February 2013

Church teaching can be trashed one of two ways: 1)directly, and unabashedly like Roy Bourgeois;  or 2) though plain ambiguity. Now, with the former you usually can assign venial motives, however, with the latter it is usually too difficult to tell one way or the other. Regardless, the outcome is the same: 1) either Church teachings are interpreted by the faithful as being “nuanced” and therefore open to interpretation or as being left to one’s “personal conscience” to decide, or that the church teaching doesn’t even have an opinion on whatever issue it is that is being discussed. The faithful are left confused, and the salvation of souls takes another hit…which is why ambiguity should be avoided at all times when teaching the Faith.

With that in mind check out the following sermon from Fr. Satish Joseph, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church Dayton, Ohio, on the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2013:

Last December we had a very special parish council meeting. We invited three people who left the Catholic Church and three people who joined the Catholic Church to share their experience. We wanted to know why people make the decisions they make about belonging to a particular faith tradition. I soon realized that discussion like these are complex as well. I received two letters apart from the people who were present at the meeting; one from a young lesbian who feels unwelcomed in a Catholic environment and the other from a young mother who recently became Catholic but then could not reconcile her conscience with the church’s teaching on contraception. Those who were present at the meeting also shared their stories. Later when the parish council reflected on all their stories there were common strands we could identify. For one, we realized that those who had left the Catholic Church and those who joined her, were all very sincere people. Their choice was made out of a genuine conviction. But then, there is one trend that I found directly related to the three scripture readings today – a powerful experience of God. The Catholics who left the church did so because the Church could not give them what they were searching for – a God who was close and real. They found the church too rigid and ritualistic…

I would argue they didn’t find the church too rigid and ritualistic, they found the teachings of Christ too rigid and ritualistic.

Read the rest there. (Hey at least they get bonus points for using Latin in their web address!)

You’ll remember Immaculate Conception as the parish-of-choice for the Cincinnati archdiocese to host RCIA and ordination events in the Dayton area. It is also the parish that recently installed a digital, flashing neon marquee that flashes (and not too effectively I might add… the blue on black layout is only legible from the street roughly 50% of the time during daylight hours) in big letters advertising Mass…err, “Eucharistic Celebrations”: 11AM TRADITIONAL (…and by traditional they don’t mean the Mass of All Ages/TLM, they mean the one mass during the day without a guitar or drum solo.) SAT 4:30PM FOLK MASS, SUN 6PM ROCK MASS (… ah yes, the splendid liturgical diversity of the Latin Church…the Ambrosian rite, the Cathusian rite, the Dominican rite, the Mozoarabic rite…. and the Folk and Rock rites. Ugh! Is it 1993 or 2013? At least if “Folk” and “Rock” masses are still going on, do they have to advertise it to the whole world on Smithville Road?), and the propensity to utilize projector screens and Powerpoint slides in sacred worship space as well as the most up-to-date jargon/buzzwords for describing the latest parish initiatives. 

Now who knows where Fr. Joseph was going with this homily. I can tell you the liberal parishioners most certainly took it as a sly repudiation of Church teaching and walked away self-assured.  I’m not expecting fire and brim stone when it comes to issues such as homosexual acts, and the use of contraception, in fact, please no fire and brim stone, but at least explain something from the chapters of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s Section 2. Also, no mention of the Church’s ongoing struggles against the tyrannous HHS Mandate or against gay so-called marriage.  I can’t assign any ill-motive to Fr. Joseph, however this whole thing is a cautionary tale for those entrusted with teaching the Faith, particularly as it pertains to sensitive and contemporary social/political issues.

For clarity, Fr. Satish Joseph is below with the ponytail.

We should start a betting pool on which Sister of Charity is the culprit:

(I suppose there’s no sport in offering a bonus for id’ing the vote-getting candidate.)

A Greater Cincinnati nun is accused of illegally casting a ballot for another nun who died before last November’s election, a new case of alleged vote fraud that emerged as local officials move to wrap up their investigation into election improprieties last fall.

Sister Rose Marie Hewitt, 78, died Oct. 4 after a 59-year career as a Sister of Charity that included service in schools here and across the country, as well as in various other positions in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Although her death occurred before absentee ballots had been mailed to voters throughout Hamilton County, a completed ballot was returned to the elections board in Hewitt’s name.

Officials believe the ballot was sent by another local Sister of Charity who was a friend of Hewitt and is registered at the same Delhi Township address. That person cast her own vote at her polling place on Election Day.

In a Feb. 19 letter to elections board members, county Prosecutor Joe Deters said a preliminary investigation has turned up “sufficient information … to determine that there is probable cause to believe that criminal activity has occurred.”


This is to request the honor of the presence of Christ’s faithful, for a Solemn High Requiem Mass “In Anniversario Defunctorum” in the Traditional Roman Rite, to commemorate the passing into eternity of Paul Andrew Alexander, previously of Milford, Ohio, and the father of yours truly. The Mass is to be held on Wednesday, the 20th of February, at seven o’clock in the evening, at Old Saint Mary’s Church, 123 East Thirteenth Street, in the Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati.

The sacred ministers will be of the Community-in-Formation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in Cincinnati: Father Laurence Juarez, Celebrant; Father Jon-Paul Pevak, Deacon, and Brother Adrian Hilton, Subdeacon. They will be attended by Mr Ashley Paver as Master of Ceremonies, and the Inferior Ministers of Old Saint Mary’s.

The Propers of the Mass, including the rendition at Communion of Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus,” will be provided by the Latin Mass Community Schola of Cincinnati, under the direction of Mr John Schauble, with Mr Sean Connolly as organist.

The University of Dayton is a place of contradictions. There’s the UD where the staff stop to pray the Angelus in the Marian Library, and go to Mass every day. And there’s the UD where they don’t.

And here’s the UD that actually disapproves of funding student clubs founded to promulgate non-Catholicism. And has done something about it for three years in a row.

It’s nice to see the Marianist spirit of UD’s founders emerge a little further into the light.

From an announcement on the website for Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel:

“Sweep out the chambers of your heart! Make it ready to be the dwelling of the Beloved”. Please join us for an evening of Dances of Universal Peace on Fridays, Feb 22, Mar 1, Mar 15 at 7:00 in the narthex. We will do some simple walking meditations, and some very simple circle dances from our Christian tradition. This is a wonderful way to add a Lenten practice which is comforting and joyful to your life. If you can walk, you can do these dances! For more information, contact …

In reality, both the lead quote and “Dances of Universal Peace” come from adherents of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam. What this has to do with Lent is unclear. Ditto for why it’s being performed in the narthex for an at least nominally Catholic church.

From the Sword of Peter, love this guy

Fr Greta————- snork, coffee spurt on keyboard


Form and Matter

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that students from Purcell Marian High School and other “advocates” are taking to the streets to protest the decision to fire the assistant principal over his vocal support for same-sex marriage.

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