Thanks to Rocco tweet-whispering my skeptical take on Rochester-is-progressive, this site enjoyed a top day for views yesterday. Still, people looking for readings for their wedding, or for a funeral topped the Rochester musings. So I haven’t been a total sell-out hog to traffic.
Top drama at Cleansing Fire as Liam linked yesterday:
To all that have been in the trenches of Catholicism for decades, surviving on meager rations. Thanks. I left here in 1979 and returned a few years ago. The changes were hard to swallow, I have witnessed terrible suffering and many have left, some for good.
These people have been watching too much Donohue.
If they think being Catholic is all about living in a trench, chowing down on MRE’s, these people are in worse shape than I thought. They can be dismissive of “remarks on a plane,” but the likely truth is that Rochester conservatives have probably done very little in terms of their Matthew 28:19 mission over the past three decades, focusing too much on the other Matthew.
When one allows one’s life to be taken over by discouragement, it can easily lead to bitterness. And from there, as we’ve seen many times in St Blog’s over the past decade, when there’s no one to which to take another fight, one turns to cannibalism and begins to consume one’s former allies. It’s another wave to ride. This one heads to the rocks, not the soft sands.
It’s certainly not a Gospel way of being the Church. Real victims suffer privation. They are raped or abused. They are forced from homes and jobs. A conservative under a bad bishop? Please. Give us something serious.
Looking largely from a distance the past quarter-century, I see a lot of deficiencies in the DOR: closing schools, shuttering and merging parishes, low ordination rates are all signs that nobody’s taking evangelization seriously. The city has hemorrhaged twenty percent of its population, but the metro area is still slowly growing. There’s no reason why those growing suburban parishes couldn’t have struck out, going door-to-door if need be, to draw people into the Church.
And it’s not like I don’t know about discouragement. My last parish there talked a good talk on Hispanic ministry, but the leadership laughed when I suggested a bilingual Easter Vigil. Better to do two, they told me. So I went to the monastery Holy Saturday night. Sometimes you have to leave.
So I suppose I understand that.
Have some Catholics just experienced a trade-in of a pope they like and a bishop they don’t for a pope that makes them mightily nervous and a bishop who is a Burke/Dolan protégé? No matter who is pope and who is bishop the mission remains the same. Popes and bishops last eight years, give or take.
Those rejoicing in Rochester might find that it’s a difficult thing to wean oneself off the obsession with lace in the liturgy and with other people’s sex. The new bishop is going to have to polish those pastoral chops on behalf of that subset of sheep. Once teeth are sharpened, it takes a lot of chewing to get them back to normal.