Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Parish Bull(etin): Leading Catholics Astray

The pastor of the local parish often puts “news” excerpts in the parish bulletin. Unfortunately, his sources are usually liberal progressive modernist ones like the National “Catholic” Reporter or America magazine. This little article appeared in last week’s issue:
What Catholics think - Catholics favor a variety of responses to the priest shortage but give less credence to official church teachings than they formerly did, according to the results of a survey commissioned by the National Catholic Reporter newspaper. At least two-thirds of the respondents supported each of a number of alternatives -- priest-sharing, parish mergers, bringing in priests from another country, cutting the number of weekend Masses, having a deacon or layperson run the parish, and occasionally substituting Mass with a communion service. And at least three-quarters of the respondents agreed that laypeople had the right to decide how parish money should be spent, select their new pastor and decide on parish closings. It was the fifth such survey commissioned by the newspaper since 1987 and the first since 2005, when Pope Benedict XVI succeeded Blessed John Paul II as pope. A majority of respondents for the first time said individuals had the final say in what is right or wrong in the areas of abortion, homosexuality and sex outside of marriage. A growing majority said the same about contraception, and 47 percent agreed on the subject of divorce and remarriage, up from 42 percent. A minority held that both individuals and church leaders had the final say in these five matters, while a smaller minority said church leaders alone should have the final say.
Why the pastor would put such nonsense in the bulletin is beyond me; I really don’t believe that he himself thinks in this heretical fashion!
My husband wrote the pastor a letter after he read the article. I think he nails it:
In the parish bulletin this week I read “What Catholics Think”, based upon a survey conducted by the National Catholic Reporter. While I have little use for that publication, since it frequently takes editorial positions in opposition to true Catholic teaching, the survey which was summarized in the bulletin does reinforce the point made in my earlier letter [see “Looking for a Few Good Shepherds”, which was the gist of a letter my husband sent to all the priests of the diocese].
With such a high percentage of Catholics thinking that they, not the Church, can determine what position to take on subjects ranging from Church finances to abortion, sex outside of marriage, and homosexual relationships, one must wonder how so many Catholics have become so misguided.  I think it is precisely because of the point I made in my previous letter – it is because many bishops and priests have failed to address such matters and therefore most Catholics have no idea what the Church’s teaching is; hence, they have incorrectly assumed that they, not the Church, can decide such issues for themselves.
I believe that many Catholics, including those in your parish, who read the survey summary in the bulletin will use the survey to justify their own misguided views on these issues. “If so many other Catholics believe as I do then it must be okay.”  Of course nothing could be further from the truth.  However, unless you address these issues, individually and often, there is no hope that distortions of Church teaching will ever be reversed.
I think that by choosing to print this particular survey you are now obligated to make clear, from the pulpit, what the Church actually does teach on these matters.
I pray that you will choose to meet that obligation.
Jerry Boyd

Yep. He nailed it.

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