The two visiting granddaughters are back with their parents and our house has fallen silent. With the holidays and the holy days coming, I’m sure we will see them and all the other grandchildren soon. It is truly good to be back in Virginia.
1. Meeting the Sheep in Exile: After the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Patrick’s, we had the opportunity to meet more of St. Peter’s sheep in exile. This was an experience that brought joy because we found great faith and charity in the heartfelt sentiments expressed by these parishioners. We also encountered the sadness of separation they experience because St. Peter’s is no longer the home and spiritual refuge that it had been for them for many years.
My wife (also a sheep in exile) and I want all of St. Peter’s sheep in exile to know that a large number of their fellow parishioners pray for them daily.
2. CCHD Collection: I don’t know about the other Masses, but there were very few envelopes for the CCHD collected at the 5:00PM Mass. I’ve heard that our Pastor made a statement concerning the CCHD collection at the 8:30AM Mass. He held in his hand a postcard that simply asked “St. Peter Parishioners – Please do your homework!” The postcard cited information available at the Reform CCHD Now Website.
Reportedly, he attempted to refute the notion that the CCHD is still having problems with providing funds for grantees in violation of CCHD guidelines. I would hope that he would take the time to read the posting Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition. It would also be worthwhile for him read the other information provided by the newly established Lepanto Institute.
3. Correction: Because we are discussing CCHD, I want to make sure that my statements are accurate. So, allow me to correct a misstatement in my post Two Points about Social Justice and Religious Progressives. John Carr was not in charge of CCHD. According to a somewhat out-of-date biography on the USCCB Website:
John Carr serves as Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In this role, he assists the U.S. bishops in sharing Catholic social teaching, advocating on major issues of justice and peace and building the Catholic community’s capacity to act on its social mission. The Department he leads includes the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is the Bishops’ anti-poverty program, and is guided by two Bishops’ Committees: Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace
4. Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity: It was brought to my attention by two of St. Peter’s Church Militants that our Pastor was rather free with his interpretation of the Gospel for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. While Martin Luther might say that we are justified by our faith alone, some seem to be saying rather that we are justified by our [social justice] works. No matter what was said, or how it was stated, one result of the homily was that a young girl, well beyond the “age of reason,” concluded that Father had said that it is OK to miss Mass.
Having not been there, and not being a theologian or a canon lawyer, I will make two comments:
First – Please read Justification in Catholic Teaching. It’s a good starting place to learn about “justification.”
Second – Soon after his arrival at our Parish, Very Reverend Stanley J. Krempa, V.F, the Dean of Deanery IV of the Diocese of Arlington, held an installation ceremony at a 5:00PM Mass. The purpose of the ceremony was to have our new Pastor sign two documents. If my recollection is correct, the two documents were: The Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity on Assuming an Office to be Exercised in the Name of the Church.
The two documents can be interpreted in many ways, yet, as noted by St. John Paul II, there is a need:
TO PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology…
The Church offers Her sheep, the Christian faithful, many forms of protection from error and spiritual abuse. One only needs to open the Code of Canon Law to Part I of Book II and read to see that the Church loves Her sheep. If you witness actions or teaching not in accordance with the Profession of Faith or the Oath of Fidelity, and your Pastor is not willing to address your grievance, perhaps you should take your grievance to the Dean who administered the Profession and the Oath. That would be the Very Reverend Stanley J. Krempa, V.F, 130 Keating Dr., Winchester, VA 22601.