21 March 2006

Not Your Ordinary Post

3/23/06 ~ I have revised some passages on this post, since some were not worded clearly. ~ MD

I do not usually post on politics, church or otherwise, not because I do not feel passionately about such things, rather I bow to other bloggers who are more eloquent or more learned about such things. This however, is occurring in my own backyard and therefore, I feel I must throw in my two cents….

The liturgical shot heard ‘round the world…..

Well, maybe the vibrations from today’s annual Bishop’s meeting with the priests of the Arlington Diocese here in Virginia will not reverberate quite as loudly as perhaps SF Catholic Charities faux pas, or the ongoing talks in Rome about liturgical reform; nonetheless for the faithful here the impact will be great.

A great divide that is. Bishop Loverde, wishing to appear truly liberal (i.e. do whatever you want, be it progressive or traditional) has stated that “Effective immediately, pastors in the diocese, after consultation with their parochial vicars, deacons and the parish pastoral councils, may decide on a parish-by-parish basis to include women and girls as altar servers.” and at the same time has designated two parishes (at either end of the beltway, I might add) as “indult parishes”, i.e. parishes were the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, or Tridentine Mass, may be celebrated.

For the most part, I believe things will remain status quo. Parishes such as St. John’s in McLean, St. Rita’s in Alexandria, and St. Andrew’s in Clifton, will opt to keep male-only acolytes. Queen of Peace, Nativity Parish and St. Thomas More Cathedral will opt to introduce them. But this should come as no surprise to anyone as the three former are all known to be more traditional and the three latter more progressive.

As I heard one local priest say, “This will only serve to further divide the clergy. And good people in the crazy parishes will leave and go to the more solid parishes. So if I get assigned to one of the whacko parishes, I won’t have the support of good, solid families, because they won’t be there!”

He has a point. And while I feel badly about it on the one hand, that very thing has been happening throughout the diocese way before this decision. This issue, however, will only serve to bleed more of the solid, traditional parishioners to other parishes. One fellow Catholic said that he had always stayed at his local parish (meaning he lived within its geographic boundaries) because he felt it was better to try and make a difference locally. Now?

I think Loverde, and other Princes of the church of his persuasion, will find that in trying to appease both sides, he will succeed. But at the end of the day, his pocket book will either stay at the same level or shrink. The Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy, but the laity are the ones who keep it running financially. And those who give generously over time are more likely to be traditional. And some have already told me, 1962 Missal or not, their money is not going to the annual Lenten appeal nor anywhere near the Chancery, but to those priests and Bishops who uphold all truth and not just parts of it.

Oremus pro invicem,

P.S. No worries, Padre ~ if you get sent to the wacky boons, there will always be a place set at our table for you.
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