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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Are Catholic Clergy Harming The Faithful With Their Own Personal Beliefs?

I was speaking to a mother of a young girl who happens to be an altar server in a catholic church (the young girl).
She stated that she was so proud of her daughter, she received an aware at Mass the other day, receiving the title of Acolyte.
She stated that she just loves her priest.
She stated that the other day her priest stated "aren't we catholics just great, we love everyone, sinners, and even Republicans." and everyone laughed.
Well - first of all, I bet not everyone laughed, especially the parishioners who are conservative.
And what about awarding a small child the award of "Acolyte?"
An Acolyte is an installation by the bishop prior to becoming a deacon. Is the trivialization of these designations weakening our church?
When I was ordained a Roman Catholic Deacon, I was first instructed that once ordained, I would no longer have a personal public opinion on a great deal of matters, my opinion would need to be that of catholic teaching. This instruction was particularly spoken in regards to politics.
An ordained catholic clergy is not to have a personal public opinion on politics, plain and simple, unless they are upholding a catholic teaching.
Yet, why do so many, I must say, liberals or democrats feel that this requirement need not apply to them. The reason why I say liberal or democrat is because I have not yet heard a priest or deacon mention publicly their conservative views, only liberal ones.
We do a great disservice when a cleric makes a public disclosure about politics, I don't mean issues, issues are very important, but politics and support of a particular party or party designation.
Why is it acceptable to make derogatory comments about Conservative people, or Republicans, when if the opposite was done - heads would roll.
Is there discrimination within our own church?
When I took my vows at ordination, I meant what I said, I no longer remained a Republican, but became an independent. My political party actually in all reality became the party of the Catholic Church, at least in compliance with ALL the teachings of the church.
Why do others not do what we are asked to do?
Is this why we have so many catholics that vote according to a party rather than according to their beliefs as a catholic?
Is this why we have so many catholics that believe in abortion, in homosexuality, living together, etc.?
Have they been lead astray by priests, deacons, and sisters who have their own person agenda, conscience of the agenda or not?
One cannot say that the democratic party is more in line with the catholic teachings. Last year I researched the Catholic social teachings through the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church."
I would have to say that clearly the Democrat and the Republican parties don't come close to representing our faith.
Yet - why do so many clergy make their liberal beliefs known even if they don't come right out and say that they are a Democrat?
I have only lived in California - maybe this is a California Clergy issue and not a United States issue.
Please don't think that I feel that most catholic clergy are bad, that was not the intent of this post. I do realize that many Pastors, Priests, and Deacons try their very best and truly feel that they are serving and being a loyal shepherd. My intention is not to critique them, but rather to impart my humble observances for contemplation.
I am friends with many priests, deacons and religious who are truly wonderful people, this is not written about you.......
Send me an e-mail with your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.
God keep you!
Deacon Pat

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