- Alienating young people -
Tony Flannery (born in 1947), co-founder of the (heretical) Association of Catholic Priests (a para-church outfit of priests who pretend they are bishops), was stripped of his ministry in 2012 (the Irish bishops got one thing right!) due to his outspoken liberal views on contraception and the ordination of female priests.The (former) Redemptorist priest, who voted Yes (in the recent referendum), said the Church needed to rethink how it approaches Ireland's youth if it is to reverse its waning position in society. (Me thinks the Redemptorists have lost or are losing their marbles.)"The last thing the Irish bishops should be doing is further alienating the young generation who the Church, to a fair degree, has lost already," he told AFP. (Flannery is projecting his own inadequacies and his own misguided agenda on to the bishops and people of Ireland. Perhaps his comments reflect an ill will toward his critics?)
In our diocese, arguably Canada's wackiest for decades, things began to change after a former "progressive" bishop (mired in scandal) retired and many flakey priests left the priesthood or died. A couple of liturgically reverent bishops arrived one after the other and vocations picked up.
From the 1970s through to the 1990s, during the wackiest of the wacky years, tradition-minded young men were routinely sidelined by the then bishop who, among his other brilliant moments, practically crashed the Catholic school system, left the diocese in financial ruin and ended a thriving lay-lead youth ministry that was the model if not the envy of many other dioceses. The then bishop had no interest in facilitating any vocation that smacked of liturgical and moral authenticity. Of the several men I know who approached the bishop, men who were balanced, intelligent, enthusiastic and deferential, all were confused and understandably dejected at the bishop's refusal to consider their applications. The bishop's vision of the priesthood only included men who fawned over his social justice project moulded to liberation theology, shared his pro-Winnipeg Statement madness and a limp defence of the unborn. Of those few good men who were denied an opportunity to serve, a couple left for another diocese, pursued studies and were ordained.
In our case, things had to get a lot worse before the situation got much better. The diocese almost went bankrupt due to bizarre investments by diocesan officials who did not receive nor seek approval from the competent Roman authorities to engage in such questionable activity. Then again, our bishop at the time had little respect for the saintly Successor of St. Peter, Pope John Paul II, or anyone deferential to the Office of Peter.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.—St. Matthew 7:21.
* "Dinosaur Priest" refers not to the age of a man as much as it does to the rebellious mindset frequently attached to priests of a certain vintage. Synonyms: hippie priest (typically ordained in the late 1960s into the 1970s; liberal-religionist (1980s or 1990s version of the hippie priest); heretic (speaks for itself; a son of Arius).