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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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May 29, 2007

Comments

Carol

Hmm.. Would you be shocked if I disagreed?

Kind dialogue is a praise-worthy goal, but apologists speak to non-Catholics about the Church. Sly dissenters, however, who deceitfully act against the very Mother Who nursed them richly with sacramental grace and proximity to a holy Monstrance and then confirmed them in their love, need -- as does a child who is tiptoeing around the perimeter of hell and begins leading friends to such danger -- more than a gentle apologist.

Carol

(Sorry -- my computer is filled with glitches lately, and upon hitting "Post" went to a "This page cannot be displayed" and returned me to the post at hand.)

Deacon DW

There we go--I think I got the comment in that you intended.

No, I'm not shocked at all. However, I learned of the story at "The Cafeteria is Closed" and you might imagine that what you find there is entirely condemning in tone.

I take my position from personal experience. I am closely acquainted with a woman who left the Catholic Church to be ordained in a pseudo-Catholic church after serving for the majority of her lifetime as nun. Also there are others I know of who are dangerously close to leaving, and others who have spiritually left already though they still remain with us.

Whenever anyone leaves us for any reason it is a deep pain--a true disappointment. My background has been in serving in interfaith dialogue groups, and something I learned is that talking does a lot of good. Really, listening does even better. True enough, we have to draw the line (when my nun friend left no one stood up and said, "Wait, what are you doing?" Yet she had plenty of well-wishers. Too bad she didn't ask me what I thought. Perhaps she knew already and didn't want to hear it).

In a lot of ways I think it's the well-wishers that frighten me most. They're the ones that are in the greatest danger. They're the ones who don't see what is at stake. Even from among the deacons of my diocese there has been at least one who has left for ordination in a pseudo-Catholic church. I'd rather talk (and listen) now than say good-bye later.

Where I stand--from a pastoral perspective anyhow--is that dialogue is indispensable, though certainly I understand drawing the line.

Carol

But Catholics never say goodbye. Only farewell, yes?

I hear ya about dialogue, but as a friend says, we tend to filter things through our own lens of experience. It's all we can do, really, but I'm always surprised, not necessarily dismayed, when someone walks away from willing love unto death Flesh and Blood. It makes no sense. What'll they find instead? A God Who seems fairer? Don't they want the One Who forgives 70 times 7 times -- in sign and sacrament, from birth to death? Never has my heart been more appreciative of my faith than to see a priest greet a casketed individual, and then, in a final Mass, to see that soul off to its true Home. No, I'm not dismayed when someone walks, mostly because those who leave come back. To Him, this time. To HIM. They've found a lack of love out there, and when push comes to shove, that matters more than things being pleasant or things they disagree with, because they want to hand their kith and kin something substantial. From womb to tomb. And we welcome back with open arms.. always.

I'm always both surprised and dismayed when someone sneers that we might not want to lose anyone due to a money factor. I never think money when it comes to the Church -- not now, after our clustering of parishes, and not even years ago when I sat on the pastoral council for 3 years. It, to me, is like saying money and Jesus, Saviour in the same breath. But it is time for the Church to be poor again, like its Founder and Spouse, and it is getting there..

Yes, our friend Gerald is harsh at times.. but he's young in life, still. If one checks out the photos he takes, and hears what he's saying when he's not reacting, one can see where his heart really is. And can be reassured by it. One could easily contrast a certain (RCF) writer on here who is smooth as glass, quiet as milk, seems to behave well, but his assassinations of character are vile. I haven't peeked in on G for a while, now, but even if he tips over into wilfull animosity, he'll allow himself to be righted. Meanwhile, as you know, I pretty well agree that the cafeteria IS closed.. tho' of course, not the Church.

Gabrielle

Carol, the way I see it, apologists should be speaking to practising Catholics about the Church, even moreso than to non-Catholics. Perhaps then Catholic attempts at evangelization would be a tad more compassionate, intelligent and effective.

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