to any person who does anything in his office. Every office is circumspect with boundaries, and the proper authority is not to exceed those boundaries. Those who assume to be 'authoritarians' are invisibly cloaked despots, not that the cloaks make them invisible, no, the cloaks are transparently invisible.

It is disconcerting, that in this, we have to recognise the problems with our ecclesial polity. The bishop has failed us, our clergy has not defended their congregations against the ordinary. Some of the criticism we have endured from our non co-religionists has become true in this matter.

We love our church and faith. We are bereft of good leadership. 'Keeping the faith' is very challenging to-day.
*Those suits have been dropped, and the Ohio Attorney General's Office was investigating, but the elections of 2010 brought in a new administration.

Monday, February 22, 2010

St. Elisabeth with Marija Brežice at Saint Lawrence

There are national Madonnas. The US southwest and Mexico have Our Lady of Guadalupe, the english had Our Lady of Walsingham [until the protestants burned the statue], the poles have the Czarna (Black) Madonna, all the slavs have Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The particular one the slovenes have is Marija Brežice. The slovene parish in Cleveland targeted for extinction by Richie Lennon is St. Lawrence. There they have a chapel with a painting of her.
In the chapel there are three windows. One is plain and is lit from the narthex [vestibule]. One is hidden by the top of the woodwork, of the shrine that holds the painting, and only the top with part of the edge decoration, and part of a cloudy sky shown. From the current visitor's view the subject‡ is unknown. No one has seen it for years, perhaps, the next to see it will be the workman the bishop brings in to strip the church of furniture, and sacred art. This obscuring happens elsewhere when altars, and shrines, have extensive woodwork or paneling. Sometimes, one can see some of a window between the crockets, finials, and fretwork, or go to the side, or behind the wood. Here it is obscured by the top archwood, and there is no space for creature larger than your hand to go. Sometimes, windows are covered by a new ceiling, such as Sacred Heart of Jesus, also nearby, and targeted for extinction, where they had fourteen stations of the cross on a choir window, now there is ten stations visible.
The remaining window has the princess Saint Elisabeth of Hungary and Thuringia *1207, †1231. Her face is painted on a circle of white glass, and is sometimes bleached out by sunlight, but sometimes a close focus will bring the face out. It is the nature of stain glass, it changes with the light. It was designed for the sun to illuminate it, and the incoming sunlight is even more variable in a cloudy climate; and of course you see nothing at night, unless there is a streetlight behind it, but the resulting illumination is weak. To truly enjoy, and catch all of such a window, one needs to see it several times, and in different weather conditions.
How does one know the window is of Elisabeth? She has a loaf of bread in one hand, and in the other she scoops her dress into being a cloth vase for roses. She was given to great charity. She was an early secular franciscan, and is often depicted in franciscan churches. The legend is that she while giving bread to the poor, she was discovered, and the bread had turned to roses. A similar legend is told of her grand niece, St. Elisabeth of Aragon *1271,†1336, Santa Isabel, Queen of Portugal. Saint Zita *1212,†1272, the house servant of Lucca, also.§ But, in the window, the saint seems to have a crown.

Elisabeth was widowed, with three children, and was buffeted by religious and political intrigue in her life and death. Her shrine in a church of Marburg, Hesse, was disturbed, for a descendant, Philip, had become a protector of Luther and brought protestantism to the region. Later the swedes plundered the site in the next century. But Elisabeth is always remembered for her loving charity.
Postscriptum: To my surprise, I was asked to write and post fotos of the windows of this parish church. This is the second, click here for the first.
‡On the outside the window is covered by an opaque protective window. One can barely see anything, but it can very well be Marija Brežice, a slovene variant of Our Lady of Succour, or possibly another Madonna and Child.
§ Zita had gotten in trouble for constantly feeding beggars at the door, and she is often pictured with a beggar.
Her body is incorrupt. The title block may decide identification [of the donor]:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lent: Repentence and the U.S.

Duccio di Buoninsegna. Temptation on the Mount. 1308-11. New York City.
To-day is the first Sunday of Lent.

The devil is wily and devious. Jesus, the man, had spent forty days fasting, and was in a physically weakened posture. The devil gave three temptations. Jesus, as both God and man, was not stupid and fooled. The devil could not give Him anything that He could not have Himself. Permit me an odd diversion, this lyric is metaphorically close, “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didnt, didnt already have.” And this is a message to all of us, the devil has nothing to give; he wants to possess. He wants your soul, your true allegiance, and clever trickery is his method.

The second temptation (in Luke, the third in Matthew):
And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. Lk iv. 5-6. When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time. Lk iv.13.
As we understand, Jesus could have done this without help. He chose not to. He was one with the poor and downtrodden, not with the powers of the earth. But, what does this tell us of the powerful? The roman empire was the great power then, as the United States is to-day.

Now in Lent, we are meant to repent. What is it to repent? To be sorry, feel remorse with sincere contriteness for past sin. One is self reproachful. “God, God, what have I done?, is the sentiment.

Now this is not the ‘american way’. The United States shows no remorse and admits to no guilt, or at least a certain partys advocates. Anyone who recognises the evil the country has done and is doing, is denounced as part of the ‘blame America crowd’. Part of this is the extreme nationalism that is jingoism and chauvinism, part of this is distilled calvinism, or as it is called currently in political theory, ‘american exceptionalism’, a divine gift of predestined grace. It is also a sick form of self love, narcissism.

We have seen this recently proved by the Justice Department in giving passes to the architects of torture, Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo. Dick Cheney even boasts of his crimes, and scolds, and berates those whom may refrain. Any crime committed for the government, by the military or secret police or mercenaries, is waived. The Geneva Conventions and Nuremberg War Crimes principles are inapplicable to americans by the US government. The great fear espoused supposedly by the busheviks about a supposed Democratic administration has proved groundless. Neither Obama, nor Holder are willing to execute justice. The change promised is the status quo ante done reservedly. The Republicans feared punishment, for they knew they were guilty, but the government has shown it is bi-partisanly complicit.

The rules of God for us are not those of Cæsar for Cæsar. The godless hypocrite says the former and does the latter.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One more question for Bishop Richard

A further question, that was not [but should have been] addressed to Bishop Richard Lennon: Certainly you are aware that this process you approve of, and designed, has and will continue to force and send catholics permanently away from the western (roman) (latin)-rite of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Is that not a great failure of your pastoral office? You are creating paths of schism and apostasy.

Before the coming of Lennon there were seven hungarian [magyar] parishes. To-day there are two, and one is scheduled for suppression. Saint Emeric is to be closed on the last day of the plan, the last day of the fiscal year, the 30th of June. It will be a Wednesday. This much to be said of the parishioners there, they really do not want to be suppressed. Now why such a hard hit on that nation?

The poles will have ten parishes go. The slovaks will have six gone, and a remaining parish [SS. Cyril & Methodius, Lakewood (Birdtown)] will have its name changed, and its nationality status stripped. Lennon is engaging in ethnic cleansing, especially amongst east europeans. The slovenes, croats, czechs [bohemians], lithuanians, and the predominately african american churches are being similarly targeted. National heritage and traditions are to quashed, in order to create an homogenised product, suitable to whom?

People are being told they are unimportant, nay, they should not exist. At Sacred Heart, in Akron, he likened his activity to that of Jesus. He stated that when the call to the apostles came and people would not follow, "He let them go [9.10 in the video clip]". Apparently, he is not like the Good Shepherd:
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.
He made some inventions there too. "When a parish closes, the church has said, the assets go with the people. [6.45 in the video clip]". Will anyone attempt to hold him to his word?

He also told blatant falsehoods about the process. "We could not have been more clear in what we're doing...there's no secret here." [9.22 in the video clip]

He also said something so absurd, "I am not without sensitivity [3.30 in the video clip]", that people openly laughed at him. This he did not appreciate, after all, "When your brothers and sisters were singing, I did not laugh [3.43 in the video clip]." People singing religious and national hymns with deep emotion is equated with recognition of the ridiculous.

10 Polish
  • Assumption of Mary, Grafton
  • Holy Cross, Elyria
  • St. Hyacinth, Cleveland
  • St. Hedwig, Akron
  • St. Stanislaus, Lorain
  • St. Casimir, Cleveland
  • St. Hedwig, Lakewood
  • Corpus Christi, Cleveland
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cleveland
  • St. Barbara, Cleveland
6 Hungarian
  • Holy Trinity, Barberton
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus, Elyria
  • St. Ladislaus, Lorain
  • St. Margaret of Hungary, Orange
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus, Akron
  • St. Emeric, Cleveland
6 Slovak
  • St. Andrew Svorad, Cleveland
  • SS. Cyril & Methodius, Barberton
  • St. John the Baptist, Akron
  • Holy Trinity, Lorain
  • Our Lady of Mercy, Cleveland
  • St. Wendelin, Cleveland
5 African-American *
  • St. Henry, Cleveland
  • St. Catherine, Cleveland
  • Epiphany, Cleveland
  • St. Cecilia, Cleveland
  • St. Adalbert, Cleveland
2 Slovene
  • SS. Cyril & Methodius, Lorain
  • St. Lawrence, Cleveland
2 Croat
  • Christ the King, Akron
  • St. Vitus, Lorain
2 Czech (Bohemian)
  • St. Wenceslas, Maple Hts.
  • St. Procop, Cleveland
1 Lithuanian
  • St. George, Cleveland
1 Italian
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel -- East, Cleveland (this church was an oratory[chapel])
* None of these were originally black or african-american, but became so through demographics, but Saint Adalbert had been a czech parish that an african-american congregation (Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament) merged with.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ten Questions for Bishop Richard

To-day, at noon, there was proclaimed in front of the portico, and cathedral doors, of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland, Ohio, ten questions addressed to Bishop Richard Lennon. 'Code Purple', a group of catholic parishioners of the Cleveland diocese were the presenters of the questions regarding the intransparency and injustice of parish suppression and closure. 'Code Purple' is a group of catholic parishioners of the Cleveland diocese, speaking for some whom may be shy, or afeared, or despairing of being actually heard by the bishop and the public. They wish a conversation with the bishop. They point out there is nothing resembling a one-to-one correspondence with the stated rationale and the reality of closure.
1. In the Five Year Diocesan Financial Projection where are the major budget shortfalls and how does closing vibrant parishes plug the shortfalls?
2. How much money has been collected from closed (not merging) parish accounts? Would you please list the closed parishes and amount of money the diocese has collected from each? Would you please list the receiving parishes and amount the diocese has distributed to each?
3. Some dioceses follow a peaceful and progressive plan which organizes pastoral units (approved by canon law) where groups of parishes are served by pastoral teams. This allows each parish to decide whether to close or remain open. Did Cleveland ever consider such a process? If yes, why was it not implemented?
4. How do you respond to accusations that the Cleveland Cluster/Close Program (which forces parishes to sacrifice each other) is unjust, cruel, abusive and unChristian?
5. How do you explain the fact that the Cleveland Cluster/Close Program often ignored and reversed cluster recommendations?
6. Would you consider giving churches a second chance for continued existence if those churches can prove they are self sustaining, active in social service, able to pay all assessments and are working to increase membership?
7. Would you consent to a mediation effort between the Diocese of Cleveland and the Churches Asking for Second Chances, with mediators agreed to by Diocese and Churches?
8. Is there a reason why you are closing and stripping churches that are in appeal to Rome without waiting for answers from Rome? Has Rome given permission to close appealing parishes?
9. Why are ethnic and African American parishes being disproportionately targeted for closing?
10. Why is the Cleveland Diocese more concerned about dwindling financials than the dwindling number of people in the pews?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lamentations of the church militant

Peter receives the Keys from Jesus. St. Peter, Cleveland.
Now, Jesus gave the keys to Peter. Peter was, and is, the vicar of Christ. He is the steward of the Church. A steward tends to the upkeep of property and other duties, he does not possess the property. A good steward serves, this is why the pope signs as the servant of the servants of God. Humility is required. In to-day's Gospel (Luke v), Peter was humble before Jesus after a huge haul of fish came up in the nets. Peter realised, that, he and his comrades were not responsible, but Jesus. Again, and again, Peter recognised who he was, and whom He was.

Jesus also recognised Peter. Jesus invested Peter as his vicar, his substitute, in charge of the Church. Jesus was the Head, Peter his steward, his vicar.

One prerogative of the Vicar of Christ is that he can recall, chastise all other bishops. In Cleveland the ordinary has not acted well as steward, nor as shepherd (pastor). He disregards his flock, and he liquidates its property and disbands communities, causing lamentation upon lamentation.

Lament by Megan Dull
Currently at St. Peter's, Cleveland, there is an art exhibit of parishioners' work on display. Two sculptures, in particular, comment on the situation. One is named, Lament; between three heads tossed back on elongated necks, pivoted beyond human mechanics, there are the 52 parishes cited on 14 March 2009 for extinction, represented on miniature towers. To-day the pastor mentioned the names of the saints that are now de-listed as patrons, and the odd example of Casimir, whom was polish and is now to be lithuanian in Cleveland. The other, more provocative, is Das Leben MMX (Life 2010), in which a crosier has become a spear.
Das Leben MMX by Norbert and Victoria Koehn
Now, while the pastor of Saint Peter was celebrating Mass, the evicted parish of Saint Casimir continued their weekly services. They expected two local councilmen to be there, they were not. A television cameraman and a newspaper photographer also expected them there. The faithful continued, and they will return.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More double standard, this time in the Senate

Al Franken (Democrat) was sworn in as senator, 246 days after his election. The Republican party drug out every anchor imaginable for the delay. Scott Brown (Republican) is set to be sworn in to-day, 16 days after his election. He had said, that, he wanted to be sworn in on the 11th. Now he can cast a vote against Craig Becker for the National Labor Relations Board. Becker is a labor lawyer.

Minnesota had, and has, a Republican governor, Massachusetts has a Democratic governor. Bi-partisanship is like the schoolyard phrasing of rubber and glue, and it is always in the favor of the Republican. The system is rigged. People vote for a majority of Democrats, and the Democrats do not rule. Republicans piss, and bitch, and moan
ad nauseam, and often act without scruples in regard to decorum and law, and get their way. Democracy is de-railed. And the Republicans always vote for the moneyed interests, while the, so called, Democrats often do. The people lose again.