For those few who come here for academic interest, or art interest, this is not about that. For the three or four of you that come interested in local religious matters, there follows a 'link' from a local priest whom opines on the 'Situation' we got here. I am not the only one who sees a serious problem; and Houston is unconcerned.
Last night at Saint Colman Cleveland there was a 'Pentecost Prayer Service for Women and the Church'*. The pews have room for a thousand people (i had thought even more; St. Colman's is the Irish Cathedral in town), there were few empty spots.
Also, the local ordinary, Richard Lennon, often complains about the priest shortage. He decided to add to it by formally relieving a priest from his ministry†. Lennon contradicts himself often, and he is rarely challenged. Unchallenged rubbish and lies are accepted as not being rubbish and lies. There is an historical adage in regarding the pig headed, uncomprehending, reactionary, Bourbon kings. Talleyrand (the laicised Bishop of Autun) supposedly said, «Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié» ("they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing"). He never learns and never forgets. Such is our Sovereign, Lord Lennon.
To quote Fr. Andrew Greeley, writing in 1993:‡"Catholicism is not an exclusivist sect with rigid boundaries. It is a rich, complex, diversified, pluralistic heritage. Anyone who has read Catholic history is well aware that its tradition has always been pluralistic and that it has defined its boundaries out as far as possible, to include everyone it can. In the words of one of the great Catholic theologians of the present century, James Joyce, Catholicism means HCE -- Here Comes Everyone.
Canon law recognizes this. You stop being a Catholic not when you break a rule, not when you disagree with the pope, but only when you formally and explicitly renounce your faith or join another religious denomination. Even then, the imagery and stories of Catholicism are so powerful that they continue to lurk in the imagination. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.
The idea that ''cafeteria Catholicism'' (as the media people are pleased to call it) is unique to our time and indeed to our country is historically absurd. The pope and the bishops may tell Catholics what rules they are supposed to keep, but even church leaders know better than to threaten to toss you out if you don't keep the rules." — Fr. Andrew Greeley. 22 August 1993. Los Angeles Times.‡
*postscriptum: 8 June 2012. A parish priest wrote this essay, What the Nuns’ Story is Really About, in his parish bulletin, and it was copied on to this national site. The readers' comments have a high positive response.
†After this was printed in Cleveland's daily, the next day this was.‡somehow in the transcription, some text was missing [To quote Fr. Andrew Greeley, writing in 1993:] to clearly state, that, this section is a quoted passage from Greeley's essay.