It’s that time of year again! The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress has come and gone! I decided to wait until it was over before I comment because I like to think I’m a hopeful person. Of course, I’m also a suspicious person, especially when I see some of the speakers who were lined up. And then I have to ask if you really want to hear the same types of sad tales over and over. This from last year: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/los-angeles-re-education-congress/ Sadly, my hopes were dashed and my suspicions confirmed. The REC was a wreck once again.
I know many good people and organizations go to this thing and, I have to confess, it kind of ticks me off. Yes, yes, I know there are many good workshops and speakers but there are also some pretty awful ones. Are we just supposed to be content that there is some good there and forget the souls led astray by the truly awful? I really had great hope that Archbishop Gomez would reform this thing but it’s completely frustrating me that it hasn’t happened YET! I mean, just some simple ideas: Would it really be too much to have the speakers sign an oath of fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church? Might we just not invite those advocating for active homosexual lifestyles to be accepted by the Catholic Church? I don’t care if their topic is “Latino Theology,” it might it be a little bit scandalous to have an ex-priest in a homosexual “marriage” lead a workshop. https://www.lgbtran.org/Profile.aspx?ID=368 Are there really no other speakers that can address this topic????
So, when I look at this train wreck, I really think that some of our bishops need to meditate on the verse below, quite a bit. It’s like it was written for conferences just like REC. I’ll interject in red to make it easier to read:
1 It is Paul who writes; God’s servant, sent out as an apostle of Jesus Christ, with the faith of God’s elect for his care; they were to acknowledge that truth which accords with holiness, 2 and fix their hopes on eternal life. (There seems to be a huge lack of attention focused on eternal life at the REC and a lot of attention on “me”, “my desires”, “my entertainment”, etc.) It has been promised to us long ages since by the God who cannot fail us; 3 and now, in due time, he has made his meaning clear to us, through the preaching with which God, our Saviour, has seen fit to entrust me. 4 To Titus, my own son in the faith we share, grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
5 If I left thee behind me in Crete, it was to put all in order, where order is still needed. It is for thee to appoint presbyters, as I enjoined, in each city, 6 always looking for a man who is beyond reproach, faithful to one wife; one whose children hold the faith, not accused of reckless living, not wanting in obedience. (Methinks that Orlando Espín isn’t exactly the model for this.) 7 A bishop, after all, since he is the steward of God’s house, must needs be beyond reproach. He must not be an obstinate or quarrelsome man, one who drinks deep, or comes to blows, or is grasping over money. 8 He must be hospitable, kindly, discreet, upright, unworldly and continent. 9 He must hold firmly to the truths which have tradition for their warrant; able, therefore, to encourage sound doctrine, and to shew the wayward their error. 10 There are many rebellious spirits abroad, who talk of their own fantasies and lead men’s minds astray; (Did I embolden and underline enough here? This is exactly where some cardinals, bishops and priests are falling seriously short! They are not shewing the wayward their error nor stopping the rebellious spirits. Am I saying that they need to throw the book at them? No. They have to care for them too but do we need to give them a platform to “lead men’s minds astray?”) those especially who hold by circumcision; 11 and they must be silenced. They will bring ruin on entire households by false teaching, with an eye to their own base profits. (Nobody in their right minds can deny that this is happening. Our hierarchy expresses a desire to preserve the family but then they let “false teachers” wander all around their dioceses, which undermines the family. The family, especially the children, are always the ones hurt by their unwillingness to take action against these false teachers. We parents are trying to keep our families safe and we’re not getting much help from many of you!) 12 Why, one of themselves, a spokesman of their own, has told us, The men of Crete were ever liars, venomous creatures, all hungry belly and nothing besides; 13 and that is a true account of them. Be strict, then, in taking them to task, so that they may be soundly established in the faith, (You know, I was just joking with a friend of mine that I don’t always think the married clergy is a bad idea. PLEASE NOTE I SAID JOKE! Why, you may ask? Because wives have a way of making their husbands deal with the uncomfortable whether they want to or not! Is it comfortable to deal with wayward children? Nope. If you don’t, though, some may be lost forever and take a bunch of other children down with them!) 14 instead of paying attention to these Jewish fables, these rules laid down for them by human teachers who will not look steadily at the truth. 15 As if anything could be unclean for those who have clean hearts! But for these men, defiled as they are by want of faith, everything is unclean; defilement has entered their very thought, their very consciences. 16 They profess recognition of God, but their practice contradicts it; it is they who are abominable, who are disloyal, who are ill qualified for the practice of any true virtue. (Let me just give you a list of these people at the REC that do this, based purely on public actions/statements they themselves have made. If you disagree, research them yourself and tell me why: Arthur Fitzmaurice, Orlando Espín, Fr. Greg Boyle, Fr. Bryan Massingale, Javier Plascencia, Yunuen Trujillo (for some reason she’s on staff of the archdiocese as a youth leader when she’s on video screwing up teaching here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HINZ0I83TOI&feature=youtu.be) and I’m quite sure I missed more than a few others.)
1 Thine is to be a different message, with sound doctrine for its rule. 2 Teach the older men to be sober, decent, orderly, soundly established in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The older women, too, must carry themselves as befits a holy calling, not given to slanderous talk or enslaved to drunken habits; teaching others by their good example. 4 From them the younger women must learn orderly behaviour, how to treat their husbands and their children lovingly, 5 how to be discreet, modest, and sober, busy about the house, kindly, submissive to their own husbands; the preaching of God’s word must not be brought into disrepute. 6 Encourage the young men, too, to live orderly lives. 7 Let them find in all thou doest the model of a life nobly lived; let them find thee disinterested in thy teaching, worthy of their respect, 8 thy doctrine sound beyond all cavil; so that our adversaries may blush to find that they have no opportunity for speaking ill of us. (Sadly, I can still find much unsound “teaching” (indoctrination or whatever you want to call it) at REC and I don’t have to look far. I’m not talking about the dancing ladies or the happy-clappy stuff. Yeah, those are annoying but there is some additional super-duper harm still being done here.) 9 Slaves must be submissive to their own masters, so as to content them in every way; no arguing, 10 no pilfering; they must give good proof of utter fidelity, every action of theirs bringing credit to the teaching which God, our Saviour, has revealed. 11 The grace of God, our Saviour, has dawned on all men alike, 12 schooling us to forgo irreverent thoughts and worldly appetites, and to live, in this present world, a life of order, of justice, and of holiness. (I really think this can be done, but only with a new planning board. It’ll never happen with the hands at work now and I’m not sure how many more years we have to go through this before this “congress” that exports so much to so many embraces the Church’s teachings on sexuality and offers real ministries to those struggling.) 13 We were to look forward, blessed in our hope, to the day when there will be a new dawn of glory, the glory of the great God, the glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, to ransom us from all our guilt, a people set apart for himself, ambitious of noble deeds. 15 Be this thy message, lending all authority to thy encouragement and thy reproof. Let no man lightly esteem thee.
1 Remind them that they have a duty of submissive loyalty to governments and to those in authority, of readiness to undertake any kind of honourable service. 2 They are not to speak injuriously of anyone, or pick quarrels; they must be considerate, and lose no opportunity of shewing courtesy to the world around them. 3 We, after all, were once like the rest of them, reckless, rebellious, the dupes of error; enslaved to a strange medley of desires and appetites, our lives full of meanness and of envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 Then the kindness of God, our Saviour, dawned on us, his great love for man. 5 He saved us; and it was not thanks to anything we had done for our own justification. In accordance with his own merciful design he saved us, with the cleansing power which gives us new birth, and restores our nature through the Holy Spirit, 6 shed on us in abundant measure through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 7 So, justified by his grace, we were to become heirs, with the hope of eternal life set before us. 8 It is well said, and I would have thee dwell on it, that those who have learned to trust in God should be at pains to find honourable employment. That is their duty, and the world will benefit by it. 9 But take no part in vain researches into pedigrees, and controversies that wrangle over points of the law; they are useless folly. 10 Give a heretic one warning, then a second, and after that avoid his company; 11 his is a perverse nature, thou mayest be sure, and his fault has been admitted on his own confession. (Avoid their company!!!! What a novel idea! Definitely don’t invite them to speak!) 12 When I send for thee by Artemas or Tychicus, make haste and come to meet me at Nicopolis; I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Make careful provision for Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollo on their journey; they must not be left wanting for anything. 14 It would be well if our brethren would learn to find honourable employment, so as to meet what necessity demands of them, instead of having nothing to contribute. 15 All those who are with me send their greeting to you. Greet all those who are our friends in the common faith. The grace of God be with you all, Amen.
This was Paul to Titus so, obviously, this a very old tale but it’s written right at the Catholic leaders of today. Wonder when some will see it? I mean, really! How about we first stop those taking a knife to the faith? I mean that’s kind of the first step before stopping the hemorrhaging and repairing the damage done. Why bother doing those when someone is still stabbing away???
To those who will tell me about all the good stuff there… I know. The problem is, evil wrapped up in some good is still evil. I just don’t ascribe to the “it’s just a little evil” line of thought. Why can’t the little evil be sent away??? Maybe because too many of us look the other way? Anyways, see knife metaphor above, well, because I thought it was good.
It is my dream that someone with some organizational skills and/or money will ask for a meeting with the good Archbishop and offer to help him make the REC authentically Catholic or they will simply start an authentically Catholic rival “congress” in some place like, say, Northern California. It seems we up here tend to offer things to the very educated Catholics and never come out of our bunkers and help the rest on a grand scale. We’ve actually got some amazing bishops that might let us participate!