Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Things I don't get.



As the parade passes by.

Always at the top of my list of things I don't get is parades.  I think they are dumb.  You sit on a sidewalk and watch people go by.  Why not just hang out in a sidewalk cafe then?  Anyway - Michael Bayly claims the local gay pride parade held in Minneapolis this past Sunday attracted tens of thousands of people.  I know.
BTW.  I do understand processions now, but I've never participated in one.
Boycotts and embargo

When you do it to countries you are hurting the general population - and the powers that be usually get along just fine - so I don't get it.  When you do it to companies, well sometimes they change their policies, sometimes they don't.  I don't know the stats on the success rate of boycotts, but they must be effective since protesters rely on them so frequently.  Right/left, religious/non-religious, gay/straight - everyone likes to boycott.  I don't.

Boycott General Mills, Target, and the United States.

In Minnesota a few companies have announced support for same-sex marriage and groups against same sex marriage have organized boycotts of these companies.  They can do that.  More power to them if they think they can change a businesses culture.  Fact of life:  A company's public policy usually reflects a corporate employment/workplace policy.  Therefore - in this case, I think it makes about as much sense as gay people picketing the chancery to get the Church to change its teaching on marriage and sexuality.

Priests are people too.

When bad things happen with priests - I never get used to it.  Something is still wrong with the admissions and discernment process in seminaries.  The most recent scandal involves a man who was ordained one year after a classmate of his; a priest who murdered two men to cover up his involvement with at least one teenage boy.  Maybe it is just a coincidence?  The latest local examples of priests gone wrong involes relatively young priests - at least they were ten years ago when I met them.  I'm thinking of two same sex scandals, and one opposite sex entanglement involving three different priests - 2 gay, 1 straight - in other words.  Pretty much JPII vocations as well.  (I'm just trying to make sense of it all by laying out the facts as I understand them.)

Anyway - as a result of the scandals over these past couple of decades, I rarely see my old priest friends.  It isn't that I don't want to see them, or that I don't like them, it's just that I'd rather not get too close, if for no other reason I don't want to be in a position to ask questions, nor do I want to be told about their confreres.  I love the priesthood - just as I love the papacy.  The persons who hold the office are men.  Just men.  I need to keep that perspective.

GayChasteCatholics.

I don't get the clinging to the 'queer' identity thing.  Identifying oneself with a lifestyle defined by a sexual preference which is deemed objectively disordered.   Is that not viewing life and spirituality through a sort of rainbow kaleidoscope which not only colors, but distorts reality?  I think of St. Paul who said we should rid ourselves of every encumberance of sin that clings to us. 

I'm not judging anyone here.  I just don't get it I guess.  That said, for the most part, I suppose it's none of my business how others live their lives.

(Spell check wasn't working, so I may have mispelled 'tens of thousands'.  What?)

7 comments:

  1. I also don't get "GayChasteCatholics." But that is probably because I have never struggled with homosexuality. Why is same sex attraction a sin that defines your sense of self? Then why don't other sexual sins? Why don't we have "FormerAdultererCatholics." For that matter, if we are defining ourselves by our sin, then why don't we have "FatButOnADietCatholics?"

    It must suck to have your sins be so much in control they they help define who you are. I'm happy to not have been dealt that hand.

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    1. Agreed. Nice to know others don't get it too.

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  2. "It isn't that I don't want to see them, or that I don't like them, it's just that I'd rather not get too close, if for no other reason I don't want to be in a position to ask questions, nor do I want to be told about their confreres."

    The thing is, Terry, we priests find ourselves thinking and doing the same thing with lay friends and with each other, and for the very same reasons as you. Given the current climate and the fact that those of us who have been ordained in the last ten years have never been priests when there was NOT a clergy sex scandal, we have had to embrace a form of loneliness that I am convinced does not come from God.

    Some forms of loneliness are, I believe salutary and when offered up to Jesus can bring down a shower of graces from heaven. But the loneliness that results from fear -- fear of the possible future complications of friendship, of knowing and being known can only isolate us and make us suspicious of others.

    When you pray for priests, please keep this in mind. Many of us who are priests are afraid of each others' friendship for the same reason you're fearful. But for us, the isolation is toxic and some of us end up getting picked off one by one through loneliness, or laziness, or sin, or stupidity. And the devil laughs and laughs.

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    1. Thanks Fr. - I never thought of it that way. Sad that I haven't. I'll pray much for priests - you are kind to understand what I'm saying and not get mad at me about it.

      I'm sorry about all of this - sorry with you. God bless you.

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  3. No one has ever in my life said he is sorry *with* me. You've no idea how much that means. Thank you.

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    1. You are most welcome - I mean it.

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  4. I remember being a kid watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and being surprised when my grandma told me no one throws beads at those parades.

    Well, I guess they ARE boring then. But seriously, we know how to do parades here.

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