From: Gables7 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 12:59 AM
Subject: Usual Homily
Its 3:27 and a late fried dinner has reared its ugly head. I decided to browse under favorites and brought up your website. I read the usual homily and wanted to add a reaction as I was thinking "You have got to be kidding, right?". I was so glad you were, (reactions and removing the mask). Now I can sleep in peace, knowing I am not alone in the world on my politically incorrect views.
If you have the time, I would invite you to read a letter to the editor which I wrote as a rebuttal to a self-proclaimed "ex-priest", "Why the Church Must Change." Editorials of 4/4/02 and 4/11/02, and 5/02/02-readers reactions to "The Church Must Change".
I live in a small N.E. PA, town on the NYS border. I attend St. John the Evangelist in the diocese of Scranton. Were we are very fortunate to have 24 hr. Eucharistic adoration in our small rural town.
Please know that I thoroughly appreciate your website. May God continue to bless you with faith and leadership.
In Jesus Christ,
Thanks for your email and kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the "usual homily." I had fun writing it, but it was a risk because people often don't understand satire. Still, a few folks wrote to me saying they put it to use in their parishes. If people can be made to smile, it helps them see a point.
Your letter to the editor was excellent! Is it OK if I post it on my website? I particularly appreciated your point that, while the media call for the Catholic church to change, you don't hear corresponding calls regarding Islam, Hassidism, Tibetan Buddhism, etc. In some ways it is a compliment because people in our society, whether secularists or Protestants, define themselves in reaction to the Catholic Church. So they are delighting in our current troubles, but I don't think they will like the eventual outcome.
Please remember me and all priests in your prayers. You have mine. God bless.
Fr. Phil Bloom
Dear Fr. Bloom,
I was so delighted to receive your reply and most flattered that you asked to use my letter on your website. I would, sincerely, be honored if you did. You may also add my email address if you'd like.
It was also a "God-incidence" that you replied today, as I had a conversation with my husband, Matthew, regarding a conversation he had with a co-worker last night. (Matt, is a fallen away Catholic since shortly after our marriage, or who knows maybe before, some 32 years ago.) My husband told me his co-worker voiced the opinion that the Catholic Church did not believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This man claimed to be raised Catholic!
Anyway, my husband went on the web and found extensive explanation and even went to the dictionary to emphasis the meaning of a word. When all was said and done, his co-worker apologized and stood corrected. My husband said, "My wife and I don't see eye to eye on some things, but I know what the Catholic Church believes!" After hearing this incredible story, I told my husband of your website and mentioned that I would forward it to his job. Wow, now I can tell him that I heard from you today!
Dear, Father, I will be going to my hour with Jesus tonight at 2:00 a.m; I will remember you and all priest in my prayers. Thank you for yours.
To the editor:
Tom Kane’s editorials, “The Church Must Change,” directed at the church hierarchy, brought to mind a conclusive thought-the adage “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” should be amended to include ex-Catholics!
Cries echoing throughout the centuries into the present moment that “the church must change” have resulted in thousands of present day denominations. Usurping God’s authority on earth creates unrelenting, irreversible “improvements” unsatisfactory to the next wave of discontents.
Our constitution entitles us to choose a faith without fear of persecution as it also insures every critic an open voice. And so, one can note, it is the Catholic Church that consistently fends off the fiery darts of opposition and insults in the arts and media. I have yet to read one editorial on why Islam must change since 9/11;nor heard skepticism of Tibetan monks in all male monasteries; nor Hassidic Judaism criticized for their shared views with Catholics on abortion and birth control. That would, rightly, be deemed intolerable. Yet, I have noted a lack of such restraint when it comes to the Catholic faith.
The scandal of sexual abuse is, at last, being addressed openly and with inevitable accountability. As a Catholic, I welcome this process as a positive step toward cleansing and healing; it is indicative of God’s mercy. Jesus was specific in addressing the grave consequences awaiting anyone that would harm a child and He warned of “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Still, His mercy extends to those repentant of these detestable acts as does to all. This is not to suggest those priest who have exchanged their priestly robes for orange correctional jumpsuits deserve any less than the full extent of the law’s justice. Their violation of trust makes their crimes even more heinous.
Kane cites celibacy as a source of sexual perversity in the church. Celibacy is a gift, through grace, by which holy priests aspire to live Jesus’ example. Celibacy has been a spiritual means of transcending carnal desires, by different faiths throughout the ages. Gandhi and his wife chose celibacy at a point in their marriage. Our present sexually exploitive society may perceive celibacy as a sign of weakness, weirdness or impossibility, but its perception does not diminish God’s grace.
As celibacy is not the cause of pedophilia, married priests and women priests are not the panacea. All one need do is look to other churches that permit such ordinations and see that none have been historically free of problems. In practical terms, married clergy risk the additional scandal of adultery, divorce and rebellious offspring. Statistics on divorce rates, by profession, show the clergy high on the list due to family demands. Hopefully, the outcome of this storm will result in improved psychological screening of prospective priests. Like the marines, the priesthood needs a “few good men”-called to serve. Contrary to the stereotypical portrayals, the priesthood requires moral excellence, strength of character and a devotion to God. Pedophiles and homosexual lifestyles have no place in the Roman Catholic priesthood. I pray every unsuited cleric be removed and the righteous majority are unharmed by the media frenzy that has taken on the tone of a witch-hunt.
One parish priest summed up the problem succinctly-Judas betrayed Christ at the last supper as He instituted the core of the Catholic faith, the Eucharist. Christ’s promise to be with us always, also guarantees His adversary’s presence.
Presently, the Catholic Church is taking a beating as surely as Christ did before Pilot. Modern-day Judas’ lurk in dark corridors awaiting recompense or reckoning. Predictably, some of the media plays the bloodthirsty crowd, distracted from equity by lust for exploitive headlines. Dissonants seize the opportunity to battle-ram their agendas against the gates. The faint hearted look away denying association. And so it shall be until Christ’s imminent return.
Christ is “the truth.” If truth is subjective, and we need only follow our individual consciences as Mr. Kane suggested, then why is it that our history books and news reports incriminate us of countless offenses? It is self evident that the conscience is an unstable compass in a changing and precarious world.
The Catholic Church holds true to Christ’s teachings as it has since Jesus gave our first Pope the keys to the kingdom, proclaiming; “Peter, upon this rock I build my church…’’ There is no denying there have been individuals within the hierarchy in the last two thousand years who have “missed the mark.” Regardless, the doctrine of the Church remains consistently faithful through the Pope and his bishops despite trendy opposition.
I stand confident that the church will survive and triumph despite zealous opinions to the contrary; because Jesus also promised Peter at the inception “…the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
P.S.: I challenge the religious tolerant and Kane’s “Cafeteria Catholics” to view the following excellent resources: Catholic Defense; Fr. Jim Northrop and Jerome Gilmartin’s Seven-Step Reason to be Catholic (contact jgilmartin @epix.net for a free brochure).
Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church
Reactions to Usual Homily
Personal Reflection on Usual Homily (Taking Off the Mask)
Less Usual Homilies
Pedophiles and Priests
Pedophilia or Pederasty?
Pedophilia and Teaching of Bible
Other Letter regarding Boston Scandal
Letter from Former Catholic
Catholicism is the Answer
Is Celibacy the Problem?
"devil is asserting his power"
"you want Holy Priests, then we must adopt them..."
"I would still like to see him stay"
Homily on Boston Scandal
Homily on Local Scandal
A Satanic Temptation
What Jewish People Said About Pius XII
Historian Refutes Claims of "Hitler's Pope"
Mit Brennender Sorge Encyclical on the Church and the German Reich March 14, 1937
Not Hitler's Pope Articles on the subject of Pope Pius XII during WWII
Letter to Brill's Content Was Pius XII Hitler's Pope?
Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church by KAROL JOZEF GAJEWSKI
Germaine Greer on Birth Control
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)