Awww… The “usual suspects” in the Diocese of Oakland are, apparently, tired of being ignored in their little corners. Trying not to be outdone by the priests of the Council of Priests in San Francisco who leaked the conversations of their meeting, one from the Diocese of Oakland has penned this for his bulletin. Note the title. I’m not sure how the SATs went for him if this is his definition of the “Way of Humility.” Please read here first and then finish the rest of this post on the subject. I could never do justice to the craziness found in his missive.
Now that you’ve read it, let me explain to you that this is just bitterness from some three-time losers. Here’s a little history re-cap for the non-Californians: the liberals lobbied for a Cardinal Mahoney-style replacement for the Oakland Diocese way back (I’ve actually had a few more kids since then), but they got the wonderful Bishop Allen Vigneron instead (now Archbishop Vigneron – BAM!). They couldn’t bring him around to their way of thinking and, when he was elevated to archbishop and moved to clean up his home diocese, they got Bishop Salvatore Cordileone. The third strike for them was the appointment of Bishop Michael Barber. At his installation Mass, they all looked like someone had just shot their dog. You have to feel a bit sorry for them (or maybe not).
Why am I saying “they”? Well, there’s a little club over in the Oakland Diocese, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Fr. Mangini is one of the only ones in the little club that still has a parish and bulletin in which to spout off, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing pieces penned from the rest. They just can’t help themselves!
So let’s look at the points of “Thoughts from Fr. Richard.” Right off the bat, why wouldn’t Fr. Mangini allow the Knights of Columbus in his parish to “pick sides” and donate financially as a parish group to his archbishop? Isn’t it a bit hypocritical when he just used the parish bulletin (presumably paid for with donations to the parish – maybe even from the Knights!) to pick his side? (Yeah, that’s exactly what he did!) Oh, is it because they didn’t pick the right side? Got it. Do you think he even noticed that he told a parish group not to side with the archbishop???
“How has all this come to be?” Fr. Mangini asks. Well, it has nothing to do with altar boys, oratories, priests, and brothers from outside the diocese, but everything to do with the Archbishop clarifying that they must not tank Catholic teachings in the schools (not even anything new). He points that out as the catalyst and then spins it, a la Sam Singer, into being about anything but that. Now, as far as the “particular philosophy of Catholic Church life” that the priests “from outside the dioceses” (insert evil organ music here) AND the Archbishop adhere to – wouldn’t that be authentic Church teaching? Fr. Mangini says it’s not “mainstream.” Why would we keep fishing in that stream? (See what I did there?) It’s as dry and barren as most of California right now! Star of the Sea was a DEAD parish for too long before the priests and brothers arrived. Their infectious and loving personalities are attracting people to them. People on the ground hardly find them “weird”, but way to cast aspersions, Fr. Mangini.
And we’re back to the altar girls – again. (Dead horse alert!) “Fanciful presumption?” What’s his proof of that? He might want to look at the vocation stats on the dioceses and/or churches that employ all boys for the job of serving at the altar. Be ready for some sober realities – for him. Yes, Father, more altar boys equals more future vocations. In fact, our own USCCB report shows that 80% of the graduating class served as altar boys. (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/ordination-class/upload/Class-of-2014-report-FINAL-2.pdf) More altar boys will make for more priests. Will altar girls spur vocations to the priesthood? (The words “he wishes” come to mind, but that’s just a hunch.) He might also want to look at Church teaching from Redemptionis Sacramentum that I quoted in this blog post (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/lions-and-altar-boys-and-conservative-parishes-oh-my/). Oh, that silly Catholic Church and her fanciful presumptions!
At this point, I just have to ask: does anyone else find Fr. Mangini’s condescending tone annoying? “And using language such as ‘gravely evil’ is not helpful or welcoming or conducive to ‘bringing people along.’” Somebody call the Pope, because there’s language in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that ain’t helpful, welcoming, or conducive to bringing people along! Are we really supposed to keep sticking to the very broken game plan of not telling anyone what sin is, Fr. Mangini??? Because it’s worked so well so far? I think not. Some sins are gravely evil because they kill the soul! Letting someone rot in moral decay is hardly charitable or merciful, Father. Ask the woman who’s had an abortion if she wishes someone told her the truth before it was too late. You are aiding and abetting in the creation of lost people.
Moving on! Yes, Fr. Mangini, let’s talk about how the teacher contracts have been handled in the Oakland Diocese. Gotta give some Pinocchios for the misleading statements on this one. Real ending to that story? Those wishing to keep doing what they wanted to do without regard to the Faith lost. Their only option was to say “He budged!” Really? Where did the budging occur? (http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/05/27/bishop-controversy/) Did you see that budging? Did you see something worked out to EVERYONE’S satisfaction? (Wouldn’t that be kind of impossible?) The point is to work things out to God’s satisfaction. Yes, Bishop Barber and Archbishop Cordileone both sat down several times with teachers and will likely continue to do so. Aaannnnddddd??? Do you really expect them to check their canonical duties at the door? I think they might just be a tad more worried about God than those who seek to undermine the teachings of the Church.
“While the bishop may have the juridical authority to teach and to lead in the Church (how nice of Fr. Mangini to acknowledge that an archbishop actually has authority), to do so arbitrarily and without collaboration or consultation is suicidal…” Really? Suicidal? (As in grave? Wait a minute – I thought that wasn’t helpful???) I realize it’s been a longtime theory in the Diocese of Oakland that the Church rules by consensus (or at least some believe it should), but I’m reasonably sure this isn’t in Canon Law, the Catechism, nor anywhere else, and actually runs counter to Catholic teaching. “Let’s all take a vote now – do we believe this is Truth or not?” Yeah, no. How many of us think that the Archbishop walks into his office in the morning, stares out the window, and makes his weighty decisions with no consultation except from those lofty theologians? (I’m sure someone is saying “Me!” right now. Sam Singer, perhaps? Some people have their own version of reality.) Now, the Archbishop has consulted, consulted, and consulted again, and has still come to the conclusion that the Church teaching is what it is. How shocking! To say that the Archbishop hasn’t consulted with those involved is just silly and really just outright misleading.
Oh, and the Oratory of St. Philip Neri… What IS the big, stinking deal here? This really annoys some of the priests. I mean, really, really annoys them. I mean they’re foaming at the mouth at a place hardly known of by Joe Parishioner. Where is this bizarre jealousy coming from? My theory is that the patients have been running the asylum a bit too long. The paranoia is setting in. I have yet to see one order from the archbishop to the other churches in the diocese that they must have anything to do with the oratory or must do anything just like the oratory. Anyone else? Did they take away a super prize from somebody else? How dare they give this overflowing parish to someone from “outside the diocese”! Oh wait, the average attendance was less than 60 at each Mass when the oratory arrived. Hardly a prize of which to be jealous. What then is the problem? If you simply see people from outside of the diocese as a threat, you have some insecurity issues. There are several priests “from outside the diocese” (cue the evil organ music again) working in the Archdiocese of San Francisco on loan for various reasons. Why aren’t people fuming about them? Nope, it’s just the Oratory of St. Philip Neri that’s the problem. That should tell you that there’s a little more to the story. Again, see blog post linked above!
Last but not least – and this was a hoot – where is this “group of wealthy, conservative Catholics” who got us three faithful bishops in a row and how do I get to know them??? Next, where were they almost 40 years ago when it all started to go so wrong? Heck, where were they before Archbishop Cordileone? Did they magically fall out of the sky? I know, it’s the Koch Brothers, right? Would they like to sponsor a snarky blogger? And one last thing – what the heck happened to San Diego? Did the wealthy conservative Catholics from up here not contact the wealthy conservative Catholics down there? Drinking the conspiracy theory punch much, Fr. Mangini?
I realize using the words “wealthy” and “conservative” are the key to many a successful campaign (which, have no doubt, this is), but it’s getting really rather trite, and I’m surprised to see the desperation of using it when talking about a bishop or archbishop. It is rather ironic to float the “wealthy” and “conservative” after the group of wealthy and liberal Catholics just took out an ad against Archbishop Cordileone. Were they not so wealthy until this year? Why didn’t they muster a little campaign of their own after seeing what was going on in Oakland for the past 10 years? Talk about stirring up a rumor mill. It’s rather sad to see a priest involved in it.
Let’s all send up some prayers for the awesome Knights of Columbus from this parish who seek to support the very good archbishop! The Knights do such great work and are vital to every parish. Sorry your pastor chose to call you out (as if you were trying to do a bad thing) in the parish bulletin along with the archbishop and that mean ol’ Oratory. Fr. Mangini would probably call out his own family. Oh wait… he already did in the open letter to his cousin, Cardinal Levada, as well as the man whom Cardinal Levada replaced, none other than Pope Benedict XVI, so you are in good company. (http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2005/08/all-in-family.html) Let’s all remember to pray for Fr. Mangini and his posse. If the rest of them decide to “not pick sides” in Fr. Mangini fashion, I’ll mention them later. If you feel so inclined, please let Fr. Mangini know how you feel about his letter at email@example.com . Might be nice if he knew more than just those “wealthy, conservative Catholics” love Archbishop Cordileone, Fr. Illo, Fr. Driscoll, and the rest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.