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Posted January 4, 2007

A Letter From A Parish Priest to His Bishop

Dear Bishop,

Many suggest that the best way to survive is to lay low and ignore everything that comes from the chancery. Might be good advice, but I cannot accept it. I still feel an obligation to inform you of what I am thinking regardless of the advice of my colleagues.

I received again your letter on cup cleansing. I am amazed that this has crept to the top of our Bishop's agenda. There seem to be so many other pressing issues. Our laity can hold the precious blood, drink it, offer it to others, drink the remains but cannot put a few drops of water in the empty cup and go "swish, swish" and drink that water. Where does that come from?

Not only does this seem to be nit picking and ridiculous, but given the several letters received from you, it will now be seen as a test of orthodoxy and obedience to the magisterium. Many of us will not pass this test nor are we even interested in this test.

It seems that we fiddle while Rome is burning. We seem bent on eliminating people from the table of the Lord for orientation, birth control, politics and the list goes on. From the scriptures, as I read them, Jesus spent time trying to add people to the table, even the imperfect, the sinners, the lepers and maybe even the people who dare to "swish, swish" against the will of the Magisterium. Our tables are already becoming more empty every year and now we take more time to eliminate than add.

I was going to check my understanding with a scripture scholar in our diocese but I now understand he is persona non grata as a teacher in this diocese and that our chancery tells other diocese he should not be allowed to teach there either. I guess I will have to check my concerns about "swish, swish", until I find a reputable scholar of God's word.

At a dinner with several pastors, one of them said, "don't they know they are killing us out here?" I guess that is why I write in case you really don't know.

These are my thoughts. However let me quote another of our famous scholars, "but what do I know?"

Peace and Good,

Father . . .