Wednesday, 29 August 2007

#3 Another word picture in response

Well !

Let me state an aside first before it disappears; a considerable amount of priests are disgruntled at the way anglicans - married anglicans or blatantly camp ones - were accepted with open arms into the clergy while remaining ostensibly CofE; merely with the bugbear of disapproving of women priests.

The debacle of the permanent diaconate whereby indolent-enough priests could dump their clerical exigences on some over-enthusiastic member of the professional laity who had enough basic theology and morality to confidently over-emphasise doctrine and praxis erroneously with a patronising smile has got many of the clergy and the laity's 'backs-up'!!

All too often in parishes across the country does sunday mass look something more akin to the adventures of the brady bunch - deacon dad's on the sanctuary in his posh white frock looking austere before he preaches; mum's dishing out communion, the eldest son or daughter is doing the readings and the rest of the kids are altar serving... not exactly conducive to inspiring anything but hostility from the sadly, but unexpectedly ,envious members of the congregation...

The priest seems , more often than not, surplus to requirement and a bit of 'spare one'.
This isn't only within the remit of mere deacons - oh no ! throughout the country there are vast swathes of 'professional laity families' who are involved in everything !!
invariably they are teachers or avid middle class 'professionals' and this does "rub the parishioners' noses in it" - ostensibly these people mean well, but all too readily does it turn into a conflict of wills; and the creation of an 'inner ring' from which the average parishioner feels ostracized.
These professional laity do feel that because of their time and effort they should be afforded some validity and position within the church mechanism - and they are all too ready to fill in any 'gaps in ministry/catechesis' with like-minded friends and associates.
They are on the visible administrative committees anmd parish councils etc; while the 'lower class' individuals of the parish have to make do with the legion of mary, the st vincent de paul society, the union of catholic mothers or the martha group of church cleaners.

You don't think young men don't see this going on around them ? a parish run in a way that it isn't really a parish at all - it's more like a baptist chapter.

They see that "children's liturgies" are merely excuses to get the kids out of the way so their professional laity parents can sing 'colours of day' and bang a tambourine in the band, or prance around the sanctuary as some new 'minister of something'.

They may attend RCIA and be both enraged and astounded at the heterodoxy being promulgated as church doctrine by the 'catechist' laity who have never studied a day's theology in their lives - and I don't just mean the ordinary stuff that the cafeteria catholics pick and choose - contraception, homosexuality, divorce etc - I'm talking about things like whether Jesus was married to Mary magdalene or had a gay affair with St John, that most of the Bible is fairy stories, most of church teachings are capitalist, heterosexist, racist, misogynistic anachronisms , the pope and the bishops are just out of touch and need to catch up with reality ,and come vatican 4 we'll have a lesbian pope who's had three abortions and four divorces; and the only ex cathedra condemnations will be about racism, eating meat and not being carbon neutral.A young man with a modicum of orthodoxy is bound to be a little disillusioned.

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