Meeting them where they are: a profile of an “intentional parish” in Brooklyn

I missed this on Good Friday — I was otherwise engaged — but it’s worth a read.  It looks at a growing phenomenon in the Church: people seeking out parishes outside of their geographic boundaries.

From the New York Times:

St. Boniface attracts an average of 700 people a weekend, remarkable when only about a third of Roman Catholics registered with the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York attend services on an ordinary Sunday, according to a spokesman for the organizations. Social justice programs, like a secular nonprofit group that helps support a community in Kenya, and homilies flecked with literary allusions draw a diverse and impressive crowd, with many writers, civic leaders and professionals in the mix.

The church’s high ritual and its open and inclusive approach appeal to people born to the faith, converts, Christians of other denominations and, particularly, young families. The priests have also made a special point of welcoming Catholics who have been distressed by some of the church’s politics or its sometimes rigid hierarchy.

St. Boniface is an example of an intentional parish, a phrase some members of the clergy use to describe a destination church that attracts people from beyond its geographic boundaries. Many gay and lesbian Catholics travel to the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Chelsea. Some traditionalists attend the Latin Mass at the Church of St. Agnes in Midtown, and foreign language speakers often go distances to hear Mass in their mother tongues. But St. Boniface stands out because the vast majority of those who worship there do not live within the parish’s boundaries but come from across Brooklyn and Manhattan, some even from the suburbs.

There are many denominations of Protestants, allowing worshipers to choose churches that reflect their values and priorities. But until recently, parish shopping was unheard of among Catholics, who, for generations, went lockstep to their local churches.

Indeed, Catholics in New York’s immigrant enclaves often identified themselves according to parish, not neighborhood.

“It was just the vernacular, ‘Which parish do you live in?’ ” recalled Justice Robert J. Miller of the New York State Supreme Court, who grew up in Brooklyn. He now drives to St. Boniface from Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, but in the 1950s, he said, the parish “was your world.”

Catholics no longer live in a Catholic world, explained David Gibson, author of “The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful Are Shaping a New American Catholicism,” and a St. Boniface parishioner.

“Catholicism now is more about making choices,” he said, and for some, that means traveling to parishes where they feel affirmed.

“Meeting them where they are” is a mantra among St. Boniface’s five priests and a lay brother, who make it a point to invite new faces to monthly home-cooked lunches in the rectory.

But the inclusive philosophy has a stickier side. While the priests hold true to and convey all the church’s teachings, whether from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Bishops or the Diocese of Brooklyn, they accept that not everyone in the pews does.

When a lesbian couple approached one of the priests, the Rev. Mark Lane, about baptizing their child, they were afraid he would turn them away, he said. But they were welcomed. For Father Lane, 55, the parish’s openness simply reflected Christ’s teachings to love everyone. Even if that could be taken as an implicit critique of the church’s position on homosexuality, the parish did not make the family occasion into a cause.

“The danger is, you turn that into a platform and forget about the persons involved, and I think that’s wrong,” Father Lane said. The two mothers stood at the font with their child along with everyone else. “The symbol is visually powerful, but that’s enough.”

Read more.

Comments

  1. St. Philip Neri and Bl. John Henry Newman must be smiling.

  2. Richard M. Sawicki says:

    While in the context of modern American thought, with endless emphasis on our multitude of “choices” of where to shop, dine, vacation, etc., the notion of “parish shopping” may seem perfectly logical, the fact remains that the practice is still illicit with certain extraordinary exceptions.

    Under Canon Law parish membership is still determined by location of domicile.

    One can register “extraparochially”, but I have always understood (since I was in a such a situation many years ago) that there are two conditions that must be met in order to to do so. First, the desire to register in a parish other than one’s canonical/geographic one must be motivated by “genuine pastoral need”, for which the burden of proof is entirely on you (and make no mistake about it, personal tastes regarding preaching style, liturgy, music, asthetics, architecture, socio-political slant, identity group, etc., do not qualify as “genuine pastoral need”). Second, the pastor of the parish you wish to register in must give his consent, as he is not juridically required to minister to those outside of his geographic territory (or to put it another way, you can’t just walk in to any parish and say “I want to get married here” or “Baptize my child” or “Bury my dead sister”, as the pastor wouldn’t have any idea who you were or if you were even a practicing Catholic!).

    I have long believed that the “Balkanization” of the local church began when we started getting lax about parish membership, thereby letting people start thinking of themselves as “Adjective-Catholics” (choose your adjective: liberal, conservative, traditionalist, charismatic, social-justice, Euro-, Afro-, Indio-, etc.) insted of just “Catholics” who are all subsumed in to the Body of Christ.

    Since Deacon Kandra is a member of the clergy of the Diocese of Brooklyn, it pains me to let him know how many of my friends who are fellow Catholics, who live in the Diocese of Brooklyn, act and behave and talk about themselves as if they are members of the Archdiocese of New York (as I am). When I point out to them that Bishop DiMarzio is actually their Bishop and that they are undisputably under his obedience, they shrug and say things like “oh well, I like it better here (fill in parish)” or “I’m a member of the Universal Church, so it doesn’t matter” (Yes, we’re all members of the Universal Church, but within that Universal Church, we also belong to a LOCAL church under the pastoral leadership and spiritual fathership of our bishop-ordinary, and yes, our local parish priest!). I have even tried to explain to them that it could even be a sin against both charity and justice not to support their own parish, but to no avail. It falls on deaf ears.

    I pray that all Catholics slay that beast of spiritual pride which says “It’s all about ME and what I want, like, prefer, etc.,”.

    Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  3. This article is full of baloney.

  4. Peregrinus says:

    When I move to a new place it is my practice to search out the best parish available. I wouldn’t trust the health of my body to a doctor simply because he lived on the same street, and I am far less likely to trust the health of my immortal soul to the life of a parish simply because my apartment happens to fall in a certain region.

  5. Kathy Schiffer says:

    “The priests have also made a special point of welcoming Catholics who have been distressed by some of the church’s politics or its sometimes rigid hierarchy….”

    What this means, I suppose, is that the priests at this parish will wink and look away when people marry outside the Church (or don’t marry at all); when they support “a woman’s right to choose”; when they live in an openly lesbian relationship (as the women whose child was baptized there). This is not a good thing. Yes, the priests and hierarchy (those rigid old guys) should love everyone; but sometimes, the loving thing to do is to teach and explain why the parishioners’ choices are not the right ones.

  6. I think one of the precepts of the Church is to support your parish financially. I wonder how many of these Catholic nomads actually register in their parish of choice and support it?
    I find parishes run by religious orders are usually much more loosey goosey about matters like rules or rubrics. Perhaps that’s why this parish and others like it attract so many looking for warm fuzzies.

  7. Oh, for Christ’s sake! (And I mean that literally.) Tell me church shopping doesn’t occur across the board, and that just as many people aren’t fleeing the warm and the fuzzy for the rigid and the righteous. Tell me it’s just an accident of geography that whole neighborhoods full of Catholics are trads—especially when, as is common, traditional parishes are found smack in the middle of the unpopulated urbs where there aren’t any neighborhoods to speak of anymore. It’s reprehensible, apparently, when some of the Body of Christ seek welcome and nourishment for their souls outside their own front yard, but when others do, it’s the martyrs taking to the mattresses to preserve the True Faith. Kettle, meet pot. And when you’re finished with the tweezers, there’s a log in your eye that needs addressing.

  8. Fiergenholt says:

    While Richard seems to want to hide in the intricacies of Canon Law, the rest of us — including some bishops — realize that Jesus taught us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mk 2:27)

    Non-Territorial parishes are perfectly licit in Canon Law. They exist everywhere — you just don’t know about them.

    –Many are known historically as “nationality parishes” which were created for one specific language group regardless of where those folks resided.

    –Some bishops have given “non-territorial” privileges to inner-city parishes that cannot support themselves through membership within blighted areas of urban America.

    –AND do not forget about the Military Archdiocese of the United States where ALL the parishes are “non-territorial.”

  9. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    I know a sizable number of people who are registered in my parish live outside its geographical boundaries. It is a fact of Catholic life. I know someone who lives on Staten Island and drives to Brooklyn because he likes the priests at a particular parish. He’s even changed his membership to that parish — which is in a different diocese from the one in which he lives.

    What’s worse? To go out of obligation to a parish down the block with listless liturgies, bad music and half-baked homilies, or to go 30 minutes out of your way to a place that leaves you feeling like you have been spiritually challenged, uplifted and fed?

  10. Now that the New York Times has called his attention to it, I wonder how the Bishop of Brooklyn will feel about the way Fr. Lane runs his intentional parish. The two-mother couple had a child baptized there. Do they also regularly receive Holy Communion? Would Fr. Lane welcome Barbara Johnson (the Buddhist-lesbian from Maryland) and her partner?

  11. This is a slice of the baloney I was referring to.

  12. But that poor baby needs all the help he or she can get from the body of Christ.

  13. Mark Greta says:

    What is sad is that a Catholic Church anywhere offers services and liturgy that clearly does not follow authentic Catholic teaching. Some might think of this as love, but a shepherd leading their flock into eternal damnation is not what a sane person would call love. They could attract drug addicts by offering free drugs, alcoholics with free booze, gluttons a pack of twinkies, the proud sermons to boost their pride and self love, or any of a dozen other wonderful mistaken concepts of love by making sin normal and OK.

    I think of these churchs as fitting in well with the “if it feels good do it” or “whats in it for me” or “what is the least I can do and still get to heaven” crowd following the philosophies of hedionism, minimalism, or individualism of our modern world. Jesus wanted no part of any of these things. He demanded everything from those who would follow Him when he clearly taught we are to give 100% of our heart, soul, and mind. Until then, what we offer others in love is that confused with appeasement of the person with these modern philosopies at the expense of their soul. That is not only sad, but truly evil. What matters if the shepherd has a larger flock of sheep if they are being led off a cliff.

  14. Actually, parochial registration is a merely a discretionary administrative act, and not part of canonical requirements (unlike the registration of conferral of sacraments). One is a member of one’s parish of domicile (personal or geographic) automatically, but one is free since the 1983 code of canon law was adopted to attend Mass and support a parish wherever one pleases within one’s diocese. Domicile is associated with certain canonical requirements (for matrimony, for example), and one has certain canonical rights in one’s parish of domicile that one does not necessarily have canonically in another parish. The non-domicile parish can choose to “register” you or not (in your case, either the parish or the diocese in question seems to have adopted a standard in that regard, but it’s not a standard of canon law as such; other places may have none whatsoever, and I believe that is more common), and can place burdens on your ability to send your children to its school that it might not place on its own canonical members.

  15. Well said.

  16. Fiergenholt says:

    Maybe I’m missing something but I thought this blog-stream was about “intentional parishes.” That was my focus when I posted at 12:08pm today.

    Many months ago, “mark/greta” identified himself/herself as being from south-west Ohio. That puts him/her — if he/she is an active member of a Roman Catholic Parish — within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Their archbishop, Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, has authorized a number of “intentional parishes.” No big deal!

  17. That was the title of the article, but there was superfluous commentary that brought the subject into suspect territory. Like the stupidity “Catholicism is about making choices” bla bla bla.

  18. Seems many of the responses are from those too busy being Catholic to be Christian.

    It’s all supposed to be about Christ and what he asks of His followers — not about the Catholic Church as an institution and what it requires of its members. These two things are so often seemingly at odds that many feel the need to make a choice between them. Be glad they have not chosen the third option, staying home on Sunday.

    Unless you are one of those who prefers a smaller, but doctrinally purer congregation, of course.

  19. Jake, There’s not space between Christ and His Church. What is bound on earth is bound in Heaven; what is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven. We have a duty to follow the rules set out by the Church, which means those announced by the pope and the bishops in communion with him. What Christ asks of his followers is what the Father asked of Him while on earth: obedience.

  20. Are you Catholic, Jake?

  21. But an increasing number of Catholics ARE putting space between the two, and for good or bad that is unlikely to end. The Catholic Church has to find out why, or if they know why, it has to address the issue — very soon, very overtly, and very aggressively.

    A “take-it-or-leave-it” approach to Catholics is going to continue to be answered more and more with “leave”. Then the congregation will, indeed, be doctrinally purer and in lockstep obeyance whether that is the goal or not.

  22. That’s a fair question but one that has the potential to be a “gotcha” one.

    If I say “Yes, I am” then the first sentence of my first post separating Catholic from Christian becomes heretically suspect.

    If I say “No, I’m not” I risk the excoriation of those who think I shouldn’t contribute to a Catholic blog because I would be de facto unqualified to offer an opinion.

    So I’ll only commit to trying to be as objective on this issue as such a blog as this allows.

  23. I live a very long way from Brooklyn, so the only knowledge I have of St. Boniface parish is from this article. However I see some pretty sweeping assumptions being made in the comments; that the priests in this parish don’t hold true to
    Church teachings , that parishes run by religious orders are loosey-goosey, that “real” Catholics don’t attend church outside their geographic areas, that these people are just in the parish for the warm fuzzies. Do people really know any of this stuff, if they haven’t attended there? It is also quite unbelievable that this parish has been flying under the bishop’s radar until now.
    As for parish hopping being a recent phenomenon, guess again. It may have been going on “under the counter” in the past, but it was common. I recall in the early ’60s that my quite traditional parents attended a college Newman center and a convent chapel for awhile rather than put up with their pastor’s rambling 45 minute harrangues. There were quite a few strays in those congregation.

  24. I know of many people who have left our parish for other Catholic churches in the area. Our current pastor has been in our parish for about ten years. He usually preaches about sin and not love. His “people” skills are limited and I have heard many stories about disagreements between him and former members of our parish. It is more of people leaving what they consider a bad situation.

  25. Actually, I wanted to say, if you weren’t, that you should explore the faith through the RCIA program. I just took communion this past Easter Vigil and have been attending daily mass ever since. The Catholic Faith is an awesome thing that you can really only understand when you explore it personally and through their faith formation program. It will make you very happy and I really recommend it.

  26. Deacon Norb says:

    Melody has hit it on the head.

    “As for parish hopping being a recent phenomenon, guess again. It may have been going on “under the counter” in the past, but it was common. I recall in the early ’60s that my quite traditional parents attended a college Newman center and a convent chapel for awhile rather than put up with their pastor’s rambling 45 minute harrangues.”

    I went through diaconal formation a few years later — in the mid-1970′s. Sunday Mass at our formation site — a “house of studies” sponsored by a large religious order — was jammed. Over 2/3 of the congregation were registered parishioners at a moderately large parish in a nearby small city that was led by a “troglodyte” — at least that is what some of his parishioners called him.

    The official definition of “troglodyte” is someone who is old, ugly, living in a damp and dingy cave and afraid of the light — maybe even someone who makes a “troll” look like a screaming liberal.

    I’m not sure about the “living in a damp and dingy cave” part — since I know the rectory he did live in — but I know that the pastor was bitterly against anything that came out of Vatican II — and made sure everyone knew it. Was this bitter pastor a closet Lefebvre-ite — probably. He sure did drive the everyday-lay-Catholics away!

    Bottom line, those of us in formation as well as those members of that religious order, welcomed all. We learned a lot from them and they learned a lot from us.

  27. naturgesetz says:

    Good point, Joanne.

  28. naturgesetz says:

    Mark Greta —

    The article says that “the priests hold true to and convey all the church’s teachings, whether from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Bishops or the Diocese of Brooklyn,” so I think you have no good basis for suggesting that the parish “offers services and liturgy that clearly does not follow authentic Catholic teaching.”

    As for their approach of presenting moral teachings to adults in settings other than homilies during Mass, I think it can be justified as a matter of pastoral prudence. For example, the Catechism says of homosexuals, “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” If a priest thinks that respect, compassion, and sensitivity are demonstrated by homilies excoriating homosexual activity, I think he doesn’t quite get the concept. I’d suggest that you can’t browbeat people to accept the Church’s teaching. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, through grace. These are people who know the bottom line of what the Church teaches, hammering on it is likely to drive them away. Calls to prayer, as listening to what God is saying to them, with gentle expositions of the meaning of sex and marriage as explained by Bl. John Paul II in his Theology of the Body can provide openings for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts. We need to soften people up for the work of grace, not harden their hearts in opposition.

  29. Bravo, naturgesetz!
    “I’d suggest that you can’t browbeat people to accept the Church’s teaching.”
    So true.

  30. Bill McGeveran says:

    Glad to see a lot of (what I consider) sensible comments about this trend. Let freedom reign!

  31. Richard M. Sawicki says:

    Amen!

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  32. Richard M. Sawicki says:

    I am not trying to “hide” in the intricacies of Canon Law, I’m merely highlighting a problem.

    As to “national parishes”, they were outlawed by Cardinal Spellman in the Archdiocese of New York, but his successor Cardinal Egan chose to establish two new ones. So that topic is still “fluid”.

    The reference to the Military Archdiocese is meaningless, on the face of it, as it relates to this issue. Of course the Military is “non-territorial”. The original topic of the post was seeking out/attending a parish based on one’s personal, subjective likes and dislikes.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  33. For what it’s worth, in an age where the number of priests is dwindling and parishes are being forced to consolidate and/or close, perhaps the notion of “geographic boundaries” should be blown out of the water. Yes, there needs to be some sort of administrative order imposed to prevent abuses of sacraments (the kind that people above mentioned about wandering into any random church to get a particular sacrament or enroll in a particular school), but perhaps clergy and lay resources would be better utilized by changing the model. For example: the parish where I am registered (which is not the parish I am “supposed” to attend) has 19 health care institutions within its boundaries (one of which is a major hospital and another of which is a large hospice) and one full-time priest. There are at least 3-4 other parishes within a 5-6 mile radius. Moving away from a “boundary” model, in my opinion could improve the ministry to these facilities AND spread the care for these facilities around among several priests rather than it falling on my pastor’s shoulders alone. And I can guarantee that in this 6 mile radius, plenty of people are attending churches other than the parish in whose boundaries they reside for the reasons of choice that have already been stated. But what is wrong with that, really?

  34. @Deacon Norb,

    “The official definition of “troglodyte” is someone who is old, ugly, living in a damp and dingy cave and afraid of the light — maybe even someone who makes a “troll” look like a screaming liberal.”

    Tell us how you really feel about that old priest… (Definitely sounds like something out of ’70s formation.)

  35. Mary Russell says:

    The fact that Catholics parish shop should not constitute a news flash to anyone. This has been going in in large numbers for quite a long time. What galls about this article is the timing of this piece of “news” and the parish it highlights. Why would the NY Times choose to run an article about some Catholics choosing a liberal-ish parish in 2012? It just seems to fit the Times template- that no right-minded person would stay in a parish teaching Catholic moral truths openly and without equivocation- too easily.

  36. Barbara P says:

    It sounds as if the Spirit is at work in St Boniface gathering people into the Body of Christ. This parish is bringing God into a world that so often fails to see, understand and believe that God is even relevant anymore. How could anyone find cause to complain about what these priests and lay brother are doing? Seems to me they are answering His call to be fishers of men (and women!)

  37. Art ND'76 says:

    With the responsibility for not just me but also my wife and children, I definitely “parish shopped”. In my diocese in the late 90′s to early 2000′s that meant looking for a parish where I would not have to regularly explain to my children why what Father said in the homily was heresy – usually of the modernist, bible as non-historical myth meant to explain moral lessons, explain away all miracles variety. I spent 3 months sitting in the pews in 11 different local parishes to survey what was available. Finally my wife and I gave up trying to find a parish that would keep our children in the faith. At the parish we ended up at we have good fellowship with people our age, but there is *nothing* for high school to young adult ages. Also, the pastor gives really good homilies when he sticks to explaining the scriptures (I think he used to teach at the diocesan seminary), but he really goes off the rails when he talks politics (he appears to be a true liberal democrat) or against the military in his homilies (even though he has had an associate pastor who was a marine chaplain in Afghanistan), and his demeanor comes across as smug to many, including our children. Those “off the rails” moments are such that our children (now young adults) absolutely refuse to attend that parish. Also as a result, we now have difficulty convincing our children of the importance of attending Sunday Mass at any parish.

  38. The issue of attending an intentional parish is not new, especially if one looks to attend a parish which may cater to an ethnic group. For example, in the Archdiocese of Washington, we have parishes which cater to particular ethnic groups — Italian, Polish, Vietnamese, etc. — as well as parishes which have Masses and cultural events for those of a particular ethnic community. Also, since Latin Mass is not celebrated at every parish in the Archdiocese, we have people attending from many miles away.

    I think that the issue which bothers me is the one of the two lesbians.

  39. justamouse says:

    Many families pass three or four Catholic churches on the way to ours.

  40. Absolutely. I’m very happy with the pastoring at my parish but I can tell you that if I had to bear uninspiring preaching week after week I’d look for another parish. People put down Fr. Corapi but that sort of inspiration is what I feel I need. How can you blame people for being bored or made to feel insignificant or taken for granted? There are people who leave the Catholic church over poor pastoring. Is it better that they change parishes or become protestants?

  41. If I had stayed at the parish in my geographic boundry I wouldn’t be Catholic now. Thank God, Father allowed us to register at the parish we do go to.

  42. oldestof9 says:

    Amen!

  43. oldestof9 says:

    Double AMEN!

  44. Richard M. Sawicki says:

    I am very glad that this issue got aired.

    There is clearly a lot of “genuine pastoral need” regarding orthodoxy, and in the interest of “full disclosure”, as folks are wont to say these days, that was my reason for seeking to register in another parish.

    In 1982, my home parish, where I had happily been baptized, been an altar boy, chorister, lector, and usher, etc., got saddled with an unapologetic radical liberal who rapidly made life unbearable for the overwhelmingly faithful parishioners. I began to half-jokingly say that we were the only parish in the Archdiiocese that had a Unitarian minister for a pastor. Many of us sought spiritual refuge in the neighboring parish to the south which, by happy coincidence, was now being pastored by our former, orthodox pastor. What ensued was a mass exodus to a location eight blocks south. We all felt like it was a family reunion (Indeed, our organist/choirmaster joined us five years later!)

    To those who think that this whole issue is merely a temporal consideration, we should remember that if we believe that Jesus Christ really is who he says he is, then the Church Militant (that’s us here on earth for those who got their catechesis post-1973) should live as such, and call all of our fellow members of the Body of Christ to fidelity in all aspects of church life, both spiritual AND temporal. Christ is perfect. We should see to it that we at least aspire to that in all things.

    Our goal is Heaven. Our obstacle is sin. Jesus Christ is the Way to the first. Downplaying Christian doctrine and “winking” at irregularities is an example of the latter.

    May God Bless everyone commenting here. A Blessed Paschaltide to all!

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  45. Deacon Norb says:

    The priest in question — Fr. M — died maybe in the mid-1990′s. He was one of two (Fr. J was the other) in my diocese who did not at all agree with Vatican II. Our Bishop at that time transferred him (and other priests as well) to two specific parishes. Why those two parishes were selected I have no clue but they became known as the dumping grounds for those “anti-Vatican-II” priests.

    I am not worried about Fr. M or Fr. J (the two I knew on a first name basis) nor about the bishop who assigned them. They all have met the ultimate judge of salvation and have received appropriate recompense for their life-time of dedication to the Risen Lord Jesus.

    My observation, however, was about “intentional Catholics” and how they had entered my ministry many MANY years ago. They still deserved pastoral care — even though they were repelled by the assigned pastor of their own territorial parish.

  46. Deacon Norb, I fear your comments show that you learned nothing about rash judgment, calumny or slander during your formation in the ’70s. There must have been more than priests in two parishes who had concerns about the aftermath of Vatican II — but perhaps the kind of name-calling that you still indulge in silenced them. How shameful.

  47. Deacon Norb says:

    Chris:

    “There must have been more than priests in two parishes who had concerns about the aftermath of Vatican II.”

    At the actual time of Vatican II, I was a student in a major Roman Catholic University in Diocese “A.” I graduated in Spring 1965; Vatican II ended in December 1965. I was vitally interested in everything that the Council Fathers said because that was the only way I could pass my required theology courses.

    From Fall 1965 until Fall 1970, I was in Diocese “B.” My wife and I were married in Diocese “B.”

    In 1970, we moved to Diocese “C.” That is where I started my diaconal formation in 1975. The events I described above about Fr J. and Fr. M. happened in this diocese and happened in the mid-70′s as I recounted earlier.

    The Bishop in Diocese “C” was a veteran of Vatican II and was completely and passionately committed to the teachings of the Council — as he and over 2,000 other bishops had formulated them. Those two priests who I mentioned above were the only dissidents!

    our bishop was, however, a “Pre-Vatican” bishop in this one way — he was a strict disciplinarian and every priest and parish was supposed to be on the same page as him — PERIOD. If you — as a priest of Diocese “C” — disagreed with this bishop publicly, you did so at your own professional peril. You either got on board the Vatican II band-wagon, or you were going to shuttled off to “dumping-ground” parishes whether you liked the idea or not.

    Chris: as that sketch suggests, I lived through Vatican II — studied Catholic theology in a major Catholic University during that same era — and also lived in parishes and dioceses where the bishops involved were committed to the teachings of Vatican II because they had directly formulated them.

    Again. let me suggest that this blog-stream was about “Intentional Catholics” and yesterday afternoon at 4:08, I was posting an affirmation of the remarks by “Melody” that “intentional parishes” have been around for a very long time. That is all that was intended — AND she is absolutely correct.

    Perhaps it was you who read something in my remarks that simply was not there.

  48. pagansister says:

    One should go to the church that fulfills their needs and makes them feel welcome and includes them just as they are. If that means parish shopping, then so be it.

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