The good time Gospel

The good time Gospel

It’s almost a trusim. If Eileen McNamara, columnist for the Boston Globe, or indeed any of her Catholic colleagues at Morrisey Boulevard, praise something in the Catholic Church then it’s probably (a) not orthodox and/or (b) liberal as all get out and/or (c) a relic of the Sixties. I think we have that here in her latest column on the final goodbye of a priest at a closed parish.

She profiles Fr. John Fitzpatrick, former pastor of St. Anselm in Sudbury, one of the places where 24/7 sit-ins were held. Fr. Fitz, as they call him, has a white ponytail and rides a motorcycle with a sidecar for his little dog. He travels about the archdiocese now, offering support to those protesting the various decisions by the archbishop.

Reading the column, you detect the telltale signs of liberalism and a dislike for the institution of the Church as she has existed for 2,000 years: “empowered laity;” “a new church, a better church, are here in these wonderful people who won’t leave their church;” and a reading from Maya Angelou at his last Mass in the church. (I get the sense it wasn’t taking the place of one of the three Scripture readings, but you never know; nevertheless… Maya Angelou?)

I take comfort in the fact that a certain generation of priests is being supplanted by a new generation of young and orthodox clergy.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
5 comments
  • “I take comfort in the fact that a certain generation of priests is being supplanted by a new generation of young and orthodox clergy.”

    Me too! On a chatboard I go to occasionally, a woman was discussing her wedding ceremony in a Catholic Church. There is an older priest at her particular church who is apparently “totally cool,” while a younger priest she spoke to was like all uptight about rules and stuff… 

  • Hi, Fr. Ethan:

    Thank you for being orthodox! I watch the Mass on EWTN sometimes and one day a young priest was giving a homily on modern-day heresies. At one point he kind of laughed and said, “I realize that what I’m saying might be ruffling some feathers, but I’m not here to please anyone except Jesus Christ.” I thought that was awesome! Truly a priest worth following.

    God bless –

  • I think you judge Father Fitzpatrick a wee bit harshly, Dom, assuming that anyone of whom Eileen McNamara would write admiringly is beyond the pale.  To be sure, his generation of priests have much for which to answer, most of all the number of them, including Fitzpatrick’s classmates at the seminary, who sexually abused children.  But Fitzpatrick was not one of these guys, but rather one of them who harshly condemned both their actions and the church’s response.

    I think if you were to look at bit closer at his conduct, you would see that Fitzpatrick has not been some sort of free-lance rabble rouser, “offering support to those protesting various decisions by the archbishop.”  Indeed, he has been very circumspect and respectful in his comments about Archbishop Sean.

    I hope the rising generation of young and orthodox clergy will equal his devoted and creative service to, among others, the deaf community in the archdiocese.

  • Sorry Tony, but in this case I would have to disagree. It’s fairly clear from what I have been able to gather that Fr. Fitzpatrick is among the Boston Priests’ Forum/Walter Cuenin crowd of dissenters and throwbacks, chafing at the Church’s teaching and taking advantage of the lapse by our recent bishops to push their anti-authoritarian agenda.

    For instance, he was among the 58 priests who signed the letter insisting Law must go. Not that wanting Cardinal Law out was in itself a sign of heterodoxy, but that the particular group of 58 had connections beyond that one letter.

    Birds of a feather, you might say.

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