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ST. LOUIS (RNS) A Roman Catholic bishop in Illinois confirmed that a priest was fired because he "simply would not and could not pray the prayers of the Mass" as written in a new translation of the Mass. By Tim Townsend.

18 Comments

  1. If you told a visitor from another world that there is an earth cult that fires its shaman for prayer variation, but not for molesting children, or covering it up…they’d think you were kidding.

    How catholics can remain so in the face of the stupidity, anti-women mentality, and gross corruption is incomprehensible.

  2. The article left me to guess what the bishop was really objecting to, it is not to hard a question the the motive of why the readers are being mislead.

  3. I found this article by way of a link on RealClearReligion.com where the “headline” (?) read: “Roman Catholic Priest Fired for Praying”. Shame on whoever wrote that bit of deliberate misinformation. Isn’t there enough anti-Catholic bias in the world already (see first comment above)?

    The Church has every right to expect that her ordained priests follow the Order of the Mass. Every word has sacred meaning. Priests are not free to ad-lib. Nor do they get fired for praying.

  4. Thomas Rooney OFS

    Bart – Speaking as a Catholic who loves my faith, but is offended by the abuse scandals and the cover-up, I respond: I remain in the Church “in the face of the stupidity, anti-women mentality, and gross corruption” because it is my home. Because it is my faith. Because I will not be run out of my home by politics, legalism, or other sundry aspects of this admittedly dysfunctional family.

    And by the by, there is a world of difference between a shaman and a priest…and between a cult and a church for that matter, your feigned outrage and inflammatory language notwithstanding.

    I agree, lkensinger…the title and the first paragraph of this article is indeed misleading and contradictory to the facts. Father Rowe was not fired. He offered the bishop his resignation, which was accepted.

  5. Thomas,
    My outrage is not feigned. It’s quite real. Oh, not about the fired priest…one less priest is a good thing.

    If your faith is predicated on managing a women’s uterus for her; or objecting to the happy union of gays; or condemning thrid world peoples to massive over population on one hand, or death by AIDs on the other through demonization of condoms… none of which are teachings of jesus .;.. then perhaps your faith is simply part of the problem, and obstruction to a solution.

    A difference between a shaman and a priest/pope/cardinal/bishop? Really?
    Shaman: “A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shaman

    The catholic priest is certainly a medium between the natural world and the spirit world. He practices magic in the form of prayers and incantations to a make believe diety, and encourages others to pray to sway natural events through supernatural means.

    But in another ense you’re correct- the catholic church also venerates/reveres dead body parts of beatified corpses ..something many Shaman would find repulsive.

    Difference between a cult and religion? Hmmm… not in the dictionarys I’ve accessed:

    Cult: “A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cult

    One man’s cult is another’s religion. The early Roman’s saw Xtianity as a cult (“The Christians as the Romans saw them” Robt. Wilken). Little separates cult and religion except perhaps as it relates to accumulation of wealth. A religion is a cult with a large treasury. In that respect, perhaps Catholism isn’t a cult. In all other respects it is. The Pope is the charismatic figure, and you all live not as thinking 21st century purveyors of reason and reality, but in the unconventional manner of medieval credulous peasants.

    Now, lets get back to the child molesting priests and the heirarchy that covered it up. How many were promoted, reassigned, and handed a nice retirement package? How many were fired, or excommunicated like the nun in Arizona who permitted doctors to save a mother’s life and conduct an abortion of an already soon to be dead fetus?

    That you are still a member of a church steeped in hypocrisy, delusion, corruption, sexual obsession and patently evil precepts makes you an enabler and as much a part of the problem as the dysfunctional church itself.

    As for it being your “home.”: When a home becomes a source of abuse people with a grasp on reality, courage, and self respect find another.

  6. Thomas Rooney OFS

    “My outrage is not feigned…”
    I do believe you and I take back my off-the-cuff comment. My apologies.

    “If your faith is predicated on managing a women’s uterus for her; or objecting to the happy union of gays; or condemning thrid world peoples to massive over population on one hand, or death by AIDs on the other through demonization of condoms… none of which are teachings of jesus .;.. then perhaps your faith is simply part of the problem, and obstruction to a solution.”

    My faith is predicated on the Mystery; Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. See the Nicene Creed for more details.

    “One man’s cult is another’s religion.”

    Fair enough. We’ll agree to disagree on this one.

    “Now, lets get back to the child molesting priests and the heirarchy that covered it up. How many were promoted, reassigned, and handed a nice retirement package? How many were fired, or excommunicated like the nun in Arizona who permitted doctors to save a mother’s life and conduct an abortion of an already soon to be dead fetus?”

    Every single child molesting priest should be defrocked and prosecuted to the fullest extent of civil and canon law, as should every single bishop who enabled them. It pains me that not a single complicit bishop has been brought to justice since this sordid affair was brought to light. We have no disagreement here.

    “That you are still a member of a church steeped in hypocrisy, delusion, corruption, sexual obsession and patently evil precepts makes you an enabler and as much a part of the problem as the dysfunctional church itself.”

    I live my life and my faith in a moral manner. I give support, monetarily and physically, to the poor and the disabled in my parish and my region. I lead prayer groups. I study other religions and worldviews (including agnosticism and atheism) to understand more fully what humankind shares in their views on morality and spirituality. I take care to be a good steward of our environment. Most importantly, I’m a good husband and a good father. What specifically do you have a problem with in this paragraph?

    “When a home becomes a source of abuse people with a grasp on reality, courage, and self respect find another.”

    Some people take their faith seriously. It is not like changing your shirt. My Church is a vast source for good and charity and has been for centuries. My personal everyday encounters with Catholic Christians have been overwhelmingly positive. Being run by human beings, there are profound things that are wrong with my Church structure; I have no illusions about that. But because I believe in the teachings of Jesus, because I believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, because I know so many good and holy people who believe as I do, I won’t simply pull up stakes and leave because there are criminals and scoundrels within the Church. To do so would be unconscionable to me.

  7. Thomas,
    You have responded fairly and reasonably to my challenges… I respect that.

    You left out the shaman response. I was just coming back to add that there isn’t a shaman in the world who wouldn’t be proud of Catholic exorcisms. But moving on…

    I have no problem with people of faith, per se. My problem is with organizations that force their beliefs on others, or who reduce others to tools of religious doctrine. Reference my concerns over women’s issues, gay rights, and third world peoples.

    Being a good person, a good father, contributing to charities/doing charitable works, treating others as you would have them treat you, being a moral and ethical person… are all good and commendable things. They are things that people can do with and without religioion/ faith. I consider myself an example of the latter. That said, I have zero issues with your third to last paragraph above.

    But those things can also be realized/followed without supporting / enabling a dysfunctional organization of mysogenistic hypocrites. So too can worshipping a god be done without a manufacturered heirarchy rooted in control and corruption; whose practices are not founded in the teachings of a historical Jesus the man, but in the distortions and political objectives of Paul the myth maker.

    Yes, the 325 CE Nicean council is the perfect example of how cults and religion becomes distortions of what otherwise would be simple truths and goodness. Those opposed to the concept of trinity (just as the Jeruselum Church of James and Peter rejected Paul’s embuing jesus with god stature) lost the vote.. so the Trinity is now a supernatural reality. Hallelujah! God has spoken!! Please.

    Anyway, if your life is so bound up in the clanish and dispicable actions of a mega control organization to whom their own existence and retention of wealth is primary, that you would end up losing your faith, or being separated from your god; then I guess you have little choice but to remain a catholic.

    I hear abused women, and mothers of abused children who enable their husband, have similar constraints.

    Best to you.

  8. Thomas Rooney OFS

    “You left out the shaman response. I was just coming back to add that there isn’t a shaman in the world who wouldn’t be proud of Catholic exorcisms.”

    Reminds of a quote from THE EXORCIST by the doctors – “It [exorcism] has been pretty much abandoned as a practice now, except by the Catholics, who sort of keep it in the closet as an embarrassment”

    “They are things that people can do with and without religioion/ faith. I consider myself an example of the latter.”

    I agree (although leading a prayer group would be sort of silly for a nonbeliever). Personally through my upbringing and my faith, I feel called to do these things. I don’t think that is the only source for it. I am also a pragmatist…as long as good is being done and people are being served, who cares where the motivation is coming from?

    I am well aware of my Church’s history, both the shining-happy believer version, and the sordid underbelly version you are so fond of accentuating.

    My life is personally not bound up in my Church’s despicable actions. Aside from being all of these horrible things that you mention, it is also the largest charitable organization in the world, doing more for the individual poor than any organization in history.

    “Anyway, if your life is so bound up in the clanish and dispicable actions of a mega control organization to whom their own existence and retention of wealth is primary, that you would end up losing your faith, or being separated from your god; then I guess you have little choice but to remain a catholic.”

    I’m not sure how you glean this from my posting. But whatever, I’ve heard it all and worse before.

  9. Thomas,
    My point of that paragraph is that “unless” you feel your faith and relationship with your god would be irrepairably harmed, the church as an institution is superflouous, and your (and your fellow Catholics) continuing to support it enables it to do the things we both bemoan. You don’t need that baggage to praise your god, or be a good person, or to have friends. That was my point.

    I wonder how much more effective a charity it would be if it didn’t use charity as the carrot to the proselytizing stick approach. Mother Teresa was perhaps the most sadistic woman I’ve ever heard of, yet catholics prefer to turn a blind eye to the facts of her treatment of the ill and dying, dismissing testimony against her as heretical.

    Finally, what good the catholic church does for the poor, pales in comparison to the pain and suffering it dispenses through mindless and less than christ like doctrine. With what it has done to entire 3rd world societies because of their anti-condom mentality, there is alot of blood on the Church’s hands. Someday people such as your self who enabled the church will look back and hang your head in shame.

  10. Thomas Rooney OFS

    It’s quite presumptuous of you to lecture me in terms of what I do and do not need in terms of faith, friends, or to be a good person.

    I find it amusing that you continually leap-frog over any good the Church does in order to return to your diatribe. Just as I’m sure you think I downplay crimes done in the name of the Church to bolster her good credentials. We’re talking past each other at this point…best to you as well.

  11. Thomas Rooney OFS

    Wow. You really think you’re something, Bart.

    Your posts are full of emotion, anger and irrational ignorance of a good portion of the evidence at hand. And while I agree that rationality isn’t always pleasant to confront, nasty self-important people like yourself are even less pleasant.

    Have a great day.

  12. Wow. That last post of mine really hit home, eh Thomas?

    Funny, I didn’t see you present any “evidence”. And since ewvidence is unnecessary for faith, I doubt you’d know it if you saw it.

    As for my “irrational ignorance ” maybe I missed your countering it with a with rational inisght. All I saw was warm fuzzy ‘this den of corruption and perverts is my home because it always has been and because of charitable works’. Talk about irrationality and emotion.

    Fact is for theists to speak about the irrational as though they ever confront, embrace or practice rationality is oxymoronic at best, laughable at worst. To be rational one must embrace reason. Reason is the enemy of faith. Martin Luther said: “To be a good Christian you must pluck out the eye of reason.” You must be a wonderful Xtian.

    As for anger: Thomas…re-read your last post. You seem angry enough to go out and burn a heretic.

    Calm yourself. If it helps, tighten your cilice.

  13. Thomas Rooney OFS

    OK, Bart…I just happened to be drinking iced tea while reading your last reply…I laughed until said tea came out of my nose. It was the emoticon at the end that did it.

    Peace, man.

  14. The many comments remind me of why I leave reading and studying the Holy Scriptures to those that want truth from God not men! How could God ever Bless these faiths that have no basis or strong hold in His Word! You cannot get good fruit from a rotten tree!
    Bart and Thomas do not quote Scripture…so afraid to stand out with truth…is that the problem? The old and new of Scriptures as we respect the 66 books are full of clear and specific guides for daily living and woes to the ( Wannabee Priests) The book of Isaiah chock full of disgusting things that are condemned! Pauls words on what some of the congregations “used to be ” means repented from…or stop doing! Jesus words on Liars….fornicators…adultry ….drunks and so forth. The Book if Revelation Chapter 18 on the False Churches ..the military…and commercial greed! This planet is sick Head to Toe with opinions on Homosexual activities….now God has not changed the word. Please show me in Scripture a principle on that one. Sodom and Gommorah is a warning example to be sure! You cannot add to nor take away from this words in the Scrolls without punishment.
    Blessing come from God ….AIDS is a malady for wrong conduct! just like any bad conduct will produce health issues. While you discuss non Scriptural doctrine with fury and anger. Why not slow down read the Bible( the Book of choice ) for your answers
    Why not clean house or move out! Revelation Chapter 18 tells you what to do it says ” GET OUT OF HER…( false religion and teachers big and small) if you do not want to share in her SINS. So giving money to a corrupt organization will cause you to be guilty of Her Sins. The list of sins within the Catholic organization are on the rise again with the POPE being caught hiding the sick ohs…in the church of Mexico.
    I would run from not too any that looks like Babylon the Great as described in the bool of Revelation. It is worse than the Titianic since God anger will leave nothing to look at. Just like Sodom and Gommorah and the Flood of Noahs day be on the watch it was not raining when Noah built the ark. Use your Bibles not your mouths and see if you can find comfort in the Scriptures that are there for our instructions. Stop quoting men as though they are Gods….The Bible is HOLY and preserved at a guide
    After 30 years of getting People to go back and read it…I find few do because they like to talk and not listen to God! That won’t work. Jeremiah 10:23 states it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his steps.. Send people you love on a nice long trip into Gods word and they will have hope beyond all Human thinking!
    Reminder to shake the dust off your feet if people are unwilling to listen to the message of the Good News of the Kingdom. that was why Jesus came to the earth!
    The Greatest Man that ever lived…clear…..simple….direct…to the point and He astounded those that listened. Listen to the great Teacher. Stop the fighting and trying to be the greatest. He is our leader and was sent here to tells us about Jehovah!

  15. Thomas Rooney OFS

    JW1951 (Jack Chick) – I can’t speak for Bart but I’d say he doesn’t quote Scripture to support his argument because A) he’s an atheist, and B) the discussion hadn’t a thing to do with it.

    But since you wish to talk Scripture, that’s fine. Let’s do so:

    First off…the Bible IS NOT A HISTORY BOOK, though it contains some historical figures and accounts. It is a library of literature, from poetry to biography, prose to how-to instruction manual. Quite likely, many of the authors of each books would have been horrified by some of the books that came before and after them. What the Bible IS: A 3,000+ year story about a peoples’ GROWING understanding of their God, written by ordinary folks with an amazing inspiration.

    Secondly, I have some questions: Why do you recognize the Old and New Testaments as Scripture? What AUTHORITY set the canon of what we know as the Holy Bible, Who decided which Books were inspired and to be bound. and which ones were not. particularly with the scores of extra-biblical books written about the life of Christ in the 1st Century? What entity preserved those Books during the Dark Ages?

    As far as we know, Christ did not write anything, other than some scrapings on the ground. He did not write a book. He founded a Church.