Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catholics And Their Faith

In pastoral ministry when teaching the truths of the faith, most often the moral teachings of Christ and the Church, the ones who emerge as most opposed to it and most vocal in their opposition are not non-Catholics who, though they may disagree can for the most part shrug their shoulders and move on, but Catholics themselves.

A growing problem here in Ireland, for example, is the issue of noise in church. Before, and most particularly after Mass, as soon as the priest leaves the sanctuary, an awful din starts and grows in intensity as people chat, call out to each other, laugh and joke in the church itself - dreadfully disrespectful, and to be honest, in my eyes, a real indication of poor or no faith as the Blessed Sacrament is ignored and the church is treated as if it was just another community hall.  It is also intensely selfish as the chatterers do not allow the church to be what it should be, "a house of prayer" for the community and so in their noisy talking deny those who wish to pray their right to the silence which should reign in a church building.  Personally speaking it is a difficult challenge which we orthodox priests are trying to meet, though we are making enemies not only within our parishes, but also within the presbyterate: "Chill out, Father, get real" or as someone said to me: "You're making too much of this - God can look after himself he doesn't need you to do it!"  Again a real indication that there is need of a very serious reform here in Ireland.

Anyway, a friend of mine wrote an article on the issue in a Catholic newspaper and it was taken up by a couple of radio stations who interviewed him.  The responses to the intervews were interesting: Protestants who rang in or texted were in favour of what he had to say: a church is supposed to be a place of silence, prayer and reflection - a place apart, to get away from the din of the world and enter into the Lord's peace.  Beautiful.  But it was Catholics who were most scathing - they attacked him for what he had to say: "How dare he! He won't tell us what to do.

I say this to preface this video which is most remarkable.  Perhaps you have seen it already, I have just discovered it thanks to Fr Z (peace be upon him).  It is an American priest, Fr Michael Rodriguez making a submission to El Paso City Council who were considering extending health benefits to the homosexual "partners" of employees.  It seemed the Council had been told that the Church supported the granting of these benefits and Fr Rodriguez asked to speak to the Council to inform them of the truth: the Church did not support it, even if some Catholics within the local diocese said it did.  His main thesis: the ultimate authority on Church teaching is the Pope in Rome, if local church officials be they bishops or priests disagree with the Pope, then they are not being true Church teaching.  His submission is excellent.  He is a true priest, God bless him!

However one councillor rejects the priest's submission and tries to rubbish the priest's submission by an  attack on the Church citing the usual objections: condoms and AIDS and child abuse.  And guess what - that councillor is a Catholic and.....with the surname O'Rourke, he's Irish!

1 comment:

  1. I agree entirely Father.

    All this chatter betrays a weak or non-existent faith in the Real Presence.