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Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Printable Version

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Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Philosoraptor - 07-01-2013

http://www.catholicvote.org/what-catholics-need-now-a-letter-to-our-priests-and-bishops/

Some lovely tidbits:

Emily Stimpson Wrote:I’m not a perfect Catholic. But I am a faithful Catholic. I love the Church. I trust her and believe in her teachings. I’m also trying my hardest to follow those teachings—every last one—regardless of the cost. I defend the Church when people attack her or misrepresent her. And I try to do it all in a way that’s charming, engaging, relevant, and accessible. That’s not to say I always succeed. But I am doing my best to show the world the joy, love, peace, beauty, and life I’ve found in Christ and his Church.

So, why am I writing you?

Because I need your help, because you’ve got to step up your game too.

By that I mean no disrespect. As priests and bishops you bear a tremendous burden. I know many of you are carrying that burden heroically. But many of you aren’t. You’ve been weak. You’ve been cowardly. You’ve made compromises and led people astray. Souls are perishing because of that. A culture is perishing because of that. And it’s got to stop. You have been ordained as priests of God Most High, Christ’s representatives on earth. You’ve got to act like it. We don’t just need our spiritual fathers standing shoulder to shoulder with us in this fight for souls. We need you leading us into the breach.
After that fine intro, she really cuts loose:
Emily Stimpson Wrote:On Sundays, don’t tell me to be nice; tell me to be holy. Don’t tell me to trust God; tell me who God is. Don’t even tell me to be faithful; tell me what faithful means. Explain holiness. Explain sin. Be specific. Preach on what lust, gluttony, selfishness, laziness, pride, anger, and vanity are, why they’re bad for me, and how to avoid them. Preach the Creed. Preach the saints. Preach the story of salvation history. And preach it in all its fullness.While you’re at it, let go of this idea that homilies are a separate thing from catechesis. They can’t be separate right now. The majority of Catholics sitting in the pews on Sunday don’t know the basics of the Faith. And the only place most will learn them is from a homily. Don’t waste your precious 10 minutes in front of a semi-captive audience repeating fluff we can get from Oprah. Use the Scriptures to illuminate Tradition, not obscure it. Outside the homily, invest in catechesis. Hire DREs who believe, know, and can teach the Faith. Pay them a family wage so they don’t leave after three years. Invest in your volunteer catechists too. Help them get the training they need. Then, get involved in catechesis yourself. Talk to the kids. Teach RCIA. The more you let people know how important you think catechesis is, the more important they will think it is.
And lest we omit a vital portion, she gets into the liturgy, 'cause beautiful, reverent liturgy has, you know, just a weeny effect on the Faith:
Emily Stimpson Wrote:The physical stuff of the Faith—the smells, bells, and buildings—express the soul of the Faith—her doctrines, dogmas, and disciplines. At least, it should express the soul. The Church’s liturgy and architecture should reveal a richness of beauty and belief that robs the gruel fed to us by the culture of all its appeal. It should move us to love God and neighbor more. It should make us long for Heaven. It should make us sorry for our sins.

The music of Marty Haugen and Dan Schutte doesn’t do that. Hastily and haphazardly performed rites don’t do that. Pedestrian speech, liturgical puppets, and felt banners don’t do it either. If you want Catholics to see the beauty of the Faith, you have to show it to us. You have to make it manifest in Church on Sunday. You have to give us something extraordinary to help us realize we’re called to something extraordinary. Feed us with beauty and truth; goodness will follow. And vocations too! ~Philosoraptor

Now let's just hear this sort of thing from the bishops, and eagerly received by the laity!



Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Sant Anselmo - 07-01-2013

I would only add one thing, and that would be to stop treating issues of prudential judgement as if they are doctrinal in nature.  Other than that, excellent post on Miss Emily's part. 


Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Philosoraptor - 07-01-2013

Saint Anselmo Wrote:I would only add one thing, and that would be to stop treating issues of prudential judgement as if they are doctrinal in nature.
What do you mean?


Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Sant Anselmo - 07-02-2013

(07-01-2013, 11:58 PM)Philosoraptor Wrote:
Saint Anselmo Wrote:I would only add one thing, and that would be to stop treating issues of prudential judgement as if they are doctrinal in nature.
What do you mean?

An example might be endorsing specific measures to combat poverty when we are free to disagree on the best methods to address that issue or stating in one sentence that you have no particular competence to endorse a specific measure to combat crime and then in the next sentence going ahead and endorsing Obama's gun control measures.  Both of those things are issues of prudential judgement in that we all agree that we should help the poor and lower violent crime, but are free to disagree in good conscience on the best methods to accomplish those goals.  Our bishops however, all too often, endorse specifics when they are A) not competent to do so; and B) we are free to disagree.  In addition, it seems to me, and many others I speak to have noticed this as well, that we hear quite a bit about things we are free to disagree with such as the best plan to deal with illegal immigration (again specific policies which are outside of the competence of their knowledge are almost always endorsed) but very little about things which are less open to interpretation.  Or, we might hear over and over again about something like the death penalty and how we need to get rid of it, when Catholic tradition allows it and at times has even endorsed it, and not for the protection of society as it states in the current CCC, but for the seeking of justice as stated by Popes throughout the ages.  You would never know it to listen to our bishops, but the Vatican had the death penalty and even retained the services of an executioner for much of Catholic history, and again, not for those criminals who were still a danger to society, but for those criminals whose crime was deserving of such a penalty. 

I could go on, but hopefully that helps you to understand what I was getting at. 




Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - lauermar - 07-02-2013

Excellent post Sant Anselmo.


Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Sant Anselmo - 07-02-2013

(07-02-2013, 09:35 AM)lauermar Wrote: Excellent post Sant Anselmo.

Thank you.  That issue is a major concern of mine. 


Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Texican - 07-02-2013

(07-02-2013, 09:35 AM)lauermar Wrote: Excellent post Sant Anselmo.

Agreed.


Re: Open Letter to Bishops and Priests - Sant Anselmo - 07-02-2013

(07-02-2013, 10:52 AM)Texican Wrote:
(07-02-2013, 09:35 AM)lauermar Wrote: Excellent post Sant Anselmo.

Agreed.
thanks