Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parenting 101 for Bishop Galante

Recently, while shopping at Wal-Mart, I observed two different parenting styles at work.

First, there was a young mother with one child in the seat of her shopping cart, and a little boy of about 3 years tagging along behind…way behind. And touching things, and exclaiming about them, and “suggesting” that mommy buy those things.

This mother, though not irate, was loud. You know. The constant nagging: “Come on. Get over here RIGHT NOW. Do you want candy? Then come on. Get over here.” She would stand and wait as he edged nearer, then walk a few more feet and begin the routine all over again as the little boy stopped to examine some other treasure. This can be termed a “permissive” parenting style.

A few minutes later, I observed another mother, also with two children. The child in the cart was fussing. He wanted to be held, and Mom would have none of it. She was quietly firm, saying, just a couple of times, “No. I am not picking you up. You need to stop crying.” And she continued with her shopping. This reflects an “authoritative” (not “authoritarian”) parenting style.

There were probably several people in the store who were not happy that the “authoritative” mom allowed her eighteen-month-old to cry; crying is obnoxious! But in a couple more years, that mom will have a child who knows his limits and understands proper “store” behavior. The first mom – the “permissive” one – is likely to end up with two children tagging far behind her instead of one, and she will be reciting the same nagging script.

Now, take 6 minutes to watch the Vortex episode embedded at the end of this post. Then come back and I’ll tell you what my example above has to do with Bishop Joseph Galante of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey.

Or…if you don’t want to watch the video, that’s okay; I’ll tell you what Michael Voris says as we go along!

First, Michael Voris reviews the recent news that the Diocese of Camden commissioned the BARNA group to conduct a poll assessing the attitudes and “catholicity” of the faithful there. Bishop Galante was “dismayed” to discover that 60% of the faithful of his diocese believed Jesus sinned!

Bishop Galante was also “intrigued” to discover that a high number of “Catholics” in his diocese did not attend Mass every Sunday.

Let’s let Michael Voris take it from here with my comments interspersed:

…[Bishop Galante] said (in reference to getting more Catholics to Mass each week), “Fear is not a teaching tool. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort, but we need to get people to go to Mass because they want to, not because there is a sword hanging over them. We have to be more inviting, more welcoming and more hospitable.”

Blech! The last thing I want when I go to Mass is 4 or 5 people wanting to glad-hand me at the door. Really, I just want to go in and prepare myself to worship God and receive Jesus in the Eucharist!

Michael Voris continues:

With all due respect, that carries with it the potential to signal trouble down the road. Of course the motive for going to Mass can’t be primarily fear. No sane Catholic would ever propose that. But to simply avoid the issue that there are spiritual consequences (BAD ONES) for NOT going to Mass is to preach something incomplete.
But it was the second part of the bishop’s comments that others in the diocese seconded and expanded on that were just as worrisome. The part about being more inviting and welcoming. One diocesan official went so far as to say we need to figure out what it is that people want at Church and give them that.

Uh…remember the mom with the little boy tagging after her, asking for various goodies?

Excuse me, but isn’t the combination of THAT EXACT approach coupled with the ignoring of Hell THE very reason we are in the disaster we are in today? How much more “WELCOMING” could the Church be and accommodating in giving people what they want?

Exactly! A sure sign of a “Catholic Community” that fails to see homosexual behavior as a sin is the “welcome” sign on the door, in the parish bulletin, on the parish website. Usually, the word “inclusive” is there right along with the “welcome”.

And following the parenting examples, this reflects a “permissive” approach. Give the people what they want, and keep nagging at them to come to Mass.

We’ve heard next to nothing from most leaders for almost 50 years about ANY sexual sin whatsoever…any dogma...any mention of the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Blessed Sacrament…in short, practically every HARD SAYING in the Church has been compromised or ignored.

In place of them, we have every abuse you could imagine to accommodate the needs of every person in practically any possible scenario.

Yeah, with the notable exception of those who wish priests would just follow the rubrics, not to mention those who desire the extraordinary form of the Mass (the “TLM”).

Frankly, we bet leaders WILL sit around and wonder exactly how they can be MORE welcoming – short of just handing over the keys to the parish and asking the laity to just finish the job and re-write the Church’s teaching.

The Church’s problem today is not figuring out how to be MORE welcoming, but how to be LESS welcoming: Less welcoming to heresy and dissidents and heterodoxy and accommodation and political correctness and cowardice.

Remember the mom in my example above whose child was sitting in the cart crying? Remember her firm stance that, basically, “that’s not what happens when we go shopping at Wal-Mart”? She was teaching her child to “follow the rubrics” and to observe the “precepts” of Wal-Mart shopping. She was setting standards and refusing to accommodate her child’s demands.

The goal is get each person to become holier so they die in a state of grace and avoid Hell. You don’t do that with polls and hospitality ladies in the back of the Church offering cupcakes. That is hard business requiring an HONEST, straightforward message that, yes, does include the reality of eternal separation from God.

Now that it seems more and more in the Church are recognizing that a problem actually does exist, let’s hope and pray that the solution decided on accomplishes the goal.


It’d be nice for Holy Mother Church, the most authoritative of all mothers, to have children who observe Her precepts, know their limits, and live up to their Catholic heritage, wouldn’t it? And that’s going to depend in part on our bishops.


  1. I was so frustrated when I heard the Bishop's response to the problem yesterday! As if decades of just talking about how nice and lovely everything is hasn't proven that perhaps preaching the whole of the gospel rather would be helpful, rather than just the parts that make us feel warm and fuzzy! It definitely does seem to be permissive parenting. When the vortex episode began I was so hopeful that the response would be different!

  2. I see by the picture on your post that you have discovered the welcoming communities of Portland. The pictures are what our archbishop allows in our archdioceses as welcoming. It happens every year for the gay parade in downtown Portland.


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