Program #0071 for Thursday, June 16, 2011: New vicar general; controversy at St. Cecilia’s; fatherhood; single-sex dorms

June 16, 2011

Recent Episodes

[wdgpo_plusone]What is this?

Listen to the show:

Subscribe for free in iTunes

Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Susan Abbott

Today’s guest(s): Fr. Roger Landry, executive editor of The Anchor, the newspaper of the Fall River diocese; and Gregory Tracy, managing editor of The Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston archdiocese

  • The Anchor
  • The Pilot
  • Some of the stories discussed on this show will be available on The Pilot’s and The Anchor’s websites on Friday morning. Please check those sites for the latest links.

Today’s topics: New vicar general for Boston; St. Cecilia, Boston, controversy; crisis in fatherhood; Catholic U returns to single-sex dorms

A summary of today’s show: Our usual Thursday panel discusses the Bruins’ winning the Stanley Cup; Msgr. Bob Deeley’s appointment as vicar general and moderator of the curia; the controversy at St. Cecilia’s in Boston and homosexuality; crisis in fatherhood; and single-sex dorms at Catholic U.

1st segment: Scot admits staying up too late for the Bruins win in the Stanley Cup. He welcomes Fr. Roger Landry, Susan Abbott, and Gregory Tracy to the show. Scot said it’s amazing to him that with all the talk of a Patriots dynasty that now they have the longest drought of championships in Boston sports. Fr. Roger said he watched the game with the whole communion of saints.

Fr. Roger said Bruins goalie is one of the best athletes to listen to and watch. He’s un-cliched, gives everything he’s thinking, doesn’t say the typical things athletes will.

Susan said she had a class in Concord and was convinced no one would show, but people did come. She did ask anyone in the class who could keep up with the score to keep everyone in the loop.

The panel reminisced on great moments from the game. Scot is looking forward to the Bruins rolling rally on Saturday and has promised his kids they could go.

2nd segment: On Tuesday, Cardinal Seán announced that he is naming a new vicar general and moderator of the curia. Msgr. Robert P. Deeley has been serving for the last 7 years in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Before that he was a pastor in Quincy and judicial vicar for the archdiocese. Our current vicar general, Fr. Richard Erickson, will be granted a sabbatical in Rome, after which he will return to Boston for a new assignment.

Fr. Roger knows Msgr. Deeley. He first met him many years when the Mass. Catholic Conference brought some priests together for a program to defend marriage against the re-defintions that were being attempted. He was very impressed by his clear thinking, his hard work, and how thoroughly imbued with the teaching of the Church he is. He’s also very funny. He also has a skill set for the tasks of vicar general that complements the skill set of the Cardinal.

Susan took a semester course in canon law with Msgr. Deeley when she was working in a parish. She echoed Fr. Roger’s comments. She’s sad to see Fr. Rich leave, but thrilled for his new opportunity.

Scot said the appointment of vicar general is a big deal. Gregory said vicar general and moderator of the curia is a long title. Both titles are important. The vicar general is someone empowered by the local bishop, the Ordinary, to fulfill his mandates for a particular purpose. All of the auxiliary bishops are vicars general too. The moderator of the curia oversees the central administration of the archdiocese. He is the real intermediary between the bishop and those who work for him.

Scot said he has a personal connection with Msgr. Deeley. The local Serra organization has an Adopt-a-Priest program for families to be assigned priests to pray for every day. The assignments are random and Msgr. Deeley was assigned to Scot’s family and they have been praying for him already.

Fr. Roger said the vicar general of a large archdiocese like Boston often has to take on more work when the archbishop is asked to do even more work outside the archdiocese by the Pope. It’s an important appointment for Cardinal Seán. Msgr. Deeley is past president of the Canon Law Society of America and his work in Rome has been involved with dealing with priests who have abused children. He is a national expert on this matter, which will be very good for Boston which has been dealing with this issue.

Fr. Rich Erickson celebrates his 5th anniversary as vicar general and moderator of the curia in Boston today.

3rd segment: Scot said about a week ago it was learned that there was going to be a Mass at St. Cecilia’s parish in Boston to celebrate Gay
Pride Month. Cardinal Seán and his team talked to the pastor to ensure that there was no misunderstanding that the Church was promoting Gay Pride. That became a cause celebre in local and national media.

Scot said the Pilot this week will have about the longest editorial ever published in the paper, entitled “A Teachable Moment.” Gregory said once the news of the Mass being canceled was made public, there was a lot of confusion over what the Church actually teaches on homosexual inclinations and the promotion of the gay lifestyle.

The Church does not discriminate against those with same-sex attraction, and all are welcome in the Church. However, the Church also teaches that while an attraction itself is not sinful, acting on that attraction is. All are called to chastity outside of marriage. Those acts should not be promoted or celebrated outside of the Church.

Fr. Roger clarified that it’s not just sacramental marriage, but all natural marriages for those who are not baptized Christians too. He was struck by hearing the common refrain that it’s “important that others accept me as I am” or that “Jesus would accept me as I am.” Jesus made us male and female and who we are as male and female is important. Part of the problem is that for those with same-sex attraction their sexual attraction is often placed at a very high level of their consciousness. It becomes part of their identity.

Fr. Roger said when you put out the welcome mat, but don’t also present the fullness of the goodness of the Church’s teaching is not really presenting the whole truth, the Good News, and being welcoming. We need to have the confidence to be able to say that this particular activity is contrary to your good, contrary to God’s plans for you.

He also made a distinction between same-sex attraction and the gay culture. Gay means out of the closet. It doesn’t mean that the person acknowledges same-sex attraction as disordered. He noted that these gay pride parades include anti-Catholic behavior and simulated sexual acts in a parade on city streets. These can be seen in a simple Google search for photos.

Scot countered the Globe’s editorial that claimed that Jesus would have held this Mass. He said the common view of love is that soft view of love, not the tough love of discipline, a parent who says no to a child because he loves him and wants what is best for him.

Fr. Roger adds that Jesus loved the woman caught in adultery and saved her from stoning, but also told her to sin no more. He also told us that if our hand causes us to sin, to cut it off. He did not shy away from calling us out of sin. Gregory said often the understanding of sin is incomplete. Sin is not just an arbitrary rule that defines something that annoys God. Instead, sin leads to death and destruction and the rules are the way that God tells us of the dangers of sin.

Susan said it all goes back to that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Everything God created is good, but when God created man and woman, as male and female, it was “very good.”

Scot said almost everything you need to know about Church teaching on this issue will be found in the Pilot editorial, available tomorrow. Also, Scot made a commitment that Catholic teaching will always be shared in its fullness on The Good Catholic Life.

4th segment: In the Anchor this week, the editorial is titled, “Responding to the Crisis in Fatherhood.” It links Trinity Sunday with Father’s Day and God’s fatherhood with human fatherhood.

Fr. Roger said Trinity Sunday often focuses on God the Father’s role in the Trinity. Cardinal Ratzinger said in 2000 in Palermo, Sicily, that the crisis of fatherhood is the most important element threatening man in his humanity. Fatherhood is not just a biological act. Fr. Roger often finds that those who come from broken homes often find it difficult to relate to God as Father, which results in many other societal problems. Many sociologists have pointed out the serious consequences of so many kids growing up without children: poverty, violence, teen pregnancy, and more. The Church needs to help fathers recognize the great mission they have.
Human fatherhood comes from God the Father. We also have to understand how God relates to Jesus, His Son, and to all His children.

10 points revealed about fatherhood that Jesus reveals to us from God the Father:

  1. The Father take delight in His children.
  2. The Father loves unconditionally.
  3. The Father cares about every one of His children.
  4. The Father is generous.
  5. The Father is observant.
  6. The Father teaches those who are docile.
  7. The Father is merciful.
  8. The Father disciples out of love.
  9. The Father works.
  10. The Father wants to share life to the full with His children.

The editorial substantiates each one of those points with Scripture. Scot said it’s a good list for fathers to look at how well they are doing. Gregory said it took him five kids before he fully understood a father’s mission and duty toward his children.

Susan noted how poorly fathers are portrayed in the media. She also noted the awesome job that single mothers do.

Scot said Jim Stenson, a local Bostonian who often speaks on fatherhood, will be on The Good Catholic Life on Monday to talk about the job description of a Catholic father. Jim Stenson says, Your job as a parent, not just a dad, is to raise an adult, not just a kid.

5th segment: A few days ago, the president of Catholic University of America, John Garvey, wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, that he would try to address binge drinking and the culture of sexual hookups by going back to single-sex dorms.

He acknowledges that it will be financially costly and difficult to re-balance the student body to have enough space for everyone in the available dorm rooms. He said there’s a tie between virtue and the intellectual life. Scot was surprised that so many Catholic colleges don’t have single-sex dorms, but was also pleasantly surprised by the general acclaim for the idea.

Susan noted the statistics in the article that talked about the costs of the current culture, including depression for women who have multiple partners, health issues, and the like.

Fr. Roger said those who would be happy about this are college kids who want to drink and hookup. Everyone else should be happy. Quoting Garvey:

My wife and I have sent five children to college and our youngest just graduated. Like many parents, we encouraged them to study hard and spend time in a country where people don’t speak English. Like all parents, we worried about the kind of people they would grow up to be.

We may have been a little unusual in thinking it was the college’s responsibility to worry about that too.

Fr. Roger hopes many Catholic parents will look to Catholic University now and that other Catholic colleges will follow suit.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.