Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts On The Fallen

It's been about 18 months now since we were all wringing our hands over Fr. Francis Mary Stone's decision to leave the priesthood due to his relationship with a woman he met through his ministry at EWTN. He was about to become a biological father. Yep, he sinned, defied his priestly vows and vocation - and he was publicly bludgeoned for it. He then had to choose between walking away from his vocation and manning up to take moral and financial responsibility for his child and the mother (hopefully his bride by now), or living his vocation by remaining in the priesthood, thereby denying his child - the one innocent involved - a traditional father-child relationship and leaving another single moter out there struggling to raise a child - his child - on her own. I never have and never will condone what got him to the point of having to choose between these options, but I can understand and support what he ultimately did. He's a dad, and he's doing what he can, in his 40's, to start a business and generate enough income to support his family.

THEN there's Fr. Alberto Cutie, the soon-to-be Episcopalian. Caught with his speedo and his grope on. As our dear Fr. Erik points out, he's the worst kind of hypocrite. Becoming a Protestant as a means of getting his cupcake and ea....ok, never mind. You know what I mean. So he's leaving the Church without following the proper laicizing process, hoping to forge ahead as an Episcopalian cleric of some sort, with his concubine-turned-wife at his side grinning and squeezing his....ok, never mind....for the cameras.

Father Oprah? I think not. Nay, I foresee them becoming the Jim & Tammy Faye of Univision. Get thee behind me....

Unlike Dave Stone, Alberto Cutie's defection really pisses me off!!!

(Yeah, yeah...prayers, charity, and all that. This is why I am NOT a religious, it's the bitter, snarky thing...)


Packrat said...

Love your "snarkies". If I weren't so tired tonight, I would have been rolling on the floor in all the dog hair.

I'm going out on a limb, but I'm guessing that traditional Episcopalians aren't going to want Fr. Cutie any more than they wanted gay and/or women priests.

I have an elderly, very traditional Episcopalian friend. If she hears about this, I'm positive what her opinion will be. Much the same as yours - even with some of the same snarky descriptions. LOL

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Snark is good :), "Fr" Cutie...Don't even get me started....

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is just beyond sad. Priests behave like this and then we look at Mel Gibson and can hardly be surprised can we?
Is it something about being on TV--or is it just those we hear about?

At least Dave Stone was trying to do something pastoral when he fell. The lack of hierarchy support for families around here is breathtaking.
I have always tried to avoid outright criticism of priests and bishops. If I see blogs by priests that are rude, snide or arrogant I just ignore them rather than comment and I have, so far avoiding talking about bishops too much at all. But now we have a Catholic sponsored semi-porn sex ed programme for our schools!
Sometimes I get so tired of it. I wish there was some other church Christ founded.

Philangelus said...

Isn't this the equivalent of a rabbi getting caught in public eating a bacon double-cheeseburger during Passover and then saying, "Oh, that's okay, I'll just become Catholic! They can eat pork, and they can eat dairy and meat together."

It doesn't sound as if he dwelled on the theological issues dividing the two faiths and then decided he had to walk away from the one which was clearly false. He's just saying, "Well, it'd be real convenient to go over there right about now..."

I'll keep praying for him. May God guide and protect his soul.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

". . . the Jim and Tammy Faye of Univision . . ."*snerk*!

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

I think you are FAR to easy on Stone. He could have supported his child without further breaking his vows and trying to capitalize on his life as a priest to further his business.

Kit said...

Fr. - I hate what Dave Stone did went he went "over the wall," make no mistake. I just don't know if/how he could have gone on as a priest while trying to support his son and the mother, and not have been bad at both endeavors...kinda like a house divided. On one hand, he'd have to come up with a way to make money as a priest who's taken a vow of poverty. What could he do, realistically, besides write books and then go on the road shilling them? Where would that then leave his parishioners/ministry/order? Seriously, and I'm asking as a fairly ignorant layperson, what income generating options do priests have beyond their stipends?

On the other hand, the sin and breach of his vows he freely chose to engage in caused damage to not just his, but also the woman's soul (and yeah she was half of that tango to be sure). Should he have left her out there as an unwed single mother with an illegitimate child to fend for herself and bear the stigma of having a priest's bastard kid to raise? In a backhanded way, I guess I look at his decision to leave and take on the role of family man as something selfless that came out of all his selfishness.

I looked online, and it appears his website is no more. So I don't know what he's doing now to earn money for the family, whether it trades on his experience in the priesthood or not, but it looks like whatever he was initially doing failed. The whole thing makes me more sad than, say, Cutie...which makes being mad an understatement.

LarryD said...

Fr Cutie's desire to not becoming the poster boy for priestly celibacy ain't working out all that well for him, is it now, especially with VOTF supporting him in his decision.

I want to be charitable, because his immortal soul is in danger. We can be angry about the scandal he has caused, dragging with him the poorly formed Catholics who just don't get it.

Would it be un-Christian to say he's got a mighty heavy millstone waiting for him if he doesn't repent?

gemoftheocean said...

Some priests can make a decent living but they are kind of few. Diocesan priests, who happen to be university profs. I know a retired one - in his early career he got zip, but later on the university had insisted on paying their priests/profs as everyone else.

Granted, there's a relatively small number of them.