Saturday, September 24, 2005

Problems in growing TLM mass attendance

While many blogs talk about the growth of the TLM in their diocese with many large, young familes, that is not the case everywhere. Here at Holy Family in Columbus Ohio, there are many things going for the weekly TLM indult. There is a supportive pastor(Fr. Kevin Lutz), the weekly mass is a high mass, the Pastor makes sure the TLM will be celebrated for all days of obligation and high feast days as well.

That said, attendance, while it has gone up in the last 2 years while I have been going to mass at Holy Family, still is not growing as it should. While there are some young familes, and a decent amount of young adults, the conregation tends to skew older. The most fustrating thing is there isint the increase in the number of young familes that all have hoped for when Una Voce Columbus first started two years ago to promote the mass. Here I will give what I think are the two main reasons why there hasnt beenthe growth that other indult communities have experienced.

1.) Mass Time- While the start time of the mass at 9AM is not unreasonable, it is not optimal either. It takes a while to get a family going in the morning, especially is there is a distance to travel to get to the indult mass, and at my old indult mass location(chapel really) in Sacramento CA, St. Stephens, the 10:30 AM mass was by far the best attended, and anything in the 10AM-11:30AM range is the most optimal as far as attdence is concerned. Also a 9 AM start time makes it difficult for many young adults who may be intrested in attending the TLM as well to check it out.

2.) A Traditional leaning Novus Ordo parish.- I blogged about this parish a month ago, St. Patrick ran by the Dominicans not too far from Holy Family. It has none of the flashpoints that pople usually associate with the Novus Ordo, and for orthodox Catholics in the area, it is hard to convince them to try to attend the indult. Also St. Patrick has 4 mass times on Sunday as well(5 if one counts the 6PM Sunday vigil mass). To me, this is the bigger reason why the indult is not growing as it should at Holy Family, and again, the liturgy done here is very traditional compared to the vast majority of suburban parishes in the diocese. Trying to convince many who attend here, who would be otherwise well disposed to attending the TLM is not an easy task.

If anyone has any suggestions(the best comparions would be trying to grow the TLM communities in Detroit and St. Paul-Minneapolis if face of competition from well done Novus Ordos), I would like to hear them.

Thoughts on the ban of homosexuals seminarians

The last few days, the world of Catholic bloggers has erupted on the supposed document that bans the admission of homosexuals to seminaries. Now there is yet to be any definitive word on if the document is even going to be released or not, since now some sources in the Vatican say there has yet to be any approval of any such document.

That aside, I will say that if the church and society were in good shape, and the issue of sexuality wasnt so warpped(and this applies to hetrosexuals as well, with the large amount of porn, "gentelmens clubs and the like becoming mainstream"), then a gay man who is celebate, who holds temptations in check, and views himself as not being part of the gay culture would not be a problem.

That said, the problem is that a very large number of priests view themselves as openly gay, and even the ones who are celibate, with them viewing themselevs as gay and part of the gay culture, they are clear and present dangers to the church and her integrity. It comes as no suprise that many of priests who have a gay inclanation also are less than orthodox, in terms of liturgy, in terms of how they present theology, dogmas and doctrines to their flocks, now there are allways exceptions, but the strength of the gay subculture in many seminaries to the detriment of hetrosexual seminarians shows how dangerous this issue has become for the health of the church. My opinion is that many bishops want to continue to admit gay seminarians not because they are for all of the gay agenda per say, but they want to keep the doors open because at least in the West, gay men are pretty much so the biggest source of vocations with "progressive" views.

I honestly feel sorry for the men who struggle with homosexual inclanations that are trying to put up a fight, trying to live a life of virture, trying to follow church teachings, and they need support, but with the past 40 years of the church falling apart, and the abuse scandals, feminine priests, clergy who make up their own doctrines, dogmas and liturgy up, it is a risk the church can not afford to make. Likewise, not all hetrosexual men are fit for the priesthood as well because of twisted sexual desires they may have.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Some thoughts on the last week

The destruction and suffering in the New Orleans area bring into perspective that the world is far bigger than any of us, in what can be often petty aspects of our own lives and communities. The destruction is staggeing, an entire metro area has been evacuated, the disruption will last for months, and unthinkable, there are over one million people displaced and possibly thousands dead, and all of this in what is the United States.

As a pundit said, whoever died in the hurricane itself was the result of a natural disaster, whoever died in its aftermath was a man made disaster, and while there is plenty of blame on all levels of govrenmnet to go around, one must wonder why Bush was not more forceful in his initial response to this disaster. While of coruse the initial response, or therefor lack of is mostly on the shoulder of the local authorities, one wonders why he didnt to to Baton Rouge Tuesday to at least give the apperance of him being in charge and to show moral support to the victions of Katrina. One wonders why he wasnt more forceful in getting emergency forces under federal control in place. It seems Mr. Bush is obsessed with Iraq, and delegates most every thing else. Many questions to be asked here.

Lastly, one thing that distresses me is how so many so called "conservatives" defend Bush no matter what, with 5 cent Limbaugh talking points. It seems mainstream conservatism is every bit as bankrupt as liberalism was by the late 70s.