The US Ordinariate and Negative Individuals

It’s Sunday evening. We had a really blessed Mass earlier. The numbers were down, but that was almost predictably so: It was storming, Cape-style, rain pouring down and freezing cold. It was also the last day of the June/July Winter school holidays. So tomorrow is back to school! But today was good. And I am neither in the mood nor willing to spoil the day that was by engaging these (and other) negative individuals.

No doubt this article will raise some hackles, but The Anglo-Catholic is the pre-eminent space for debate, discussion and news about the Ordinariates, the Anglican Use, and, generally, the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church.  As much as we’ve been accused of kowtowing to the Establishment and holding the party line, it is consonant with the mission of the blog to explore different points of view — within the bounds and bonds of Catholic unity — and I believe that we have always striven to achieve this.

The fact of the matter is that some very poor decisions have been made with respect to the establishment of the American Ordinariate.  Perhaps this is to be expected as such a thing has never before been attempted; but so too is it important that we recognise and debate issues of controversy.

The following article is by Vincent Uher, former parishioner of Our Lady of Walsingham…

It’s a pity that the blogs are such an easy place for complainers to air and spread their negativity. As I’ve said before, things cannot always go the way we want them to go. And living with a judgmental, pessimistic and embittered attitude will not help. In fact, being that way undermines the work of the gospel and has the very real potential of causing one to die spiritually.

‘Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice…’

– Eph 4:31

I honestly pray for Msgr Jeffery Steenson, the person who is having to deal with all these negative, hyper-critical, factious and unhelpful individuals.



On Catholic Oath of Fidelity: It’s About Time

In the Washington Post:

I have two words for Bishop Paul S. Loverde: thank you. If I could add three more: it’s about time.

In May, the bishop announced that he would be mandating an “Oath of Fidelity”, requiring them to submit “will and intellect” to the teachings of the Catholic Church. I didn’t have to reflect for long on this new requirement to see its wisdom, and the more I think about it, the more grateful I am that Bishop Loverde has exercised his leadership in this attempt to preserve the traditions of my Faith from personal interpretation and distortion. I think that requiring a profession of faith for catechists makes complete sense and is justifiable for several reasons.

First, the church is a membership organization with the right to regulate its membership, just like any other organization. When a person is accepted into the Catholic Church, he or she must profess the faith and then be baptized. Membership is not compulsory, but in order to maintain one’s good standing, a person must continue to profess what the church teaches.

Secondly, contrary to popular desire, the church is not a democracy. Its members profess the faith given to us by Jesus Christ; they don’t create the faith. As members and representatives of the church, we follow its rules. In making a profession of faith, far from abandoning our reason (as is commonly asserted), we more easily avoid error and are freer to come to a greater understanding of ourselves and our relationship to God and neighbor than we would be able to achieve independently.

As Christ so elegantly in teaches in John’s Gospel, “the truth will set you free.” Once I accept the truth, I can use my reason to come to a deeper understanding of the things that I already know are true, rather than worry about whether I know anything correctly in the first place.

With so much of the spirit of confusion about who we are as a church and as individuals prevailing after Vatican II, it is appropriate that on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, our spiritual leaders would try to bring a renewed order and clarity to the transmission of the authentic teachings of the church, especially in educating our children who trust us so much. Last year, I signed a document similar to this one as a requirement to teach at a Catholic school in the diocese. At various points throughout the year, I recalled that I had signed that document, and it made me a better teacher because I was more careful to formulate what I taught in an accurate way. Oaths  have that effect sometimes, for those who take them seriously.

So essentially, if I decide that I want to help out in my parish, a Catholic school, or other organization where I am representing the Catholic Church, then it is completely within reason that Church leaders would have the right to regulate what I teach in their name. It defies logic to assert that teachers of the Catholic faith should be free to misrepresent what that faith is.

Ultimately, I think we need to realize that what this comes down to is a classic case of don’t shoot the messenger. Bishop Loverde didn’t invent the teachings of the cChurch, Jesus did, and as bishop he is simply asking us to be honest in passing along those teachings when we call ourselves Catholic catechists. As a Catholic school teacher, a former CCD teacher, and now an aspiring seminarian, I am grateful to Bishop Loverde and our other church leaders who are working tirelessly to preserve the unity of our faith through a renewed and clear commitment to the truth who is Jesus Christ.



Mexico: Gunmen Attack Church Camp-Out

Toluca, Mexico – A gang of about a dozen armed people stormed into a church youth camp-out near Mexico City and went on an hours-long rampage of beatings, robberies and rape, authorities said Saturday.

Seven girls were raped during the Friday attack and several campers were beaten, according to the state prosecutors office in Mexico State, which surrounds the Mexican capital.

About 90 youths sponsored by a church group known as the Chains of the Holy Trinity were camping at an eco-park on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City, in a hilly area that is close to the lower flanks of the Popocatepetl volcano. Prosecutors did not say what church the group is affiliated with, but the camp-out appeared to have been a sort of spiritual retreat.

The office said that the attack lasted for hours, and that when the attackers left they stole two vehicles and other articles from the campers.

The office said investigators were pursuing two lines of inquiry, but did not reveal what they were.

Drug gangs operate on the outskirts of Mexico City, but campers and hikers have also been targeted in the past by common criminals.

The park is supposed to be patrolled by local police, but the attack occurred during the night and it was unclear whether officers were on duty at the time. Police only found out about the crimes when an adult organizer of the camp-out showed up at police offices to report the attack.

The state government said in a statement that it had witness’ descriptions of the attackers and pledged to catch and punish those responsible.