Friday, April 2, 2010

Thanks for Birthday Greetings

Because I took a short birthday trip this past week, I've fallen behind with correspondence and blogging.

Now that I'm back home, though, I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who logged on here and left me birthday greetings.  I was very touched by your good wishes, and am grateful for them.  I try as often as possible to respond to each person who leaves a posting on my blog, though I sometimes fail to do that--particularly when I've fallen behind, as I have this week.

If you haven't received an individual response, please know that I very much appreciated each greeting, and that I value your support of this blog.

And I do want to lift one inspiring comment Terry Weldon made, as he sent birthday greetings, and place it in this posting.  Terry said,

On the frustrations with the Church, the advice that I heard Bernard Lynch gave to the Irish church during the retreat I attended on Saturday is worth considering by all of us: the entire country should stay away from priests and church buildings for a year. During this time, families could celebrate Eucharist at home, led by the mothers of the families.

By the time they returned, there would be an entirely new and healthier relationship between the two sides.

Thanks for that valuable advice, Terry.  In the place beyond alienation in which I find myself as this Easter approaches, it feeds my hope.  I completely agree with Fr. Lynch's proposal: not only the institution, in many of its clerical aspects, has become extremely toxic for many of us today.  But so have the spin and the image-management that are following the recent revelations about what Benedict knew when.

Those doing the spinning (and I know I'm shifting metaphors now) are deliberately injecting poison into much-needed fact-finding and truth-finding probes about what church officials knew when.  They know that they're poisoning the conversation, and they want to do so, because of where it is now headed: straight to Rome.

People suffer when important, necessary social conversations are poisoned.  People of faith have their faith damaged when poison enters these conversations to distort the truth and to lock up our constructive energies as we're asked to resolve non-problems (e.g., is the abuse crisis really all about homosexuality?) and to discuss  non-issues and diversionary issues that have no bearing on the central matter at hand.

At such a time, people need sources of spiritual enrichment and sources of healing,to deal with the toxins being injected into their souls by spinmeisters.  I can't think of a more splendid idea of that enrichment  for many of us than home liturgies.  And the idea of encouraging women to preside at these is wonderful.

We wouldn't have either the serious problem of child rape and its cover-up in the Catholic church, or the evil attempt to spin discussion of that problem off onto diversionary tracks heading nowhere, if women had more power and voice in the church.