In the e-mail: “The Charlotte Observer is contributing to a campaign against the Bishop and conservatives”

In the e-mail: “The Charlotte Observer is contributing to a campaign against the Bishop and conservatives” May 27, 2014

A reader wrote me to take issue with the story posted the other day about a controversial capital campaign in the Diocese of Charlotte. The author is a member of the cathedral parish.

Some excerpts from the email:

St. Patrick doesn’t have eucharistic ministers except for one or two non-ordained men mainly because every priest and deacon is available at all masses so there is no need for them in such a small parish. There used to be a female EMHC but I’m not sure where she is now. I don’t think our pastor trusts anyone who is not ordained with the ciborium – he’s heard and seen too many sacrileges against the Eucharist. I was an EHMC at my former parish and I miss that role very much, but I personally can vouch for some pretty awful stuff happening, from disinterested gum chewers to a man trying to steal a host just prior to Halloween weekend who caused a giant scene. So I let myself simply enjoy being a recipient, but I remember with honor and gratitude the privilege of distributing the Body and Blood of Our Lord. I’m not in a power struggle for women’s rights, I’m there to adore and receive Him. Our liturgy is very beautiful – smells and bells. I grew up with charismatic guitar music (which I still love) so to say it’s done beautifully is a true compliment.

The parish has girls only servers because of the statistics on vocations to the priesthood coming mainly from altar servers, and the statistics on how boys are drawn to all-male groups more. Therefore, with an eye towards vocations, they have all male altar servers. St. Ann’s nearby has done the same thing and had 35 servers at their St. Dominic Savio feast day mass honoring those boys who had studied to serve both forms of the liturgy. St. Ann’s has instituted levels of altar servers and the boys have to pass exams to move up. St. Pats is gradually adopting those practices, too. At some masses we have a dozen boys serving. While I’d like to have my daughters serve, again, I’m not into women’s rights during the sacraments. I’d rather have them learn to worship than serve. A number of people have left the parish over this issue, but the pastor is focused on vocations and has the research to back it up, so he stands his ground.

As a member of the Cathedral, I can say with certainty that it’s a joke to say even with $4mm it would be some glamfesty Crystal Cathedral. It’s not glamorous at all. In fact, it’s rather dull. The place needs paint and renovations. There are holes, cracks, concrete issues in the side steps, missing light fixtures, creaky stairs, ancient plumbing, etc. There is no Eucharistic chapel because the church itself is so small there is no room for it. It’s a very old, very in need of work, rather plain structure. Those who have issues with renovation haven’t sat in the pews day after day looking at the giant lightening bolt crack over the side entry, wondering if it’s bigger this week, or just my imagination? They haven’t seen the chips of plaster that have fallen off the walls over the statue of Mary. They haven’t been in the crowded sacristy which has a small closet holding all the vestments and altar server clothing. They haven’t seen the simple tension curtain rod that shields the working altar servers, come crashing down during the liturgy. Vesting is done in a small common area with a bunch of servers and deacons crowded together. I don’t know that we need a separate bishop’s sacristy, but we certainly need a bigger one. The critics haven’t sat in the pews wishing the back of the sanctuary could be painted b/c there is such a shadowy paint difference across the back about 15 feet up that makes the lower wall look dirty. Not a mass goes by when I don’t have to force myself to ignore it. Adding a sacristy and an adoration chapel will in no way make it a glamorous cathedral. ANYONE who says otherwise has an axe to grind.

The adjoining rectory does not have any private rooms downstairs in which to vest. There is a very small toilet room just inside the doors but I don’t see how a man could vest in there without having things fall into the toilet. There is a room with windows to the church and the driveway that could be used to change, I suppose. Otherwise he would have to go upstairs and use the bedroom of one of the priests, I guess. The rectory is in such need of repair that the existing mold and mildew problem has given the pastor a chronic wheezy cough. No funds to repair it right now, but it’s where two priests and visiting clerics are supposed to stay…

…I short, the Charlotte Observer is contributing to a campaign against the Bishop and conservatives in the diocese. I regret that you posted such a scurrilous article as if it was a big diocesan problem, because it’s not. The Charlotte Catholic parents who are holding back they money from this campaign from issues with the Bishop over that, I suspect, are not big donors anyway. 75% of the monies are already pledged without their help…

…In sum, that article is an extension of bitterness from the CCHS event from a minority group. Here in the city, I’ve not heard a peep about it. Interesting how the quote was that folks weren’t happy with the Bishop’s comment about the hatred spewed at Fr. Kauth. They missed his comment that he supports and stands with every parent in their concerns and sadness over the problems surrounding Sr. Jane Dominic’s talk.

Did you see, however, that Fr. Kauth, the priest from the CCHS event, was awarded the JPII Youth Service Award? Apparently he received more votes than any priest ever has before. Did the Observer mention that? It’s not all anger and anti-clerical boycotts down here!

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