"When I have my own parish, I will do what our Archbishop has told us to do,
but for now our pastor has told me that I can't use the sanctus bells and
I can't say the prayer for vocations on Sunday",
as Archbishop Schnurr has directed all priests to do.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man.
then God bless you. If you have, well I hope you are able to witness a happy ending.
My family and I are members of a Catholic Parish in Bridgetown, Cincinnati, Ohio. Over the past 3 and a half years our parish has gone through the change of Life and coupled with the death of my father, it is safe to say these are the most trying years of my life.
Please click the e-mails below to view them at a readable size. The correspondence was received in response to a letter I sent to Bishop Joseph Binzer. Most of the time when I send a note to his Eminence, I copy the priests in our parish. I do that because as a father, I was taught that it is common courtesy to keep all parties informed; more or less so that they don't think you are usurping their authority and I have found that most of the time I am providing those individuals with information that they are unaware of. For the rest of the story please skip down to the letter I am sending to Bishop Binzer.
* Please note, I have been mailing Bishop Binzer since 2009. He has asked me to call him Joe, we agreed I would go as far as Father. I have provided Bishop Binzer with a cheat sheet so that he can fill in the blanks; as I have left out the names to make His Eminence's job less stressful.
Catholic Pastor Says:
" Are these people for effing real? "
Catholic Pastor Says:
"This guy has been blocked as spam because he is nuts. Who sent this to me?"
As you know I am a parishioner at --1--. A year ago I sent out information regarding a story that came out of Portland. Here and Here. I guess it was important because our site was picked up by Pewsitter, a large Catholic news Blog. We were pretty stoked, because every time they pick up a story many people are driven to our site. We sent a few links out to --2--. As you can read above, he was less than impressed. Though our facts were well researched, truthful they were, --2-- seemed quite perturbed that we would presume to send them his way. My family and I were taken aback since we had a great relationship with --3--, our "priest in training".
Why do we bother to ask for your help with this rude e-mail?
We are asking for help, because these e-mails display a pattern.
When someone refuses to speak to me, or treats me like a second class citizen, I look to discover why.
You see my wife and I have been members at --1-- for more than 25 years. We have 5 kids. The oldest 3 have served as acolytes, lay distributors and taken communion to the sick. My youngest daughters would also like to participate as their siblings had, though we have decided that goings on at our parish need to change for that to happen.
What do I mean "goings on" ?
To begin to understand you can read my story about "The New Jerusalem Community".
Once you understand the type of progressive community TNJC was you will begin to understand the rest of the story.
If a person like --2-- had spent any time with TNJC and believed in progressive catholic-ism in the way they did, then the rest of the story becomes quite less shocking.
When --1-- was changing pastors, and --4-- had assumed the helm for 3 months until --2-- was appointed Pastor of the 2 Bridgetown Parishes, he made quite a splash. On the very first morning Mass he celebrated, --4-- stripped the alter of its adornments; the alter had been decorated in that way for over 4 years; alter candles, crucifix and sanctus bells. --5-- had brought our bells back into service on the anniversary of our Parish. He asked the Parish for input as to whether we wanted the bells to remain in use at Mass after the anniversary. The Parish liked the change so much that he continued the use of sanctus bells at consecration for the remainder of his tenure. --6-- and --7-- also used the sanctus bells. The only time that --1-- was without sanctus bells was from 1983 and into the middle 90's; during the tenure of --8-- and --4--. Following the sacking of our alter --4-- gave homilies where he praised the author of "the color purple", asked the students at an all school Mass to stand on their pew, in order to get a different perspective and in a separate all school Mass asked the children to OM.
In addition to all this, --4-- forbade the recitation of the Bishops prayer for vocations.
Why would --4-- feel comfortable defying his Bishop ?
When Archbishop Schnurr was appointed to the diocese of Cincinnati --4-- referred to him, in a conversation with my parents, as "a climber ".
What could I possibly have done to tick him off so bad ?
My kids asked him when would our parish get our sanctus bells back ?
He answered, "--4-- stole them, I guess we'll use them when he returns them"; isn't that hilarious ?
Seriously; telling that to a then 4th grader and a kindergartner; the 2 who wanted to serve.
Finally, --2-- told --3-- that "the good lad",that's how --2-- refers to --3--, could say Archbishop Schnurr's prayer for vocations on the week days, just not on the weekends; WHY !?
I think the answer is fairly obvious; the majority of the Parish participates in Mass on the weekend.
Well why am I writing now ?
We have a new priest at --1--. His name is --9--.
--2-- mentioned in Mass a few weeks ago that since old number 9 is older he could be trusted more to take care of the parish. Old number 9 was going to be allowed to take 3 of the 4 monthly Sunday's.
I got so excited that I stopped at the back of church to ask --9-- if he would be saying the Bishop's prayer for vocation's and would he be using the sanctus bells; I explained about my daughters.
The response, "I will say Archbishop Schnurr's Prayer for Vocations when I am pastor and I will use sanctus bells when I am pastor, but until then I have to abide by what --2-- has directed me to do".
I said, "excuse me" ? Number 9 said, "When I have my own parish, I will do what our Archbishop has told us to do, but for now --2-- has told me that I can't use the sanctus bells and I can't say the prayer for vocations on Sunday", as Archbishop Schnurr has directed all priests to do.
What do you see going on here ?
--1-- has lost a substantial amount of families; I am more than happy to give you the numbers.
The loss in families has come over the last 3 years; during --2-- tenure.
Bishop Schneider agrees with Archbishop Schnurr, in that, more is required not less. His talk is here.
--2-- needed to go to the credence table for a shot of hand sanitizer. I guess distributing the body and blood of Christ can somehow put you at risk for germs; if you haven't seen an Orthodox Communion Service click Here; they are surely not afraid of germs; they distribute His Body and Blood on a spoon. Last week the Chalice and Ciborium were not purified during Mass; proper care of the sacred vessels Here. I have read what is required in the GIRM in other areas of the Mass that concern us.
Taken one at a time each gripe of mine can seem petty. Taken as a whole with the entire back story a pattern is easy to see.
This week old number 9 was able to start the Mass with an acolyte, say the creed, purify the dishes and preside at a Mass that didn't sound like a hootenanny. What do you think --9-- thinks when he elevates the body and blood knowing something is lacking. As an Alter Christus it is his Mass.
What must --9-- think when he knows that the Archbishop has asked him to pray for vocations and he does not, because of what can not be described in any other way as a Pastor making a power play.
What happens when --2-- is gone ? What damage will have been done ? We still live across the street.
It's our Parish too. Will Parishioners come back ?
Father, what we are asking is that you speak with our Pastor. We are asking that, if --9-- desires to use our sanctus bells, our consecration bells that have been in service most of the life of our parish,
if --9-- wants to train our acolytes how to make Mass more special for everyone then shouldn't he be permitted to do so ? If --9-- wants to abide by the wishes of our Archbishop and recite the prayer for vocations during all Masses, shouldn't he be permitted to do so ?
We appreciate anything you can do to straighten out this situation. We have made numerous attempts to speak to --2--, we even invited him to dinner twice; we received no reply.
Thanks for all you do. Today, on this The Passion of John the Baptist, is my birthday.
Per your rules in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:
You have our permission to speak with anyone mentioned in this letter and on the footnote card.
We are not opposed to you speaking to whoever you please.
I am putting a signed copy of this into today's mail.