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Parishioners and priest defy bishop

Posted By: Monomakh

Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/16/10 03:32 PM

Parishioners, priest from closed St. Peter Catholic Church defy bishop, celebrate Mass in new home

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/parishioners_from_closed_catho.html
Posted By: sieglinde

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/16/10 07:54 PM

So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it? And if there were 350 people at this Mass, why was their parish church closed (was the church deconsecrated and the parish suppressed, or did something else happen?) And why do they need six chalices and three ciboria for that number of people?

Apologies if those are stupid questions, just what popped into my mind after reading the article.
Posted By: ALLEN

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/16/10 10:51 PM

and who will be the pastor after the present one retires? With that many people involved, surely the Bishop could make some kind of accomodation; apparently other people from other closed churches are also coming to St Peters...just thinking
Posted By: Lawrence

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 12:52 AM


Going by the photos, they sure don't look very traditional.
Posted By: The young fogey

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 01:27 AM

Understandable but yes, this doesn't make theological sense and seems another liberal walk-on to the vagante circus. Not hardcore like the one in Rochester, NY (liberal pastor went vagante after the bishop cracked down) but similar.

Without a larger church with bishops and more than one parish it won't last a generation.

The Polish National Catholic Church (century-old American schism; Novus Ordo clone... historically liberal bishops but conservative parishes... these days it's fourth-generation members and priests from Poland who left RC to marry) has actually started a few new parishes in what seem conservative Rust Belt neighbourhoods because of RC parish closings.

I'm not saying it's right, just that it happens.
Posted By: theophan

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 02:08 AM

Quote
So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it?


They don't need one. The requirement for an altar stone hasn't been in place for quite some years. Most parishes I've been in for the past 35 years don't have one--even one left over after renovations.

Usually closings of churches have to do with lack of clergy, high cost of keeping old buildings up, lack of income, a combination of these and other reasons.

Bob
Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 05:05 AM

Hi young fogey!
Where's the "Rust Belt"?
Posted By: aramis

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 05:38 AM

Rust Belt: Roughly a Pensylvania-Virginia-Ohio-Michigan bounding box...
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 07:11 AM

The parish is one of some 50 (if I remember correctly) closed in the Latin Diocese of Cleveland since Bishop Lennon was enthroned there (after transfering from an Auxiliary position in Boston). I'm fairly certain that there is an old thread here that discusses it. He drew enormous criticism for the closure decisions that he made - many of which were of the older, inner-city, and often ethnic parishes which inevitably bear the brunt of cutbacks.

A very interesting observation in this piece is that which notes - contrary to the usual reaction - this community did not seek to occupy the closed temple, asserting that it was not about the physical plant but about the community of faithful as being the Church. However else one feels about the decision they have taken, there is much truth to that - as we should all especially well know.

It's a premise too seldom observed in modern times. There was a time, in the memory of at least some of us, when parishes were essentially that - a community that worshipped together, versus a bunch of folk who happened to be in the same building of a Sunday morning and went their separate ways thereafter.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 07:51 AM

Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Where's the "Rust Belt"?


The Steel Belt was a typical descriptor intended to evoke a mental picture of a region's employment base and its contribution to the broader economy. Similar appellatiions were the Coal, Corn, and Cotton Belts, and a myriad of smaller/less commonly cited ones, such as the Copper, Silver, Textile, and Chemical Belts, to name a few of them. As some of these began to founder, through resource depletion or the movement of work outside NA as cost-saving, profit-increasing measures, the names were sometimes denigrated to variations that more aptly described what was left behind; as examples, the Steel Belt became the Rust Belt and the Textile Belt became the Lint Belt.

The Rust Belt is an area roughly that which aramis has described - although I'd be more inclined to describe it as beginning in western NY state, and proceeding through PA, OH, IN, northern IL, and up into parts of MI, MN, and WI. It encompasses those formerly highly industrialized regions where once thriving, now abandoned, factories (and iron mines) were an essential aspect of life. In times prior to the demise of heavy industry as a major economic factor for the region, it was additionally, but less frequently, sometimes termed as the Manufacturing or Factory Belt.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: sieglinde

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 11:38 AM

Originally Posted by theophan
Quote
So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it?


They don't need one. The requirement for an altar stone hasn't been in place for quite some years. Most parishes I've been in for the past 35 years don't have one--even one left over after renovations.

Bob


That's really sad. Makes me wonder what happens to them, although with the stories told to me by people who 'rescue' far less important things from dumpsters (altar cloths, tabernacle veils) I can probably imagine.
Posted By: theophan

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 11:50 AM

Quote
. . . what happens to them . . .


I've rescued three and missed three.
Posted By: Ung-Certez

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 11:56 AM

Originally Posted by Irish Melkite

A very interesting observation in this piece is that which notes - contrary to the usual reaction - this community did not seek to occupy the closed temple, asserting that it was not about the physical plant but about the community of faithful as being the Church. However else one feels about the decision they have taken, there is much truth to that - as we should all especially well know.

It's a premise too seldom observed in modern times. There was a time, in the memory of at least some of us, when parishes were essentially that - a community that worshipped together, versus a bunch of folk who happened to be in the same building of a Sunday morning and went their separate ways thereafter.

Many years,

Neil


It seems that in the numerous Roman dioceses in the North-East Rust Belt that have closed numerous ethnic neighborhood churches, have now created new "mega" parishes (w/ 6 to 8 liturgies a weekend) with congregations around 7,000 to 10,000 in their stead. How is that a better situation? How can any Roman Catholic attending a "mega" parish possibily have any sense of parish community and fellowship? Where is the sense of communion and fellowship in a "mega" parish of 7,000-10,000 souls? What is the justification for the creation of these "mega" parishes in these Roman dioceses? What are the priorities, finances or attending to the spiritual welfare of the faithful?

U-C
Posted By: sielos ilgesys

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 01:13 PM

While teaching CCD in a certain Latin parish many years ago, I chanced to come across 2 altar stones which had been placed in storage after the renovation of the church. I decided to ask permission to dispose of them by burying them in the grave with a very pious and devout aged Mexican-American parishioner;the pastor gave his OK and that's where they are today, buried with her in Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.
Posted By: Epiphanius

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 02:05 PM

Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
What is the justification for the creation of these "mega" parishes in these Roman dioceses? What are the priorities, finances or attending to the spiritual welfare of the faithful?

U-C,

That's something I'd like to know--although I suspect it's probably better that I dont!

My impression is that we're witnessing an example of the lingering spirit of clericalism, in which the bishops see themselves as having dictatorial powers and whose judgments are never to be questioned. In the past, this attitude was modeled after kings and princes, now it is modeled after corporate CEOs.

Just as many CEOs have closed factories and stores that were deemed "unprofitable"--even when they might be considered "viable"--so, these bishops feel they need to follow suit. I think in most cases where a parish truly isn't viable, the people know it, and can accept the fact that the parish must close.

I have also heard that when a parish closes, only about half the parishioners actually transfer to the "new" parish, with the others moving on to Protestant churches or no church at all.

I especially like the "sidebar" article, entitled Catholic Parish Breakaways Not Uncommon
Quote
Devout Catholics breaking away from diocesan control is not unheard of today, church observers say.

Michele Dillon, an expert on Catholic history and chair of the sociology department at the University of New Hampshire, said it's hard to come up with a number, because so many breakaway groups are quietly organized, not wanting publicity.

She said she was aware of at least 30 across the country. "Most of them can be described as good Catholics, very committed to Catholic traditions -- liturgy, prayer, even the rosary," said Dillon, who has done extensive research on breakaway Catholic groups.

"The irony is most who splinter off are actually more Catholic in their beliefs than main-stream Catholics. But they really challenge the authority of the hierarchy."

Professor William D'Antonio of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said breakaway groups were born out of Vatican II, which was a move in the mid 1960s to democratize the church.

"This movement has continued to expand, mostly in America, but it's spreading world-wide," he said.

Two primary reasons, said D'Antonio, are the church's sex-scandal, which has hurt the credibility of the institution's hierarchy, and a laity that is more educated today than any other time in church history.

"They have moved away from automatically doing what the bishop says," said D'Antonio. "The dangers of education."

-- Michael O'Malley

Interesting observations.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: theophan

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 02:21 PM

I belong to a parish that is a community--it's a place where visitors and people looking for community come and observe that "people really want to be here and be together." So many parishes I've lived in are impersonal places where there is a handful of active people, but active people who don't readily take outsiders or new people into their group. My children have run into this as they've moved away and into large parishes. Their gifts aren't readily accepted, even as they've offered them. My son trained as a lector many years ago but doesn't often get even offered an assignment and I think he's given up. My daughter has, like her mother, a beautiful voice and would do cantoring, but hasn't gotten even a reply to her offers.

In my parish, the "culture" of the community is that we encourage everyone to bring gifts and talents to build us all up. We have, for example, a new member who came to us at the Paschal Vigil and who now runs a service committee that offers free help to anyone who may need lit "fix up" services. He brought the idea, set it into motion, and it's now become a vibrant ministry with lots of volunteers.

So the idea of community is one that seems to disappear in direct proportion to the size of the parish, in my experience.
Posted By: Epiphanius

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 02:36 PM

Just a thought: what happens when a mega-parish starts to go into decline?
Posted By: theophan

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 08:32 PM

Deacon Richard:

That's easy--from a business standpoint. The diocese is left with a huge physical plant that costs far more than the multiple smaller plants closed to maintain. The flock scatters and many times just disappears. Then what to do with a building that cannot easily be converted to another use.

The thing that never crosses the minds of those in the chancery is that people today seem to have a very independent attitude toward being "herded" into larger more impersonal groups. It's very difficult to entice people to joing groups today, especially the young set. Ask anyone who recruits for the civic clubs and other organizations. My professional, educational organization has no members under the age of 45. The younger members want to go home at the end of the day and spend time with their families. Unlike many of us older members, they do not want to hang out with their professional peers and "talk shop" or even seek continuing education opportunities. The parish is no different.

Then there is the issue of "this is 'our' parish and you're the newcomers" when there is a merger. One such cluster in our diocese required the police to monitor Masses for the first year of operation to keep the fist fights from getting out of hand over such remarks.

So breaking up a viable group does not mean the folks will "flock" to another "designated" place. Sometimes, if they do, they go for liturgy and then go home, but don't "join." That means there are large crowds but a small plate and a constant struggle to keep the doors open. Again, if people don't feel part of the group, they tend not to support the group--and that includes financially. Even when people do support financially, there seems to be a tendency to withhold funds when there is disagreement with the way finances are spent--a stewardship issue that the clergy often don't seem to "get."

Couple copper coins worth this afternoon.

Bob
Posted By: Monomakh

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 09:08 PM

Update on this story:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/bishop_richard_lennon_seeks_me.html
Posted By: Robert Horvath

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/17/10 09:35 PM

Slava Isusu Christu!

Ecclesial Community disconnected from the Communion of the Church is not the fullness of Eucharistic and social community and expresses a lack. Many progressive and even ironically several traditionalist American Latin Catholic parishes and several Eastern Catholics have a Congregationalist mentality, which is absolutely foreign to Latin and Eastern Catholic ecclesiology. I know it is natural to preserve parishes from suppression or poaching, but Communion with Rome is more important than even a Temple or physical plant--we can always build more Temples and buildings. I hope the bishop can bring them back home.

Robert
Posted By: Epiphanius

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/18/10 12:40 AM

Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
I hope the bishop can bring them back home.

He's the one who's driving them away!

It is characteristic of tyrants to blame the people for not following their leadership ...
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/18/10 02:42 AM

Quote
It is characteristic of tyrants to blame the people for not following their leadership ...


Indeed!

Quote
The twelve final words on the back of St. Peter Catholic Church's Easter Sunday program said it most plainly.

A timeline spanning 156 years ended this way: "Parish suppressed and church building closed April 2010 by Bishop Richard Lennon."



Quote
But before the Rev. Robert Marrone kicked out the wooden blocks and locked the massive arched doors -- that had remained open to worshipers from all walks of life since 1859 -- he served up a forceful sermon.

His words were the last orated in the church ...
... The closing of St. Peter - a part of what he called the church closing epidemic - was not because of economics, or lack of clergy or parishioners, Marrone said.

Instead it was a "steadfast refusal and or inability to imagine things in a different way."


http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/04/final_mass_at_downtown_st_pete.html
Posted By: Robert Horvath

Re: Parishioners and priest defy bishop - 08/18/10 10:03 PM

Slava Isusu Christu!

When you belong to a hierarchical religious tradition, things like this should be presumed as a possibility. The bishop is an Apostle of Jesus Christ in the Catholic tradition and the laity, in spite of the generosity of Vatican II regarding the lay apostolate and participation, did not abrogate the Institutional Model of the Church in spite of the ecclesiology of the Mystical Body and People of God. In fact much more authority was given to bishops by the Council and the 1983 Code and the 1990 Eastern Code. Do I agree with Temple closings? No. Is the the right of the bishop or eparch? Yes. All we can do is use the appeal process allowed by law, but the Pope is not going to want to lessen the powers of bishops expanded by Vatican II, by countermanding their juridical actions. This is a sensitive subject and there is no answer that can be pastoral enough for the people involved.

Robert
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