Monday, July 14, 2008

Another day, another outrage

More ridiculousness in the DOR. This parish is inviting a loud, proud dissenter priest, Charles Curran, to give a presentation on "social teachings." He was banned by the Vatican, courtesy of then-Cdl. Ratzinger, from teaching Catholic Theology. He was fired by Catholic University, and unsuccessfully sued the school for discrimination and wrongful termination. He has publicly stated his opinions on such things as the Real Presence being a "medieval" superstitious belief, he denies the Ascension, and supports gay marriage, abortion, and artificial birth control, among other things. He now teaches something called "Perspectives in Catholic Moral Theology" at SMU, where he is a "Professor of Human Values." He wears a suit and tie.

While it is VERY unlike me to cold-cock someone via email, I've written to the pastor, stated my concerns in that "way" I have when I'm politely annoyed, and asked him to reconsider, and got the following response:

Dear K[it],

Fr. Curran is visiting Transfiguration Parish as part of our 25th Anniversary year of celebration and at the invitation our Peace and JusticeCoordinating Committee to address the Social Teachings of our Church; this invitation was extended with my support.

As you may know Fr. Curran is recognized as one of the leading theologians in our Church relative to our Social Teachings. As you may or may not know Fr. Curran is a priest in good standing in ourUniversal Church and our local Church of Rochester.

You are correct in the fact that he, at this time, does not have theVatican permission to teach at any approved Catholic college or university.

Thank you for your interest in this matter. Enjoy life and let us continue to pray for peace in 2008!

In peace and courage,

Fr. Mike [Bausch]

Office:Church of the Transfiguration
50 West Bloomfield Road
Pittsford, NY 14534-9733

[NB: I chose red font to honor the blood of the martyred St. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (England) - someone has to!]

I wrote back and asked who within the Church recognizes this man as any sort of authority or "leading theologian" on "our" Social Teachings, among other things, and asked him again to reconsider exposing his parishioners, (most of whom are probably very poorly catechised and will not recognize this man's heresy for what it is), to this crap.

On the contrary, someone who purports to stand in persona Christi, yet spouts his own feel-good, culture of death-friendly views on "our" social teachings will probably receive raves from the audience. I'd imagine it'll go something like this: "Okay [this] is what the Church teaches. This is why, in our day and age, the Church is wrong." That's his "perspective" from what I have read about him and how he teaches.

So in my first email, I asked Fr. Bausch if he would have an orthodox priest give a follow-up presentation - no response - so I asked again if he would at least properly disclose Charles Curran's status as a banned "theologian" when introducing him to the parishioners. I doubt I will hear back on that point, but I'll update as warranted.

Need I say it again? Spiritually speaking, I hate it here.

H/T to Rich at Ten Reasons for bringing this mess to our attention.

P.S. I did NOT link to any Curran bio or other info because I don't want to link to a heretic from this blog - feel free to Google him, though, if you'd like to see what I'm so annoyed about.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I shall pray for your parish.

You can feel good that the responsibilties not in your hands anymore, you did your part.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Sounds awful!

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Huh. I would switch parishes in a New York minute, as it seems Fr. Mike has said, in effect, "Screw you, Kit, and thanks for playing."

Not to mention but do you really want to belong to a parish where there is a "Peace and Justice Coordinationg Committee?" Maybe that is why there is so much war and strife in the world - no one has been tsked with coordinating peace!! Potluck suppers, sure, but not peace.

*Sigh* Kit, although I have zero authority to do so, other than a friendship with the pastor, I hereby wave my Lectionary o' Justice and make you and your family honorary parishioners of St. Joseph's Church in Santa Ana, CA. We don't have a Peace and Justice Coordinating Committee, and our motto seems to be, "somehow, we muddle through", but we're cherry folk and can whip out a Rosary as easily as a bowl of pozole.

Kasia said...

Is the Bishop of Rochester at all likely to step in and disinvite the guy if people complain enough about this? ...not likely, I suppose...

Kit said...

Thankfully, this is not my parish, or I'd do a lot more than send an email. I actually pondered driving up to Pittsford with my Mino, truth be told, and then go to a decent Mass a few miles away with my Nigerian priest buddy. Depends on what I hear from the pastor.

Digi - I know...the "Peace and Justice Coordinating Committee" - what IS that? I wonder if they have a Creative Expression of the Liturgy through Movement Committee, too?

Kit said...

Kasia - HECK no...Bishop Clark loves this guy, who is only slightly more liberal than he. Charles Curran was born, raised, and ordained in the DOR. Figuratively, if not literally speaking, he'll be casting palms before this "native son" when he comes to town.

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Kit, write the bishop & cc the Apostolic Nuncio AND the pastor. My experience has been its not WHO you write but who you CC'd

Anonymous said...
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Jane Lebak said...

I was in the DOR when I was at Cornell, and we had things like a "peace and justice committee" too. It's the character of that diocese nowadays. I found it so upsetting that when a group of students wanted to buy (with our own funds) a monstrance for Eucharistic Adoration, or to repair the kneelers, we were shot down, but whenever someone wanted to come in and speak about a female priesthood, s/he was welcomed with open arms.

It's very upsetting, but other than voicing your outrage, I'm not sure what else can be done.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Another Rochesterian? I'm over At St. Theodore's in Gates (near the new St. Padre Pio Chapel). What parish do you attend?

Fr. Mike does things his own way. So does Fr. Curran. At least Fr. Mike was polite when he told you to get lost! Of course, he might have been rolling his eyes as he typed.

(By the way, even though I don't always agree with his decisions, I know Bishop Clark. He is at heart a good man.)

Larry Denninger said...

I grew up in the DOR, and am saddened by how it continues to slide down into a pit of abject apostasy/heresy/crappy "feel good" BS spirituality. It's been sliding that way ever since Archbishop Sheen was shamefully replaced all those many years ago.

Kit said...

Hi Lee - to answer your question, I'm in the So. Tier, and I am nomadic when it comes to a parish/cluster...there are a few down here that I will not set foot in, but I do enjoy summer visits to St. Mary's in Watkins Glen - Fr. Paul is refreshingly traditional (and I mean that in a nice, non-radical way).

I will take you at your word re: Bp. Clark - other than cringing when he laid hands on my child at Confirmation last fall, I've had little direct personal contact with him.

I can say from a professional standpoint, however, that I have reason to believe that a number of those working for him do not share your good opinion of him.

(Lawyer-y enough for ya?)

Thanks for stopping by!

gemoftheocean said...

Peace and justice committee? Your bozo of a pastor is having this guy?

Okay. That's it. The only thing these SOBs apparently understand is a kick in the gahoolies ad a withdrawl of your contributions. NOTHING MORE for this parish, because it is not Catholic. It is advertising under false pretences. Furthermore cc the bishop AND the vatican and tell them WHY you are not going along with the BS any more.

You have every right to be infuriated.

CrankyProfessor said...

Fr. Paul is great - he was here in Geneva when I first came. I like him a lot.

I didn't know Curran was a priest of the DOR. That means he counts against our (falling) total. How nice. "Priests on duty outside the diocese" or something like that.

Kit said...

Thanks to all for your support - as I commented over at Rich's blog, this is NOT my pastor (hence feeling a wee bit sheepish about dropping out of the sky to tell him he was damaging his parishioners) but he's in my Diocese, so I felt it was warranted.

I sent the email and response to the Papal Nuncio and to B16's email address at the Vatican yesterday morning.


CrankyProfessor said...

Get an out of office reply for the Pope? :)

--The Cranky Professor

Kit said...

Michael -

Hee hee! No, but I did wish him a safe trip....