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Category Archives: St Ann Maronite

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages? Or no real message at all?

Is the Church missing the bus? Sending the wrong messages?

Passing through some of our local communities, I frequently notice churches, that is, the physical building, the places of worship, and what characterizes them. The structure, the upkeep, the appearances, the messages posted outside; these say a lot about the people these brick and mortar structure, symbolic representatives of the beliefs and communities they claim they serve. I often see the trite clichés like “God is home, come on in!” or “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” and similar trite slogans. Apparently the Roman Catholic Churches in this area, Ravena and Coxsackie, NY, have given up on being taken seriously so now these parish leaders, the pastors, have to play cool cutsie, mimicking their Protestant and Reformist cohorts. Such silliness simply degrades the sacred space and makes idiots of those few who still frequent them.

This is particularly the case when a new pastor tries to become too popular too fast for too many of the wrong reasons. He starts to get sloppy in his role as spiritual leader and too cozy with the local in-crowds. A leader doesn’t have to be a friend and he doesn’t have to entertain. He has to lead. So, as I drive through the aging, geriatric, brown collar community of Ravena, New York, the local Roman Catholic Church, St Patrick’s, catches my attention. How?

Well, some time ago I was surprised to see a folding sign board placed in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Ravena, on Main Street. It was last Fall and said something like “Leaves fall but Christ doesn’t”. My first thought was that it was rather silly, rather odd. Something I’d expect from some failing Protestant denomination, or some storefront church whose pastor has no other training than what he received in jail, where he got his certificate in Bible Studies from Dumbass Bible Institute or wherever. I knew the pastor at St Pats was one of the young bloods recently ordained, Scott Vandermeer, in his thirties, a journalism degree, able to move around without a walker, he was somewhat more promising than his predecessors, all aging or decrepit, failing, burnt out or uninterested, all cut from the Hubbard School of Ultraliberal Hacks. Careerists. Our hope never failing and our realism always on the watch, we even wrote to Vandermeer offering him help and support. It soon proved that he was going to be just another narcissist; he never responded to our letter. Here we go again!

Soon the signs started going up and were getting weirder and weirder, perhaps because they were cleverly done so as to appeal to the intellectual depths of darkness of the local community. One that appeared:

The sign above is stupid because St Pats does not have a soup kitchen or a food pantry. So not only is the sign a bit idiotic, to anyone not familiar with the local intelligence level, it’s misleading. [Editor’s note: Vanderveer is “out of the country” at the time of this writing and apparently will not be back for another 2-3 weeks, so we could not reach him for comment.  Nor did we receive a response from his office staff.] That really doesn’t matter because it does get worse. Some local in a feeble attempt to put some meaning in his or her life, and for a minute of local fame, placed the “?” on the sign making it even more ridiculous. No one in the parish, not even the absent pastor, seems to have noticed…or cared.

More recently, that is, several weeks ago we again drove by and saw that the sign had been changed to something quite new:

 Is a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again?

This time Mr VanDerveer is apparently making a statement that the Church has something to do with the characteristics of the nation, presumably the nation known as the United States, since we are not aware of any Scriptural or Doctrinal references that would support such a statement. It used to be that strong men made strong nations, then strong families but with the castration of the American male and the virilization of the American female, together with the decline and demise of the American family, it seems that a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again. If this notion was part of the preaching series offered by Vanderveer, we are really sorry we missed his performance. But by any standard, given the Separation Clause and the hesitance of government generally or any of its branches specifically to enter into any discussion of a collaboration between Church and state, this statement seems to indicate that Mr VanDerveer is either ignorant or has a boundaries problem. While the Church and churches, that is, the Roman Catholic and Christian tradition — by division and internecine conflict —  has been losing ground since the 16th century, it would seem that Mr VanDerveer and his keepers would be better advised to concentrate on good preaching and catechesis, fostering interdenominational dialogue and collaboration,  reaching out to local opinion leaders rather than making an untenable and unsubstantiated statement like “A strong church [=] a strong nation.” No matter how you analyze such a statement, logically, theologically, socially, or politically it fails. The Church would be well advised to steer clear of politics — and fallacious logic —; a mere parish priest has no business making such statements and should be reprimanded for having done so. It’s irresponsible, insupportable, fallacious, and is simply not official Church teaching. Politics should be kept out of the pulpit and away from the front of the church — or it should be left to the bishops who are the sole church officials authorized by Rome to make asses of themselves.. Mr VanDerveer should be spending more time preaching that strong family values and morality make for a strong nation; sharing Sunday family dinner together without smartphones might be a start. Getting rid of fidget spinners and Facebook, replacing them with a print book, perhaps St Augustine’s Confessions,  in the schools would be a great move, too.  But the Church has failed in that teaching, too, and in getting that message across to the community.

An half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Instead, the Church and its agents, VanDerveer’s colleagues, superiors, and minions, have prostituted the Church, mistaught and continue to pervert doctrine, dogma, and promote error, and have reduced preaching to a 5 minute commentary so that the so-called “faithful” can get there and out the door with 30-45 minutes at most. After all, a half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Get the ^%$# out of the way! I’ll be late for worship…and the game!

The latest stupidity to be posted in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church apparently has to do with the Biblical myth of Noah and the Deluge found in Genesis, or we may be wrong and VanDerveer’s referring more likely to the bizarre interpretation of the myth provided in the movie, Noah (2014) but here’s the official Biblical version:

“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (Gen 7:2-4)

Actually, someone should have whacked the one who thought these signs were appropriate! Never mind the mosquitoes. We don’t recall any specific reference to mosquitoes in Genesis (nor in any part of the Bible) nor any cameo appearance of mosquitoes in the film Noah. Perhaps Vanderveer can help us with that one. We do tend to have our facts straight on this blog so we’re reasonably certain that there were no mosquitoes involved. The only other possibility we can think of is that one of Vanderveer’s Scriptural Studies instructors at seminary came upon some previously unknown Biblical text that tells the story of Noah and the mosquitoes. Whatever the story behind it, Vanderveer appears to believe the story. Why else would he publicly post something like that in front of his church? It seems the “unclean animals” were  sent either to Roman Catholic seminary or to Ravena-Coeymans after leaving the Ark. We have no record of where the “two mosquitoes” went after having escaped being swatted.


A Pleasant Anecdote

While I photographing one of the signs, a St Patrick’s parishioner was approaching the church to attend a meeting, and stopped to chat when she observed me taking the photographs. She commented how interesting the signs were and how they got your attention. I responded very bluntly that they were not interesting; they were a disgrace and were demeaning to the sacred place they were disgracing. I did agree that they got your attention but for the wrong reasons. I admitted to her that I was taking the photo not because I found them attractive, funny or pithy but because they got my interest, and that was not good.

The parishioner was very interested in what we had to say and very gracious, too. We discussed a number problems with the Church, the parish, and local politics. All in all, it was a positive exchange that started on a negative footing.

Shows you that there are still some good, sensible people in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk community; all too few, though.


Contrary to what you have been told or led to believe, dear readers, churches are not where God lives [Thank God!], that is, churches are not God’s personal primary residence, they are sacred spaces where we can find safe, quiet space to reflect, meditate, be still, or engage in a conversation with the Divine, a practice what we call prayer, but have forgotten – or never knew how to do. Nowadays most conversations with God turn out to be like conversations with those twits exercising their thumbs on an electronic device; a meeting where God’s trying to reveal himself to the twit who’s functioning with half a hemisphere, wondering whose reflection it is in the smartphone screen.

Repurposing Our Churches

When I hear of closure of churches, merging of congregations, sale of church property, conversions of churches to art galleries, restaurants, even private residences, I feel a cold shudder. These churches have become like dinosaurs; they were once living, awesome organisms, and they thrived and nurtured similar life but at some time long ago they became sick, languished and died. Now all we have left of them are lumps of rock we gawk at in museums or use as paperweights in our studies. So, too, many of our former sacred spaces are now secular spaces where the inhabiting materialist-consumerists worship their new idols: mega-flat screens, surround sound, a nymph, and a bottle. Happy worshipping!

We’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, or a pop star

So where has God gone once evicted? God’s where he’s always been: in the dark silent depths of our hearts, unless we’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, a political figure or a pop star. Yes, Idolaters of Ubiquitous White Noise and Distractions, the Ultimate Truth still lies hidden in that wet, fertile, darkness deep within a human being (No, not a vagina!) but nowadays who among you Vessels of Clay with your stymied white-cane spirituality would dare explore the silence within, when there’s so much to do in the world? Why would anyone want to become acquainted with their true self when they can invent another, more pleasant, acceptable self and one that you can transform it at any time using a convenient app? Who will know? You will. But you don’t care because you’ve been diving down that slippery slope for so long you wouldn’t know your true self if you tripped over it!

In my meanderings I spend time in churches, at meetings and conferences, on Internet forums, at monasteries, interacting with others in a variety of settings. I note the anxiety and the vulnerability that cripples so many people; I note their white-cane spirituality, blindly pursuing some sort of agenda-seeking-to-become-a-religion, a tool for a virtual life; they have no real life. I listen to and become offended by the ignorance and narcissism of those claiming to be called to a vocation, as clergy, as lay religious, as lay ministers in churches, congregations, parishes; I frequently observe the infantile fascination of the unwashed when, in a strange ecstasy of voyeurism, they rub shoulders with monks, priests, nuns, or spiritual leaders, and they grin idiotically as if caught in an act of masturbation. “Hee, hee! Look at me!” Narcissism, too, is a form of idolatry. I have to wonder whether the gawkers or the gawkees actually realize the pitiable dynamic going on. It’s rather like the voyeurism of social media but worse. Worse because the so-called spiritual leaders are actually enjoying the worship, and the egos soar – and the wound deepens and festers, poisoning the entire mystical body.

Starving?
Tail’s great!

And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival…

If churches and faith communities are hemorrhaging members, the religious vocations are dwindling into membership cachexia. And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival. For several decades now, the materialist consumerism and the dumbing down of society has left the message of higher truths and spirituality to languish in the shadow of anti-human propaganda, corporate greed, political narcissism, social confusion, despair and anxiety. Fear of loss is the underlying message everywhere we look. That fear is nourished by the messages we receive of time running out for something, anything, everything; fear the terror threat, fear the coming rain or snow showers, fear the threat represented by the guy next door, fear the North Koreans, fear the Russians, fear the illegals. What we need to fear is the false teaching in the poor preaching, we need to fear the pulpit politics, we need to fear the bigoted perp patrols.

Stuck somewhere in a learning curve…

The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it

We are stuck somewhere in a learning curve. But where? We need to learn to fear our own demise and ignorance thanks to the conflicting and contradicting messages we receive from the media, the poor performance of our education institutions, and the dishonesty and corruption of our political system. Add to that the failure of our Judeo-Christian religious institutions to teach correct doctrine and dogma, and to provide effective preaching in support of implementing doctrine and dogma into our day-to-day lives in furtherance of “happiness” and a “good end.” And it’s no wonder people are despairing and anxious. The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it as a bunch of whacko terrorists. Doesn’t anyone see where this is leading? Why can’t religious institutions join together to combat the capitalist propaganda drowning us in a sea of lies and hate? But then, when I was a kid it was the Roman Catholics and Protestants killing each other. Only the bigotry and creeds have remained the same; only the faces have changed.

Cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator

Failing religious institutions and religious organizations and institutions are desperately prostituting themselves in a vain attempt simply to survive. And like our cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator in the attempt to get what they can and run with it. It’s not working, people, that’s why you see so many storefront and strip mall micro-churches flooding into the vacuum left by mainstream institutions. Problem is this: the storefront and strip mall micros are just as bad as the movie-theatre or stadium megachurches, because they create their own ideologies, agendas, idolatries and there are plenty of sheeple to participate because they don’t know anything better. Thanks Vatican II and interfaith dialogue, ecumenism. Lights, cameras, action! Worship!

I can speak from personal experience, scholarship, and professional activity with various faith traditions and communities, religious organizations and institutions, and educational institutions. As a writer, editor, researcher, and educator I vet my facts.

So where does an institution in decline turn in the desperate attempt to survive a couple of more years? St Patricks is prepping, even in the absence of its pastor for several weeks, for the celebration of the church’s centennial. 100 years is not a very long time in Church terms but it’s a start. The nagging question is how long does it still have before it’s converted into another empty building on Ravena-Coeymans’ growing list of vacancies. [Editor’s note: St Patricks have already sold off a number of real estate parcels, some of which were sold to RCS school board president, James Latter, the same James Latter who works for the Saudi Arabian-owned Sabic corporation, the same corporation who got recommendations for tax breaks from the RCS school district.] Maybe Mr VanDerveer’s off attending job interviews, since the parishioners in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are usually the last to know when their church is closing.

When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate

Like the consumer society they operate in, churches like St Patrick’s are compelled to sacrifice quality for quantity. For example, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany reports in a recent issue of Sheaf, the official gazette of St Bernard’s School of Ministry and Theology, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese reports “200 deacons and growing.” When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate. Numbers not quality count; that’s why the permanent diaconate was revived by the Roman Catholic Church in the 60s to stem the decline in seminary admissions; in many dioceses the diaconate has become a boy’s club, a church country club, an organization of narcisistic logrollers. “My dad the deacon.” “My son the deacon.” “My wife, Mrs Deacon!”

Deacon Chic Coming Soon to Your Parish!
You have your church band, liturgical dancing, now you can have liturgical strippers!
Don’t miss the Trinitarian Trio of Trollops!

The Episcopal church has been ordaining “women” for decades; many (mostly gender ambiguous specimens) in the RC church are advocating ordaining women deacons and the reasonable expected consequence of this slippery slope is women priests! When does this comedy of errors, this farce stop? [Editor’s note: For those of our readers with limited vocabularies, a “slippery slope” is a comedy of errors is a related series of amusing or farcical events involving a series of awkward missteps or other mistakes.]

Clergy or Special Ed Class or LGBT Rejects?

There is a big problem with erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image. Take for instance the Church’s stand on abortion and other issues. The corrupt and long discredited practice of prayer and what the faithful could expect from prayer as espoused by a greedy medieval Church led not only to Martin Luther’s confrontation and the ultimate schism but also to the Counter-Reformation, and later to many, many scandals. They still haven’t learned.

Erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image

OK. But can someone tell me how this works? How about you, Father?

Let’s face the facts: The Church may be facing annihilation over the longer term if it doesn’t (1) come up with some sort of recruitment scheme for the long-term future of the priesthood, and (2) come up with some sort of outside “support for its mission,” which translates into people who are able and willing to give in support of the Church in general and of their local faith community before it has to selling off more acreage. The old priests and nuns committed their lives and fortunes to the faith community; they’re gone now and so are their legacies. A liberal, liberation theology (= socialist)  tainted Jesuit pope is not going to solve the problem; in fact, he stands to worsen it. Jesuits don’t have a very good record in Rome; Jesuit popes have an even worse record..

And this is how it’s gonna be!

One of the real problems being faced by the Church and by the faithful is that they are learning impaired. Change is not measured in years in the Church but in centuries. While the men in the Vatican are swilling good wine and dining in gardens al fresco, the American Church is making its own rules. Everyone seems to be caught up in a dead man spiral, stuck somewhere in an ecclesiological learning curve. But no one seems to be certain where they’re stuck.

Still in the learning curve. But where?

So that’s where we stand locally, and regionally. Ravena is just an example, a stereotype, and not the main culprit; Ravena is a symptom, we have to look for the ecclesiological pathology elsewhere. Meanwhile, the stupid signs aren’t helping.

The Church at Work.
Did you find the problem yet?

 

New Baltimore Reformed Church: Slow Agonizing Death

What has happened to the New Baltimore Reformed Church?!?

Is this the fate of the NB Reformed Church after almost 180 years of history?

Is this the fate of the NB Reformed Church after almost 180 years of history?

What do you get when you take a 175-year old church and a solid core-congregation when the Reformed Church of America Regional Synod of Albany, Classis, made a poor decision to put a freshly baked female pastor in the pulpit. Inexperienced, ambitious, feminist, and stone-deaf when it came to hearing what the congregation leaders were saying, she just had to make changes. The New Baltimore Reformed Church went to hell in a handbasket and deteriorated from a vibrant local community to an emaciated skeleton of what it was.

The investment portfolio of the New Baltimore Reformed Church was remarkably healthy; that is, until the new pastor went on a remodeling and spending spree. It was pure shock when driving by the church to see a sign: “Save our church!” in front of the historic building. Save it from what? The damage was already done.

PUHLEEZ! Gimme a break! Stop the pseudo-Christian rhetoric and start thinking Gospel!

PUHLEEZ! Gimme a break!
Stop the pseudo-Christian rhetoric and start thinking Gospel!

But there was plenty of time for pursuing politics and ambition. While the congregation that unwittingly gave her a contract to be pastor was hemorrhaging members there was plenty of time for Albany activities.

And you think that politics should stay out of the pulpit? Well think again, friends, it’s post-menopausal women in collars now! And they all have a feminist agenda. Forget Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God created female and she was going to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (starting with New Baltimore Reformed Church). It was her way or the highway; most of the old congregation took the highway.

For months now, driving by the New Baltimore Reformed Chuch, it looks like no one cares to even change the sign…Yes, the opulent sign that is/was intended to announce to the public the events at the church has stagnated in pre-Christmas announcements, giving the impression to anyone driving by that the church might be closed. What would you think if you drove by on February 20, 2014 and saw the announcements for pre-Christmas events of 2013.

No One Seems To Care to Change the Sign You'd think the pastor would take the time!

No One Seems To Care to Change the Sign
You’d think the pastor would take the time!

Almost two months later and the sign has not been changed. Not even to wish passers by a simple “Happy New Year 2014! Come on in!” No one in the New Baltimore Reformed Church congregation is left who cares enough even to update the sign. It’s obvious that the pastor has better things to do. What would they be, one wonders?

That sign sends a very resounding and clear message to everyone passing it on Route 144: Ghost Church!

Even the Christmas Nativity figures and crêche have been left out in the February snow drifts. No one seems to care that the Lenten season and Easter is just around the corner and the Nativity scene and its figures are rotting away in the February weather. It’s just money. But there’s plenty of time for Farmers Markets, and hanging out at Albany Medical Center, and playing pompous in Albany.

Read our response to a local resident’s comment on another local church gone satanic, Saint Patrick Roman Catholic in Ravena, New York. Read a specialist blog’s response to the resident at: Smoke of Satan…Again…Still!

Nativity Scene and Figures in Drifts An Indifference and Carelessness that wouldn't have happened a mere 10 years ago!

Nativity Scene and Figures in Drifts
An Indifference and Carelessness that wouldn’t have happened a mere 10 years ago!

The New Baltimore Reformed Church announcement board and the Nativity scene speak volumes about what has happened to the historic church and its congregation: Total Wanton Neglect! And no one in the Reformed Church of America hierarchy seems to notice, know or care. Shame on you! Shame on you Regional Synod of Albany, Albany Classis! But even greater shame on you, Susan Kerr, for neglecting your duties to the church and to the community.

But there’s plenty of time and money to leave stacks of fliers in the Post Office and elsewhere announcing a

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
March 4, 2014
4:30 p.m.– 7:00 p.m.
All You Can Eat

Donations will benefit the roof repair fund.

But still nothing on the announcements board in front of the church! Go figure!

Read our related, topical article at Where have all the mothers gone?

What's next, Pastor Susan, male strippers? The Editor

What’s next, Pastor Susan, male strippers?
The Editor

Editor’s Postscript

Is this what we've become, as Christians?

Is this what we’ve become, as Christians?

This article is in no way intended to bash a small treasure of a church that has suffered under the effects of poor leadership at the Regional Synod and local level, combined with unconventional and insensitive pastoring, if pastoring it can be called. Some individuals placed in such influential positions have other agendas and, if they are not closely monitored and regularly observed, they can be churchicidal. New Baltimore Reformed is just one of many examples that can be named.

Ravena’s Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick is another local casualty, although many might say it has a healthy congregation. Numbers don’t necessarily indicate health in a church congregation, nor does the fact of good attendance indicate anything close to a faith community. All it means is that something might be going on that speaks to the locals, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be spirituality or faith. Tony’s recent comment on Ravena’s St Pat’s and his impression of Fr James Kane there is right on target, and situation, as in our reply, is much, much worse than Tony has experienced. Kane and his various deacons are an absolute disaster. But this is endemic in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and has been for decades. It has only gotten worse as bishop Howard Hubbard has gotten more and more tired, sicker and older. Hubbard was inexperienced when he was ordained bishop of Albany. Vatican II had just reached stateside. The Church was in a whirlwind of flux and all hell was breaking loose. The result was that Albany became notorious as one if not the most liberal RC dioceses in the country, and Hubbard achieved that dubious distinction, along with his long-time friend bishop Matthew H. Clark , in Rochester, now succeeded by bishop Salvatore R. Matano (who is hopefully of a more traditional, conservative spirit). Add to that the volatile mix of “liberated rabid nuns” who were leaving the schools and convents in droves, dropping the religious habits and getting some really bad habits to replace spirituality, and plunk a population of castrati priests who like being “friendly” and you get what we have today: hemorrhaging churches and disgruntled faithful.

Hubbard’s RC Diocese of Albany’s Pastoral Center, home of the diocesan administration and a cluster of small defensive fiefdoms catering to the various interests of the diocese, is jam-packed with female lay religious (nuns and wannabe nuns), misfit lay officers, and a bunch of ailing aging priests who are hanging on like barnacles on a ship. Jim Kane is one of them and there are plenty like him. What’s worse is that the former director of the deaconate, Frank Berning, went a step further by handpicking company boys to ordain as deacons. It’s an ignorant, arrogant men’s club. There are many examples of damaging decisions in the church and  Jim Kane is only one. A very competent parish administrative officer at Ravena St Pat’s found she couldn’t work with Kane because he was so out of touch and demanding; she left to take a position at Athens’ St Pats. Another example at Ravena is a former catechist (instructed youth in the RC catechism) who had so much unresolved grief at the death of his wife, a father of two adolescent girls, and with loads of  psychological baggage, guilt, etc. that he wanted to become a priest in later midlife. A successful veterinarian and company man, and general bishop’s asskisser, he was promised ordination. I know this man rather well and was shocked to learn that he was to be ordained, given his character and psychological flaws, but that’s the way it worked under former bishop Hubbard. But what can you expect when a parish is “led” by a “pastor” the likes of Jim Kane, who has the indifference to place a known adulterer, the scandalous “Dirty-hands Jerry” Deluca and Cathy Deluca in the position of lay liturgical readers, reading from the sacred Lectionary at Divine Liturgy?!?! And yet the congregation of St Pat’s don’t utter a squeak of outrage or protest!

Putting persons like angry, male-hating nuns  in charge of many offices, placing “priests” like Kane and my vet friend in pastoral positions, not ensuring that these people have the skills to be good pastors, good preachers, good sounding boards for the community, and erecting rabid gatekeepers while losing control of the diocese is how it happened in Albany

We can only hope that Albany’s bishop-elect Edward B. Scharfenberger will pick up on the cues and clues and have the balls to take the bull by the horns and make the necesary course corrections for the Albany Diocese. It’s going to take extreme courage and perseverance given the opposition and rage that will almost certainly result but the diocese needs to be cleaned up completely in order to heal to health! Leave one malignant cell and your dead.

Another example, this one in Troy, is an example of how carelessness or downright desperation kills a vital parish. St Ann Maronite pariish in Watervliet (formerly in Troy), an Eastern rite parish in full communion with Rome, received a young Lebanese monk, recently ordained, hardly any parish experience, hardly any English proficiency, as pastor. He was left on his own and quickly assumed the role of spiritual tyrant and dictator. Little Fr George Bouchaya, appointed to St Ann’s as pastor by Brooklyn bishop Gregory Mansour, quickly polarized the parish, dividing the faithful into disgruntled groups. It was a time ripe for those petty power-grabbers under the surface to now surface and take over. The parish hemorrhaged important members, attracted disgruntled members from surrounding RC parishes that were being merged or closed, and who were not being spiritually fed by their Hubbardesque pastors. It was a disaster and continues to be a shadow of what it was simply because a bishop didn’t have the foresight or the awareness of what was going on, and was unwilling to accept the truth when informed by persons of good will.

So, who’s killing the church and creating the church of the living dead? You know already, so why ask?

Worship with Them Editor for Religion & Sprituatitty

Become a Zombi & Worship with Them
Editor for Religion & Sprituatitty