Sunday, August 15, 2010

"This feels real good"

Emphasis mine. It's from a guy named Bob Kloos from Cleveland Heights mentioned in this article about a new micro-schismatic group in the Cleveland Diocese, and the line pretty much sums up the justification for defying an order from Bishop Lennon. Excerpt:

Defying the authority of their bishop, parishioners and their priest from the closed St. Peter Catholic Church in downtown Cleveland celebrated Mass Sunday in leased commercial space they transformed into a church independent of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

The move by the new Community of St. Peter puts members in danger of excommunication because they had been warned by Bishop Richard Lennon, who shuttered St. Peter's in April, not to hold worship services in places without his approval.

Still, about 350 people, joined by their spiritual leader, the Rev. Robert Marrone, gathered for their first Mass and communion in their new home ― a newly renovated, century-old building on Euclid Avenue and East 71st Street.

"This feels real good," said parishioner Bob Kloos of Cleveland Heights. "This is the handiwork of hundreds of people over many, many months."

Uh, huh. The article gets even goofier. These people are called traditional Catholics several times, which makes these two paragraphs fairly laughable:

At the opening hymn, the standing-room only crowd, joined by a choir and classical musicians, sang "Christ be our light. Shine in your church gathered today. . ."

Following the closing hymn, the crowd burst into an extended applause as the faithful hugged each other and cried tears of joy.

I must be losing my memory. In my many years attending a traditional Latin Mass I don't recall group hugs afterward nor ever once singing "Christ Be Our Light." The photo further down in the article of a smiling lady "pass[ing] out communion" was also a sight I missed in my old Trad circles.

Also, check out this related morsel from a sidebar about schismatic groups on the same page by the same author:

The irony is most who splinter off are actually more Catholic in their beliefs than main-stream Catholics.

Well, yeah, this is what I've had preached to me over and over again ever since running into my first schismatic acquaintance years ago. He also informed me that everything the Church has taught for the last 60 years is untrustworthy and the Pope is probably a phony. Plus I heard from another that the authority of the bishops doesn't exist and that all Novus Ordo Masses were invalid. And from a third I learned that anyone not folding their hands properly at Mass is going to hell. We used to call this "more Catholic than the Pope"; I'm guessing he qualifies as "mainstream".

Then we get some more "feelings" from Ms. Joseph of Shaker Heights:

"I feel wonderful at this moment," said parishioner Suzanne Joseph of Shaker Heights. "It's a little scary. We're kind of going into a new way of being within the Catholic church, but I'm very happy we're on this journey."

It's called a honeymoon, sweetie. Wait until the arguments begin about what to do next. Then everyone will really be feeling the love.

The St. Peter rebellion is unique because unlike in Boston, where five congregations, in defiance of the archdiocese, have been illegally occupying closed churches for up to five years, the Cleveland group has created its own worship space complete with a new altar, baptismal fount and sacred icons.

Like the coining of "St. Peter rebellion". Kind of Star Wars-y. Note the absence of the word "protest" in the article. Advice: call these people "protestants" at your own peril. My friend did this once; I don't think the guy ever talked to him again. It's funny―they don't know anything more about what Protestants believe than what the Catholic Church teaches about it's own authority. What they do know is that they are most definitely not Protestant―that is NOT cool, whatever it means.

The new space, unlike the classic cathedral structure of the closed St. Peter's, is a huge, brick-walled room painted white and lighted with rows of overhead spot lights and glass sky lights above exposed steel rafters.

It is very sad to note that the writer of this piece, Michael O'Malley, is the Plain Dealer religion writer. Seriously, does he know that the word "cathedral" does not designate a type of architecture? Must have gone to school with Nancy Pelosi.

I don't suppose there will be any weddings at the newly formed St. Peter More-Catholic-Than-You church. Brides favor that "classic cathedral" look over the "steel rafters".

If you read the rest of the article it gets more and more depressing. This thing has been done so many times before. Of course it's schismatic. Of course it will be short-lived. And, of course, it is an example of blatant ignorance and naivete on just about everyone's part except for the priest. Father Marrone likely knows better; hopefully he will repent of this action.

Update: What do you know? Huffington Post reports that Bob Kloos gave $325 to Barack Obama's Presidential campaign in 2008 and $765 to Dennis Kucinich's 2004 campaign. Thanks for the clarification, Arianna.

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  1. I like the image of trads singing "Christ be our light" with the priest's back to them. It would be a great exercise in humility.

  2. I made a comment over at the article noting a comment on a similar situation in St. Louis. "Unfortunately, the parish has become the place for dissidents of all flavors, and not merely those Polish immigrants and descendants who split from the Church."

    A lot of people behind this protest movement in Cleveland are typical community agitators. They put a notice on everyone's car at St. Angela's--a parish with virtually no chance of closing--telling us all to quit giving money to the church. They love chaos and are secretly enjoying the anger as well as feeding it.

  3. Wouldn't the priest have to ask himself how he can be so wonderful he can found his own church at the same time the best he can do for followers are people so stupid they follow a priest who founds his own church?

  4. Tom, here are some simpler questions: "What is this priest's endgame? Has he thought of an endgame?"

    I'm starting to suspect from googling names of people involved that these are just the same old angry Cleveland dissidents leveraging church closings and agitating the community. But they've succeeded in creating a news story here which is always one of their goals.

  5. Nice analysis, Pauli. In theological terms, the nickname "Mistake on the Lake" is rather apt now.

    Great blog - came here via Rich's "Ten Reasons".

  6. Okay, I need some information. At the Catholic church my in-laws attend, and which I have attended for special family events, men *and* women stand at the sides passing out the wafers, and the priest stands in the middle with the cup. Is this not acceptable to most Catholics, or just not "trads"?

  7. Barb, these people are officially called Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, and the title "Eucharistic Minister" is also used for their role. In a traditional Latin Mass you wouldn't see these people, but the church has allowed them for quite some time. Even in the past, e.g. in wartime for soldiers or for emergency sick calls, lay people have been given permission to administer the already consecrated host.

    A lot of trads point to the proliferation of these lay ministers as an abuse and at the very least, as something that lends itself to abuse. They have a really good point, imho. Our bishop recently made everyone serving as an extraordinary minister go to a class and changed some rules about when they were allowed to go into the sanctuary, i.e., where the altar is. One problem is that some of these folks begin seeing themselves as "little priests" and I've even seen some behave as if they had some right to be up on the altar. I also have good friends who are Eucharistic Ministers who could probably teach a theology class....

    A priest wanted me to become a Eucharistic Minister once and I resisted because I didn't feel like it fit my spirituality. When I receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord I want to be left the hell alone for awhile to talk to Him and try to hear what he is saying to me. Well, it's OK if my 2-year-old crawls around on me the whole time. But the priest is given the "grace of state" to deal with all the crap that goes on during communion, and I've seen some serious crap, believe me.

  8. Glad to have discovered this blog -- it's a good one!

    Deo Gratias!