I remember when Pete Bronson wrote this article. I was in the seminary, and the other guys and I were really steamed when he said we had a “gay subculture” problem in AD 2002. Really steamed. We were there, and as my classmate — who, before his wife died, was a father of two (i.e., definitely not gay) — put it, what subculture? We’re here, we cant find it! He and I sat with Bronson — after the article — and told him, if there was a subculture, the guys wouldn’t have tolerated it.
It was a problem. But way before 2002. Bronson was about 10 years too late.
Sorry for the tangent, but, Ewil812, I made a visit back to Batesville over the weekend. I read the past few issues of the St. Louis parish bulletin. Anything to add regarding the recent change? My Lutheran in-laws shared with me their Lutheran-version of the local town rumors, but I took it with a grain of salt, considering the source.
I’m not as in the loop as I once was. I have seen no evidence of the “smaller but stronger” theme coming to fruition. Most of the people I talk with are discouraged.
A few weeks ago I was trying to find a parish that had set confession times in the area. Most parish web sites and bulletins say “call for appointment” which is not very convenient for those of us that work all day with no phone access. St. Louis in Batesville still had Saturday mornings listed. I went Saturday morning to find not only no confession but no mass or priest either. It was only five years ago that any Saturday morning would have two priests hearing confessions for several hours with long lines at St. Louis.
I ended up going to St. Louis in downtown Cincy that afternoon before going to the Reds game.
Our archbishop went with the recommendations of a group of “professionals” that have had success managing institutions. It seems to me that the Catholics of Southeast Indiana have become a group of people that needs to be dealt with as a group rather than a collection of individual souls that each need salvation.
Yes, the change I was referring to was the pastor (Fr. Randy Summers) of St. Louis Batesville being removed, perhaps that was why there were no priests for confession when you attended. The pastor’s verbatim words in the bulletin were ‘ me and the bishop had a disagreement, as a result of this disagreement I am being removed as your pastor and the bishop has asked that I go on an extended vacation.’
This was literally printed on the front page of the bulletin along with a parting shot about how the next year at St. Louis is going to be bad as a result of the bishop’s decision. It was really quite surreal.
St. Louis Batesville parish bulletins: http://www.stlouis-batesville.org/bulletin
Like I said, my Lutheran in-laws had their version of the “disagreement” (their version was pretty extreme and hard to believe) but it must have been over something prudential enough that a ‘heads- up’ ‘goodbye’ message in the parish bulletin was acceptable. Otherwise, I can’t imagine the pastor’s dismissal would have played out this way had it been over a matter of faith and morals.
I did. Rose described things about ten (and more) years prior to my time in the seminary. The point I was making, above, was that the seminary had changed significantly; and those of us who were there didn’t appreciate being tarred with an out-of-date brush.
Put yourself in our shoes. Would you want to read in the Enquirer an article suggesting the seminary — where you were at that time — was filled with gays who were acting out and secretive about it (i.e., the “gay subculture”)?
When Rose’s book came out, my reaction was this. He was right that there was a problem; and I don’t doubt that a lot of what he reported was on the mark. However — a big however — is that his reporting methods were unacceptably casual. He would tell salacious stories with irregular citation, and he was often vague about dates and other details.
Further, it appears he made almost no effort to verify any of the stories. I.e., he’d report about an unhappy seminarian who was dismissed by St. Kunegunda Seminary (real saint; made up seminary), who told Rose it was because he was too conservative.
Well, that could be; but it also could be that the guy was dismissed for other reasons which he doesn’t mention. That’s where an author has to do some spade-work and verify things.
If Mr. Rose did that spadework, he almost never mentions it.
In any case, there has been a major change in seminaries across the country; a lot of it driven by a change in the seminarians themselves.
Father Randy Summers was “forced” out of St. Barnabas, Indianapolis, in 2010. Unfortunately, he was disliked by many influential people in our parish and these individuals, many of whom were members of the Men’s Group, individually and collectively wrote letters to and met with the Archbishop and his staff to share their dismay. Later, he was sent to St. Louis in Batesville. While Father Randy Summers was always kind and good to my family, it is widely known that he made poor choices that affected our church and its people. We lost many parishioners during his time with us, but another contributing factor was that Father Randy could not fill the shoes left behind by Father Jim Farrell. I have always wished him well and hope that he truly uses this time of reflection to seek God’s will.