We are still in the Christmas Season – Merry Christmas!
Some locally based efforts of the Church Militant, e.g. American Life League (ALL), Reform CCHD Now (RCN), and the Lepanto Institute, have been very successful in thwarting Planned Parenthood and some works of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that are, at best, ill-advised. Perhaps you have read some of the ALL or RCN reports. In the case of RCN, you know that after each report there was a defiant backlash and heavy-handed criticism of the reports by the ones who were exposed. The one thing you never saw as part of the backlash, however, was a successful refutation of the factual case presented by RCN.
American Life League, RCN, and the Lepanto Institute rely on means and methods that have served the Church Militant for two millennia. Among them are prayer, zeal for the Lord and His Church, and the knowledge that they stand under the banner and standard of Christ the King. Additionally, they have developed a specific set of rules and tools to aid in their research and analysis that are not based on power or deception. Rather, they are based on adherence to Truth and logic.
For the present, there is no advantage in describing the rules and tools, means and methods used by the local Church Militant. What might be worthwhile, though, is that, as my wife and I proceed in our discussion of Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors, we begin to share with you some of the information we have uncovered that will help to frame our discussion.
For a starter, we recommend that you read three documents because there is much to be learned from them. One document was authored by our Pastor when he was at his last parish. And the other two are official Diocesan documents.
The first document shows us that that St. Charles Borromeo had a charter for its Pastoral Council very soon after Fr. Grinnell arrived, but we at St. Peter’s still have no charter nor do we have specific information describing how our Pastor intends to run the Council. Does that raise questions in your mind? It does in mine.
The second document tells us a great deal about what is required of the priests in the Diocese as they perform their pastoral duties. It also includes some statements about the constitution of a pastoral council in each parish. The document points directly to the a pastoral letter as the guide for what a pastoral council should be. Our late Bishop Keating authored that pastoral on “Consultation in the Parish.” In the letter he provided his thinking related to other pastoral matters. Interestingly, he describes how he wrestled with the question of how the laity fits into this picture.
Don’t read these document hoping to find a “smoking gun” or an immediate “gotcha.” Rather, we would recommend that you read them with the intention of arming yourself with essential background knowledge. In that way, we the sheep of St. Peter’s and we the Church Militant can conduct our campaign to return to the “status quo ante” employing the tools of Truth and logic and abiding by the rules of Christian charity.
Having said that, we must keep in mind that there will be times when confrontation, or at least face-to-face meetings with our Pastor of members of the Diocesan hierarchy, will be required. A good example of potential confrontation is the upcoming presentation of the Petition to our Pastor. Take time now to prepare for that meeting through reading appropriate Church documents and by reflective prayer.
And what if the Pastor says “No” to the Petition? Remember, in simple terms, our Pastor took away what we had. We are only asking for a return of what was rightly ours. Perhaps it will be up to the Bishop to explain why that is not a justified request.