Fitting the pattern

Fitting the pattern

Ita writes in to say she’s seeing a pattern in the reporting on the church closings by the Boston Globe. Consider this story about St. Anselm’s in Sudbury. Here is what Ita says:

It repeats a pattern I’ve found in other Globe stories y’re leaving the Church to become an Episcopalian or something.

She’s definitely on to something there. It’s almost like they have a template. Of course, it’s not just stories about Church closings. Whether it’s a story about Republican policies, the Scandal, the war in Iraq, President Bush campaigning, or what have you, it’s a similar pattern: Take one person’s experience, show how hard they are personally hit by the actions or policies of “bad people” of the moment (even if it is just anecdotal evidence), extrapolate that out to everyone, provide quotes from those who have opposing views from the “bad people”, and then end with another dire personal experience or something that’s supposed to provide a warning for the “bad people”. You see the same thing in the network evening news. So this story ends with the following:

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
10 comments
  • The archdiocese did designate “welcoming” parishes in each cluster where there was a closing of a terroritorial parish, although not when an ethnic parish closed (since there would already be a terroritorial parish that encompasses those people). Of course, people are free to go where they want.

  • The archdiocese did designate “welcoming” parishes in each cluster where there was a closing of a terroritorial parish, although not when an ethnic parish closed (since there would already be a terroritorial parish that encompasses those people). Of course, people are free to go where they want.

  • The archdiocese did designate “welcoming” parishes in each cluster where there was a closing of a terroritorial parish, although not when an ethnic parish closed (since there would already be a terroritorial parish that encompasses those people). Of course, people are free to go where they want.

  • I share your lack of enthusiasm for priestless parishes.  We can very quickly forget that we have a sacramental faith.  If we conclude we can get along without a priest, we come very close to concluding that we can get along without Christ, that we can save ourselves, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty.  And when we make that conclusion, we no longer need the Church.  Just give us a building where we can celebrate community, and we have all we need. 

    One of the Eucharistic Ministers in my parish expressed similar views at a Vibrant Parish Life meeting last year.  In his mind, we do not need a priest to have a vibrant parish.  When I reminded him that the greatest problem facing the church is the lack of priests, he dismissed my concern as being not worthy of recognition.

  • I lived in Boston until last October. During the height of the scandal I read the Globe alot.

    I noticed that in every story on the Church, they almost never missed a chance to take a shot at mentioning a growing theological division, a gay ex-priest, a feeble pope, etc. etc. And always quotes from the disenters and Fr. McBrien, etc., etc.

    They even had that Sunday magazine feature article w/ the disgruntled gay ex-priest.

    Is someone using the Globe to push an agenda? (Maybe we should ask Dan Rather?) Is it a mere coincidence that the scandal story broke in Boston (not LA, NY, etc.) and within a year we had homosexual marriage and NPR stories on Brookline teachers instructing kids in the techniques of sodomy?

    Conspriacy theory? How about good ol’ fashioned American politics.

  • Generally when someone has to go overboard explaining how deep their faith is, you know there’s a “but…” that’s coming along soon.

    Does no one at the Globe realize that claiming you have a strong Catholic faith, and then deciding to go to a Protestant church are contradictory actions?  I think not. 

  • Altar servers handed out sunflower seeds to churchgoers after Mass last Sunday, as signs of hope.

    Ah yes, the 1960s live ons it at odds with the Church in so many areas, especially concerning homosexuality, that they’re happy whenever they can convince Catholicsided if arrangements could be made at a new parish to accommodate a smoother transition? 

    Perhaps some of the rancor occurs because subconsciously parishioners feel as though they have been locked out or “dropped” by God?  Somehow, in our minds, the parish comes to represent our religion, and thus our God.  It shouldn’t be that way, of course, but I do think it is. 

    Part of that may be due to the fact that there has been a great deal of emphasis on God’s immanence.  He has become present in the midst of a specific group.  Break up the group, and God gets lost.

    If we find God only in our pew partner, and then our pew partner joins a different church, how are we going to find God next Sunday?

    The antidote, of course, is putting the emphasis back on praise and worship of the transcendent God Who is the same in each and every parish church.

  • days.

    Update: I may be blogging late at night, if I get the urge too, so keep an eye out.

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    3735
    2004-09-22 13:34:05
    2004-09-22 17:34:05
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    15427

    joedhipp@yahoo.com

    204.102.250.5
    2004-09-23 00:18:56
    2004-09-23 04:18:56
    Dom, who says we want an October edition? wink

  • hough they have been locked out or “dropped” by God?  Somehow, in our minds, the parish comes to represent our religion, and thus our God.  It shouldn’t be that way, of course, but I do think it is. 

    Part of that may be due to the fact that there has been a great deal of emphasis on God’s immanence.  He has become present in the midst of a specific group.  Break up the group, and God gets lost.

    If we find God only in our pew partner, and then our pew partner joins a different church, how are we going to find God next Sunday?

    The antidote, of course, is putting the emphasis back on praise and worship of the transcendent God Who is the same in each and every parish church.

  • 3 09:50:26
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    17055

    carrie1104@sbcglobal.net
    http://www.carrietomko.blogspot.com
    152.163.100.202
    2004-09-23 07:43:53
    2004-09-23 11:43:53
    Is the parish expected to move enmasse to a different church, or does each parishioner “fend for himself,” so to speak?

    I wonder if some of this controversy could be avoided if arrangements could be made at a new parish to accommodate a smoother transition? 

    Perhaps some of the rancor occurs because subconsciously parishioners feel as though they have been locked out or “dropped” by God?  Somehow, in our minds, the parish comes to represent our religion, and thus our God.  It shouldn’t be that way, of course, but I do think it is. 

    Part of that may be due to the fact that there has been a great deal of emphasis on God’s immanence.  He has become present in the midst of a specific group.  Break up the group, and God gets lost.

    If we find God only in our pew partner, and then our pew partner joins a different church, how are we going to find God next Sunday?

    The antidote, of course, is putting the emphasis back on praise and worship of the transcendent God Who is the same in each and every parish church.

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