Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Is A Catholic To Do?

Haggle Over Placement of Deck Chairs?

Yesterday, I reproduced a letter that Bishop Henry had put out and sent Fr. Tim Moyle a copy of, and which he had posted, about euthanasia and urging the demise of Bill C-384. To my immense surprise Catholic Dialogue picked it up and after accepting and acknowledging it, went in another direction about an issue that is mildly related to it, as I am to my fifth cousin.

Now late last night John Pacheco of Socon or Bust picked it up from Catholic Dialogue, and an issue all four of us are surely in agreement on has spun out to something that LifeSiteNews wrote almost a year ago. Frankly, I found that National Post had a more appropriate presentation of the issue.

I have given you the links because I do not want to rehash or hash the issue, because it begets a third far more serious issue. That one I want to make a stand on.

The big problem of putting something out into the ether, is that folks of limited knowledge of what you were thinking at a particular time, now can take that and run with it, linking this to that and that to the other thing until, for me at least, it is one confusing jumble of finger pointing and waving, along with appropriate or inappropriate clucking and tsking.

Another example. My friend Stephen Boissoin, in Alberta wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate about 7 1/2 years ago, that has been beaten to death by everybody with a keyboard, with no context or understanding of the man and his ministry. Nobody seemed interested in him and where he was coming from, but they sure had opinions. He has been praised and pilloried, more pilloried than praised, and had the distinct honour of spending a great amount of money and personal effort, unsuccessfully, in the short term, defending his Christian faith to the kangaroo court of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Now bloggers I respect, for their yearning for Truth in our mutually beloved Catholic Church, are taking the piss (can't think of a milder way of saying this) out of a Catholic theologian and ethicist, Fr. Michael Prieur, that I highly regard from 30 years of knowing him personally and professionally, with no regard again for context and limited regard for his personal comments on something he agreed with 41 years ago (The Winnipeg Statement) and for a particular ethical position he has taken, very prayerfully, with the support of his current bishop and his predecessor, over 20 years at St. Joseph's Hospital here in London Ontario.

My friends over at Socon and Catholic Dialogue are showing signs of apoplexy, with John Pacheco at Socon even denying himself access to the most sacred of our traditions, sharing in the Paschal Mystery of the Eucharist. There are other issues that are troublesome to them both, so it is not about this one thing.

I fully support and agree with them about questioning things going on in our Church that seem out of whack. The People of God must ask questions, and must be free to ask questions, and deserve to have answers to those questions. John and Steve are asking tough questions, and making people in the hierarchy take notice, though there has been great angst among some in the hierarchy over some of the tougher questions asked.

BUT, this is our Church no more than in this particular instance it is Father Michael Prieur's Church and Bishop Henry's Church. Unlike us, they have the benefit of years of study of the writings of the Doctors of the Church and others, and have lived lives totally committed to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.

Who are we to question their leadership in areas of faith and teaching? We are equal members in the Body of Christ and duty bound to work out our individual salvation.

Who are we to judge their motives, their thoughts and their collective wisdom? Get behind me Satan!


Fr. Tim Moyle said...

Fantastic posting. I will post a link to it from my blog!!


Fr. Tim Moyle

Joshua S. said...


Simply amazing posting! Thank you so much for this. Father Prieur is an INSPIRATION and a genuine CHRISTIAN PASTORAL LEADER.

This issue is a tough one for any human being to wrap their heads around, except for those misguided post-modern people who together comprise what I call the "collateral damage of secularism". These poor souls "believe" that women have more rights than men in that they have a "right to kill unborn human beings" via abortion.

Abortion is wrong, and human life is sacred. In this way, God challenges us to walk His path. The easiest way to walk His path is to light it with His light. The Catholic Church in the person of Father Prieur is doing precisely that.

Father Prieur is a Catholic and Christian hero. I envy (I know, I'm trying to rein it in!) Michael for having a 30-year history with Father Prieur. Father Prieur must bring God's light to so many issues and circumstances. I wish I could have the opportunity to chat with Father Prieur personally about some of my own theological questions.

Anonymous said...

You are contradicting yourself. You encourage Catholics to question things going on in our Church that seem out of whack and then go on to condemn the questioning of the actions/decisions/comments of priests and bishops within the Church. Can't have it both ways. All Catholics have an obligation to question anyone in the Church that seems to be acting/deciding/commenting contrary to the Magisterium. I’m sorry, but the number of years a particular person has studied theology does not give them a free pass.

If Fr. Pieur’s is as committed as you say he is, he should have no problems publicly affirming the areas of the Church’s teaching that people question his adherence to. It’s really that simple --- problem solved.