Sunday, January 19, 2020

On Fr. Z's grouchiness and other random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

  • Fr. Z. is a bit put out because nobody invited him to the protest in Germany this week. He compared it to a self licking ice cream cone which has a connotation that really surprised me coming from a priest. His criticism was not entirely fair. I believe Father was injured last year  when he was struck by a motorcyclist while crossing a street and he had a a bout with sickness around Christmas so who would expect him to be standing still in the cold for an hour? Besides he's just returned from a European trip that probably was not free. His superiors might not not have allowed him to attend anyway.

    I'm not picking on Father Zuhlsdorf. He's very good at what he does. I rarely go to his blog anymore but the travelogues and food photos are pleasant and cozy reading. If I were organizing a conference I'd call Fr. Z to say Mass and then hopefully cook something Italian afterwards but I wouldn't ask him to come participate in open confrontation that might get him into too much trouble. Every year when the US bishops have their meeting in Baltimore, Catholic laity and clergy show up and protest. I've never seen Fr. Z. among them, nor did I expect it of him. Open resistance has never been his thing. He's frank about using quiet action instead. He's always advising seminarians to shut up, pray and get ordained so they can make changes in their parishes slowly. 
     How many priests were at the event? Except for Archbishop Vigano, I didn't see any. Perhaps the organizers didn't want to get a priest into trouble. Bishops have been known to use extreme retaliation against annoying priests and the German bishop are aggressive in general. Archbishop Vigano's presence may have been a reason why the protest was not pre-announced.  Perhaps the organizers understand that three can keep a secret only if two are dead, as the old saying goes. At any rate, God bless Fr. Z. and keep him healthy and safe. Hopefully he cooked up some squid and garlic, had some good wine and calmed down.

  • Virginia was founded when England was sunk deep in Henry VIII's religion of convenience. The Episcopalians, who were known as Anglicans before the Revolution formed the First Families of Virginia and ran the colony. There are Episcopalian churches all over Virginia and they are the sites of the USA's earliest history. There's Bruton Parish Church, founded in 1674. There's St. Luke's, Virginia's oldest church, which if I were a millionaire I'd build a replica of and donate it to the my diocese and there's St. John's in Richmond where Patrick Henry gave his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," speech. 

    Bishop Barry Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond says the pastor of St. Bede's in Williamsburg, VA offered his parish  to the Episcopalians for the faux consecration of Rev. Susan B. Haynes because neither the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia nor the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia have a church  big enough for the event.  He says it was an act of charity. In Virginia's long history there have been many Episcopalian bishops. This is not the first  time they've had their version of a consecration. Surely they have some place in Richmond that is big enough to hold a lot of people. St. Bede's is a very large church and both Rocky and I got the creeps by how blandly Protestant it looks but it is a CATHOLIC church and should not be used for non-Catholic functions. Luckily, there was an outcry from parishioners and Catholics from around the state and the Episcopalians have decided to find another place for their event.  
    St. Bede, pray for us.
    • When the annual collection for Catholic University is announced, Rocky and I pass on it. In fact, I've come the conclusion that most of the Catholic colleges should have been closed years ago.