Far Left Boomer Catholics Vs. Trad Priest - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15026665
A very interesting development in Portland, Oregon:

The new priest took charge of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church more than a year ago. Week after week, parishioners said, George Kuforiji changed their church in ways they didn’t think he ever could.

They talked to him, wrote letters to the Archdiocese of Portland about their frustrations, resisted change and protested during Mass.

But after a while, some couldn’t take it anymore. They left the Southeast Portland church for other parishes or their own spiritual groups. Others said they would stay to the bitter end.

The parish where some had prayed for decades was slipping away.

St. Francis is one of the oldest churches in Portland. It has long been known as a bastion of progressive Catholic faith.

Parishioners have marched in the Portland Pride parade, fed and given shelter to people experiencing homelessness and worked to make the traditionally patriarchal institution more inclusive of women. For several years, a banner hung above the church steps that read “Immigrants & refugees welcome.

Now, the banner is missing. Vestments and one of several treasured photographs of the homeless community that had lined the walls of their parish had been piled in a trailer headed for the dump.

Many felt the new priest aimed to better align St. Francis with the archdiocese, who some feel is out of step with Catholics in Portland.

A discord exists between Catholics and church leaders across the country. Bishops pushing for more uniformity among parishes, including Portland’s Archbishop Alexander Sample, were appointed by a different, more conservative pope than the one currently sitting at the Vatican.

...

The Roman Catholic Church is rooted in tradition and hierarchy. Jerry Harp, chair of St. Francis’ pastoral council, is struggling to understand how he relates to this structure of authority. It was this hierarchy that was roiling his parish.

Harp considers himself a devout Catholic. He starts every morning with mediation and prayer and prays the Hail Mary at least once a day. He tries to attend Mass every Sunday. When he was in his 20s, he said he wanted to follow every rule he could. Now he questions how those rules bring him closer to God.

"Some would say 'Well you have to relate to the authority structure by following them to the letter,'" Harp said. "Well how do you know that? It's perfectly legitimate for other people to have other answers."

Long-time parishioners knew the answer. They didn’t like being told how to worship.

This was their church.
...

Valerie Chapman served as St. Francis’ pastoral administrator since 1993, leading the congregation alongside several priests over the years. Some parishioners said seeing a woman in such a role is what first attracted them to the parish.

Chapman retired in 2017. Monsignor Charles Lienert came out of retirement to take over as administrator, but only for a year. When his assignment was over, George Kuforiji was assigned to St. Francis by the archdiocese and took over July 2018.

Parishioners said the changes he made were almost immediate.

For years, St. Francis used inclusive language in its scripture readings. With references to God, for instance, they avoided using “he,” “lord” or “king” and instead used simply “God” or “creator.”

Kuforiji switched readings to traditional scripture, no longer allowing the new wording.

St. Francis outlined their values in a community commitment that parishioners would read after the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed. Kuforiji replaced the pamphlet and cut out the community commitment.

Parishioners brought their own copies and still said the words.

...

Shaffer and Ghormley noticed the vestments were missing, along with the large “Immigrants & refugees welcome” banner. Black and white photographs of homeless people served by the church were stripped from the walls. Both said Kuforiji told them he didn’t know what happened.

June 30 was a Sunday, and Mass was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. But before hymns could be sung, prayers could be said or the bread and wine consecrated, parishioners protested.

Days earlier, they’d found cherished items in a trailer headed for the dump. Now, 16 mostly gray-haired parishioners stood on the church steps facing Southeast 12th Avenue. Most were dressed all in white and held the large black and white photographs that had been stripped from the walls of the church.

Videos taken by parishioners that morning show them holding signs and singing as they walked through the front doors. Some wore T-shirts during Mass that read “Jesus resisted the Pharisees” on the front. The back of the shirt read “Question authority.”

During the prayers of the faithful, a time for community prayer, parishioners prayed for what happened to the vestments, yelling from the pews.

Kuforiji stood at the pulpit with his arms outstretched, silent.

In the pews, one woman stood with her face buried in her hands. Another said the protesters should respect the church they were standing in. She walked off. A few others followed her out.

At the end of Mass, Karen Mathew, former music director at St. Francis, took the pulpit to lead the congregation in song. The song began, and Kuforiji walked away.

On one side of the aisle, parishioners shook maracas, hit tambourines and clapped their hands. They sang loud. On the other, parishioners were quiet.

After the song, Melinda Pittman, a parishioner who has been at St. Francis for 30 years, took the pulpit. She said she had walked out to talk with Kuforiji when the song began.

“I said that for the last year we have been wanting real dialogue,” Pittman said. “I said we are being abused. We are being abused in the Catholic church by this priest and by this archbishop.”

“Boo,” a man yelled from behind the pews. “This is a holy priest.

“You don’t belong here,” parishioners yelled back.

Kuforiji was near the back of the church. There, another long-time parishioner, Rebecca Boell, confronted him.

“How can you be a priest?” she said. “I’ve been here over 15 years. You’ve been here a year.”

“Do you have reverence for God?” Kuforiji asked her.

Parishioners say they’ve shown it is the authority of the church they do not revere. They resist authority and find God in their resistance.


Oregon Live

I honestly suspect that this sort of in-fighting is going to be seen more & more within church groups. The Southern Baptist Convention has had some massive issues with this recently, as well, but there issues are more along the lines of social justice and critical theory -- listening to Dr. James White can give you a lot of up-to-date insights on what is going on there, although he si not a member of the SBC.

The Vatican II council has really had major ramifications that have just rippled endlessly down the line. This is one of them.

It opened up cracks in the unity of Catholics that can be exploited, and this is really the fruit of that. :hmm:
#15026670
Removing the commitment to the community was a big mistake.

Change is inevitable, and sometimes resisting it can have unforeseen consequences.

The Catholics were not "far left boomers". They merely weren't fundamentalists.
#15026675
Godstud wrote:Removing the commitment to the community was a big mistake.

Change is inevitable, and sometimes resisting it can have unforeseen consequences.

The Catholics were not "far left boomers". They merely weren't fundamentalists.


It stated in the article that they went out to the Portland Pride parade in support of it. They also had been drastically changing the liturgy by adding music and making the decorations far too bright, and even inserting their own social justice rhetoric in after the Nicene creed and hanging political banners like "refugees welcome" on their church.

Can we really say that this is merely not being fundamentalist?
#15026680
There is a way to change things back, and sometimes doing so with the input from the congregation is more important than strict dogmatic adherence. Also, the speed at which it is done, is important.

Again: Removing the commitment to the community was a big mistake.
#15026684
Godstud wrote:There is a way to change things back, and sometimes doing so with the input from the congregation is more important than strict dogmatic adherence. Also, the speed at which it is done, is important.

Again: Removing the commitment to the community was a big mistake.


You believe that things are just going to "progress," right, and that reset buttons don't exist? Perhaps it is true that the technological advancements of the modern world have made the way that we interact with people's private sins different. Private sins are suddenly now very public.

But I will point out that modern Turkey is far more conservative than the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century -- perhaps it is not so entirely different in terms of how people conduct their private lives, but sodomy was a very public affair in Istanbul at the turn of the 19th century, and now it certainly isn't. The same is true for Persia -- the giant brothel differences have been torn down and the kunkeshes that used to sell the butts of men & boys just aren't going to be found in the Islamic Republic anymore.

We have gone in a different direction, and it is currently inconceivable to imagine that it would reverse in our lifetime, but strange things are always happening, muchacho.

But theoretically, none of this is even relevant...

Are you honestly suggesting a 2,000 year old institution that has witnessed countless social changes and even endured pornocracy and all manner of other shortcomings now needs to totally revolutionize the local church in Portland because people who are fundamentally outsiders to Catholic thought think that is the way it should be..? :?:
#15026690
There is no "reset" button. When people attempt it, it either fails, or is very short-lived.

Things always progress forwards and sometimes they go a bit too quickly for some people, that's all. I am sure the Church of today differs drastically from that of the Middle Ages.

Future Shock isn't a new thing. In the Age of Information it's very easy to progress very quickly, not just technologically, but socially.
#15027242
Verv wrote:I honestly suspect that this sort of in-fighting is going to be seen more & more within church groups.

I think this has been going on for a long time. The social liberals have been pretty successful at destroying mainline protestant churches. However, the churchgoers didn't stop going to church. They stopped going to mainline protestant churches. The Episcopalian church is effectively dead.

When I moved, I wanted to be reasonably close to the freeway and shopping. One of the effects of my living situation is that I am near three "mega churches" if you can call them that. They are all non-traditional churches, unaffiliated with larger churches. That non-affiliation seems to be a trend. They pack 'em in too. I went to one with some friends to check it out, and found my nextdoor neighbors on both sides go to the church. It used to be an Office Depot! It's right in a shopping mall.

It's very different from traditional church. They start out with about 10-15 minutes of music to get people in the mood, and then they'll focus on maybe one or two bible verses and give a motivational speech on the biblical verse that sounds like Tony Robbins or something. Rather than hymnals etc, they have handout sheets and pens. They'll ask you to fill in the blanks on bible verses. Totally different from traditional religion; yet, they are packed!

In my area, the Catholic churches are also packed. Some of it is just tradition. A lot of it is the Hispanic influx. The very early morning mass is English, and so is the noon mass. The 10 and 2 masses are in Spanish. The evening mass is in Latin. When I grew up, it was all Vatican 2 and everything was in English. My father quit going to church because of Vatican 2. He felt he had been lied to all his life.

In one of the Catholic churches near my house, they have a shrine to aborted babies--yes, in California. That probably wouldn't even fly in San Francisco. Yet, in another near my house, the priest laments Trump building the wall. I know this, because when my uncle comes in the winter, he likes one particular church that requires me to get on the freeway and drive to another town, because he likes the message of the Dominican friars and likes their choir. He cannot understand the Vietnamese guy closest to my house--which is the newest and nicest Catholic church in the area. I've tried to get him to go to the ones near my house, but no dice.

Yet, the protestant churches: Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. are nearly empty.

It will be interesting to see what happens. A leftist priest can destroy a church pretty quickly.
#15027272
blackjack21 wrote:
Yet, the protestant churches: Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. are nearly empty.

It will be interesting to see what happens. A leftist priest can destroy a church pretty quickly.


I have heard that very conservative protestant churches tend to grow, and it is also very true that the Orthodox church is growing. However, some of the Orthodox churches -- specific ones -- are emptying. Churches made up of converts & conservatives grow, whether they are connected to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese or the OCA (which is vaguely affiliated with Russia as far as I know), but hyper-specific ethnic enclave churches tend to be shrinking, but I have heard this is largely because second and third generation churches do not have kids that want to hear sermons in Serbian or Romanian anymore.

Orthodoxy grows -- and willy only grow -- as long as it is conservative.

... I have also heard it said that the Bishops are big fans of immigration because it is the only thing that has kept Catholicism growing in America. It can also be a source of Priests.

I have also heard that there is an influx of hyper-conservative young, Anglo priests. The generations after the Boomers are taking the destruction of their church personally and are rather down to take it back.
#15027274
Godstud wrote:There is no "reset" button. When people attempt it, it either fails, or is very short-lived.

Things always progress forwards and sometimes they go a bit too quickly for some people, that's all. I am sure the Church of today differs drastically from that of the Middle Ages.

Future Shock isn't a new thing. In the Age of Information it's very easy to progress very quickly, not just technologically, but socially.


This is a funny concept: social "progress" and technological progress necessarily mirror each other. It's just not rooted in fact as seen by the Middle East, and as also seen in places like Korea or Japan, or even all of Europe in the early 20th century.

But the memory of Godstud and the left is short.

Globalization was really born in the 19th century when y ou had regular Dutch people eating food imported from other parts of the world and being influenced by Japanese art, like Van Gogh, or painting naked Tahitians like his buddy Gauguin. The average person in 1890 in Western Europe or the US was healthy, was scientifically educated, was well-read in the classics, and were practicing domestic and occasionally foreign tourism.

And what did the 20th century show us?

Extremes -- the rise of Fascism and the rise of Communism, but also the whole of the Anglosphere experienced a very dramatic religious revival that persisted from the 1920s to the 1970s, and is still felt in some parts of America to this day.

I think I already mentioned how the Middle East became hyper-religious through literacy and access to public education, and these people are not clowns at all. The Shi'a reovlutionaries of Iran are very serious intellectuals and their supporters are college educated people who were reading philosophers talking about the 'Western disease' of existentialism. That material is all out there and you can check it out.

But I fear that many Western liberals truly have their heads up their keisters and can't accept the fact that maybe the desire to be tolerant of men buggering each other isn't actually progress. Maybe it's a vice that appears during the decline of civilizations and actually says nothing at all about "progress."

I wonder if an argument will be forthcoming from Godstud or if we will just hear again how it's just "future-shock" to not be into women with beards breastfeeding children.
#15027276
:roll: I am not left. I am a Classic Liberal.

If you are doing this just to classify people who don't share your opinion, and troll them, then go fuck yourself, Verv.
#15027285
I can see that a traditional Catholic could want to withdraw from involvement with a Pride parade, but supporting the homeless, immigrants and refugees is pretty much compulsory for Catholics. It has huge biblical support, and the Catholics have emphasised "good works" for centuries, even if some Protestant denominations went to "scripture alone".

"Adding music and making the decorations far too bright" is not really "changing the liturgy"; it's a matter of personal taste. Many Catholic churches have had extremely bright decoration (eg gold) for centuries, and music as well; what this seems to be is a dislike of certain kinds of music (maracas and tambourines - though you'll find tambourines in the bible, but not pipe organs).
#15027455
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:I can see that a traditional Catholic could want to withdraw from involvement with a Pride parade, but supporting the homeless, immigrants and refugees is pretty much compulsory for Catholics. It has huge biblical support, and the Catholics have emphasised "good works" for centuries, even if some Protestant denominations went to "scripture alone".

"Adding music and making the decorations far too bright" is not really "changing the liturgy"; it's a matter of personal taste. Many Catholic churches have had extremely bright decoration (eg gold) for centuries, and music as well; what this seems to be is a dislike of certain kinds of music (maracas and tambourines - though you'll find tambourines in the bible, but not pipe organs).


It is certainly accurate to say that Christians are obligated to love the poor and pursue helping them. It's also true that it would be unchristian to argue against aiding refugees.

But another fact remains: Christianity traditionally endorses following the law. It also has never been allergic to the consciousness that a people have as a unique people, and their rights to their lands. You can go back to Saints Methodius and Cyril to get an idea about how language is important to communities.

From that, one can obviously extrapolate a respect for local and individual autonomy and identity.

I think few people are against absolutely zero migration. Few are against helping actual refugees.

But this doesn't describe what's happening at the Southern border and the decades of criminal illegal immigration.

.... I also must remind the readers: the soup kitchen wasn't closed. Merely, the banners and leftist motto that these folks were bringing out was changed.

As far as paraphernalia goes, I don't understand why you think the sacred vestments and composure during liturgy are unimportant.

I cna only guess you are just speculating as an atheist with a Protestant or strange catholic background about what you think Christianity should be. If you don't get the argument, try to learn it before you make a counter argument.
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