Friday, March 20, 2015

Droppings (and Sprinkles) from the Catholic Birdcage: "If You Cannot Find Christ in the Beggar at the Church Door, You Will Not Find Him in the Chalice"

Abby Zimet at Common Dreams, in commentary entitled "The Un-Francis: I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food, I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me Drink, I Was Homeless and WTF You Drenched Me With Sprinklers To Drive Me Away":

The sprinkler system, reportedly installed almost two years ago, pours water all night from holes in the high ceilings for about 75 seconds every 30 to 60 minutes.

Dominic Preziosi at Commonweal

That a Catholic church could treat vulnerable people gathered on its own steps with such disregard is bad enough on its own, but there’s something additionally troubling about it being expressed so, well, cowardly -- from above, without warning, and automatically activated: set it, and forget it. Think about how those who approved the system and countenanced its continued operation might not have been all that far away, perhaps sleeping, and almost certainly dry.

Ryan Rowekamp in response to Dominic Preziosi's commentary:

I never thought we would get the answer to the question "Which will get an employee of the Archdiocese of San Francisco fired faster: marrying someone or drenching homeless people?" I'm not surprised by the answer.  . . .  
Finally, the disassociation revealed by the statement "As human beings, they felt terrible" is horrifying. This is the fruit of the practice of short sighted focus on absolute imperatives. They have to check their empathy at the office door because it would lead to them to ask whether the human cost of their actions is worth the goal they have been given.

CKPS63 responding to Dan Morris-Young's report on this story at National Catholic Reporter

"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the Church door, you will not find Him in the chalice." -- John Chrysostom. 

Mark Evanier at News from Me by way of Fred Clark at Slacktivist:  

I‘m so glad they’re doing this because all that stuff about priests molesting children and the church covering it up didn’t do quite enough damage to the faith.

San Francisco archdiocesan spokesman Larry Kramer as cited by Victoria Cavaliere of Reuters: 

The church felt terrible when it learned people were getting drenched.

Psst: it's a plot, a plot, I tell you, to take down Archbishop Cordileone because he holds the line on the gays — Mark Stricherz at Aleteia:

Now public relations strategist Sam Singer has been hired to lead a campaign to pressure Church leaders to remove Cordileone from his post.

And the day that the media broke this story about Saint Mary's cathedral, the archdiocesan paper Catholic San Francisco publishes an article by Msgr. John Talesfore, the cathedral's former rector, encouraging people to visit the cathedral, since it's a "spiritual oasis" and 

The cathedral space captivates because it is both dramatic and simple. 

And so it goes in this Roman church in the papacy of Francis I, A.D. 2015, following the festivities of St. Patrick and St. Joseph. 

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