Friday, August 17, 2007

Wreckovation At It's Best (Worst?)
I'll bet these clowns by-pass Jesus in their prayers, too

From Una Voce. Here's just a bit of the article;

The destruction of beautiful churches has been but one of the devastating results of the post-Vatican II era. High altars, statues, altar rails, and other beautiful ornamentation, are believed, by some, to be outmoded and unnecessary in light of the new reforms. The deception and manipulation of the devoted faithful by certain "experts" follows a numbingly familiar pattern. Construction teams are called in late at night while people are unsuspecting. It is insisted that the 100 year old altars were "unnecessary duplications", and a local church that prides itself on "welcoming, compassion, and openness" shuts its ears to the cries of the faithful as their sacred heritage is destroyed.

If a liturgical rite that was used for nearly 1400 years was nearly abolished, some of this comes as little surprise since there will be little sensitivity shown towards the sacred architecture of the churches built for the ancient liturgy.

(the following is an excerpt from a news report from the TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT Northern Cambria bureau)

NORTHERN CAMBRIA - PENNSYLVANIA, USA Parishioners of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church feel betrayed by what some term a desecration after the church’s nearly century-old altar was ripped out, broken apart and tossed into a Dumpster.

But [Pastor of St John's, Father] Connolly said the altar had not been updated since Vatican II, a meeting of bishops in Rome during the mid-1960s. He said it was a necessary change.

As word started spreading in the tightly knit Catholic community about the altar’s fate, more members came forward. More than a dozen St. John parishioners feel betrayed by Connolly and the diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Joseph Adamec.

Joe Minarish Jr. joined Wadium and other churchgoers in expressing shock and outrage. But, said Minarish, others have been afraid to speak for fear of retribution from church officials. "They’re afraid they will be excommunicated or refused for burial in a Catholic cemetery," he said.

He said he believed the other 90 percent of parishioners are unhappy with the renovations and have been afraid to say anything until now. Wadium and Minarish said the real sin is the secret manner in which the renovation was decided. "The plans for renovation have been withheld from the parishioners, so that it was impossible to prevail upon the pastor and the bishop to consider an alternative," Benamati said in the letter.

Wadium, Minarish, Biros and another dissenter, Ed Kerchesky, said their requests for information from committee members and the priest went unanswered. "One member of the committee told us be was sworn to secrecy," Kerchesky said. "We asked Father (Connolly) to inform us in the church bulletin, but he never did."

Church member Robert Benamati was chosen by the group to write a letter to Rome outlining their discontent. It said that, "Connolly and the bishop acted in a deceptive manner to needlessly diminish the temporal goods of the parish." The plans for renovation have been withheld from the parishioners, so that it was impossible to prevail upon the pastor and the bishop to consider an alternative," Benamati said in the letter.

After five years of deception and lies by leaders of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese, our worst fears became reality. On May 27 around 4 p.m., destruction of our sanctuary began at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Northern Cambria.

Two contractors from C.E. Wood of Altoona appeared out of nowhere.

We-— Joseph Minarish, Helen Biros, Edward Kerchesky and Carol Benamati — parishioners stood there in disbelief at the sight of two workmen in steel-toed boots standing on our beautiful sacred altar. They were ripping, tearing and smashing at our nearly 100-year-old main altar with crowbars, sledge hammers and electric saws.

Alongside stood our parish priest, Rev. Gerard Connolly, TOR, looking on in approval. Gerard asked us to leave. We returned later with other parishioners equally upset at the destruction. Once again, Gerard demanded that we leave or he would call the police. We left.

Gerard went against his word. After leaving the premises of the church, we were standing on Elizabeth Street and the police arrived. The officer informed us that, upon orders from Gerard, we are not permitted to enter the body of the church.

Is Gerard so ashamed of what he is letting the contractors do to the sanctuary of our church that he did not want anyone else to see? The contractors appeared over and over again, in the early morning hours, late evening and after dark, when they were least expected.

The saddest of all is the way our altar was disposed. For over a week, the remains of our consecrated altar lay in a dumpster along with a bag of garbage and two old tires.

Where is the respect for God? Where is the respect for the people who worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that their future generations may know and understand the history of the church? Is this how we are to dispose of sacred objects?

Our sanctuary has now been destroyed and can never be replaced. Like thieves in the night, they came, they destroyed and they left.

Joseph Minarish
Helen Biros
Northern Cambria



Blogger 4HisChurch said...

We just got on this subject with our priest the other day. A parishioner asked him why they took all the statues out of the churches and he said so people focus on what is going on at the altar.

My response off the top of my head is that the statues (and stained glass that actually depict something) are learning tools for those people, often children, whose attention tends to wander.

Also, statues and the like are part of our Catholic culture that they have taken away.

Ok. They've been doing this for 40 years now. "How's that been workin' for ya'?"

6:11 AM  
Blogger Brian Michael Page said...

And to boot - that parish and four others merged into one "faith community".


6:48 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Wasson said...

This is infuriating. It is bad enough that the Church is being sacked...but there are places that will take these old altars and restore them. I know this, because my husband and I have have helped with the cleaning and restoration of two very old, plaster high altars that were destined for destruction as well.

Holy Family Church in Columbus, Ohio has a museum which houses many of these sacred objects until they can be restored and relocated. These old plaster and wood altars, with proper care and cleaning, are as beautiful as many of the marble altars I've seen.

And there are churches that are requesting them. High altars, altar rails, traditional baptismal fonts...all of these items are being sought by parishes which are returning to their more traditional roots. Not a great number, mind you, but it is happening.

BTW, it has always been my understanding that a consecrated object, must be de-consecrated before it is destroyed or disposed of to avoid the possibility of desecration of the sacred.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Who says a new religion wasn't founded? In the Odox church we call this "iconoclasm" "heresy" "sacrillege" and that those who did it are going to Hell! I'd speak with my feet if they ever did this to my church, but first I'd give the priest a bloody nose.

I never want to belong to a "faith community" I belong TO A CHURCH!

9:41 AM  
Blogger 4HisChurch said...

Especially in light of the recent document saying that Protestants have "faith communities". We and the Orthodox have the Church!!

4:00 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Cavey, check out Catholic Church Conservation's update on this story: this same priest just got popped for multiple counts of sexual assault.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Alexander said...

This reminds me of things I have read on the liturgical revolution.

Namely that all the changes and the fabrications came because bishops and priests assumed it was good for the people. But no one asked the people if they wanted their sacred and beautiful statues and altars destroyed! “It’s good for you, whether you know it or not.”

This also reminds me of a time when I asked a local priest whether he would say TLMs if the Pope freed it. He said “no one wants that around here.” And yet most people around here have never been to one, so how will they know!

My point is that it appears that sometimes priests or bishops will restrict things because they claim there is no need for them; like the recent news headlines of bishops downplaying the motu proprio. But when it comes to liturgical reckovations the people’s concerns are unimportant. How odd.

11:00 PM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

Ladies & Gentlemen: We have a "Turd Burgler" alert! Read today's column by Matt C. Abbott. Seems as though our fine Fr. Connolly has recently been arrested for butt slamming an inmate (male, of course) last year during several prison visits. Seems as though the prisoner tried to black mail the good padre.

Anyone else seeing the continued correlation between those who hold to ultra-liberal post Vatican II views of Catholicism and "Back Door Conquistador" activity?

9:41 AM  
Blogger 4HisChurch said...

I know I have. After learning that no less than 6 of the priests assigned to the parish I grew up in turned out to be homosexuals, I realized, too, that most of them were ones to make up their own liturgical rules too.

7:26 AM  

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