Monday, April 19, 2010

Ugh ugh ugh

I am so tired of feeling unwell and having things go wrong in my body (new things are going wrong as we speak - or rather, old things are rearing their ugly heads again).

I am tying to distract myself by blogging.

Not. Working.

One thing I would like to complain about is all the Catholics in the diocese of Cleveland who are moaning about their churches closing. These are mostly the ethnic paishes (Hungarians, Polish, Czech etc). Yes, it hurts like crazy to have your parish close, and yes these are beautiful buildings that it is awful to lose. Especially compared to the modern warehouse parishes that one is forced to worship at in the suburbs. And yes, a lot of these parishes were technically "in the black" and self-sufficient, able to pay their bills.

But let's be realistic. The population just wasn't there anymore. St. Peter's in Cleveland, for instance, had only a few hundred souls going there. And by Catholic standards, 300, 400, 500 people at a church is piddling. Compare that to most Catholic churches in the suburbs which typically have thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of souls on the books. It's clear where the ministry needs are.

In some ways this is the fault of all of us Catholics for fleeing the city. The percentage of Catholics in Northeast Ohio is the same as it always has been, but we don't live in the urban areas anymore... we got scared. We got to be middle class and we could afford to leave, and we left. The Church has to be where the people are. Not that she should abandon the city, but resources have to be shifted. There would be nothing more ridiculous (or ultimately more contrary to the evangelizing demands of the Gospel) than to have three priests ministering to ten people in the city while three thousand of God's children are cared for by one pastor in the suburbs.

And some of the commentary is just ridiculous. The Plain Dealer has a reader who comments at the end of every article, "Who closed more churches, Lenin or Lennon?" referring to the bishop. Right. The bishop is the equivalent of a murderous Communist. For the record, Lenin wins big time on the church closing score. By the 1950s there was one, *ONE* Catholic parish allowed by the authorities to exist in the entire city of Moscow. Some of the Eastern Europeans are also using the phrase "ethnic cleansing" to attack Bishop Lennon, who is of Irish ancestry and is therefore the enemy... Ridiculous. And offensive. Just... ugh.

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