Sacred Reality

This blog was started by Mary. I am a Roman Catholic wife and mother, interested in applying my faith to every aspect of my life and to the world around me. I try not to be a "Sunday-only" Catholic. However, I am still working out my faith with fear and trembling.

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Location: The South, United States

Roman Catholic homeschooling wife and mother working out her salvation with fear and trembling

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Depressed--St. Jeremiah, pray for us!

I have always wanted to be Catholic since I can remember--never really had a falling away, per se, but I think this overflow of information about "all things Catholic" from the internet is too much for my OCD brain! [I call the internet the modern Tower of Babel!] It pains me that a priest would do this, in something that is supposed to be a more "traditional" part of being Catholic. :( It gets to where I have almost completely lost trust in priests, and I know that is not good. :(

It started when my "wonderful" college campus minister priest, Fr. Tom Magri, left and married his "good friend of 15 years." I kind of suspected something like that b/c of the way he criticized the Church, but when it is a priest who is supposed to be "faithful" from what you can tell from his homilies, and he does stuff like that, well, it is just a big blow, especially to a naive 18 year old! Then it happened in my parish in Virginia, where 2 priests, Fr. James Haley and Fr. Christopher Buckner, who were very "traditional" were removed under mysterious, vague circumstances. Fr. Haley told Bishop Loverde that Fr. Hamilton was receiving homosexual porn at the rectory. Fr. Hamilton was moved to a remote parish, and we were all told to have "compassion" for him, while the last I heard about Fr. Haley, he was living in a trailer park somewhere, completely stripped of his priestly faculties for telling the truth!
Fr. Haley had also been removed b/c he told the bishop about it and has not been allowed to celebrate Mass b/c he "told" on another priest who was embezzling and "told" on another priest who had an affair with a married woman and then ran off to Georgia with her. [That priest had been at parish parties, soaking in the hot tub with the woman--right in plain sight of everyone!] But it is the so-called "tattletale" who gets in trouble. HUH? And here is this, an article I came across when I was looking up my friend from college who was a youth minister at Fr. Stewart Culkin's parish: http://www.affirmation.org/conference_archives/2000.shtml A Catholic priest, speaking about the wonders of homosexuality, at a Mormon conference--NO ONE made any talk of this! But Catholic families who can't space their babies perfectly with NFP are a shame and a scandal to the faith.


The further irony was that the pastor who had been removed b/c of homosexual porn (Fr. Hamilton) was moved to a parish where the pastor had been his associate pastor, Fr. Bruse, in another parish. Fr. Bruse had received the stigmata (apparently) while he was Fr. Hamilton's associate pastor and statues were supposedly weeping whenever Fr. Bruse came near (look up St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Woodbridge,VA). I know those things don't happen unless priestly infidelity or something like that is going on, and now we know it was! It really sickens me b/c Fr. Hamilton was in charge of many youth events, and he delivered a homily, shortly before he left, talking about how we don't actually have to follow Church's teaching. He also told us in a letter in the bulletin that our parish members go to confession too much! Fr. Haley always gave these awesome homilies, talking about his own sins and temptations, very humble and very honest. He spoke of the Blessed Mother with such love! I know he is not perfect either, but then, he never said he was!

So, anyways, it just makes me sick and sad and I don't see what to do about it. Yeah, I know all priests aren't like that, though my story covers 6 priests in our former diocese and a bishop. [I didn't even get into the pastor of our former parish in Georgia who spent every free moment he had with the parish secretary.] And it is not idle gossip, either--all of these are well-documented events. I just don't know what to think. It really makes me wonder about celibacy, and if that is truly an option (Jesus said eunuchs, not just celibates!). I want to encourage vocations in my kids, but I don't know if I can do it in good conscience. Both my dad and my uncle gave up the seminary b/c of the homosexuals who were there. I truly hope that Pope Benedict realizes this and what awful things have happened to people's faith b/c of these things that have happened in my diocese and in all dioceses. (My diocese, Arlington, was supposedly the most "conservative" in the country--ha!) We seriously think about joining an Eastern rite, so if our son wants to be a priest, he can at least be a married priest. I know the Pope apologized when he came here, but I truly hope he does far more than that. I don't agree with groups like "Voice of the Faithful," but we need that voice out in the wilderness, crying out, and more importantly, we need the shepherds to listen! I guess it is hard when the shepherds are also the wolves.

So, that's me. I know I offended someone, I am sure, but I think if people were actually honest about these things, then we wouldn't have these problems as bad as they are. Shoving things under the carpet is not a good thing. And I still don't know what to do about it in terms of myself and my own children. I know, pray and get my own act together! But how are we supposed to act if this is the "witness" we're getting from our superiors??? How are we to speak out if bishops are shoving good priests in trailers and telling us we have to forgive predators who have shown NO sign of repentance? I mean, am I missing something here? Are we all just hypocrites, play acting our faith? Do we actually believe in Jesus and the teachings of the Church? I don't know. I am a great sinner, and I have realized how I have let myself slip into almost apathy. I can't go to Mass b/c of my kids and my husband on any type of regular basis. It's too much trouble to send out an extraordinary minister. I will make a concerted effort to go to confession myself, and maybe I will lay it all out to the priest. I don't know. Did I ever mention Jeremiah is my favorite prophet? (http://www.usccb.org/nab/083108.shtml) Last week's readings for Sunday really inspired me and consoled me.

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