Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Parishioners at St. Michael's Cobourg Respond to the Ontario HRC

No Surprises Here

The Catholic Register here reports of the response by the parishioners in the Jim Corcoran defrocked altar server complaint against them and Bishop De Angelis in Cobourg, in Peterborough Catholic Diocese. Blazing Cat Fur alerted us to the news yesterday.

Seems these long time local parishioners were trying to get rid of their new pastor for changes in liturgical style and his parish management methods, and only raised particular questions about his activities.

In the original letter to the bishop they said: “Now we have a couple, not from our parish, who are openly and publicly involved in a same-sex relationship serving on our altar at Sunday liturgies. This has to be a grave contradiction. What message is being given here?”

OK, it's not hard to guess who the couple not from the parish is, is it? Jim Corcoran and his partner live about 60 clicks from the church doors, and they are openly and publicly involved in a same-sex relationship. If that is what the letter said, what is the problem here? Am I just dumb?

The Bishop's response to Jim Corcoran citing the particular scripture in Romans for him to meditate on was a wise course of action, and the nuance was missed by Mr. Corcoran obviously. Here is what I said to him in my blog previously about it.

As the Register reports, "It was after De Angelis received this letter that Corcoran was relieved of his duties as master of ceremonies in St. Michael’s all-male Altar Servers’ Guild."

Their response to the Tribunal claims that the Tribunal has no standing to hear this complaint for one, that Altar Server is not a position of employment, and that they were not the employer, in any case.

They also denied acting hatefully towards the complainant and denied spreading innuendo about him as well, none of which can authoritatively be proven in a real court, let alone a kangaroo court, all of which makes me nervous as to the outcome.

The Truth Will Out. It just won't probably matter.

I just came back from Saturday morning mass and as the readings and homily were pertinent to what is going on here, I thought I would mention them.

Yesterday's gospel was about the mountain top experience of Jesus' transfiguration, and of course the disciples wanted to stay there. St. Peter, that out there kind of guy, wanted to pitch a tent on the mountain. But in today's gospel, they are down from the mountain top and back to the grind, and immediately Jesus is called on to heal someone, after the disciples are too weak of faith to get the job done.

Today is also the Feast of St. Dominic, the founder of the preaching order the Dominicans. Our pastor shared with us that Dominic was happily whiling away his life in contemplative prayer in Spain, when his Bishop took him on a journey away from his mountain top and he was confronted with a current heresy in the Church of the day. He felt the need to preach about it and to then found the Dominican order named after him. So, he moved from the joy of the mountain top experience to the reality of day to day existence, using the gifts of the mountain top to fulfill God's call to him in his preaching and teaching.

Jim Corcoran was having a mountain top experience on the altar at St. Michael's, which was interrupted much to his sorrow, as mountain top experiences are. The Bishop called him to step down and meditate on a scripture from Romans. In that was wisdom, and the opportunity for personal spiritual growth, plus the opportunity to then bring the fruit of his own growth to others. However, he did not see it that way, and as he did not have sufficient experience of obedience to his earthly spiritual father, having been away from the Church for 34 years, and only returning several months before, he rebelled as immature children, even spiritual children do. In his rebellion he went from God's ways to man's ways.

The battle may or may not go well, but people of faith know that the war ends well. We have read the end of the book.

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