27 January 2009

The Catholics are revolting

There is a revolt going on in the Archdiocese of Boston. I caught this story on the ABC World News yesterday. Here's the gist:

In 2004, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said it would close St. Frances X. Cabrini and a dozen other churches in the area because of financial problems and a shortage of priests. While most churches closed their doors, parishioners from St. Frances X. Cabrini sneaked in and took over. Four other churches from the Boston area archdiocese are also holding vigils.

... The archdiocese stripped the church of sacred objects, but 100 St. Frances X. Cabrini congregants operate what they say is a fully-functioning church, complete with rosary groups, Sunday school for their kids and, most provocatively, Sunday communion with wafers blessed by anonymous, sympathetic priests.
I was raised to be a devout Catholic in a rural Iowa parish, and I feel compelled to say that a large number of my childhood memories revolve around my experiences at Immaculate Conception in Charles City. I went to the Catholic elementary school, served as an altar boy, sang in the choir, received all the sacraments (with zeal!), went to the National Catholic Youth Conference, ate at many pancake breakfasts, etc. I mention these things to say that, even though I left Catholicism and became a non-believer in college, my upbringing in the Church will always remain a part of me, and I have many fond memories (as well as a few not so fond memories).

But, I digress.

What fascinates me about this revolt going on in Massachusetts is that, in the hours and hours I've spent thinking about the Catholic Church, I never really thought of it as being so thoroughly undemocratic.

It was a constant worry of our parish that we'd lose our priest or be forced to share one with another church, but I don't remember anyone contemplating any kind of action like these vigils. The Diocese would do what it wanted to do with little accountability to its members, and that was that.

I can't think of many Catholics who would tolerate such treatment from their government, so why do they tolerate it from their religion?

1 comment:

  1. Would you be interested in having your blog linked on the WC blogroll?