Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Boston seminary rector resigns early,

unhappy at land sale

Goes with all guns blazing

Crisis, what crisis?

Curran Center at Fordham to hold Conference on Church Leadership

discusses “perceived and real crisis in the U.S. Catholic Church.”

Dr Massa is working on a three year study on the crisis in the Catholic Church.

Sister Must Go!

Polish-American News
Friday, 1 June 2007
Sr. Regina Murphy must go
Mood: sad
Topic: Religion
The viewpoint of the publisher of the Polish American News
Roger L. Puchalski

It’s time for Sr. Regina Murphy to go. There it is in black and white. Everyone in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo knows it accept those who are wedded to the sham called the Journey in Faith and Grace.

Why should Sr. Regina Murphy, SSMN, the diocesan director of research, go? Let’s explain it in black and white. In fact, I’ll quote her:

• “The chief goal of this process is to create more viable parishes throughout the diocese.” WNY Catholic, June 1993. “We don’t know what will happen [when parishes merge].” Western Niagara Vicariate Meeting, May 29, 2007.
The first comment was made when the “New Vision” process under Bishop Head was going through its downsizing endeavor. It failed then and 14 years later we’re back to the same problem. Of the four churches on Buffalo’s East Side that closed one church lies in shambles, one is part of a Muslim compound, another is a Baptist church, and a fourth, thankfully was taken over by St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Now they are going to cut again.

She failed in 1993 and now in 2007 admits at a vicariate meeting (the second quote) that closing churches will not guarantee stronger remaining parishes in the cluster and that it could lead to the eventual closure of additional parishes.

• “The Catholic Church is not a Democracy.” Western Niagara Vicariate Meeting, May 29, 2007.

This comment, even though Sr. Regina prefaced it by saying she didn’t mean to be flippant, was in response to a man who sacrificed over two years in the Journey in Faith and Grace process and was disillusioned by how the Diocesan Commission had altered the vicariate level proposal. I witnessed it and I felt it was truly arrogant. As repulsive as it was, it was telling because it meant that the diocese was going to do what it wanted, regardless of the countless devoted hours spent by loyal Catholics in meeting after meeting. It is a clear indication those involved in the process and those they represent are not on a journey but are being led around on a leash.

• “Don’t get hung up on having your building.” WNY Catholic, June 1993.
Dear sister don’t tell the parishioners that and then have the diocese defend its mansion on Oakland place. This comment also shows she fails to understand the connection people have with a particular church in a particular community. It shows the diocese has two standards – one for those in power, another for the laity.

• “In response to a question from Father Confer, Sister Regina said that ethnic questions involving these parishes were a factor, but often used as a means to express any resistance to change.” December 14, 1994 minutes of the Council of Priests.

This statement is a clear indication that Sister Regina did not (and I feel still does not) understand the ties between culture and religion for Polish-Americans. Her insensitivity is incomprehensible especially in light of Pope John Paul II’s remarks on culture and religion and Bishop Henry Mansell’s great respect for Buffalo’s Polish-American community during his time here. It also shows that she believes any dissention bears no merit and she classifies it as “resistance to change.” In fact it is Sister Regina who is resistant to change in how she conducts the “journey.” I saw that so clearly when an elderly man at this week’s vicariate meeting expressed how he had so wanted to be involved in a process that involved community and creativity. He never got it. Quite frankly she looked like she could care less.
So, Sr. Regina Murphy should go because she did not do the job right in 1994, has failed as a planner in outcomes assessment, is duplicitous in her message to the faithful, and has failed to understand cultural differences except where they meet her goals. She has created a process that pits inner city parishes versus suburban parishes, poor parishes versus wealthy, and has no expectations of success. (I’ll have more on city vs. suburb, poor vs. wealthy and an inside look at a vicariate meeting next week.)

Sister Regina referred to what will happen after the journey as “the great unknown.” If that isn’t the blind leading the blind, I don’t know what is.

But, that’s not me writing. It’s her own words, and that’s why she should go. The journey needs to come to a stop, make a sharp turn and get a new map before it hits the road again. As one priest called it, the Journey in Faith and Grace as it stands is “assisted suicide.”

As for Polish-American priests and parishioners and anyone who thinks the journey is a joke, you have a moral obligation to tell and re-tell the bishop the same. Indications are diocesan officials only think a couple of people are upset by what’s going on.

I got so sick of hearing about it, I saw for myself and only came across more people, (not just Polish-Americans) who feel they’ve been taken for a ride.
If you do not speak up now, say goodbye to your parishes in Niagara Falls, Dunkirk, Depew, or wherever. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Catholic Parishioners Against Church Suppression

great site focusing especially on Polish Churches.

Tridentine Mass Document Coming Soon

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4, 2007 ( Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone says the waiting is nearly over for the much-discussed papal document that will reportedly liberalize the use of the Tridentine Mass.

The Vatican secretary of state said this in an interview with the Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Sunday.

"I believe that we will not have to wait much longer for its publication," Cardinal Bertone said. "The Pope is personally interested in seeing this happen. He will explain it in an accompanying letter, hoping for a serene reception."