Monday, July 28

As Eve says,

"Harsh, but so funny."

While the Anglicans might split over gays...

the gay churches are splitting, too!

The congregation of the Dallas-based Cathedral of Hope voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to part company with the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). The decision severs a 33-year-relationship between the nation's largest gay church and the country's only GLBT denomination. The loss of the 3,000-strong Dallas flock brings MCC's membership down to 43,000. A preliminary 977-140 vote on Sunday will be confirmed in a final tally later this week, the Dallas Morning News reported. Sunday's vote capped a months-long dispute between Michael Piazza, the charismatic leader of the Cathedral of Hope, and a group called Cathedral of Hope Reform, which questioned his financial decisions. Led by former board member, Terri Frey, the reform faction accused Piazza of a number of fiscal irregularities, ranging from the charge of arranging health insurance for ineligible HIV-positive volunteers, to the more serious allegations that Piazza used capital campaign contributions for ongoing operations and spent thousands on "fund-raising parties" out of town, where little or no money was collected.

No, it's the other Mike Piazza


A NYTimes article about a priest-parish conflict in the Newark diocese

The article is confusing - it sketches out what Perricone is doing, but then says that at the one Mass the reporter attended, he didn't....But, forging on:

The Rev. John A. Perricone, an erudite Roman Catholic priest who uses Latin phrases and refers to T. S. Eliot in conversation, is known nationally as leading proponent of the centuries-old Latin Mass, which was banished in favor of a more accessible service by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's.This month, Father Perricone was called from his academic post as a professor of philosophy at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and assigned here as administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a working-class parish not far from Newark.

So far, the match has not gone well.

A group of parishioners is enraged that in their view, the priest is imposing on them aspects of the traditional Latin Mass, called the Tridentine Mass after the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Today, nearly three-dozen parishioners — some carrying signs denouncing the priest ("Get Rid of John Perricone Now," read one) — picketed Our Lady of Mount Carmel before and after the 10:30 a.m. service, which drew nearly 200 people. The Archdiocese of Newark, seeking to quiet the gathering storm, sent its spokesman, James Goodness, to speak to reporters, who had been alerted to the protest by Father Perricone's opponents.

.....In an interview after the service, Father Perricone, who founded Christifideles, a group dedicated to promoting sanctity among Catholics through the Latin Mass, and who in 1996 arranged the first post-Vatican II Tridentine Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, acknowledged that in a perfect world he would like to say the Latin Mass regularly at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "But that's not the plan," he said.

He added that he was well within modern boundaries in using the Latin phrase "corpus Christi" instead of "body of Christ" when delivering the eucharist, despite parishioners' complaints.

"I guess if the people want to be captious, they will alight on anything," he said, adding that the complaints would have no effect on him. "I'm perfectly in conformity with the teachings of the church and the archbishop," he said, adding that the traditional Latin Mass is particularly popular among younger people engaged in a "cultural repudiation" of the excesses of the 1960's. "There's a sense of a right order in it," he said.

Father Perricone, 53, also denounced the criticism of his celebration of the Mass as either "lies" or the carping of some parishioners who simply do not like the fact that they have a new priest. "I can't imagine an instance where I showed insensitivity to anyone," he said.

He also said that it pained him to have to defend himself in a way that seemed self-serving and that he was much happier talking about the beauty of the Latin Mass, the "sense of awe" it produces and its liturgical and symbolic richness. "Granted, most of the people don't understand Latin," he said, "yet they understand its evocation of the transcendent."

The protesters, though, faulted the priest for using too many elements from the old-style Mass. They said that he faced the altar instead of the congregation when he prepared communion, did not allow communicants to drink from the chalice; did not speak out loud for the consecration of the host; and did not allow lay ministers to deliver communion. Little of that was in evidence today, but parishioners said that was because reporters were present.

Emerging from the ivory tower and the fortress of the EWTN studios can be mighty tough, can't it?

On the gay marriage front:

Stanley Kurtz maps out the slippery slope beyond it.

American Episcopalians start meeting in Minneapolis on Wednesday, with the issue already a center of debate

Later this week, the Vatican will publish instructions to bishops and Catholic politicians on how to deal with the issue.

Radley Balko agrees with me about Six Feet Under's presentation of the abortion issue.

New Mexico's Jewish pioneers

The carved inscription over the main doors of the Roman Catholic St. Francis Cathedral contains the four consonants of the ancient name for God -- in Hebrew.It's a reminder in stone of a little-known element of New Mexico's diversity -- the role of its early Jewish settlers. Jews were an integral part of life in 19th-century New Mexico, as merchants, bankers, miners, ranchers, soldiers, politicians and the governor of Acoma Pueblo.

In Santa Fe, Willi Spiegelberg was a leading merchant, and his wife, Flora, an accomplished social and community leader who could converse with Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy in his native French.Jewish merchants contributed to Lamy's effort to build a cathedral; Abraham Staab's donation was sizable. Staab's descendants say he tore up the note for a loan he had provided, and the grateful archbishop ordered the Hebrew inscription on the cathedral's front.Whether or not that's the origin of the inscription, there is every indication that Lamy and the German Jews of Santa Fe -- with their shared European background -- were quite close, said Tobias, the author of "A History of the Jews in New Mexico," published in 1990 by University of New Mexico Press.

Chicago Archdiocese investigates files of 900 order priests for sexual abuse, finds them all in the clear.

Orange County Catholics are glad an abusive choir director is gone, feel sorry for priest being investigated for child pornographer.


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